I just finished building boxes for our two four-lane five-section freedom tracks.
Before you build your box, ask this question "Do I need a box to safely transport the track to and from race events or do I just need a safe place to store the track year round?"
For me being able to transport the tracks from one location to another was important. After weighing each track section, cross braces, weights, stop ramps, etc. I thought one box per track would work. The box was built following the great plan located here http://www.pinewoodderbytrack.com/case.html
" target="_blank. When completed the box itself weighed 65 pounds and picking up the fully loaded box (approx. 220 pounds) was out of the question. It occurred to me the plans are to build a great storage
box but we need to be able to load and unload the box in a vehicle with two average strength adults.
If you need to build a box for transporting the track you might want to follow these modifications to the plans listed above. Again, our track is a four-lane five-section aluminum freedom track.
Instead of building one deep box I built two stacking boxes with the bottom of the top box serving as the top to the bottom box.
Have the home center rip a 4' x 8' sheet of 1/2" plywood in thirds at 15 7/8" x 8'. The bottom box will use one piece and the top box with a lid will use the other two pieces.
I took a 1" x 8" x 8' (actual ¾” x 7 ¼” x 8’) primed finger jointed trim board and ripped it at 3 7/8". The narrower of the two pieces will build the bottom box and the wider to build the top box. You will need to rip one board for each side along with boards for each end of the box. I found it easier to measure and cut the all the pieces to length before ripping them down to size.
Use Simpson Strong-Tie A23Z steel angle brackets to reinforce the box corners with #8 x 5/8" pan head sheet metal screws.
Connect the top and bottom boxes using 2 ¾” x 1 ½” chest latches. The alignment tab of the chest latches extend past the bottom of the top box requiring the installation on a ¼” cleat on the bottom of the top box to prevent damage to the tabs when placing the top box on the ground. I would have preferred latches that did not extend past the bottom of the top box removing the need for cleats on the bottom of the top box but the home center did not have any other latches.
You may want to attach the top box lid via chest latches instead of the piano hinge to ease your fear the hinge might rip out if the lid flops open. I built one box with piano hinges and one without and both boxes function well.
Install four case handles, one on each end of the top and bottom boxes providing handles for transport.
I was going to use 1/8" nylon rope to lift the track sections out of the boxes but I discovered the home center had green plastic banding in the lumber isle trashcan. The plastic banding holds the lumber stacks together during transport. Ask if they have any in the garbage or look at the lumber stacks to see if you can scavenge some. I drilled a pilot hole in the end of the banding and used #8 x 1/2" screws to secure the plastic banding to the side of the boxes.
I reinforced the bottom of the bottom box using the same design as the top of the top box. Do not reinforce the bottom of the top box allowing the plywood to sit directly on top of the bottom box.
Fearing a single 2” piece of pink foam would get broken over time I opted to cut the 2” x 2’ x 8’ foam width wise on a table saw using four pieces of 2’ wide foam instead of a single piece. I used a 10” table saw and a router with a 3/8” straight bit hooked to a shop vac to machine the foam pieces.
The bottom box filled with three track sections weighs around 100 pound. The top box with the 2 x 10 pound weights, two track sections, cross braces, joining plates, etc. weighs around 120 pounds. Carrying each of the two boxes was very manageable by two normal sized adults.