Build diary: Making a shelf race track

redlinederby Thursday, 1/22/2015
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So seeing all these wall-shelf tracks is really starting to sway how I think about building a new track for myself. 

My original plan was to build a modular track in 4-foot sections that can be variable length and allow for varying types of hills. So it could be a 4-foot hill with 20-feet of straight, or a 10-foot hill with a 4-foot straight...who knows, basically trying to get multiple tracks out of one build.

But now I'm wondering if I should just build on the wall and go with that? The look sharp, convenient and seemingly easy to build. Plus it's pretty much permanent that wouldn't need setup/struck every time I want to race.

I know I'm kind of thinking out loud and not sure what my real question is, but if anyone has any thoughts, opinions and experience one way or the other - please share.


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No reason a wall track can't be modular, or have different drop heights...could use dowels or pegs on the drop side.. 1 ft, 2ft. 4ft... whatever. Make sense?

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72_Chevy_C10 1/22/15

Hey Brian,

The 'shelf style' tracks are pretty cool...up off the floor and they look cool. I have mine running on counter tops that I had set up in my basement...with the counters, there is plenty of room on either side of the track to stage the cars. Either way, be sure to support the shelf well enough so that you don't get any droop in the shelf.

And, personally, I like Drag Tracks quite a bit. The cars go down the track without is very rare to have a car come off the track!

My 2 cents

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model40fan 1/22/15

Like the wall track...

  if you have a reverse incline at the finish, and a gentle stopper, the cars will roll back to the low point... less walking...

  DRAG TRACKS sections are hard plastic and are slightly wider at the top [male] of each track section than the lower end [female] this keeps the cars from hanging up at the seams... the DT is good stuff even if you only use it as the runout... go brian go !

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Stroller 1/23/15

My track is usually set up on identical folding tables.   No room at my house for a wall mounted track.... :(

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Rusty 1/25/15

But now I'm wondering if I should just build on the wall and go with that?

I like the wall tracks if you have the room..They are out of the way but always ready to race.One does not feel like they have to put away their toys ,so to speak ,after every race..Plus you have the advantage of not having to get down on the floor to retrieve your cars.That being said though,any type track is great as long as your having fun with it..


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redlinederby 1/27/15
Site manager

I think I've decided on a wall track. Like TE said, they can still be designed to be somewhat modular and offer varying styles and I just love that it's a permanent part of the room that can be used at any time without any setup.

Another important part is that the idea got a blessing from The Wife. She actually thought a shelf track would be less in the way than a portable track. So I need to start building before she changes her mind...

And unless I'm really under-thinking how to build it, it's just a series of shelves, right? Some brackets, some boards and screws. Just make sure they're all level and you're good to go. Or am I missing some hidden complexities? 

The plan in my head right now is to have the hill be a hinged set of boards that can be removed - not unlike my old fantasy league track. That way I can have varying hill lengths by just using different length boards.

I'm thinking a 1x10" board should suffice, probably 6-foot lengths - my wall is a little over 20-feet long.  

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72_Chevy_C10 1/27/15

Sounds good, Brian!  Run a 10" wide shelf the length of the room and put your track on's really nice having tge track off the floor!

Good luck with it!

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model40fan 1/27/15

if you use jammer cases to set the pairings, make the shelf so it is able to hold a staging, winners and losers case... just a thought...

  • Good idea — redlinederby
  • I like that idea Smitty! Maybe screw them to the wall. Just space the bottom off the wall a little to keep them from falling out. — Dadvball
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CrzyTrkrDude 1/28/15

How 'bout covering a wall with peg board? Feel like changing something week to week, race to race.... Just move the long arm pegs around.  After all... Isn't that where we find our projects??  Lol

  • you could bend the long arn pegs to fine tune to get level... — model40fan
  • yep! costly perhaps but the pegs would look cool filled with a collection, or future racers. even put a photbooth/box above the finish line — CrzyTrkrDude
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Nightstalker 1/29/15

Don't forget to leave enough room for a return lane. Saves steps when racing with 2 people.

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redlinederby 1/31/15
Site manager

Well, after some more accurate measuring, it looks like my shelf track will be somewhere around 18-feet. A lot shorter than I had hoped but it'll do. Plus it'll be quick to install so I can get racing again!

I'm thinking a 4-foot downhill leaving 13-feet or so for the straight into the finish. 3-feet off the ground seems right too. Not a lot of bending but low enough to allow for a decent drop height. If time and money allow, I might try to make a longer track this summer. I have the space for a long track, just not the wall length. I'll try to take some photos as I build and share. 

Thanks for all the suggestions and feedback. I'm pretty excited for this build. I've missed racing and have been out of it for far too long. This track is the kick in the pants I need.

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redlinederby 2/5/15
Site manager

Believe it or not, every now and then I do make progress on some projects...

Next steps are some trimming and painting, then making a the hill. Then more tweaking and it'll be time for track. Then we feast, then we dance, then we race!

  • let me know if you need a sloppy transfer — model40fan

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