Track Building and BuyingAlternative track materials

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First of all I'would like to thks RDR being my inspiration in oragnizing Drag Race in Indonesia.
I'would like to ask some question whether all you guys have an experience using other track beside the HW original Orange Track like : Wood, PVC, Aluminium etc.

Thank you very much
HW Track
Hendro

Yeah...this is a good topic. I was kinda thinking about using Formica...but the cost. It seems to me, that there is a happy medium to building a good track. First of all Big tracks are great, but extremely hard to transport and setup, and who has the room or space to set these big monsters up? Secondly, the longer the track the higher the starting ramp has to be for the cars to make it to the end. I've setup a track here with 40+ feet, (Starting Ramp 4 ft high) and some of the cars were making it to the end, and others were just crawling across the finish line. (For me, personally I like to keep the race Fast, Fun, (For the racers and for me, since I'm setting up the track) And Thirdly, it comes down to transportability...if the beast is soooo big that I have to have a special truck or vehicle to move it...that makes it harder for me to use, and less likely to get used on a regular basis. Now back to the topic at hand, (Sorry about that...guess I was thinking about your 30+ meter track ) With orange track available on Ebay in 50 ft sections its really hard to build something cheaper when you can get if for 60-70 bucks shipped. If I had a place to setup a track and leave it in one place, and had all the money in the world...seamless Aluminum with Teflon coating 80+ feet. (Plus it would have a automatic car return so I wouldn't have to run down each time the cars made a run. And a multiple camera setup to record all races. Sorry for rambling on so...

Preacher

I've looked at all the stuff at Home Depot...various woods, plastic studs, MDF, plywood...and they all have their goods and bads. I was looking for something that could stand up to temperature change but the plastic boards were just too expensive and also quite heavy. MDF was *way* too heavy and plywood is too flimsy. I always just go back to the "normal" woods and just try to find ones that are straight and affordable.

I had a notion when I started to use PVC pipe cut in half but then I found cheap orange track so went with that instead. I think the PVC might be interested to try but would really be a different class of racing, I think.

I've been wondering if aluminum studs would do the trick? I'm not sure if they're wide enough but I'm sure you could find some that are. They'd be light and probably pretty sturdy. Then the challenge just becomes how to attach your track, etc. Or just go with no track, open style. The aluminum might take some extra work and planning but might be the most durable in the long run.

Would aluminum studs work?
Diecast Cars, Hot Wheels, Matchbox

I've wondered if a gutter shop could setup a machine and roll out a narrow gutter that would act like a track. But when it comes down to all the hassle, and for what it is worth we would be better off to stick with Hot Wheels 50 ft seamless track.

Preacher

Thank you very much for the brief explanation about that and still wondering if the car itself can go faster in the orange track or open track like wood, pvc, aluminium or other material.

a ductworking buddy of mine made me [12] 6foot steel sections of track on his 8' metal brake, the ends are trimmed to slide into each other...BUT we left the siderails perpendicular to the base [bodies sides rubb] we should have put a little angle into the sides. like the drawing ; Diecast Cars, Hot Wheels, Matchbox
offset "lip" is on the uphill end, slides under the upper section. i made short sections that let orange hot wheels track connect to the steel and visa versa... sorry, no transfer, all flat.
anyone who wants my remaining [6] 90 degree sections of the track, and the adaptors, can have them, they need only pay the shipping

I have been thinking about how to use something like this.

Diecast Cars, Hot Wheels, Matchbox

The boys got about a three foot tube of gum balls for Christmas. Cars fit perfectly in there and boy do they roll smoothly. I have a video of cars going through on on a video that I can get uploaded. Just trying to figure out how you would transition to another tube or back onto the orange track. The other thing is if the car some how runs up the side and wrecks or just doesn't make it through the tube, you would need an easy way to pop off that piece to get the car out and hook it back up.

While looking up the picture of the tubes, found square ones as well. That would make a transition to orange track much easier since you should be able to get a connector onto the end.

Diecast Cars, Hot Wheels, Matchbox

And then found this. A perfect idea on how to transition from one tube to another.

Diecast Cars, Hot Wheels, Matchbox

I bought a 50 ft roll of Blutrack ,it also comes in shorter and longer rolls. It has a panel on one end with a notch in it to attach to the top of your ramp. You get two side by side lanes with no joints. The lanes are just a little wider than orange track and can accomodate all of my cars. There were a few that would not run because they were too wide for the orange track. The 41 Willy's Pro Stock would bind up on orange track. My starting gate is at 6ft and the finish is about 40ft down the track. Most cars are still screaming all the way to the finish. The only fault I have found is that the center guard rail is short enough that some cars can make contact (swap paint). Just rolling the track out and attaching it with a wing-nut is so much easier than connecting track pieces. I used the gait from the sixlane Hot Wheels set for my finish. The 50ft roll was $113 shipped. In the beginning I found a lot 100 pieces of orange track sections with connectors on ebay. This was okay for a while.....but I got tired of hunting down track joints that were kicking out cars. I was not able to find the rolls of orange track on line at an affordable cost. The Blutrack as been a great solution. Now though, thanks to Worpex and a few others I have seen some tracks that incorporate sizzler track for open track racing. Too many choices!!!!

I have been thinking about how to use something like this.

Diecast Cars, Hot Wheels, Matchbox

The boys got about a three foot tube of gum balls for Christmas. Cars fit perfectly in there and boy do they roll smoothly. I have a video of cars going through on on a video that I can get uploaded. Just trying to figure out how you would transition to another tube or back onto the orange track. The other thing is if the car some how runs up the side and wrecks or just doesn't make it through the tube, you would need an easy way to pop off that piece to get the car out and hook it back up.

While looking up the picture of the tubes, found square ones as well. That would make a transition to orange track much easier since you should be able to get a connector onto the end.

Diecast Cars, Hot Wheels, Matchbox


Another option might be cutting plexiglass sheet to the track width you need and then just bond a side rail on to the heigth of your choosing. 1/8" plexi would bend very easily to make seamless curve rails.

Once again, I personally think transportability, and ease of setup are vitality important. metal tracks depending on the gauge of metal can bend or get dents...and then there is the issue of connecting joints. My 50 ft seamless roll of Hot Wheels track nicely rolls up for storage, and in about 15 minutes the track can be set up for racing. And for the cost factor...I'm not sure you can buy material at Home Depot or any other building supply to match the price and raceability (sp?) of the Hot Wheels seamless track. If we are looking for ultimate speed why not just drop them off a building and see how long it takes to hit the ground...first car to hit wins. The nice thing about this setup is...no track joints and transitions to worry about. Seriously, I'm sure that there might be faster material out there for a track...but the question is...how much faster? I would be willing to say on a properly setup Hot Wheels track, the difference between other materials used would be minimal. Would it be worth it for only...2-3 car lengths and alot more money? I think there are some guys in Indonesia that are using Aluminum track. Why not ask them about their times to run 30-40 feet and compare you current times for the same difference? Here is the link

www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kx9S13GzkM0

Preacher

Yeah, I guess I was thinking more about the track support materials than the track material itself. I think orange track is the best whether it be seamless or not. It's a "standard" of sorts and is relatively cheap and can take a beating, I agree with Preacher. I'd rather find a better-than-wood option for the structure than find alternatives to the actual plastic track.

I think alternates like aluminum could work and still meet the portability requirement. I too think that portability and storage is the most important thing - that's why I designed and built my RLD track like I did. It can go up and down in 10 minutes without much hassle and can easily be stored.

Slot car track works very well for side-by-side racing. Only problem is, it is rather brittle, so it may break at any extreme bends.

When I visited the Henry Ford Museum, they had an example of the eco-friendly roofing material used by the River Rouge factory, which had rain gutters built into it. Turns out that the space between the gutters and the dividers for each gutter was the perfect width for a HW car!

There's one YouTube user who used discarded metal gutters for a track. I forget his name.

Slot car track works very well for side-by-side racing.

I have a slot car track. Here are some races from it. www.youtube.com/watch?v=vgSosf-Oopw

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