Skinny D124 U.S.A. (1.4 x 7.3 meters)

  • Hello my German speaking friends!

    Two months ago I was captivated by a series of YouTube D124 racing videos. On a whim I purchased the "Double Victory" set, some extra R2 curves, and a stack of used straights from eBay, with the intention to play temporarily on the basement carpet.

    I enjoyed the small layout for a time, expanded it a bit, but this has created some problems.

    First problem is that this space was originally used for storage; everything that was here, furniture, boxes, etc... was pushed elsewhere into the basement. While I enjoy having the track for meditation in these difficult times, I dislike having stacks of junk and unused furniture piled up in my home office.

    Second problem is that after a couple weeks and thousands of laps on the carpet, I developed neck pain from looking down at the carpet and swinging my neck back and forth. I had to stop. I picked up the layout and put it in boxes.

    The obvious solution is to build a table. I can store all the junk under the table and eliminate the clutter that was created by carpet racing. However, with the addition of extra cars and controllers, the project has already reached the outside budget limit.

    The available space is long and narrow. The "table" will be just wide enough for a full 180* R2 with borders. (The design may be able to hang over the edge of the table in some spaces.)

    I have been trying to develop the courage to build this. Multiple times I have gone to Home Depot with the intention to buy the wood, but never pulled the trigger. The price of wood is currently astronomical. (A 2x4 stud is around $6 or nearly twice what it cost a few years ago.) To put this in perspective, the table will cost about the same as a new 55" smart TV or a nice setup for iRacing.


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  • the project has already reached the outside budget limit.

    Now, you got the virus, like all of us here at freeslotter. :D

    Gruß Stefan

    Ich leide nicht unter Geltungssucht, möchte einfach nur weiterhelfen... :rolleyes:

  • The project is underway! Procured wood for the table.

    The design for the table is complete, but I'm undecided on the height. I have been thinking knee height is the appropriate height for this table. Because the table is narrow, a low table will enable a farther reach across to the back to retrieve cars. Most driving will be while seated, so I don't see any advantage to a higher table, besides more storage underneath.

    I chose particle board for the table top, because in 3/4" thickness it is much less expensive than plywood or OSB, it is more uniform(flat), and it seems to resist bending which is important if several inches of the top overhang the base.

    Also, the particle board has more mass so it should reverberate less and create less noise while driving.


  • I'd highly recomment to put felt or thin sheets of xps or foam underneath the track, this will tremendously reduce the noise level in your basement.

    Your layout looks fun, I like long straights.

  • Sadly, it seems I have made a major blunder. The particleboard in the basement emits a nauseous level of formaldehyde gas. It was OK at first, but after about 2-3 hours, the gas became overwhelming, so I put it outside.

    I am reading that the gas can be dangerous; even if not so, the odor is so strong that I don't want it in my house. I am a fool.

    I dont know if it is dangerous. I am reading about this, and there are standards in place to limit formaldehyde in consumer MDF and particleboard products, but I don't know if this extends to building materials.

    It is outside right now; if it rains I suppose my project will be ruined.

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  • Interesting. I thought they stopped using formaldehyde in particle boards. But seems like they didn't in the states. I doubt that cou can trap the gas with paint.

  • Interesting. I thought they stopped using formaldehyde in particle boards. But seems like they didn't in the states. I doubt that cou can trap the gas with paint.

    There are limits set by the EPA, but there is no telling if they are followed. There was no SDS for the wood and it smelled noxious.

    I took back the particleboard and replaced with melamine. (Melamine is sealed particle board.)

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  • :thumbsup::thumbsup:

    Gruß Stefan

    Ich leide nicht unter Geltungssucht, möchte einfach nur weiterhelfen... :rolleyes:

  • Did some more work this weekend. Structure is complete. There is a small alcove on the left side where I used some scrap wood to extend the table.

  • The table is complete! I have learned from seeing other peoples tracks, maybe I have done something other people would copy. A few notes...

    1) Table is built at 23" height (knee height). This facilitates reaching across the track to retrieve cars, and is better for a seated visual perspective of the track. It also allows me to build upwards, several tiers, without getting too tall. Furthermore, it is easy to climb onto the table for building the track, if necessary. Finally, a lower table better hides things underneath, without requiring a skirt.

    2) The table is wide enough for a complete R2 180* turn with border. Due to the narrow width, I can easily reach across to the back. I debated a shorter, wider table, but I decided it would be better to have long straights separated by tight turns, rather than a bowl of spaghetti. Due to the narrow width, most layouts I've designed have some degree of "stacking".

    3) The alcove on the left of the track is large enough for a complete R1 turn around; which adds alot of flexibility to the narrow space.

    4) The border is flush with the level of the table. It is made with 1/8" "hardboard", attached with countersunk screws into the side of the top. I did this so that it is easy to have the track hang over the edge of the table in places. I can build table extensions for overhang if necessary, without sacrificing the ability to reach to the back wall. Also, hard borders are not good for cars crashing into them. I will use soft fencing where required.

    5) The curved front "corner" of the track was traced using an R1 curve with border. Its important to have rounded corners so you do not chop off your legs when walking around the table!

    6) The carpet is green "EcoFi" brand. Made from three 6x8' pieces. (Each $20) After installing the carpet, I learned that there is a degree of "flop". While the carpets are the same color, depending on where you stand, they appear lighter or darker. If I had rotated the middle piece 180*, there would be less visual disturbance between pieces. It does not bother me enough to redo the installation. I do not know where you can buy larger pieces of this material in the USA for a low price.

    7) Double sided carpet tape was used to install the tape. In a few places near the back, I used a staple gun.

    8) Table surface is "melamine" (finished particleboard). Cheaper than real wood and because its sealed there is no formaldehyde odor. Additionally, it lays very flat, unlike plywood. Because the board is 3/4" thick, it is very strong and can hang over the edge without breaking or bending. In the future, if I decide to make the table wider, I can "float" the tops forward on the existing frame.

    9) The primary goal was to build a table with a "clean" aesthetic that allows me to easily change the layout. Secondary goal was to create a large storage space underneath.

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