Start gates

RoadRunnerRacewayFan Tuesday, 11/17/2020

Hey guys, I have created a homemade start gate out of hot glue and it works pretty well but I was wondering if any of you have made your own homemade start gates and if they worked well or not. 

I used playdough for my molding material (hot glue doesn't stick to playdough) and pressed two hot wheels lanes into it to make my mold. I had to widen the lines in the playdough so that the hot glue could fit into them. I then filled the entire mold with hot glue ( which takes a long time and your fingers hurt afterward) and put down cardboard to make the ground smooth under the cars. Then I mounted the start gate on pieces of coroplast to make it slanted for better starts. I cut our a section of all three walls and inserted a piece of coroplast that i pull up to start the races.


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SpyDude 11/17/20

Interesting way to do the gate. Looks good.

Mine is a dowel drop down start gate. 

It works good enough for me!  The downside is that the cars must have a flat front in the middle to rest on the round dowel.  Not a big deal if you only race realistic cars with front bumpers.  It could be an issue if you have crazy fantasy cars or gaslands vehicles with pointy spikes or weapons that stick out in front. 

  • I like your ‘remote’ option! — SpyDude
  • Yes! I use some high tech stuff! Ha! — G4DiecastRacing
  • Ah that support piece of wood with the nail pivots out when you pull, releasing the drop. Nice! — redlinederby
  • Yes, this is a very common Pinewood Derby style start gate. I still have my two lane track and starting gate I built about 10 years ago! — G4DiecastRacing

That's an amazing idea! I never would have thought of it. Cutting up my tracks never crossed my mind so seeing this gave me an idea for a smoother start gate then the Hot Glue start gate. I cut little sections our of some high walled orange track i had and then hot glued them together. Works much better now. I'm a little sad that I'm having to put my Hot glue start gate away just because it took so much work but thanks to you G4DiecastRacing i have a much better start gate that can hold up to ten cars.

  • Nice work! That's a smart way to modify your track for a start gate! Extra bonus that you can race a bunch of cars at once! Great job! :D — G4DiecastRacing
  • Thanks Man :) — RoadRunnerRacewayFan
  • Who said you had to put it away? Use it for a short test track. — SpyDude
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redlinederby 11/18/20
Site manager

You can always browse the archive for Starting Gates and see the things people have shared recently and in the past.

I just recently found my first homemade start gate. Made from scraps of wood and cardboard. It wasn't much to look at but served me well for years.

Although one of my favorite start gate designs over the years is this one made out of a spatula. 

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Peter_Bee 11/18/20

I just copied the Diecast 64 design-3 pieces of wood, a hinge, a few screws and a piece of stiff plastic (I used a Dollar tree clipboard on my original one). You can decorate as little or as much as you want.

  • Sometimes simple and clean is the best way to go. Nice gate. — SpyDude
  • I like this style of a homemade gate too. Especially because you can rig up a string for a "remote" start and it resets itself. — G4DiecastRacing
  • Yeah G4, if you weight the front gate properly it returns on it's own and holds the cars in place. I used elastics and magnets to hold the door shut also. As for the remote start a piece of string works just dandy. — Peter_Bee
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Chaos_Canyon 11/18/20

I have made all my start gates. I still need to edit together the video of it but will post it here when I do. It's a servo operated gate that can be reset remotely as well. The pins drop down out of the way and i haven't had any issues with it other than whent he batteries get low.

  • Thanks for the feedback :) — RoadRunnerRacewayFan
  • I saw your video with the tipping bridge start. Very clever and cool looking! But I understand some cars might bounce on the drop, so it's not an even start for everyone. — G4DiecastRacing
  • That was the first one I played with. I made a remote mechanical version of the one I use now, but it was annoying to manually reset it every time so the latest version is triggered and reset with a servo but is still pretty low tech to make — Chaos_Canyon
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