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admin 25.08.2014

Ted Gowder, a regular visitor to this web site sent me some pictures recently of a 4-lane routed wooden HO raceway that he and several of his friends built. The two photos above show the painted and elevated track before the steel power rails have been pressed into place. The rebar wire used for the power rails comes in 100 foot rolls, enough to do one entire continuous power rail around the whole track.
The picture above shows the track power rails being pressed into place using a small wooden roller. Regular 1x10 dimensional lumber was cut to varying heights to elevate and support the entire raceway approximately every running foot.
The 1x10 supports were cut with a very slight angle at the top to create a gentle banking towards the inside of each and every turn on the track. Cut the slots for all of the turns first and then join them by routing the straights so they match up with the turns. Drill a small hole next to the rail pocket, just large enough to thread a 14 gauge stranded wire up from the underside of the track. The elevated track support system used for this routed wooden track is very similar to what model railroading hobbyists use for their fully landscaped layouts. Woodland Scenics makes an entire line of light-weight landscaping products for model railroads and museum dioramas that are ideal for landscaping an HO raceway. Ted recommends that you build a small pilot track first before diving into a big 4-lane monster like the one described above.


Scenery, structures and landscaping have been kept to a minimum, so as not to distract the eye of the racers. MDF is fairly flexible, so variations in elevation can be incorporated to create a track with more visual interest. Countersunk flathead wood screws were used to secure the routed MDF to the elevated supports. 16 gauge rebar tie wire, available at Home Depot or Loews can be pressed into the rail pockets using a wooden roller.
A simple router compass can be fabricated from Plexiglas or hardboard to help route the turn slots.Drive a pin at the center of each turn you plan to cut and then move the compass so that it pivots on this pin.
Press the rebar wire in place to pinch the power tap wire and then solder the joint for a good electrical connection.
There are a multitude of good model railroading landscaping books and web sites that can give you plenty of ideas for landscaping your wooden raceway. You can practice your router technique and woodworking skills on a small 2x4 foot piece of MDF.
This particular track is 8x20 feet in size, but could easily be reduced in size to become a smaller HO scale raceway. Sight lines are good and the table is low enough to allow seated or standing drivers to view the entire layout. The information provided below should allow anyone with basic woodworking and routing skills to build a track using his simple techniques.


Anyone with basic woodworking skills should be able to complete the project in 3 or 4 weekends. Trim and file the solder joint and then put a dab of the same gray paint you've used for the track surface to all but hide the power tap points. Try making a small 2-lane oval to familiarize yourself with the routing, rail laying and painting techniques required to build a routed wooden track.You can learn from your mistakes on this smaller layout before you commit to a larger raceway. The drawing is not to scale and will actually be much longer than shown and would normally have 12-20 sets of pivot points for varying turn radius sizes. All of the techniques you use to build your small test track will apply to the larger final track you build later on.
Earlier attempts using a hammer to seat the power rails resulted in flat spots in the wire.
Most other techniques involve routing a wide pocket to fit a flat steel rail and then a thin strip of plastic wedged in next to it to hold the rail in place.



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  • Y_A_L_A_N_C_I, 25.08.2014 at 18:11:28
    The n scale trains , your train layout same.
  • FK_BAKI, 25.08.2014 at 23:37:21
    Musical instruments, angels and other Christmas the model railroads her legs, and the photographer.
  • delfin, 25.08.2014 at 22:40:46
    Lot of a young boy's dream forced two up trains and a single down train.