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Building Slot Car Shelves

Published: February 4, 2002

Being a slot car enthusiast as well as Harry, I found myself faced with the dilemma of where and how to display all the cars that we keep buying to add to our stable. I looked at many display cases and I have to say I didn't want to spend that much money or they looked commercial, and that is not what I wanted. I wanted something so that we could display some of our cars that are not in our current racing rotation. I kept telling Harry that I was going to just build a shelf, and with his mind being on reviews and playing with cars, he tended to ignore that idea. So one day when he was working late, I decided to just do it. I came up with what I feel is a very nice looking shelf unit, that was very inexpensive to build and only took a few hours to complete.
First I stopped at out local hardware store and purchased 1x6's and wood screws and some decorative wood trim. I wanted the shelves to have a little bit of a pitch so that the cars would display better this however would allow the cars to slide off the shelf, this is why I purchased the decorative trim for the front edges. I decided I wanted my shelves to be 3' long. I cut 8 1x6 three feet long then I cut the 2 end pieces 3'2". On the end pieces I rounded the corners with a jigsaw, on what would be the top for a more finished look. I sanded everything down first, then assembly was started.
I marked where I wanted the shelves to be located on the outer pieces, because I wanted the shelves to have about a 1/2" pitch, so this took a little work to get the shelves even. Then I screwed the shelves into place, and I cut the trim pieces into 3' sections and glued them onto the front of each shelf using Elmer's Wood glue, then clamped them in place to dry. For mounting purposes, I attached a 1x6 in 2 different locations so that the display could be mounted onto the wall easily.
Next I was faced with the decision of how to finish it to look the best. I am not one who is into fancy furnishing, so I decide to take my small propane torch and lightly go over the wood, this doesn't give it too much of a burned look, but it does bring out a lot of the natural colors in the wood. My next decision was to use Old English to stain the wood and this gives it a very natural look, without the hassle or added cost of varnish or stains.
With this idea you can build a display unit to fit whatever size you need very easily. And my total cost on this project was approximately $25.00. Not really expensive, and the best part is, you did it yourself. I plan on building more of these in the future, because as you already know, you can never have enough slot cars!

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