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Simple ways to build home tracks


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#1 Steve Ogilvie

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Posted 29 March 2016 - 01:13 AM

I have not been involved in the hobby for a while. When my wife passed away in 1999 I became a single parent of three kids and the income from building tracks could not support us and pay for college, let alone save for my retirement. So I went back to where I started working in 1973 after graduating high school - the Bruce nuclear power development. I hold an electricians license so I went in as a temp worker for an outage in 2002 and never left. I switched to a staff field operator job in 2003 and have worked at Bruce "B" ever since.

 

But I do miss my track building days and that especially hit home when my long time business partner and friend, Brian Crosby passed away recently. I do not intend to resume my career as a track builder, Don Bryans builds all our tracks now, but I would like to contribute to the hobby.

 

I have always thought that the best way to keep slot racing going was with home tracks. I am sure there are books on how to build tracks out there, but they usually involve overly complicated construction methods. So here are a few tips to make your home track building experience much more enjoyable...

 

Cutting your corners: Corners are cut with a router riding on radius rods using a 1/4" single flute carbide tipped router bit. Use a medium-sized router that has holes for your radius rods to go in. Use long threaded rods connected to a piece of wood the same width as the router base. You can connect with L-brackets or drilled holes; use your imagination but make your jig keeping in mind how big you need for the size of the corners you are planning on. Drill a 1/2" hole for your pivot point in the piece of wood. Use a couple of sawhorses and mount the sheet of 1/2" MDF or whatever you want to make your track out of on the saw horses.

 

The formula for a corner is simple. Say you want to make a four-lane corner with an outside diameter of 60". Use the formula for the circumferance of a circle - pi X diameter = 60 X pi = 188.5 " rounded off. Divide that by 360 and you have the inches per degee of corner = .52359, etc. Never calculate by hand, always use a calculator and minimize the error factor. So if you want a 190 degree corner you multiply this number by 190 =  99.48" circumferance. Your tape measure is obviously not that precise but we can get to that later .

 

Now you need to know your corner radius. I had no problem figuring the math for the circumferance but for the first 10 tracks I built paper models that I bent to replicate banking. Very not accurate but worked nonetheless. Too much trimming to fit though. Then I built Ernie Mosseti's first track, a hillclimb, and he provided me with exact drawings with circumference and radius dimensions. That was so much better, but Ernie did not reveal his formulas so off to the library I went. (Mind you, I probably never asked him either, assuming it was some closely guarded secret.) This was 1988 so no quick Google for me. I remembered from my construction days watching tinwackers make all kinds of cones  and shapes by hand out of sheet metal and I spent a day reseaching and I figured out the math behind the physical methods they use.

 

If you want a flat turn, no math involved your radius is half your diameter. If you want banking multiply the finished radius by the cosine of the degree of banking. The circumference stays the same whether you are building flat or banked.

 

So now you have your 4'x8' sheet of whatever on your sawhorses  and you want to cut a corner. So you take your calculated radius measurement and measure down from the centre of the sheet and drill a 1/2 inch hole. Put your circle jig on the sheet and drop your centre bolt in and you are ready to cut. Except you want to cut in the proper direction. You want to cut against the rotation of your router, so that it does not pop you out at the end of the cut. I always made the cut twice, to get rid of rough edges.

 

With the outer cut made, take a straight edge and draw a line from the centre of the radius hole to the start of the outer circle. Tape the end of your tape measure to this mark and pull it around the circle and make a mark at your circumference demension. Draw a line from there to the centre of your radius hole. Now you want to change your circle cutter to the inner part of your corner. Just change it to the outer radius dimension - track width and make another cut. (You can do this by sliding it on your radius rods and then locking back in, but it is easier to make you radius block with inner and outer holes.) But this time you want to start your cuts on the lines you just drew, to make everyting more stable as you cut. After the inner circle is cut, rough cut the ends of the corner with a circular saw (stay at least 1/4" away from your finished edge) and finish trim with a straight edge and router.

 

Tomorrow night I will get in to offset routing jigs and methodology.

 

Feel free to ask questions.  

 

Steve


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#2 Zippity

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Posted 29 March 2016 - 03:04 AM

Some photographs, diagrams or drawings, might make it a bit easier for the "slower" ones of us to grasp what you are teaching.  :)

 

Keep the lessons coming...


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#3 airhead

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Posted 29 March 2016 - 07:37 AM

Yes, pictures would help. I made what sounds like a similar jig from an old aluminum road sigh. I would love to see the jigs you use.


Billy Watson

#4 Samiam

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Posted 29 March 2016 - 08:26 AM

I bought a book from John Ford on how to build a slot car track. Let me rephrase that. I paid for a book. Never got it. 

 

If you would put this information in book form I would pay for it. I know you will deliver.


Sam Levitch
 
"If you have integrity, nothing else matters, and if you do not have integrity, nothing else matters."
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#5 Steve Ogilvie

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Posted 29 March 2016 - 11:05 AM

I am new to posting on this site. I will try to post some diagrams. Do we just use PhotoBucket here?

 

I really do not have time to write a book. And other people have written books on the subject. This thread will take me a while to complete and I do not want it cluttered with links to how to sites. I am going to share my knowledge of track building with everyone here so stick to technical questions please.

 

Thanks for the replies.



#6 Cheater

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Posted 29 March 2016 - 11:17 AM

Steve,

You can use PhotoBucket or another similar photo hosting site, but I prefer you upload images to Slotblog, as that way the pics will always be here.

Here's a link to a photo uploading tutorial:

Posting pics at Slotblog


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#7 Phil Worthy

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Posted 29 March 2016 - 12:20 PM

Steve,

This is really wonderful: building instructions from one of the great track makers. Wow! Thanks for the information.

Greg, you may want to pin this one...
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#8 Steve Okeefe

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Posted 29 March 2016 - 01:41 PM

Steve,

 

First, I sincerely hope your efforts to support your family and save for retirement over the past 16 years have been successful.  Family always comes first.

 

Second and IMHO, documenting your track building knowledge and experience for future reference is (to paraphrase the advertising slogan) "priceless".

 

There was an Ogilvie track at a raceway in Waynesboro, PA I frequented some years back.  Lap length was 151 feet, and I think it was called a "Grandstand II".  Very nice track, smooth and surprisingly fast.

 

Thank you in advance and please keep going!  No doubt there will be many here (including me) who will be listening carefully.


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#9 Slot Car Mods Magazine

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Posted 29 March 2016 - 04:01 PM

I'm looking forward to reading what you're so generously sharing with us Steve...   :good:

 

All the best...

 

Ron...


Ron Todhunter
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#10 Steve Ogilvie

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Posted 29 March 2016 - 05:25 PM

Funny how easy it is to make a mistake at 2 AM .But for some reason the edit button is not available for my first post .I got the formula for banked corners wrong : It is Radius divided by the cosine of the degree of banking , not multiply .Sorry about that . 



#11 Steve Ogilvie

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Posted 29 March 2016 - 07:14 PM

This is a very simple corner cutter and the only one I have laying around right now .Brian had all our tools and he got sick of paying for storage so he sold them all .We have not had a shop for 6 years , until 2014 when Brian retired completely he just did sales work and Don Bryans built all the tracks .

     Most routers have holes in them to slide a jig in to them , so just make your jig to fit those holes Use a nut at all 4 corners and you can move the router up and down the threaded rods to change your radius .To make life easier on yourself , add a second pivot block so you cun cut the inside of your corners without changing the position of the router on the rods .

     To set the jig up , measure and drill your pivot hole at the radius you want down from what will be the outside of your turn . Then put the jig in place on the board and put your pivot bolt in place to cut the outside of the turn .Adjust the jig so the carbide flute just toucehs the sheet material and tighten the nuts at the router .Usually you cut counter clockwise . 

      After you have the outside of the turn cut , draw a line from what will be the outside start of the turn to the centre of your pivot hole . Tape your tape measure on to the edge of the corner  at this line (L hook of tape measure pointing in to the pivot hole ) and pull the tape around the corner and make a mark at your calculated circumference measurement .Draw a line from there to the centre of your pivot hole .

      Now you can move the pivot bolt to the inside block on your jig and cut the inside of the corner .Do not cut the whole sheet , just cut from line to line so the sheet stays intact and then use a circular saw to rough cut the ends .Make sure to stay at least 1/8" away from the ends so you can trim the ends with a straight edge and router . I mentioned earlier about using a 1/2 " bolt for a pivIMG_4992.JPG ot , but you can use 3/8 and that will work just as well .



#12 Mattb

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Posted 29 March 2016 - 07:31 PM

Looks like the high tech compass arm I used on my first routed track!!
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#13 Steve Ogilvie

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Posted 29 March 2016 - 10:26 PM

That one is definitely lo tech .I used it to make some circular moulding for a window in our upstairs hallway .Tomorrow I am going to go buy some drafting tools and draw up some really nice tools and some simple plans for tracks .As they say , let the games begin . 


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#14 Steve Ogilvie

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Posted 30 March 2016 - 12:08 AM

I am new to posting on this site. I will try to post some diagrams. Do we just use PhotoBucket here?

 

I really do not have time to write a book. And other people have written books on the subject. This thread will take me a while to complete and I do not want it cluttered with links to how to sites. I am going to share my knowledge of track building with everyone here so stick to technical questions please.

 

Thanks for the replies.

You know I think I sounded a little harsh on that post .Sorry about that .The more I write this stuff , the more I remember about the people I met along the way that I had help from that I had fun with and that I looked up to .I could not have succeeded like I did without people that believed in me when I started out building tracks .So as the memories come back , a lot of shout outs that most of you wont understand will be coming out . Like a shout out to the 3 Lee's that believed in me way back when .Feel free to guess who .



#15 Mattb

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Posted 30 March 2016 - 08:24 AM

No need to apologize. That was a fair response to the previous post. Any and all info you post here is welcome. Post at your pace and as your time and memory permit it. All I've ever built are routed, taped home tracks. It's always good to learn tips, tricks and history of a commercial track builder.

All things "slot" are welcome here.
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#16 Steve Ogilvie

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Posted 30 March 2016 - 05:09 PM

This is what my circle cutter was designed like .When I first started , my father(newly retired) used to work with me .He would build joints , legs and L brackets while I wasted time changing settings on my threaded rod cutter . Then one day he shows up with this circle cutter he invented .Instead of taking 2 days to cut the corners for a big track , less than 6 hours .My cutter had 3/8 threaded holes to cut 4, 6 or 8 lane tracks with 4" , 4 1/4" or 4 3/8" spacing .                                                      

 IMG_4993.JPG


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#17 Steve Ogilvie

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Posted 30 March 2016 - 05:22 PM

But if you are only building one track ,  a threaded rod jig is cheap and easy to make .



#18 Steve Ogilvie

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Posted 30 March 2016 - 07:29 PM

Here is the plan for my slot cutter :

IMG_4994.JPG

You use the wide 5" from the centre pins for the first slot .I always found it easier to go to the right when standing facing the outside of a track .Start in the middle of a straight and go all the way around .Keep your pins tight against the edge of the track .On a figure 8 style track , sometimes you will be on the inside .You always route a track flat .Which means that the track is not together when you make your first passes .After you have the first slot cut , dig the sawdust out of the groove with a key hole saw , something pointy .It will be packed in there real tight .You never make more than 1 pass .After the slot is cleaned out , move the pins to the 4 3/8 " X 4" holes .Carefully place the pins in to the slot where you started from and with the bit just above track surface , turn the router on .Let the jig drop down and start cutting .Keep downward pressure on the pins (leather gloves are a must ) and always go in the same direction .So what are the pins made from ?

IMG_4995.JPG

No not an 1/8 " drill bit (too lazy to go in my parts stash to get an 1/8" axle ) You use the gear to keep it at the right height and 2 axles and 2 gears is what you use .



#19 Steve Ogilvie

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Posted 31 March 2016 - 11:02 PM

My off set router jig had holes for 1/32( I think 3.5"not sure ) spacing , 4" 4 1/4' and 4 3/8 and 4 1/2" spacing .I found one of my old relief cutter bits the other day so I put it somewhere convenient and of course now I can't find it . I will try to make one tomorrow and show how easy it is to make your own .I found an old promo picks of some tracks we built while I was cleaning up the basement on Wednesday .See if I can bring them up off the scanner :

Scan 3.jpeg



#20 Steve Ogilvie

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Posted 31 March 2016 - 11:23 PM

    The green track was our version of a Chris Dadds LTD (learn to drive ) in Oakville Ont .The grey track is one we built for Geof Somers in England and we set it up in an auditorium in a hospital for a race weekend If I remember right .Sort of a dry run before it was set up for the ISRA worlds that were held near Southhampton in a shopping centre .The blue track is a grandstand 2 that we had set up at the Toronto Auto show in conjunction with the RCMP racing against drugs progam .And an offset trioval , we built that track in all kinds of sizes and widths .One of our biggest sellers and a lot of fun to race on .


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#21 Phil Worthy

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Posted 01 April 2016 - 02:34 PM

That Green LTD may have belonged to Ramcatlarry at some point. But I believed he sold it to someone out West.

 

Steve, did you build this track, the Super 8? It is my all time favorite flat track! :D Or used to be. :frown: It may have been a Mossetti design. I heard there was a twin in Europe? Do you know if that's true?

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#22 Steve Ogilvie

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Posted 01 April 2016 - 10:14 PM

I built and designed the Super 8 for Mr Geoffrey Somers of Ringwood England and it is my original design .Funny but when I posted the pictures last night I could not remember that tracks name .(Geoff named the track ) .It is the grey track in the pics I posted last night .After the ISRA worlds were held on the track , Geoff had me come over and modify the track to make it easier to marshal .I lengthened the main straight and back straight and the over bridge sraight .I did not sell one in North America , maybe Brian or Don built one , this looks like the as modified original . Does not mean it is not a copy though . We built 3 or more UK black tracks .The first was for the ISRA worlds in Northumberland , England around 1993? not sure .Did Ernie have a hand in the design ? I really do not remember .If he did , Geoff would have talked to him and then Ernie would have faxed me his ideas .Remember the fax machine ? Anyways , the ISRA venue had posts in the way and the design had to suit that .So it was my draft that got built , and it was a great race and everyone had a great time . 


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#23 Steve Ogilvie

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Posted 01 April 2016 - 10:41 PM

IMG_4996.JPG IMG_4998.JPG IMG_5003.JPG IMG_5005.JPG IMG_5006.JPG IMG_5008.JPG So today I made a relief cutter .It is made from a 3/4" two flute carbide tip straight cut router bit .Lets see if I can do a simple photo how to :Well I guess I got things in reverse order but I think you can get the idea .One problem that I had is that this is a really cheap drill press and the bits oscillate .So things get sloppy .So I epoxied the bit of 1/8" axle in instead of soldering like I usually do .If you don't have a decent drill press , go visit some one that does . I would not use a bit that fits sloppy for anything more than a small track .Re work is not fun . And this bit already had a hole in the centre .Most do not , but just grind the middle area flat before you try to drill the 1/8" hole .The pin is just a piece of 1/8" axle .


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#24 Steve Ogilvie

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Posted 11 April 2016 - 02:21 PM

I got some nice drafting tools the other day from Staples so now I can draft up some designs and scan them in . I have to work nights starting tonight so maybe I can throw some drawings on here Thursday .A lot of people build simple oval tracks for home tracks and as long as it is the same diameter at both ends , you do not need to draw it up .

     Lets say you want a 4 lane oval with 10 degree banking at one end and a very shallow bank at the other end .Keep in mind that the smaller the inside corner circle cut out is , the less banking you can use .So lets build our 4 lane track with  5 foot diameter corners .Track width with 5" gutters and 4" lane spacing is 22" , so that only leaves a 16" diameter inner hole .10 degrees would probably be pushing things so lets calculate for 8 * .Both corners will have a diameter of 60 xPI / 2 = 188.5" rounded off . The banked corner will have a radius of 30 / cos of 8* = about 30 5/16 " radius .Does not seem like much but this is only a five foot diameter turn .  On the other turn cut the radius 30 1/16" for a not noticeable bank.

      Unlike the formulas , banking a turn is not really an exact science .We are contantly converting from decimals to the nearest fraction , so nothing comes out exactly to the degree calculations .Also the formula does not take in to account the thickness of material .So dont beat yourself up if it comes out a little off from what you were hoping for .

      The reason I suggest one bank and one flat turn  is because they are easier to put together if you are using 1 piece of straigtaway per side .You can use a ratchet strap to pull your straights together and force the bank up  and then the other end can be bolted together easily . I will put some detailed info on this when I get around to a drawing .

       Some people will question the need for a shallow bank if all they want to build is a flat track .If you build a flat trak , you will have a hard time keeping it from going off camber .The shallow bank still looks like a flat turn .But the little bit of banking keeps the corner under tension and holds its shape better .

        If you use 2 pieces of straight per side , you can bank both ends and bend them up by leaving one middle joint open and pulling the straights together with 2 rachet straps one on either side of the mid straight joint .                                                                                           



#25 Steve Ogilvie

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Posted 13 April 2016 - 03:02 PM

Scan 4.jpeg

Track parts . I claim a copyright on all information in this thread .Not to be used for publication without permision from Steve Ogilvie .Sorry about the sideways drawing , could not find how to spin it .



#26 Steve Ogilvie

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Posted 13 April 2016 - 05:02 PM

To build these joints , you need a table saw , dado blade for 1/2" slots , a motorised thickness plainer and some clamps .

Start with a straight 2X4 and cut it to the width of your track plus 1/4" .

Cut the height down to 3" .Use a table saw with a long fence and cut a little off the top and bottom to make it as straight as possible .

Put your dado blade in the saw , set at 1/2 " thickness . You can't use the guard when you are dadoing .This is dangerous especially for someone not used to table saws .As a safer alternative , a router table with a 1/2" two flute carbide bit can be used .

Practice cutting a slot on some scrap until you are happy with the fit of the tongue .Cut a 1/2" deep slot down the middle  of the 3" side of each 2X3 .Cut with  the straightest side against the fence of the saw or router table .

Check your cuts with a piece of 1/2 " MDF from the sheets you are going to use for your track .Usually you use track off cuts for this .

The tongue is going to be 1/2 " by 7/8" .With the 1/2" slot lightly beveled the tongue should fit very snug but not to the point that is spreading the wood .

If you need to , run the 2 x 3 's through the cutter again .

Run some glue in the bottom of one of the slots and push the tongue in .Tap it with a block and hammer to get it all the way in .

Wipe off all excess glue . Let the glue dry overnight .

Cut lengths of 3 1/2" MDF to the same length as your joints .

Push your 2X3's together and put the smoothest top down on a flat surface .

Glue the MDF sides on flush with the flat surface .

Clamp them all together .A Workmate style clamping bench works well for this .

Drill  three 3/8" holes for the 5 1/2" long blots that are going to hold this together  One at each end and one in the middle .Use your slot marker to avoid putting a bolt directly under a slot .Tighten the bolt to around 30 ft lbs .Not critical , you just don't want to crush the MDF .

Let dry for an hour . Run it through the thicknes plainer with the overhanging MDF on the bottom rollers of the plainer to have a perfect surface to glue your track pieces to .



#27 Steve Ogilvie

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Posted 13 April 2016 - 07:25 PM

Scan 5.jpeg

Slowly finding some pics of tracks we built .The space saver hillclimb is shown sitting in our old Kincardine shop ready to be knocked down for braiding and wiring .We built a lot of variations of this track , one of my original designs and widely copied by other builders .This one has wider spaces in the openings because it had to accomodate some square block posts in between some of the sections . The other track is sort of an Engleman / hillclimb and is shown at Millstream Raceway in Ringwood England . The posts got painted later .



#28 Steve Ogilvie

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Posted 13 April 2016 - 11:26 PM

Scan 6.jpeg

I will add some notes to this diagram tomorrow hopefully . 



#29 Mattb

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Posted 14 April 2016 - 08:27 AM

track building.jpg track building 2.jpg
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#30 Steve Ogilvie

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Posted 14 April 2016 - 08:59 AM

That looks much better . Thanks Matt .



#31 Steve Ogilvie

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Posted 14 April 2016 - 10:01 AM

Notes on wiring :

  30 Amp relays are available from auto parts stores and truck stops .They are less than 10.00 each usually .Very reliable , 100% duty .Used for headlight relays .

  75 amp relays are made in a similar configuration by Bosche .I don't have a part # but Delta Supply of Livonia MI used to supply us with them . I don't have a contact # at this time .Other high amp continuous duty relays are available from Grainger .Be careful to get :12 v dc coil continuous duty .The contacts will be generally rated for AC  voltage and current .This does not matter , just the current rating .

  The diagram is just meant to show connections .Except for the common coil side of the relays , all relays should have separate individual wires for feeds from the + post .Do not daisy chain , this will result in low power at the end relays .

  The 10 amp breakers are pop up style that fit in a 1/2" ? hole . They are designed to save controllers when hooked up wrong .To protect cheaper controllers and high resistance controllers , use 5 amp breakers .

   12 awg wire is used for basic setups .Higher power , bigger wire yadayada .But you can't break Ohm's law so there is a practical limit here . 

   The best way to wire a small track is to put the negative tap half way around and the positive connections in front of the drivers .This is called a split tap .The voltage will then be the same all the way around the track .Add more taps if you want , but to keep the power consistent , keep negative and positive taps spaced out from each other .

   The coil connections and contact connections are shown on either side of the relays just for drawing convenience .Mot relays have stab type connections out of one side .Automotive style relays usually have a wiring diagram on them .

    Most time selling systems use a 9 wire sustem as shown .If the system sends out its own 12 v signals the you MUST follow their wiring instructions .

    Also , if you are running an adjustable power supply to slow down cars , isolate the relay coils from the track power and feed it with a separate 12 vdc supply .A cheap 2 amp 12vdc wall plug style is all you need .Once you drop the voltage to the track to 9 volts or less , relays will shut off if you do not do this .

   You can use wind up timers to sell time with this setup .One side of each timer goes to the common wire .One side of each timer goes to its lane wire .This gets connected to the terminal block .


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#32 Steve Ogilvie

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Posted 23 April 2016 - 12:06 PM

IMG_5016.JPG IMG_5017.JPG IMG_5018.JPG IMG_5020.JPG IMG_5021.JPG     I decided to build one of my slot cutters . The importance of this tool really cannot be overstated . With this tool , two people (one cutting the slots , one digging out the sawdust and routing the relief cuts) can route the slots on a king track in under 1 hour . This jig literally made building tracks for a living viable .Routing a track any other way  takes days instead of an hour .

    Only a handful of people ever saw my jig , and unauthorised copies were made by some .I invented this jig myself , I have never seen the jigs other builders used nor did I ever work for or with any other builders .

    This jig cuts slots that make cars go around corners better because of the eliptical affect .And it makes possible the use of a narrower track surface because it automaticaly offsets the outside slot . The jig in the pics uses a 5" skid apron with 4" or 4 3/8" slot centres . Of course any dimensions are possible by drilling your pin holes in different places .


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#33 Steve Ogilvie

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Posted 23 April 2016 - 12:09 PM

Some pics of the finished product :

IMG_5026.JPG

IMG_5025.JPG



#34 Steve Ogilvie

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Posted 23 April 2016 - 12:13 PM

I built the base out of 1/4 plexiglass , doubling up on the thickness where the pins sit .It is screwed together with a bit of clear silicone in between .



#35 CoastalAngler1

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Posted 23 April 2016 - 12:14 PM

If I make the router sound in my head when I read this, it is perfectly clear.  What a great guy sharing track building secrets!! 


Charlie McCullough

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#36 Steve Ogilvie

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Posted 23 April 2016 - 03:37 PM

  Thank you . A way to get used to the cutter before you attempt to use it on a track is with your off cuts from the corners .Clamp them solid to a workbench or saw horses and make slots .You will learn the direction you prefer and how to keep it tight to the outside of the track . Rules for using this jig :

1- always cut off of one side of the track .

2-never change directions

3-when you assemble the track , pick the side you are going to route from and make sure the edges line up as close to perfect as possible .Touch up with a sand block if needed to get a perfect guide edge .

4-when cutting the first slot , set your pins so they hang down at least 3/8" but no more than 1/2" .

5-since track pieces get built upside down , make sure you knock off any little glue nubs that may have dribbled onto the edge of the track .

6-Never cut the same slot twice .

7- minimum depth of slot is 5/16" .Be careful to check this on a piece of scrap before you start cutting the track and after replacing a broken or dull bit .

8-Do not use solid carbide router bits .They break in no time at all . 2 flute carbide tip bits is what you want .



#37 Mach9

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Posted 26 April 2016 - 08:57 PM

Steve, I have a few questions regarding your routing jig.

Do you make it out of Lexan for visibility reasons, or is it just a convenient material?

Do you use the standard 1/8" pins when starting off routing the first lane when you're using the edge of the track for a guide? I've seen some jigs that use larger wheels which I would think would be less affected by small imperfections in the track edge.

When you say to pick one side of the track to start from and go all the way around on that side, I assume that means you'll be routing off of the outside of some corners, and the inside of others. Is this correct? Could you share any criteria you might use to decide which side of a given track to start from?

I have tentative plans to one day build a pretty close replica of an Orange, complete with esses. Any suggestions on the best approach to routing those?

Are those spur gears glued to the jig and used to adjust pin depth?

Thanks so much for sharing your wealth of knowledge. I guess it's time to throw out my old adjustable "radius rod" setup! MJ

Mack Johnson
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NC Slot Car Tracks - Past and Present


#38 Steve Ogilvie

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Posted 27 April 2016 - 08:26 AM

    I use lexan or plexi glass (maybe it is the same stuff?) because it is available at most hardware stores and it is much easier to get the pins in to the slot when you cut the second slot etc if you can see through the jig . 

    I use the 1/8 pins to cut the outer slot .That is why I say to run your circle cutter twice (always in the same direction) to make a smooth inner and outer cut .Use the factory edge of the straight pieces for the side you are going to cut off of .You could use larger pins or small hard rubber wheels for the first slot but 1/8" pins slide along fairly well .

    It is correct that sometimes you are on the inside of a turn and sometimes you will cut from the outside of a turn .Generally you pick the side of the track that has the outside of the biggest turn on it , but if you have a turn on the track that has a really small inside diameter you want to make sure you don't cut off of the inside of that turn .The slot will look more like a potato than a circle if you route off the inside of a really tight turn .Not certain , but below 10" inside diameter gets a little risky .

    You use the same jig the same way to route esses .I always cut esses out of one sheet of MDF if its possible , but the easiest way is just to cut a big turn and cut the pieces you need out of that and glue and screw them together with 5" wide MDF planks on the bottom .

   The spur gears are just held on by the set screws .I always set them for the first cut and leave them.It does not matter if they sit above the jig when cutting inner slots .You have to press down on them as you go so they don't ride up .

    Thanks for the questions , it helps me to remember stuff that I should put in here . 


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#39 Steve Ogilvie

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Posted 02 May 2016 - 09:10 PM

So the next logical part of this thread I think should be to build a track of some kind .Since the title of the thread is simple ways to build a home track , I shall try to make something easy(er) and build it mostly out of stuff that people can get locally or may even have laying around the garage or basement .I have a stack of old warped 2 by 4 's that I hope to carve in to joints , only good for firewood right now anyway .I only have 500 feet of braid on hand so the length will be limited by that .I have 4 grandkids so 5 lanes would be good so Gramps can kick their...nevermind lets stick with 4 lanes .Anyway , to bridge or not to bridge that is the question , oval or figure 8 .Have to do some planning ...


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#40 Steve Ogilvie

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Posted 04 May 2016 - 12:49 AM

An awesome little track by Brian Crosby

Newly Completed Ogilvie Routed Track - SlotForum



#41 Steve Ogilvie

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Posted 16 May 2016 - 01:01 PM

I guess I will have to find a better link to the track I posted above .I dropped in and visited my old shop today .The people that bought my property off me are friends of mine .Unfortunately they were not home and I could not get the lights on under the second storey .On the wood work supporting the room above , when we finished a track we would put its # and either the owner or sometimes where it went to on the wood above the steel support beam . That and the customs broker paperwork is all the record we had of what went where .Next time I go over I will take a flashlight and get some pictures of the list .The last # I saw was 488 and that was not the end of the list .Brian built about 10 tracks a year for 9 years after I left the business. A  conservative estimate of Donn Bryans production would be over 100 tracks  .So our company has produced about 700 tracks so far .  



#42 Robert BG

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Posted 20 May 2016 - 12:30 PM

Steve,

Thanks for sharing,my first track I ever raced on was a new Ogilvie and man was it nice.I used to complain about having to run on spray glue and no metal gears but after running some other tracks I never once complained again ;)  Some of the other tracks I ran on you absolutely needed glue,granted the old Americans had been through hell by then but still.

 

I dont know if you were still building them or not but do by chance remember doing a hill climb and oval in a video store in Southern NJ? It would have been the early 90's. They called it Rio Raceway and it was just a few miles from Cape May and the beach at the southern most tip of NJ.

 

Anyway you and I both got caught with the return to slot car bug about the same time and while we have never met I'm glad you're back and want to say thanks for all the tracks you built and what you've done for the hobby in general.

 

I personally cant wait to get controllers into my daughters hands but I've got a little time(almost 4 and 4 months) Chances are I'll be building a track in Bulgaria in a few years.I'd love for it to be commercial but  that is too far away to say for sure.Either way I know it's a long shot but if in a few years you want a free vacation to Bulgaria to help advise me on my build let me know.

 

No matter what and I'm sure I speak for most here we're glad to have you around and appreciate all you've done and are sharing with us now.

 

Robert


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#43 Steve Ogilvie

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Posted 20 May 2016 - 07:18 PM

Thanks very much .I would definitely be up for a trip to Bulgaria .When I retire (hopefully early next year) I hope to travel a lot and I will be more than willing  to help anyone with a rebuild or a new track build . I know I put quite a few tracks in NJ , some were even right on the beach off of a boardwalk , but I really can't remember the places names .The year after I moved my shop up from Oakville to Kincardine and I had 5 employees , we built and installed 60 tracks from coast to coast .I barely got 5 hrs of sleep a day back then and all I remember is a big blurr .It is very nice to be appreciated and remembered because it was a huge amount of work and time away from my family .


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#44 Steve Ogilvie

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Posted 11 July 2016 - 11:04 PM

Sorry to everyone for not posting in a while .My hobbies take a back seat to golf and boating and camping  (and that other 4 letter word , work ) in the summer time .I will be back at building a small track in September .In the meantime , I always check out slotblog every day so if you have any questions , post them up .


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#45 Mach9

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Posted 02 December 2016 - 05:16 PM

Steve, I figured I would post on this thread instead of "pulling the bank". I was hoping you would check my math for the banked turn on the track I want to build. My turn will have a 63" radius. It will be a 194 deg. turn. My target bank angle is 20 deg. I found an online cosine calculator that seems to work and came up with a cosine for 20 deg. of .93969262.  63" / .93969262 = 67.04". 

   My circumference will be 126" x 3.14 = 395.64 / 360 = 1.099 inches per degree x 194 deg. = 213.206 inches of circumference. This works out to a "back cut" (my term) of roughly 11 degrees. I now know this figure is not all that important. Just helps when drawing it in AutoCad. Does this look right? Is 20 deg. a reasonable amount of banking to shoot for on a 10-1/2' diameter turn with 8 lanes? My inside radius is 28".

   Another question. I may have found a company that can CNC laser cut MDF. With this thing (pretty close Orange replica) drawn out in AutoCad, if I have the pieces cut based on the sizes/angles that AutoCad computes, what are the chances it would go together properly? I don't know yet what the cost is. But if it's not too bad, it would sure save a ton of work, not to mention probably be higher quality cuts than I can make. Thanks again. 


Mack Johnson
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#46 Ramcatlarry

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Posted 02 December 2016 - 10:16 PM

FYI - The LTD did spend many years in Jerry Kulich and my care in McHenry, IL and nearby.  I recall it was the 2001 USRA Scale Nats track.  It spent some time in Rockford, IL and went to visit LA before it got set up in Oklahoma - last I heard it was sold in the past two years and I have not heard of it being set up. Anyone know where it is?

 

The Super Eight was the track I had for the 2006 ISRA/USA Nats in Mchenry, IL before going to New York and getting destroyed in the flood......

 

Thanks Steve for the narrative and your workmanship over the years.


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#47 Steve Ogilvie

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Posted 03 December 2016 - 12:07 AM

Steve, I figured I would post on this thread instead of "pulling the bank". I was hoping you would check my math for the banked turn on the track I want to build. My turn will have a 63" radius. It will be a 194 deg. turn. My target bank angle is 20 deg. I found an online cosine calculator that seems to work and came up with a cosine for 20 deg. of .93969262.  63" / .93969262 = 67.04". 

   My circumference will be 126" x 3.14 = 395.64 / 360 = 1.099 inches per degree x 194 deg. = 213.206 inches of circumference. This works out to a "back cut" (my term) of roughly 11 degrees. I now know this figure is not all that important. Just helps when drawing it in AutoCad. Does this look right? Is 20 deg. a reasonable amount of banking to shoot for on a 10-1/2' diameter turn with 8 lanes? My inside radius is 28".

   Another question. I may have found a company that can CNC laser cut MDF. With this thing (pretty close Orange replica) drawn out in AutoCad, if I have the pieces cut based on the sizes/angles that AutoCad computes, what are the chances it would go together properly? I don't know yet what the cost is. But if it's not too bad, it would sure save a ton of work, not to mention probably be higher quality cuts than I can make. Thanks again. 

I will check all your calcs tomorrow .20 degrees banking on a roughly 10' 6" diameter turn will work easily and is pretty close to an original American Orange .


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#48 Steve Ogilvie

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Posted 03 December 2016 - 12:34 AM

Thanks for the info and the kind words Larry .I wish I had been better at documenting what we built and for who , but I was really busy back then and family and making sure we actually made a living was a priority back then . So I assume that Brian Crosby built the Super 8 that you had ? Or maybe Donn ? 



#49 Steve Ogilvie

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Posted 03 December 2016 - 10:08 AM

There is a slight error that develops when you round off the value for PI instead of using the number that comes up when you push the PI button . Without rounding , I got a circumference of 213.314 .Since your radius calc is so close to 67" , I would just set my hand cutter at 67 1/32 . Remember that these calcs are only as accurate as your original drawing of the finished track .On a large track , I always found 1/8" = 1' worked well .For a small home track 1/4"= 1' gave a bit more accuracy because a small track takes away your wiggle room .


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#50 Ramcatlarry

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Posted 04 December 2016 - 01:55 PM

I shot photos of the signatures under the Super-8 before it went back East. Of course they are not 'at hand' - but it was the 1999 Worlds track from Mossetti.  Found it!  Track #404 march 1999.  I still have a lot of film to jpeg.

 

I had thoughts of adding two eight ft lengths to the LTD after driving it.


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race directing around Chicago-land

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