So initially I was thinking just get it built and have some fun then add a DIY timer for testing but I have a hard time doing anything half heartedly. Plus we have a lot of old tracks in this area that are pretty ruff on cars... Maybe someone would want to borrow one that is a bit updated and kinder on car construction. So I've been reading for a few hours this afternoon on past posts on track base materials and decided that I want to use something of slightly better quality than "just get it built".
So these are the materials (in no particular order) I have availble locally at my lowes. I may be able to find something different or have it ordered in at a local yard or two as well, haven't checked yet.
3/4" will likely be to stiff to make the curve. I'm wondering if 1/4 would be ok or would I need to reinforce the curve to make the bend more gradual or will I end up with a kind of slope/curve/slope/curve/flat kind of track? Can you add another layer of a product such as 1/4 underlayment or 1/8 mdf paneling to make the curve more gradual and sturdy and still have it lay flat to put it away?
I like the melamine idea just as a happy medium between just getting it built and having a quality track, and I think it would look great too with finished edges. but its not wide enough to support 4 lanes.
I also thought the masonite bathroom paneling product was nice as well but would need a full frame work, I'd think to maintain straightness and level. Then I also wouldn't be able to lay the curve flat for storage or potential transportation. I can't seem to find that locally at my lowes anyway and I know I can't get it at one local yard, but can check another.
I've see suggestions of formica for which I'm sure I can get some severely discounted 5x12 sheets where I work if and acceptable sub layer was used. but will the curve still curve properly after gluing the laminate to the sublayer?
Using laminate flooring would probably be too stiff by itself and you'd have to put them on a backer board as they are well less than 8' which would be even stiffer. Probably not very cost effective either.
Anyway just a few thoughts going through my head. I'll probably make a trip to lowes on my lunch break tomorrow just to browse around to see what's available.