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Student club track


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#1 Stan

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Posted 03 May 2011 - 09:22 AM

Well, here goes! Sometimes the hardest part is just convincing yourself to get started. Here's the rough plan...

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I have next to zero space in my classroom for storage, so this track will have to be a unique build. I do have 9' ceilings, so I'm planning on two 4 x 8 sheets of mdf with 1" x 3" framing to keep it thin. Removable side walls are a must, so I'll design something that will allow the students to slip them on and off the track without tools.

Luff's package arrived yesterday with his cool routing fence... so "What am I waiting for?????"

A quick trip to the mega lumber store after work yields two dandy sheets of mdf. It turns out they are 49" wide, and JUST BARELY fit in my car!

See you next post!

Stan
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#2 Stan

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Posted 03 May 2011 - 09:39 AM

Hopefully the lessons learned on my "Student Test Track" build, detailed on another thread here, will come in handy!

First, we need to round the ends, just like on the test track...
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Cutting the mdf with a 1/4" bit is smooth and gives a beautiful curve.

Here it is... 4' x 16' foundation...
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Man, that 1/32 scale car on the far end looks small!

Now for some trickery. I want these two pieces to slip together and apart, but keep their alignment. So let's ad lib with some mdf scraps left over from the small test track.
At the joint, we'll have alternating tongues that slip into slots on the other side. These tongues will also protect the ends of the track when moving and storing. Here are the pieces laid out...
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I'm going to make a sandwich of the long boards and the tongue pieces.

Here they are stacked up...
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Let's get to gluing em up... here's hoping I don't mess up and glue one of the tongues on both sides!
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Gluing up the bottom pieces...
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And now the caps...
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It's getting dark! Not bad progress for an evening. I'll wait an hour or so, and then pull it apart for the night. Eventually we'll add some screws for additional support.

If I've glued to the two sheets together by mistake... well.. that will hurt!


Stan
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#3 Alchemist

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Posted 03 May 2011 - 11:40 AM

I wish I had space to build a small test track! It's looking good Stan!

Ernie
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#4 Stan

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Posted 04 May 2011 - 09:14 AM

After work I was able to get a few more things done on the track. I need some thin, but somewhat reliable bracing under the mdf, so I chose some poplar 1 x 3 boards. They were only slightly more costly than the pine, and being a little harder, they will hold up to the stresses better I think. Anyway, that's my hypothesis, and I'm going with it!

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I built the framing with the mdf upside down, for obvious reasons. But I glued and screwed the framing together, and then later I glued it to the track, but more on that in a bit.

Notice across the joining area that I ripped down a piece of the poplar to ride on top of the tab boxes we made on Monday. I drilled two deep holes slightly bigger than my screw heads into this ripped piece, so that my 1 5/8's deck screws will still bite into the mdf. Note that these screws must be run down through the tabs portions, not over the slot portions. I notched the main spar that goes the whole length of the mdf to ride on the boxed area and screwed into the ripped cross piece.

Although I am gluing the framing together, I am holding it to the mdf with a few screws from the top. I am not gluing the frame to the mdf just yet.

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I am not doing anything with the curved ends right now. On this 8' sheet, the main bracing spar goes nearly all the way, but the two side braces run 6' from the joining end.

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With the framing complete, I flipped the whole thing right side up to see if I want to build any banking into the turn area.

After experimenting, I decided that trying to elevate the one end did not give the effect I was hoping for, and for only a slight few degrees of
smooth banking, complicated the framing and made the unit taller, so I'm cancelling that idea and going with a flat track. Hey, you don't know until you try.

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With that out of the way, I set the unit on what I hope was a somewhat flat area of the driveway, pulled off the mdf (remember those two pocketed screws at the joint area), glued all the bracing tops, and applied the mdf with screws in a number of places. Many of these screws will come out later, once I draw in the lane locations if they are in the way. But for now, it's getting dark, and the glue has to set up so I can get my wife's car back in the driveway. Plenty of heavy stuff in the garage to apply pressure to the mdf while the glue is drying.

I try to be very careful keeping track of the screws... a couple new tires will really blow the budget on this track build! I countersink the screw holes fairly deep, to leave an area for the wood filler or bondo later.

Here they are stacked together... a pretty slim profile!

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Still standing this morning, and not too twisted or bent! Next chance for progress will be this weekend.
I'll keep you posted, of course.

Tonight I get to race 1/32 scale on one of Bob Scott's 4-lane road course tracks with the AZGR boys.

Stan
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#5 Stan

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Posted 07 May 2011 - 11:33 PM

And so the day begins early today... where I left off earlier in the week.

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Here's how real men stir their coffee in the morning...
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I need to get started by laying out the lanes. To help, I'm going to modify my jig to draw the initial circle 5" from the outside edge.
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A little piece of sanding foam holds the pencil.
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Makes for a straight line.
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I get an offer for help I can't refuse...
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I'll use Luf's router plate as a guide to free-hand the rest of the lanes. I need to know where to stop the standard spaced 4" lanes, and start using Luf's jig. I'll space off my first outer lane by sighting it through the center hole in the router plate.
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Better consult my plans. See you next post.
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Stan
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#6 Stan

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Posted 07 May 2011 - 11:48 PM

I'm going to free-hand draw the swerve section. My plan is to introduce a right-hand turn into the layout, and also to add a squeeze. Looks like it's designed to miss my coffee cup!
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I'll have a barrier down the center line of the table to prevent head-on collisions, but I'm going to offset it toward the back lanes, to give more room for the swerve section. I'll have 4" from the inside lane to the barrier on the back stretch, and 5" to the wall on the front.
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The lines look a little crooked right now, but I'll smooth them out with the jig. I don't want sudden transitions.

I mark where to stop routing from the outside edge and begin with Luf's jig.
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I grab my trusty plywood jig with the newly added rollers, and make a smooth outer lane guided from the perimeter of the mdf.
Then, using two pins instead of rollers, I finish the other 3 lanes and center barrier slot, all with 4" spacing at the straights.
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The pins capture the router well, so these inner lanes are stress-free easy-going!
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A piece of scrap shows where the inner barrier wall will be.
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Now for the tricky parts. See you next post.
Stan
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#7 Stan

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Posted 07 May 2011 - 11:59 PM

You have to drill and fit the router plate from Luf to your exact machine. I marked the 4" side...
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When his instructions say "use all the nail holes" in the fence jig, Luf means ALL the holes! If the jig gets too close to an existing slot, I'll put the nail behind the strip instead of in the hole.
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I start on the inside lane. Be careful with the small radius turn. Use your router placed in the slot in position at the beginning and ending points of your planned lane to help place the fence and ensure a smooth transition into the existing slots.
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To remove the strip, a little wood block helps.
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Well, I'm going to keep working. See you in a bit.

Stan
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#8 Stan

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Posted 08 May 2011 - 12:14 AM

Routing is done! Let's dress the slots a tiny bit with some sandpaper.
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This thing could actually turn into a real track. I can see it now!
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Time to bondo the screws and jig holes.
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While that's setting up, I'll add a couple support pieces here and there.
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And flush fit the ends.
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Also, the long tabs joining the two sections, turned out to be way over engineered. So I shortened them considerably for ease of assembly.
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Let's sand 'er up and get a coat of paint on.
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Getting dark. But here's the first coat.
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And since NASCAR cup cars are racing under the lights at Darlington tonight, I'll add a second coat under the lights, too.
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Stan
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#9 RickBac

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Posted 08 May 2011 - 10:29 AM

Stan I love It!!!

Where did you get the jigs?
Rick Bachman
Anthem, AZ

#10 Stan

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Posted 08 May 2011 - 10:40 AM

The plywood jigs I made. The lexan stuff is from Luf:

http://www.oldslotracer.com/

Stan
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#11 Stan

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Posted 08 May 2011 - 02:16 PM

Got up early today to beat the noon heat. I need to rip some hardboard walls. This stuff has worked well for me, being strong, flexible, and inexpensive.
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Taller ones are for the two ends.

Did I mention how real men stir their coffee in the morning?
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Obviously, it takes toughness to play with toy cars and race for plastic bowling trophies!

Mounting the walls on the outside will require some hardwood tabs, which I ripped and cut on the table saw.
See how the back will receive the wallboard?
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Another shot of it...
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I love this sanding attachment for my drill press! Man does it save time! I'll hit all the rough edges.

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Here's how it looks on the track...
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I'm leaving these plain wood. They'll act as bumpers as well as wall holders as the students move the track pieces around.

While I'm at it, better install some bolts to hold the two track sections together.
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Unpainted walls in position. They simply lift on and off.
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Hey... what's going on there?

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Four cars into the squeeze!

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I can now treat each section separately in the shade of the garage. Some hand sanding, and one last coat of paint before taping and wiring begin!

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But I'm done for today.

Stan
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#12 HarV Wallbanger III

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Posted 08 May 2011 - 03:44 PM

Looks great Stan!

Barney Poynor
"BRONCO" BARNEY
Team CORT!

Hello my name is Barney and I was... I am addicted to glue, magnets, and wings... I have been clean and sober years now... NOW I'm hooked on 1/32 club track racing! Dang!
 

"Even if you're on the Right Track, you'll get run over if you just sit there!"

If you remember
screw-on braid, motors that look like padlocks, that dang fuse wire in Cox controllers, "hand" painted bodies, the very first can motors from Mabuchi, and the smell of wintergreen then you are OLD!... like me!

Enjoy life! Race Slot Cars and read SlotBlog!


#13 Stan

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Posted 10 May 2011 - 08:36 PM

Made a little progress since my last post.

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Time to get taping! My jig works great... even though it fell off the workbench at some point and broke off part of the clear base. :shok:

Done. (Er, half done.)

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Now for the ends... my hypothesis is that if I add just a tiny bit of copper thickness, then the compression of the two track halves will ensure electrical conductivity.

So I'm going to try copper tacks, and I think I'll only put them on one of the track halves to start.

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I am pre-drilling with a 1/16" bit.

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And now for some paint before I start on the other half.

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Now the swerves won't look so out of place.

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To be honest, I wasn't all that careful or exacting on the colors, just enough for effect. After all, I don't expect this track to be treated with gentleness.

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Looking more and more like a track! Now to start on the other half. Cheers!

Stan
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#14 Stan

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Posted 13 May 2011 - 09:01 AM

Let's get started on the second half of our track!

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Here is the section for the Trackmate dead-strip. I taped it off and laid down some copper to get the spacing. Then drilled out some tiny slots.

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Some clean up...
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And paint touch up...
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Then some copper.
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When I painted the top, I also hit the bottom with some patches under this area for the copper tape to grip on...
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And here's the pick-up area...
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I finished up with some paint. This section will be all business.... a pit area, and all the control stations. Not much grass for bystanders to have a picnic!
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Hope to get to the wiring this weekend!

Stan
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#15 Tim Neja

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Posted 13 May 2011 - 10:32 AM

Looking really good Stan---you're becoming a craftsman!! Should be fun and FAST!! I"d recommend a top coat of Varathane for traction!!! You can't beat it--and it seals in all your other painting well too!!

T
She's real fine, my 409!!!

#16 HarV Wallbanger III

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Posted 13 May 2011 - 05:51 PM

Yes Stan this is coming out great! I should have painted the bottom of mine for the tape to stick better .... oh well next track.

Barney Poynor
"BRONCO" BARNEY
Team CORT!

Hello my name is Barney and I was... I am addicted to glue, magnets, and wings... I have been clean and sober years now... NOW I'm hooked on 1/32 club track racing! Dang!
 

"Even if you're on the Right Track, you'll get run over if you just sit there!"

If you remember
screw-on braid, motors that look like padlocks, that dang fuse wire in Cox controllers, "hand" painted bodies, the very first can motors from Mabuchi, and the smell of wintergreen then you are OLD!... like me!

Enjoy life! Race Slot Cars and read SlotBlog!


#17 Stan

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Posted 15 May 2011 - 08:47 AM

Yawn. Well this is my 3rd weekend and a couple evenings thrown in... and it looks like I'll have a track for the kids to race on finally this week!
Big day yesterday, and so today will be easy street with just some fine tweeks and adjustments.

But here we go...

The day started with the drill, making some holes for the controller stations.
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I'm adding two track call buttons, one between red and white, and another between blue and yellow.

It's still early in the morning, so I'll touch up the holes with some paint...
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...and while it dries, grab a tiny cup of coffee...
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...and CLEAN UP THE MESS!!! This place is a disaster zone.
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I guess real men make messes like this. Hey, did I ever tell you how REAL MEN stir their coffee in the morning?
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OK. One more sawdusty task... drilling a few access holes in the framework.
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Try to remember where you put the screws into the framing from the mdf. I caught myself here almost wanting to drill in the wrong place.

Ahhh, that's better! A tidy workbench again. Now I can think clearly for the brainy part of this mission... electron flow!
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Time to consult the plans...
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...and call in an expert for some advice.
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I am not ashamed to label everything. It cuts down on mistakes.
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In fact, why not put everything you need right in front of your face!
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Our AZGR club uses Trackmate on all our tracks, and I think a relay override is so convenient that I will always put one in from now on.
Here I'm just using a standard wall switch in the blue shallow box.
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If you're not sure what I'm talking about, when running practice laps, you lose power to the rails in Trackmate when you set up a race in the software. So the switch will bypass the relay, and allow for cars to be run while you mess with entering drivers, etc. Very handy... especially with impatient students!

Now, if you haven't done a multi-lane track like this, don't let this picture scare you...
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Just complete one part of your circuit at a time, and it will make sense as you go. Take a multi-meter (I like the cheap analog ones with a "beep" function) and test yourself as you go.

My biggest fear is put to rest for at least now...
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Good transfer of current from one half to the other!!!!! We're gettin' a track!

Time for me to run some test laps and check everything out!

Stan
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#18 HarV Wallbanger III

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Posted 15 May 2011 - 11:32 AM

Beautiful Pro job Stan!

Barney Poynor
"BRONCO" BARNEY
Team CORT!

Hello my name is Barney and I was... I am addicted to glue, magnets, and wings... I have been clean and sober years now... NOW I'm hooked on 1/32 club track racing! Dang!
 

"Even if you're on the Right Track, you'll get run over if you just sit there!"

If you remember
screw-on braid, motors that look like padlocks, that dang fuse wire in Cox controllers, "hand" painted bodies, the very first can motors from Mabuchi, and the smell of wintergreen then you are OLD!... like me!

Enjoy life! Race Slot Cars and read SlotBlog!


#19 Stan

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Posted 15 May 2011 - 02:41 PM

I guess I'd better let my helper drive some laps, too.
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Time for some final touches to make it a racing track. Here's what the driver stations look like...
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Add a bright start/finish line and some lane colors. I'm going minimal on the lane marking... after all-- it's an oval, right? Not that hard to keep track of the lanes.
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I also added some signage to liven things up a bit. Here are some race-ready cars waiting for their turn on the track...
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An overview...
http://s677.photobucket.com/albums/vv139/stanfm/Student%20Slot%20Car%20Club/?action=viewĄt=MOV08616.mp4

Sorry, the lighting isn't too good in my living room. And now for some test laps... in the next post

Stan
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#20 Stan

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Posted 15 May 2011 - 02:46 PM

Some quick test laps:

NASCAR, no magnet with sili's on the rear and a few ounces of weight where the magnet was. 10v...
http://s677.photobuc...Ąt=MOV08605.mp4

FLY non-magnet with sili's on the rear...
http://s677.photobuc...Ąt=MOV08606.mp4
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#21 Stan

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Posted 15 May 2011 - 02:49 PM

By the way, I didn't know at first what the clicking sound was on these videos, but it's my controller which was right next to the mic on the camera.

Finally, the sprint car with slick-7 motor. Foams on the rear, cleaned with lighter fluid...
http://s677.photobuc...Ąt=MOV08607.mp4

You never finish these projects, you just decide at some point to stop working on them. This is done!

Now to break it apart and get it over to the school!

Stan
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#22 CruzinBob

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Posted 15 May 2011 - 11:40 PM

You know I can be real lame sometimes, I replied to the other post on this but only saw this when you emailed saying there was a video!

Better than nicely done Stan. This should really be on DIY. Really, you're amazing. And then when you have some clips of the kids and their progress, time for the Disney Channel...S-L-O-T C-A-R...well, ya never know.
Bob Scott
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#23 HarV Wallbanger III

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Posted 16 May 2011 - 12:06 AM

Beautiful job on this whole build Stan!

Barney Poynor
"BRONCO" BARNEY
Team CORT!

Hello my name is Barney and I was... I am addicted to glue, magnets, and wings... I have been clean and sober years now... NOW I'm hooked on 1/32 club track racing! Dang!
 

"Even if you're on the Right Track, you'll get run over if you just sit there!"

If you remember
screw-on braid, motors that look like padlocks, that dang fuse wire in Cox controllers, "hand" painted bodies, the very first can motors from Mabuchi, and the smell of wintergreen then you are OLD!... like me!

Enjoy life! Race Slot Cars and read SlotBlog!


#24 Tim Neja

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Posted 16 May 2011 - 09:40 AM

Your track came out very nice Stan!!! I like the way you did the driver's station and hookups too. The kids should be very impressed!! Have FUN!!!
T
She's real fine, my 409!!!

#25 Stan

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Posted 16 May 2011 - 09:53 AM

You guys are too kind. Thanks for the encouragement! Let's see how it holds up to some 13-year-old wear and tear!

Stan
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