I got permission to upgrade our Piantedosi 3 lane track and older Judge. The Judge worked fine for many years but are upgrading to a new unit with the computer option and GP software, shipped today (Thanks John!! )
Our wood track has been stored at our grade school under the stage on some rolling carts. I have been concerned about possible damage to it stored in this manner. Although we tried to put it away carefully, it didn't always store flat, other items were put in the storage area, the door doesn't lock and damage could easily occur. I have volunteered to build a storage case and handle the upgrades.
With the new timer system coming, I wanted to change the starting gate from the type that is held closed by rubber bands to one that is pulled open to give more consistent starts.
Inspecting the origanal gate I discovered the dowel rods were bent from storage, (fears confirmed).
I needed to build a new gate. I wanted one that could be taken off the track easily to protect it and to make track storage easier. I started off with some leftover red oak, drilled holes, inserted new dowels, and hinged the two pieces together. I made it long on the left side for a hand hold and adjusted the right side for the coming lock.
To attach it to the track, I drilled countersunk holes into the guides and fastened with wing nuts. I also used a spring for longevity instead of rubber bands.
Using a picture from one of the aluminum tracks, I fabricated a lever/latch system. Note the small steel plate mounted to the gate.
I drilled a couple of holes in the tall riser/support to mount the lever.
I wanted to do something about the cars hitting the stop ramp and the impact into the carriage bolts that held it on.
I removed the foam and noticed a second set of holes that hold the bottom wood spacer on the under side of the track. I put the bolts through the rear of the foam and used a piece of angle to fasten it down into the rear holes to give more cushion to the cars.
Any opinions on the 3M anti-skid tape? Is it too abrasive for the cars?
I was thinking of adding it over the original ramps.
The timer should come this week and I'll have to set up the electronics, and give it all a test run then. After everything is working correctly, I'll start on a couple of cases for the track, gate, starter, and electronic parts.
I'll post that later!
Note I found that instead of 3-M anti skid tape, I used some of the rubberized shelf paper type stuff to use over the worn slow down ramps.
I simply used thumb tacks to hold the strips down to change them out if needed. This stuff works great!
Any issues with the gate dropping too hard and bumping the track?
Warrenton, VA USA