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Construction of Thunder Cave Raceway

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  • Construction of Thunder Cave Raceway

    After years of dreaming and work getting in the way, disability has made construction time for a slot car track possible. This thread will endeavor to show my feeble attempts at making a routed track. This track will be used by myself, my wife, and my adult children. If a slot car club could be created out of this it would be even better.
    My idea is to replicate, the best I can in a limited amount of space, "Saturday Night Dirt Track Racing"! The track will be a "D" shaped oval with turns 1 & 2 being increasing radius and 3 & 4 being decreasing radius. This will give me different turning aspects on each end with the two straights being different lengths.
    Due to the fact I have never used a router before I decided a template would be my best bet. I will use the template as a guide instead of using the router on a compass.
    This picture is my rough drawn lines on a sheet of plywood which will become my template. So far tools used are a tape measure, screw driver, wood screw, strip of cardboard (for a compass) and lumber marking pencil.

    This picture shows the turn and lane spacing perspective. The outside lane will have a 3 inch gutter with another 2 inches to what will be a wall at the edge of the board. This also give a good perspective to the radius change in the turn.

    I have now cut out the template. You will notice the sharp corner edge at the upper left. This is an example of the smoothing that will be required. I figured I would be better off if I left some wood to take off than take off wood I would wish I hadn't. I will use an electric palm sander to sculpt out the corners to make them smooth, especially the entrance and the exits. I feel I can get a smoother transition this way than I could using a compass hooked to a compass arm. Additional tools used. Hand held jig saw and palm sander with 220 grit sand paper.

    I have now sanded the template so no bumps occur in the turns and the transitions are smooth with the turns changing radius gradually as they merge with the straights.
    I have decided on a 12 volt battery for the power source and am researching deep cycle batteries to see if I can find one small enough to satisfy me. If not then I will use a battery for a lawn tractor, 12 v @ 40 amps. Voltage will be reduced by diodes hooked to a rotary switch.
    Next step, move furniture, as my wife has agreed to let the track have a prominent place in our house instead of being buried in a small bedroom. (I have a GREAT wife!)

  • #2
    look's like a fine start


    • #3
      great start, template looks great with fine radius!
      great wife!


      • #4
        Dinner Table Raceway... Looking forward to seeing your progress. Great to hear you're disability has created an opportunity.

        All the best, Roland
        Sydney Australia
        Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk


        • #5
          Great idea and looks good!


          • #6
            Looks like a fun project Caveman. I'll be staying tuned. Love the D.