But the first assembly should be done slow and methodical. Have PLENTY of working room, keep the distractions down, don't get in a hurry. The folks at Best are known to be a great help, so don't force something...call and ask first. Don't over-tighten anything.
Have a plan on how/where to store the track afterwards. If you haven't thought about making a crate, I highly suggest it.
We have just finished putting together our new 42' Besttrack and there were a few things that slowed us up. Remember to slide enough bolts into the channels for the legs, the start gate handle, and the start gate sensor for the timer if you have one. We made the mistake of assembling the track fully, then having to undo the connector angles on the start and finish sections to slide in the bolts for the finish line and start sensor. Read everything (for track and timer) several times to make sure that you have the order of assembly down. It will cut down on going back and dis-assembling many of the things you have already assembled.
Also, I have a cordless screwdriver with a socket set (think NASCAR lug wrench). This was a lifesaver, I couldn't imagine using an open-ended wrench to tighten over 200 nuts and bolts on this track!
One other thing. We assembled the sections upside down on saw horses and squared them up carefully, then flipped them over and slid them together. This was much easier on my back than doing it on the floor. It was tough to get them all the way together at first, but once you get them in, its easier the next time.
The last thing I can think of is that when we tighten the start gate nuts all the way, the start gate binds against the track and doesn't open fully. For now we loosened the nuts to get it to work, but I am thinking that we may need washers under the start gate hinge to space it away from the track and allow it to work freely. I will let you know if this works. All in all, we are very pleased so far. Testing will commence after Christmas. Hope this helps.
Leave the cross braces loose until connected with the nect section, and the tighten both end of the joint.
Put the pins in the section that it "Uphill" (towards the start gate) - EVEN the bottom of the curve. I recommend the use of the pins i the actual lane guides.
Give the "unpinned ends" a very slight taper on the vertical edge of the guide. This will result in a SLIGHT indent at the joint which will prevent a rail-rider from catching the edge of the next piece at the joint.
The sequence of assembly is normally, curved section first, then the flat sections, then the start section.
As to the case, since you are starting fresh - consider more in the design than just 'holding' the track:
Will it be on wheels or casters, how/where will it be stored and then transported. What good heavy duty handle design for a 2 or 4 person lift. Will the box be used on-site, to maybe hold cars, act as a desk, trophy showcase, etc. Consider smaller compartments inside to hold instructions (to your next pinewood derby chairman), small parts, screws, and spare materials. Crates tend to get some rough treatmens being loaded/unloaded, so maybe best to leave timer in it own case...but cables, power supplies, projector stands, etc...Assuming it will only need some allen wrenches for future assembly, put extra of those in the case in their own 'slots' or compartments.
Does it need to be two crates, to make more managable and lighter weight? Can they be stacked when stored?
Hinge lid designs might be a bad idea, too many scout fingers waiting for that heavy lid to come down.
Back to the track itself - AFTER final assembly and you have learned all there is to know - label the joints and parts with a quality pen or similar. A to A, B to B, etc. Make it idiot-proof, as a challenge to all future idiots who try to put it together.
- Stan Pope
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Are you talking about a power driver for tightening nuts and bolts? If so, you are absolutely right!dna1990 wrote:When using drill on aluminum, it is best to have one with a clutch setting...will help prevent something from stripping out.
I've tried to separate two sections of Piantedosi track that some wag with a power driver seems to have cut new threads in the T-nut or the bolt. (He may even have poured some threadlock in there, too, from the feel of it.) Even with a clutch, I'd not use the power driver to start the screw or nut ... do that by hand!
Rest of your comments ... BRAVO!! All good stuff!
"If it's not for the boys, it's for the birds!"
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We recommend assembling our track per the instructions in our assembly manual. We do appreciate the suggestions that are given by our customers, and if you have any questions regarding your track or timer, we are available to help you.Mr. Slick wrote:Put the pins in the section that it "Uphill" (towards the start gate) - EVEN the bottom of the curve.
I am responding to the quote above because I want to emphasize that it is important that the dowel pins are tapped into the ends of all lane sections that face towards the finish line as explained in the assembly manual. (Maybe Mr. Slick & I are saying the same thing.) So they would go into the bottom end of the start section, the bottom end of the curve, etc. Our experience over the years has shown that this works best.
Have fun at your race!
BestTrack Pinewood Derby Tracks
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The reason being that the pins cause the track to expand very slightly and you don't want the guide rail to "bump out" causing a rough spot for rail riders. This is also the reason that you want to use the file to give a very slight taper in on the leading edge of the guide rail.