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  1. M3Fanatic

    Haig Park

    It has been a long time in the planning but I finally made some progress towards retiring my Scalextric set and building my first routed MDF track. Things fell into place when we built a new garage at home; leaving the old detached single car building crying out for another use – the slot room! It is only a small space but at least it meant a permanent track could be housed. The roller door has been replaced by a glass sliding door and a couple of coats of paint has tidied it up quite a bit. I’ve also had some additional power points installed as well as better lighting. The room measures about 5.2 m by 3.4 m only, so the size of the layout was always going to be modest. The lack of width in the space meant that a long and narrow table down one side of the room was the way to go. The width of the table had to be such that I could reach to the corners to retrieve a de-slotted car. I had given up hope of finding someone local to do the CNC work for me even after a generous fellow Auslot member sent me the relevant files to build a copy of his track. Somehow $750 to get a track done from two 2.4 X 1.2 m sheets seemed like a rip-off to me, given the original was done for one-third that. Routing my own was the only option left to me — I know I am not the first to attempt anything like a slot track as a first routing project but I thought I would give it a go! I’ve never held a router before much less use one to route anything like a three lane slot car track. The design I wanted something simple in design as a first up exercise at building a track. It was about this point I decided not to include a cross-over but add interest by including elevation changes. To keep it simple yet interesting was a challenge. I also wanted to ensure it had some degree of flow to it so I thought I needed to make sure the turns were not too tight either. I did not get too obsessed with filling up the entire space with track; flow and varying curves were the priority. It was about this point my wife must have thought I’d lost it as I would doodle on just about any blank spot on a sheet of paper! Here’s my final design of the track. Lane spacing will be 100 mm as I almost always run 1/32. The dimensions mean that 2 full sheets of 2400 mm X 1200 mm (12 mm thick) MDF and a third ripped lengthways are all I need. The long straight will be up against the side wall of the room. There will be just enough space to access the left and right sides if needed. The driver’s stations will be along the middle section at the bottom of the plan (the 2400 mm side). I’ll be running in both directions; and I have decided on a full gloss surface. I plan to elevate the long straight and ‘C’ curve (on the right after the straight) will lead downhill into the curved ‘straight’. The esses on the left will be uphill/downhill depending on direction. I am going with copper tape as this track will only be for me, my daughter and her cousins. I guess there may well be some of the mates from the 1:1 car club on occasions. I think copper tape will serve me well for something like this. I expect that I will be moving on to something more complex before too long so I opted for the lower cost of this option! The table I started the construction of the table over the weekend. I’ve designed it as four separate sections so I could build it outside and move it in for final assembly. Being glued and screwed, the sections are much more rigid than they look. Quite simply, the legs will be bolted and braced to the individual sections and the four sections then bolted together. Here are the completed sections sitting on the floor of the slot room for the moment so a decent photo was rather difficult. Cheers, Jon
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