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Braid Or Tape

Toy Tech's Photo Toy Tech 07 Jul 2007

Thanx Phil, will look deeper into it ;-)


Paul NZ's Photo Paul NZ 31 Jul 2007


many of the pro tracks down here use Blackboard Paint with excellent results.



I used blackboard paint and copper tape on my three lane routed track and have had no problems, :) we don't get the humidity like you do over the ditch so that may be why.

Good luck with the build, If I had the budget I would go for braid next time.
Edited by Paul NZ, 31 July 2007 - 08:21 PM.

DaveH's Photo DaveH 31 Jul 2007

Just one completely 'out of the blue', and speaking as someone who has absolutely no idea, but has anyone tried the dulux 'suede effects' paint?

Ontheflipside's Photo Ontheflipside 31 Jul 2007

View PostDaveH, on Jul 31 2007, 09:07 PM, said:

Just one completely 'out of the blue', and speaking as someone who has absolutely no idea, but has anyone tried the dulux 'suede effects' paint?
I have used it on two rally tracks I have built. Works well plenty of grip without wear on tires. Havent done so yet but will possibly paint over with a waterbased clear low sheen. Due to its nature i doubt if copper tape would stick to it so paint last.

cgullone's Photo cgullone 31 Mar 2008

Hi all, braid or tape? well i have another conductor to add to the list , it is stainless steel cable used for
around patios decking etc. works well for me on my 70foot track it is 1/8 inch diameter . i tested it with a small circle and cars did not come off while drifting which was a surprise ! ..then went ahead and replaced my classic track has been seen by very few racers (2) as i live in wonthaggi vic
i will not be going back to plastic track .. stainless should last me out .
ferodor paint is a zinc rich paint for metal work .

thanking you peter donovan

Just wondering what ferador (spelling?) is actually used for normally? is that blackboard paint? or is it something completely different?

I'm in planning on a routed track myself, and opting to go with braid, however i have been trying to find alternate solutions, to the point of even using long lengths of 5-mm copper tubing, so it would form and sit nicely into a groove and be a lot harder wearing. (copper tubing of various diameters from plumbing or supplies etc).

I also considered running something thinner like maybe 2-3mm solid copper wire, but wonder how many problems i would have with the braid-pickups making contact (although my experience with AFX track that using only 1mm rails works great).

I realise the copper tubing or wire would be somewhat more expensive, but it would basically never need maintenance compared to braid and especially copper-foil.

Regarding braid, would it be better to use a tinned braid rather than plain copper? avoiding corrosion etc?
I have several 100's meters of Video coax cable (broadcast use) that i can strip the outer coating easily, but the braid is tinned....i'm also considering just leaving the inner core inside, so it'd be a solid round length of braid that would fit nicely into the routs, just like tubing would.

Thoughts anyone ????

Thanx in advance,

Rob's Photo Rob 31 Mar 2008

Gday Marty,
Firstly welcome to the forum, great bunch of knowledgble blokes here, regarding the profile of your rails, I think flat braid would be a better choice for the application if only for the reason that it provides more contact area for the cars brushes as opposed to round rod or tube. You also have another choice int he braid which is magna braid which is what I have chosen to lay in my routed track which provides the ability for magnet in cars to be used for the kids ( and the big kids).


aastes's Photo aastes 31 Mar 2008

If you can afford it do it with braid every time.
I have had both success with copper tape and failures (mostly success). If the track is flat on one piece of MDF then tape lifting should not be much of a problem as there will be little or no movement in the track as a whole. If the track is to have ups and downs there will be movement with temp changes and that will cause grieve of the first order. Braid is flexible so will move with the track both in and out. Tape will just lift :^( The last track I did with tape was however an utter failure as I thought I would be smart and use tinned copper tape ( the stuff used on mirrors for leadlighting) looked good when finished but most probabley due to movement in the track lifted all the time especially round the then banking. On the flat pit section never lifted once. The stuff cost twice the price of normal tape and last half as long

Another issue is the tape has to be kept very clean in order to get good contact due to its smooth surface and will tarnish which also buggers up conductivity. Braid due to the fact is isn't a smooth surface rather its a whole mass of small braided wires thereby making the surface lumpy ( alright they are very small lumps but you know what I mean) dirt and dust between uses is not a great drama plus cars can't tear braid on the corners unlike tape

I've used Hartland in the past ( I think when they had an office in Vic) and they gave good service. Both Mobile Raceways and Armchair racer stock track braid.

As for sticking the braid down - I have just braided my new track and used a 3M product called '9672' which is like a rolled adhesive. comes in 55m rolls and looks like double sided tape but sticks to your fingers like snot ( sorry can't think of anything better to associate it with). We used similar on the Phillip Island track (where the track suffers from very extreme temperature changes) . This stuff is a tad more 'agressive' to use the 3m speak. Armchair also stocks this.

I braided the whole track (21m by 3 lanes) in 4 hours from go to finish. Would have been quicker but I was using the braid from my old track which the Christmas Light fairy had got at ( you know like the christmas lights on trees - doesnt matter how neatly you put them away - when you get them out next christmas the lights are ALWAYS a tangle mass)

The 3M product is brillient stuff

Braiding a track is actually easier to do than taping as you just use the braid rebate to line the braid up as you go. But you MUST rebate for the braid.

SlotsNZ's Photo SlotsNZ 01 Apr 2008

And just to add my 3.76 denaari to what Aastes said, people have tried things like galvanised wire, copper tube etc, and found them just TOO difficult to set up. Remember, copper will still tarnish in humid areas too, so anything will require some maintenance.

Braid on the other hand was absurdly easy to lay, I'm a tool-bunny, I make Tim Taylor look like Al; but I managed a braided track just fine.

The car braids, tyres etc dont rip it, it's very robust.

It can eb cleaned with a rag dabbed in a mild solvent, but don't verdo the solvent, as any seeping through the braid to the cement will gradually over time attack the 3M glue, F2, double sided tape, or whatever you happen to have used to stick the brid down.
After doining one routed track in each, I consider copper tape to be an amusing "history lesson" into "the bad ol' days" :D :D :D

DaveH's Photo DaveH 05 May 2008

Forgive my ignorance guys,

But is Braid and Magnabraid two different things? Does Magnabraid have magnetic properties, or is it just that magnets are attracted to it (like a fridge door :) ), can braid be made of other conductive material (such as copper) which isn't conductive?

Is there a difference? What about price?

Just something I need to know to lock away in the knowledge bank for a possible future project...in a galaxy far, far away...etc



Johnny's Photo Johnny 05 May 2008

With all this talk of braid I just thought I'd let you all know I have some stainless steel braid for sale anyone interested

Syd's Photo Syd 11 Dec 2008

View Postkalbfellp, on Jul 7 2007, 11:14 AM, said:

Ferrodore was developed in the sixties as a protective coating for steel structures. It is very abrasive and gives good grip with some tyres,personally I think tyres have developed to a stage where they will give reasonable grip on most surfaces. I really like the look of Ferrodore but don't like the abrasive surface that is why the surface on "New Warwick Farm" appeals to me,the look of Ferrodore but the surface of normal paint.
You should be able to by braid cheaper than copper tube and a lot less work. The idea of using Coax shield is not new. I raced on a track years ago there this had been used,the guy was an installer so had plenty.I looked at it for my track but was just too lazy to strip it all. I would remove the inner so the braid will lay flat and about 6mm wide. Tinned or copper does not make any difference. Peter at Mobile Raceways can supply tinned braid at a good price so check with him before you start.

Given the choice go for the tinned copper , I have had the plain copper and after a while it starts to tarnish, no loss of power though! But the tinned copper looks better longer.I am in the process of building a new track now and will be using the tinned copper with contact cement glue to hold it down. Do not use the waterbased glue as I have heard it is unreliable

kalbfellp's Photo kalbfellp 11 Dec 2008


But is Braid and Magnabraid two different things

Yes. Braid is either tinned copper or copper BUT magna braid is magnetic,I am not sure of the cost differance but Magna braid is a lot more expensive. Tinned braid is often cheaper that plain copper,BUT the tinning will wear thu over time.

Yngwie's Photo Yngwie 18 Jun 2009

I am about to order Magnabraid and was seeking opinions of those who have Magnabraid or normal braid: Which widht 3/16 or 1/4 inch is preferable? I like the look of 3/16 aesthetically but does this result in problems with car braids?

Kind Regards

kalbfellp's Photo kalbfellp 18 Jun 2009

1/4 inch seems to be the preferance. I used it.

Obsidith's Photo Obsidith 11 Nov 2009

are the views on braid vs tape still the same that tape is not worth while doing ?

Yngwie's Photo Yngwie 11 Nov 2009

I would only ever use tape again if cost were a concern. If not, I will always use braid! I am by no means experienced but my last track had copper and was the main reason for selling it. It is ok under normal conditions but I had a social race night a few months back and the middle lane had lost power. Needed to go around the track with a multimeter to find the break and the solder the 2 dead ends together. Also, on hot days the tape tends to lift and expand which needs to be re-buurnished. Not a problem with braid. Just my 2 cents worth!

gzminiz's Photo gzminiz 11 Nov 2009

i haven't had an issue with it lifting yet and it has been hot. I can recommend going to bunnings and getting a $2 50mm rubber caster to use for burnishing.

works a treat

munter's Photo munter 11 Nov 2009


are the views on braid vs tape still the same that tape is not worth while doing ?

Mine hasn't changed...if you have your track in a space with constant temperature( indoors) tape should be fine but we have winter and summer over here and day and night too!

Braid is a hassle to install but worth it.

Edited by munter, 11 November 2009 - 12:28 PM.

Johnnyfly41's Photo Johnnyfly41 11 Nov 2009

My track is a three lane routed mdf track with Plasti Dip surface and Venture purple core copper tape.

It is our home track largely for our own playing and has been in use about two years. I have patched a couple places in that time. My track is modular, built in five sections. That meant a lot of power taps. I wouldnt do that again. Build it as one piece.

If I were doing it over, I would go with tinned braid and I would use the adhesive tape to put it down. For what I spent making my track modular, power taps and the cords..... I could have done braid.

I am happy with my copper tape, the conductivity is amazing, it stays clean, it's easy to repair or stick down if you do get a small place coming up.

I should point out, my track is indoors in a finished basement, temperature and humidity controlled. Year round variation is from 68 degrees f to 71 degrees f. humidity who knows, but it varies a bit even though we run dehumidifier in the summer, winter, it's drier than a popcorn fart.

I read a post where the guy used .5 inch wide copper tape. After taping the track, he masked off the center .25" of tape and then painted his track. With plasti dip like my track, this would be amazing as the tenacity of plasti dip would really keep that outer edge of the tape protected.

Neat idea, and thats what it's all about, learning from one another.

I know there is a group of guys here in the states that are sourcing braid pretty cheap. OK, well, all things being relative. sounds like the Oz connection is doing the same thing.

best of luck,


munter's Photo munter 11 Nov 2009


it's drier than a popcorn fart.

Guess its pretty dry then...