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How to install braid on a track?


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#1 Michael Whitley

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Posted 25 March 2017 - 08:41 AM

Hey, everybody, new to the site.

 

I am building a track and need some advise on how to install the 1/4" braid on the track. I have made a router bit to cut the .030" deep rabbits along side the 1/8" slot. I plan to paint the track before I install the braid but am not sure on the best way to attach the braid to the track. I am thinking something like contact cement but don't know the tricks of the trade if you will.

 

Look forward to your input.

 

Thanks,

 

Mike






#2 MarkH

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Posted 25 March 2017 - 09:35 AM

I have used 3M VHB tape from Slot Car Corner on three tracks. No problems yet after 10,000s of laps.

 

Just be sure to fully seal the wood with primer/paint so the the glue has something to stick to. The tape is strong enough to pull the wood up without any paint.

 

Steps:

1) Measure your braid and plan on the depth of cut to be .005/.010" below the racing surface including the .005" thick tape.

2) Prime the gain/rabbets with the same number of coats on the racing surface.

3) Paint the gains/rabbets same as above.

4) Wipe down gains/rabbets with naphtha just before laying tape.

5) Use lint-free gloves and press the tape on the the gain/rabbet surface just off the slot edge about 1/32".

6) Leave the backing on the tape until you are ready to lay the braid  –use only fresh tape, older tape may not have the same sticking power.

7) Important: soak the braid in lacquer thinner for a few seconds and wipe clean with clean cloth while wearing lint-free gloves.

8) Important: Wipe down braid with clean lint-free rag soaked with laquer thinner until no grease or dirt comes off.

9) Allow to fully dry by hanging after wiping down down with clean lint-free dry cloth.

10) Pull the tape backing off only on the side and lane you are going to lay the new braid on.

11) With lint-free gloves apply with smooth even pressure on the braid to the tape. Do not stretch the braid. Be sure to hold the braid up with the lint-free glove. Anything that touches the tape will stick so you only want to do it once.

12) With small wood block press the length of freshly-laid braid into the tape.

13) Staple the ends of the braid to your joint face to securely hold it at the ends.

 

I let the tape off-gas/dry out for a week before I ran any cars on it. It will be real strong from the time you first apply but the tape will harden slightly over time. Do not apply braid juice to track braid. After spray-gluing track I wipe the braid down with a naphtha damp cloth to just get the excess glue off for best electrical contact.


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#3 Ramcatlarry

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Posted 25 March 2017 - 01:01 PM

If you are using magnetic braid, try to cut the recess to make the braid so that the finished braid is flush to the deck.  The magnetics will work much better.  The normal plastic car flag is much shallower than commercial track flags, also.

 

Tape is best used when the track does not get cleaned with too much solvents or excess use of braid juices that might disolve the bond.

 

I have sworn by the aromatic contact cements like the red can brand. The water soluble green can is useless.


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#4 Zippity

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Posted 25 March 2017 - 03:30 PM

I agree with Mark, 100%

 

thumb.jpg

 

Good luck :)



#5 Michael Whitley

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Posted 25 March 2017 - 05:37 PM

Great, Thanks for the help.



#6 Benno - SAC

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Posted 25 March 2017 - 07:19 PM

Hi Mike,

 

we rebuild our club track in 1999 and never had to do any maintanance at the braid since then.

We did it the following way:

 

Prime the wood and especially the guide slot with 2 components clear boat deck painture, minimum twice.

Stick the braid with Patex (I think this is contact cement, don't know if you can buy this in the US). We've tested about 5 different contact cements, Patex was the best.

 

And ... most important:

In the corners we made the profile for the braid  a bit wider and filled the contour between braid and slot with a 2 components glue additionally. Therefore the guide flags are no longer able to lift up the braid if a car deslots.

 


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#7 mppicione

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Posted 26 March 2017 - 07:08 AM

Hi Mike
I built a track in 2011 and used the 3M tape purchased from Slot Car Corner, also purchased braid and controller panels from them.

I have had no problems after many races but I have heard that if the braid needed to be removed that the 3M tape would pull up the
MDF.

If you built your track with MDF board you must strengthen the slot by soaking the slot with something that will harden it, I used
clear poly urethane and a V shaped sponge applicator.

Also your braid must be about .060 away from the edge of the slot or the guide flag will pull up the braid when cars deslot.

All of the info above is great just adding my 2 cents.

One more thing I did that you may want to do. I used a test piece of track for everything I did before doing it to the track for the purpose of practice and checking end results.

Happy Racing
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#8 Eddie Fleming

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Posted 26 March 2017 - 08:10 AM

 

And ... most important:

In the corners we made the profile for the braid  a bit wider and filled the contour between braid and slot with a 2 components glue additionally. Therefore the guide flags are no longer able to lift up the braid if a car deslots.

 

So you finish with a bead of epoxy/glue between the slot edge and the braid? I would like to see a closeup photo of this. How did you put the glue in this space?

 

I think it is a great idea.


Eddie Fleming

#9 Benno - SAC

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Posted 26 March 2017 - 08:27 AM

So you finish with a bead of epoxy/glue between the slot edge and the braid? I would like to see a closeup photo of this. How did you put the glue in this space?

 

Yes, exactly. It looks like a welding bead now. Didn't know how to express it, yesterday.

 

We used something like this to put the glue in space:

2k glue tube mixer

(Don't know what it's called in English).

The two components are mixed in the tube during pressing it out.

 

I will try to take a closeup next wednesday.

 


Schöne Grüße (Kind regards)

Benno Stolberg

 

www.SAC-Stolberg.de


#10 airhead

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Posted 26 March 2017 - 01:15 PM

​ My turn, After you route the braid recess  in the MDF brush in some poly urethane, let it dry over night then run the router over the track again and brush in another  coat of poly urethane. The first coat of poly urethane will leave the recess fuzzy,

​the router will smooth this out and the second coat will leave the recess smooth enough to apply the 3-M tape. I say tape because contact cement is a pain to use.


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#11 Michael Whitley

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Posted 27 March 2017 - 07:42 PM

Great, I have found a company named Allied Wire and Cable. They have quoted me $0.26 a foot for 1/4 X 0.030 Tinned Copper Braid Part # AA59569A. Sounds like a great price. What do you all think about the Tinned? They have it without the tinned if that would be better.



#12 olescratch

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Posted 27 March 2017 - 09:20 PM

My vote is for the tinned.  It gives a type of barrier against corrosion on the copper, which is what the braid is made of.  I also give a vote to the 3m tape process.


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#13 Steve Ogilvie

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Posted 28 March 2017 - 07:53 AM

The proper braid can be found on the Continental Cordage website. The part #s are in my thread about building home tracks. Order it from a wire and cable distributor and you will get the best price. Tinned copper is a must, for anti corrosion properties and extends the life of the braid.



#14 wbugenis

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Posted 28 March 2017 - 09:50 AM

The proper braid can be found on the Continental Cordage website. The part #s are in my thread about building home tracks. Order it from a wire and cable distributor and you will get the best price. Tinned copper is a must, for anti corrosion properties and extends the life of the braid.

 

That's right, Continental Cordage is the wholesaler / manufacturerer - most of the others  are resellers of braid from Continental.

 

The price from Allied is high compared to my  last quote from Continental 

 

Best to contact them as a business with a business or resale certificate from your state.  

 

In my experience with Continental, they don't do retail or collect New York State sales and use tax

 

 

On the use of Contact  Cement vs. tape:

 

Tape is easier to use - contact cement requires some skill and care.

 

The adhesive on the tape is soluble in Naptha - the solvent often applied to clean the track.

 

Contact cenent more resistant to Naptha but soluble in Lacquer thinner

 

When the braid comes up - and it will no matter what you used to put it down - the contact cement applied braid is more repairable with a variety of techniques

 

When (not if) you need to replace the braid the contact cement braid will come up with heat - no damage to the track.

 

I use an industrial strength - not consumer grade -  contact cement from the plastic laminate supplier.  Again that wholesale - retail thing. 

 

Just sharing my experience on these topics.

 

Bill 


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#15 Ramcatlarry

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Posted 28 March 2017 - 10:04 AM

There are many suppliers of braid.  NEVER cut your recess based on what the ad SAYS it is thickness wise.  Get it in hand, measure it and make a test mock up so you do not end up with a braid so low to the surface that you sell out the distributor for flag spacers....and plastic cars usually use no spacers.

 

Cooner Wire is one that has had a nice chart of all of the different widths and thickness of common braid sizes.   Magnetic braid is partial Stainless Steel stranded along with the cooper to the weave....but Jim Hunicut (Jimht) has a good price.


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#16 Rob Voska

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Posted 28 March 2017 - 10:50 AM

Get a few CLEAR squirt bottles at the dollar store like a old time restaurant used for Ketchup.  Heat the tip & push something like a thin blade screw driver, or thin piece of brass or something about 1/4" wide from the inside out lengthening the tip and forming a small rectangle, similar to what some of the commercial wood glues have.  Cut end off to fit into one side of the slot so glue comes out in a very thin but 3/16" - 1/4" wide ribbon instead of a round.  Then all that you need to do is run a small brush to spread glue the whole width of the slot.


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#17 Bill from NH

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Posted 28 March 2017 - 11:35 AM

French's mustard bottles also work.


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#18 MSwiss

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Posted 28 March 2017 - 11:56 AM

 

That's right, Continental Cordage is the wholesaler / manufacturerer - most of the others  are resellers of braid from Continental.

 

The price from Allied is high compared to my  last quote from Continental 

 

Best to contact them as a business with a business or resale certificate from your state.  

 

In my experience with Continental, they don't do retail or collect New York State sales and use tax

 

 

On the use of Contact  Cement vs. tape:

 

Tape is easier to use - contact cement requires some skill and care.

 

The adhesive on the tape is soluble in Naptha - the solvent often applied to clean the track.

 

Contact cenent more resistant to Naptha but soluble in Lacquer thinner

 

When the braid comes up - and it will no matter what you used to put it down - the contact cement applied braid is more repairable with a variety of techniques

 

When (not if) you need to replace the braid the contact cement braid will come up with heat - no damage to the track.

 

I use an industrial strength - not consumer grade -  contact cement from the plastic laminate supplier.  Again that wholesale - retail thing. 

 

Just sharing my experience on these topics.

 

Bill 

Great post, Bill.

 

You summed it all up.

 

About 11-12 years ago, a local guy had a nice 4 lane basement (75+ ft. long) Hillclimb, built by the union carpenter, that helped me with building the King.

 

He built it in my shop before I was up and running.

 

They used tape to put down the braid, doing it all one night, over beers, where the track was installed.

 

They invited me over, the next night, to check it out.

 

I had to point out to them, that that the outside braid, in almost every turn, was already creeping into the slot.

 

They removed it all, and redid it with contact cement.

 

They used something that the carpenter got for free, through his job.

 

Most likely, it was not the right stuff.

 

While I took that in account, it still had me a bit wary of ever using it myself.

 

After seeing another track, recently, that was taped, I assume with the correct stuff, and it had to have the braid pinned into place, in a few tight turns, I don't ever see myself using tape.


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#19 tonyp

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Posted 28 March 2017 - 02:48 PM

Last track I did with Bob Emott we used hot glue. I went around hot gluing the recess and when done we put down the braid with a braid iron.. but that's a long time ago. Worked great braid never came up.
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#20 Ramcatlarry

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Posted 28 March 2017 - 11:15 PM

ALSO NEVER try to stretch the braid or tape when you lay it in.  Allow it to find its own fit.  When the wood dries out or seasonal humidity changes in the room, you will be amazed at how much things move around.  Remember to burnish it smooth.

 

I learned a lot about tape watching the 2016 Worlds flat track being built.


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#21 Steve Ogilvie

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Posted 02 April 2017 - 07:09 PM

French's mustard bottles is what I used to use to apply the glue to the track. I don't know if French's even comes with that type of bottle any more but I would wear out about 5 bottles doing a track. As an an OEM manufacturer, we bought all our braid direct from Continental Cordage.The magnetic braid they sold us was steel core wire with copper plating and then tinning and then braided and flattened. The CC website has all the specs on everything they make.   



#22 Benno - SAC

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Posted 07 April 2017 - 03:19 PM

1733e596b2a8971c0f999b6c7bd1bb57.jpg
3e9f847b839a9a8bfd4b0ca2e6da316b.jpg

Here are the promised pics of our "welding" beads :-).

As I just look at the pictures for myself:
The braid is 18 years old and I took the pictures before cleaning last wednesday!
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#23 Eddie Fleming

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Posted 07 April 2017 - 04:13 PM

That looks great. Are the photos taken in a turn or on the straight? 


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#24 Benno - SAC

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Posted 07 April 2017 - 04:21 PM

I took them on the entrance of a turn. We did this only in the turns and the best pictures to see it are from the entrances, where the beads begin.

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#25 Benno - SAC

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Posted 07 April 2017 - 04:22 PM

I took them on the entrance of a turn. We did this only in the turns and the best pictures to see it are from the entrances, where the beads begin.

Schöne Grüße (Kind regards)

Benno Stolberg

 

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#26 Steve Ogilvie

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Posted 08 April 2017 - 03:08 PM

That is a great idea.







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