View Full Version : Materials used for making tracks

2002.09.30, 06:44 PM
Hey Everyone,
I was wondering what materials people use in their tracks, like for the surface or boarders. Thanks!

2002.09.30, 08:29 PM
Do some searching.

I already posted like 3 threads about products that I'd found.

I refuse to go through the effort of posting it all again.

I don't mean to be rude, but you'll get this a lot if you ask questions that have already been answered more than once.

2002.10.01, 08:23 AM
Heres a quick review

Masonite for track base or you can use any type of plywood.......I use masonite because it is flexiable you can make hills and banked turns Masonite also makes good for the walls

Ozite or some thin carpet for surface

Foam pipe cover for the walls and barriers

2002.10.01, 02:20 PM

i think that's the link. This guy has a killer track.

2002.10.01, 03:33 PM
OSB surface with flat paint. Boarders are plastic drywall edging you can get at Lowes. It's an L shape with the short end being solid and the longer end having holes. I'll snap a pic when I get a chance. Works great, but the 10' x 12' layout with 20" lanes is a bit tight for Mini-Zs... my Epochs are tons o' fun on it.

2002.10.01, 03:49 PM
Slade, there's already a good pic of it on the forums. Search for threads started by me about "edge".

Don't forget to mix some sand into the flat paint where you want more grip ;-)

2002.10.02, 01:58 PM
Anyone use clear plastic tubing as a barrier?

2002.10.02, 03:03 PM
it would have to be fairly large diameter, and would get fairly expensive.

Use the track edging I was talking about. Trust me, it's good stuff.

2002.10.02, 03:12 PM
Use the stuff scott is talking about or get the Foam pipe covering it comes in 8 ft sections for about $1.27

2002.10.07, 03:44 AM
When a round tire meets a rounded track barrier the results are often either a flipped car or car bumper stuck between the barrier and the track. If you must use a round barrier of any type, make very sure that the outside perpendicular radius is = to your bumper height. If you run F1's don't even consider round barriers, because the bumper will constantly get stuck in the barrier.

If possible, use a straight 90 degree (perpendicular to the track surface barrier). You will reduce flipping, need for corner marshals, cars off track, etc. substantially.

Our company did a lot of prototype testing with over 40 different rail surfaces and anything round was ruled out very quickly. Early on, we did use a hexoganal garden hose-like material for a while with Velcro screwed to the bottom and set it up on Ozite racing carpet. Although it didn't make the cut for our commerical track, setup time was very fast and it may be adequate for a home-brew track. Of course the advantage of the Velcro system is that you can change the layout very fast, as the Velcro sticks to the Ozite carpet and is quite strong, yet can be removed or changed in jsut seconds. But if your serious and host other racers, do not use anything round as it is unfair for anyone who's car bumper height is not a perfect match for the radius of the barrier. (Have you ever seen a "round wall" at a full-scale race?)

We'll be offeing a pre-fab Ozite carpet based track (with perpendicular rails) that is rougly based on our commerical tracks around Christmas time. It will feature our patent pending Quick Attach rail system and DIY stripping for the rails -- I'm currently working with our overseas plastics PVC manufacturers to get the price down to $399 for a 20' x 10' "portabale track system. We've built several of these already for commerical applications, but the price is currently over $500.

This weekend we began prototyping a kit for our high end rubberized based track. These tracks are expensive to build because they are so labor intensive; thus we ar looking at ways to kit the entire track and drastically cut the cost from $1699 for the 28' x 10' Prestige track that has proved so popular for commerical applications.

My goal is to simply provide the DIY builder with the proper materials, plans and a proven track system at a cost of very close to what he or she might pay if they tried to source the parts themselves and build from scratch.

Getting back to the thread discussion -- avoid round anything on the track if you can.

2002.10.11, 11:11 PM
I will agree completely!!

We use PVC at the local hobby shop and it is fairly hard on the shells and servo gears. There are no commercially available bumpers that will bridge the gap between the bottom plane of the pvc and the vertical plane. This allows the bumpers to go under the rail and you scrape the body along the vertical plane. If your front wheels extend outside the shell when they are at full lock, then you stand a good chance of popping a servo gear.

2002.10.12, 08:55 AM
That's why I keep swearing by my soft plastic drywall edging! *grin* Go out and buy a strip to try, it's only like 1.97 + tax (canadian$)

(strip = 8 feet)

2002.10.12, 10:20 AM

Still looking for it but what I've seen has perforations in both sides. This would be a cheesegrater effect on the bodies. Still hunting for the stuff that is solid on 1 side. That would be perfect and you could use the industrial velcro on the perforated side to stick it to Ozite.

I am supposed to have some impermeable rubber roofing membrane scraps coming to me. This stuff is about 1/16" thick and should be a perfect indoor/outdoor surface. If it gets wet, blow it off with a leaf blower!! It wont rot or decay. Will keep you posted.

2002.11.04, 04:23 PM
For the running surface I used pond liner. Flat sheet of PVC about 3 mm thick, feels like rubber, and has grip for days.

2002.11.11, 12:57 PM
This is a very helpful thread. Since I'm soon going to be building a track and for private use only.

I was thinking about that roofing stuff I have alot just laying around( Escapes me what it's' called)

2002.11.11, 06:32 PM
the roofing stuff (tar paper I'd guess) you mention is not very good as track surface from what I've heard. The amount of sand and dust it's leaves in you beloved car is enormous, and quite dangerous for our reciever board, motor etc etc. The conclusion I read somewhere is NOT to use it. Just my 2 Ýrer

2002.11.11, 06:41 PM
Thanks that's what I was thinking, but since I've never tested it I didn't know.

2002.11.11, 09:30 PM
Originally posted by le-manz
the roofing stuff (tar paper I'd guess) you mention is not very good as track surface from what I've heard. The amount of sand and dust it's leaves in you beloved car is enormous, and quite dangerous for our reciever board, motor etc etc. The conclusion I read somewhere is NOT to use it. Just my 2 Ýrer

hmm... the track that i used to go to www.connecticutspeedway.com uses asphalt paper... which is pretty close to tar paper i guess... initially it was a bit dirty, but after a while the surface aged well... most of the racers use foams on them... unfortunately they've closed and are moving... i hear they're going to use thin carpet for thier track this time...


thanks for all of your tips, and insight...

2002.11.11, 09:44 PM
herman, they are closed!? What are you going to do!? This is the end of an era!

2002.11.21, 03:38 AM

Drywall? Acoustic ceiling tile?

Vapour barrier (i.e. heavy plastic)?

Rubber/fabric mouse pad material (can you get this in big rolls)?

Canvas tarpauline (aka tarp)?


I think one just has to walk down every aisle of Home Depot looking at what can be used for a surface, or for barriers.

2002.11.21, 04:40 AM

Uh-ah Spank the other cars on this SM track, no pain no gain:D

2002.11.21, 12:07 PM
Just occurred to me that leather might be a nice surface to run on. Too expensive though.

2002.11.21, 12:25 PM
So far my fave surface has been the back side of drywall board.. the brown paper stuff, be nice to have a large wide roll of it cover a table track in one big piece ;). Even run it through a jumbo plotter first to print the track layout on...

But I only like it cuz I have yet to use the roofing poor on rubber coating paint stuff...

2002.11.23, 12:54 AM
I got some rubber-backed canvas drop cloth at a home improvement store. The traction seems OK (of course I'm not sure exactly how much there should be), and the price is OK.

It still has creases so I'll have to iron it. And on concrete, it still makes too much noise so I might try putting some foam underlayment under it.