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Shaynus

Expansion Joints In Plastic Track

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Hi All

This may not be the right place to post this, but I think it is the closest I can post to.

I have read some people mention putting expansion joints into their larger permanent plastic track layout, to allow for track side changes due to temperature change.

I have just seen that you can get "conductive dough" from Jaycar and was wondering if small amounts of that could be used to fill the gaps between the rail of the track pieces either side of the gap to smooth out the join?

TBH this may be a solution to a problem that doesn't exist as the gaps may be so small as not to worry about, I don't know!

Anyhow, just a thought I thought I would share.

 

Cheers,

Shayne

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G'day, Shaynus,

 

I've had my track set up in the shed for 10 years now with nothing in place for expansion joints etc.

 

Sure, in the Summer the track moves considerably, even buckles in spots but it always sits back where it was when the shed cools down.

 

Some joints may need to be pushed slightly back together but other than that there's really no problem.

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Hi Shaynus.

 

I have only had plastic track until recently when I built my new wood track. All my other racing has been done on club tracks or at other peoples places.

 

Admittedly in New Zealand it is not as hot but expansion has never been a problem as far as I am aware. If Matt has said not a problem in the hot conditions he has in Western Australia that sounds fine. In Europe though they have huge multi-lane plastic tracks rather than wooden tracks like AUSSIE, NZ, USA, Canada etc. If you are concerned it might be best to see if one of the UK or Europe AUSLOT members can contribute. Try Peter Gunn he might have some knowledge I do not possess. Sounds like you are some way off from having your own track though. Where do you race.

 

Hope this is of some help. Regards Chas Le Breton (charlesx)

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Thanks Chas!

I'm some way off on most of my projects - I'm a serial "gunna" I'm afraid...

There is a gent who lives locally who has a 4 lane analogue routed wooden track that we race on.

I've been at it for about 2 yrs now and love it. One day I would like to make it up to Syd's place in Perth for a look, but I only get so many day passes at a time!

;-)

(It's not that bad actually, just of us work and have young kids, so family time comes 1st - especially while the kids are young enough to want to send time with us!)

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Hi Shaynus.

 

You can never have too much time with the kids (they are only young once) but sometimes we need a break as does your good lady.

 

Not sure how big your kids are but a small Scaly track with a few cars is a good way to start. There is normally plenty of second hand stuff around. Even if there is no room in your shed a simple board that can be laid against a wall is all you need so you can fasten your track to it. Better than just putting or carpet and pulling up each time. Track can also be made to slide under a bed or put some hinged legs on it and it turns into a table when you want to use it. I will send you a photo of a small 3 lane track I have just built.

 

II am currently building a Scaly track for a slottie friend but I have to wait for hinges for legs until after virus lockdown. Try to have a track with a crossover so the lanes are about the same. Have a talk to Matt or Syd as you are obviously in WA. Not sure exactly where you are but I know there is a group at Mahjura or something like that. I know a lot of people from that group also race at Syd's.

 

I have a son and family in Perth so I always try to get to Syd's when I am there. Would be there now if not for virus.

 

Regards Chas Le Breton (charlesx)

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You were close with "Mahjura", it's actually Mandurah (Man-due-rah), about 3/4hr south of Perth - almost a southern suburb now, the way urban sprawl is going!

Syd's track is in a southern suburb so not very far away. A lot of the guys who race in Mandurah also race at Syd's

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And I do have a small track set up on a board for the kids (well, me mainly!), but it needs to be disassembled and cleaned as it doesn't work at the moment - another on the to do list!!

(See a pattern emerging here??)

;-)

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Hi Shaynus.

 

Sounds like you almost part of the family. Is the track Scalextric? The track I am putting together for my slottie mate is actually largely part of my old Scaly track. Apart from mounting on an 8x4 bit of MDF I intend to treat like they do in UK/Europe. That is paint surface (acrylic) and lay copper tape over contact strips. No joins so no contact problems hopefully. Will post a picture when completed. Will take another few days.

 

Regards Chas Le Breton (charlesx)

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Interesting thread. I am running Carrera and do both digital and analog home racing with my kids. My current layout has a section that has been teased a bit to make it meet up and so has a number of sections with a gap of about 1.5mm between track pieces on the inner lane. I could add a 1/4 straight in between the curves and make it meet up nicely but that would break up my nice big 180 degree curve. So the gaps remain and I truly don't notice them when running the cars. I have to adjust them a bit before each session but once I cut out some borders/shoulders from a bulk lot of second hand foam board I am hoping that it will hold everything in place a bit better and I may not even need to tweak it between sessions. Might tack a few sections with a tab of hot glue, will see how it goes. Here in a Sydney garage so it gets hot here in summer. Identify with the parenting issues and time constraints but yes, its important to spend time with kids while they still want to as well!

 

Chas I like your ideas for portable and easily put away tracks. Damn that is so annoying that you cannot obtain something like a hinge at this time. Maybe some "essential worker" could drop a few off in your letterbox on their way to work or something. Here in Aus I've seen all sorts of contempt for the shut down guidelines so a little sad that you are stuck for something as simple as a few hardware items.

Edited by Slotspeed

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Carrera reacts to heat more than Ninco Or Scalextric.

If you have Ninco I wouldn’t bother. None of the big clubs in Europe run expansion joints.

Carrera is too stiff for serious racing, and I won’t even mention the second rate conductivity due to their choice to use stainless or the ridiculous white line nobody wants or needs.

But back on topic. On a 10m straight you will need at least 3 expansion joints of 3mm.

Now if you use magnet cars you will now experience a horrible sound each time a car passes, ultra annoying. If running non mag not so bad but still noticeable.

Scalextric also expands but as it’s seldom used for competitive tracks and doesn’t expand as much as Carrera.

 

Bottom line is go Ninco or timber.

 

Best way to get conductivity is to simply jump the gap with tiny jumper leads perhaps 22 or 24AWG.

 

Bunnings deliver anything you want from hinges to outdoor lounge settings.

 

Rick

Edited by aussieslotter

www.scorpiuswireless.com

The original wireless digital system with GRUNT.

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Hi Slotspeed.

 

Thanks for comments re hinges but not the end of the world. I have lots of other jobs to get on with. We are hoping to go into Alert Level 3 on Monday but that will make little difference to me. Social distancing still on. Might be able to order online but trouble is I am not sure which hinges. Probably cheapest. Will need 8. Four for legs and 4 for stays.

 

Will post picture of track when it can stand on its own feet..

 

I have raced on several Carrera tracks in USA. I always thought they were rather good for plastic. No idea how they get on with expansion but USA certainly has a range of conditions. Have raced on Ninco in Wellington. OK for magnet but would have been better if a permanent layout. A good four lane affair but set up in hall for two day event. Certainly no problem with grip but contact rail height meant car selection really important. Have not heard any news of new Policar and Scaleauto plastic tracks.

 

Regards Chas Le Breton (charlesx)

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Hi,

 

I've had various layouts using classic scalextric track over the years, in sheds and garages, and the only time I had issue with expansion and contraction was when I surrounded the track with MDF to try and get the feel and look of a routed track, and remove the need for barriers. It worked well in winter but as soon as summer came around, the track expanded but the MDF didn't. I end up resolving it quite simply, by unscrewing the MDF so it was free floating and I could spread it out or close it up as needs be. Fortunately, I had used offcuts and it was cut and fitted in multiple sections, so the free floating trick worked a treat. So, as long as you haven't nailed your track to the board, you shouldn't have any expansion issue.

 

I now have a routed track a fellow collector donated to me, which is already 15 years old, and will probably last forever, as the "braid" is actually 1/4" stainless steel cable. So no rust or wear and tear, ever. However, it does have expansion issues on super hot days, and every now and then a section might be forced up, but its a simple matter to glue it back in position once it cools down again.


Graeme

~~~~~~

 

(Life is like a sewer....................What you get out of it depends on what you put into it!)

 

My Website

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