Having planned a few Hillclimb Special models, I thought a suitable track would have to be built to take them, but it would need a suitable timer. A visit to Maplin finally sorted the problem. Whilst you can get a kit to make a digital rolling message screen or a steam engine sound synthesiser, you cannot get a seconds counter module, but they did explain how to rip apart an electronic stop watch and wire it to two microswitches. I knew if I threw a problem at a nerd he'd have to solve it for me!
I am still undecided as to what material to use for the track. MDF is strong, but does not permit of irregularities, which I rather like, so I may go for well braced hardboard.
The layout is Shelsley Walsh Start, Prescott (pre 1960) middle and Wiscombe Finish. This gives me the best of all worlds within the space I have. It will be made to 1/43rd scale because that allows many and cheap scenic cars and I have a lot of buildings already made in that scale. Lloyd will and already has kept us provided with nice resin shells in that scale too. But 1/32nd Specials will not look too out of place on it. 1/43rd is not a possibility for many Specials due to motor space limitations.
General ups and downs in the surface of the track, John, that would be rather difficult to achieve in MDF, it being so stiff by comparison with hardboard. And I already have sheets of hardboard, doing nowt.
Post by Phil Kalbfell on Jan 27, 2016 5:14:43 GMT -5
DF By hardboard I assume you are referring to what we call Masonite, polished hard surface one side and rougher textured on the back? I have built tracks from it and MDF. The hardboard track was some years ago, we cut the track out on a circular saw set the slot gap undersize and then routed to 1/8. The hardboard blunted the router bits very quickly. When MDF came on the market we built a track using 3/8 MDF braced underneath. In the last 9 years I have built 3 Rally tracks and a Hillclimb using 9mm MDF it will bend and requires much less bracing.
Yes, Phil, that's a trade name for hardboard here, too. Masonite is a rather upmarket form of hardboard. Darker and denser than most. I'm aware of MDFs natural strength over hardboard, but it has one major problem. Nobody will cut it so you can bring it home in widths that are transportable. No supplier company will risk the dust. Can't say I'm exactly keen myself! When I worked for a prototype car and design company called MSX, they insisted that any work on MDF was done at the far end of the car park and down wind and they were deadly serious! I realise that hardboard needs much more bracing, but that's not too big a pain and there's a lot to say for having a couple of sheets in the garage doing nuttn'. If I were cutting another roundy roundy I would definitely use MDF......on a windy day. In the 60s we used hardboard successfully, as MDF hadn't been heard of and ply was too pricey.