Building a dirt track for remote controlled, off-road vehicles is a great use for unused indoor spaces. Although R/C cars are very rugged, many do not react well to rain and snow. When darkness comes, outdoor racing is difficult too. An indoor track, under lights and out of the elements, can ensure a fun time all year round. Here are directions for creating a track.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Indoor space at least 9 feet wide by 18 feet in length
- 1 ton of rock-free, hard dirt
- 40 bags of quick dry cement
- 150 feet of plastic corrugated, flexible pipe 4 inches in diameter
- Large scissors
- 8 8-by-2 inch planks of wood 9 feet in length
- 6 2-by-4 inch planks of wood 5 feet in length
- Power drill
- 12 ½-inch bolts, over 7 inches long with self tightening nut
- 40 cement anchor bolts, 4-inches in length
Mix 20 bags of quick dry cement with the 1 ton of dirt using the wheel barrow and shovel to mix. Unload dirt in the centre of where you plan to build the indoor track. Using shovels, spread out the dirt until you cover the 9 foot by 18 foot track area. Add some water to the dirt until it will hold a form (such as a handprint.) The cement and water will help the dirt become extra hard, but not completely solid.
Choose either 9-foot side of the track to build your driver's observation elevation. This is the high section that drivers will stand on while driving their cars. Use dirt to make a 2-foot high hill that extends the 9-foot width of the track. Make the width of the observation section 3 feet and pack the dirt down as hard as possible. Level the top of the mound then dig out a portion of the observation section making a 2-foot by 7-foot trench 24 inches deep. Do not stop until you feel the building's floor surface. The trench will later be filled with cement to form a platform for the observation section.
Spread the remainder of the dirt evenly over the track surface. Using the shovel, begin making the track by sliding the shovel over the area where RC cars will be driven. The actual road surface of the track should be 2 to 3 feet wide.
Pile dirt higher on portions of the track where you would like to make jumps. Be sure to have at least 3 feet of flat, straight track for a landing area or a landing ramp built to similar specifications to the opposite ramp. Ramps should not exceed a 30-degree angle.
Add extra dirt at the outside of corners to create a slight embankment. This will aid maintaining high speeds throughout the corner.
Place the corrugated hose on the borders of track's road surface, cutting where necessary with the large scissors. Add loose dirt to the inside of the hose and bury it so half of the hose is exposed. This creates a barrier and defines the lines of the racing surface.
Mix 20 bags of cement and, using the wheel barrow and shovel, pour the cement into the observation section. When dry, this section should be a solid cement block.
Wait until the consistency of the observation section's cement is peanut-butter like in consistency. Place one of the 2-by-4 inch, 5-foot planks at each corner. Place the remaining 2-by-4 inch, 5-foot planks at the 3 ½-foot midpoints between the two planks located at the corners on each side. These are the posts for the railings of the observation section.
Apply water once the surface of the track is to your liking. Keep adding water until the entire dirt area is soaked. Wait until the largest, thickest sections of the track are dry before continuing construction.
Add an 8-by-2 inch plank of wood to the top/front of the observation section's posts that face the track. Center the plank on the centre post. Add a second 8-by-2 inch plank on the opposite side of the posts, drill through the planks and the 2-by-4 inch posts, add a bolt to each hole and tighten the nut, effectively sandwiching the posts between the two, larger planks. Repeat the same process on the bottom of the front railing. Repeat both steps on the three posts facing away from the track. This completes the observation section.
Tips and warnings
- Dimensions can be modified to fit the space you have available for the track.
- Water the track occasionally to prevent cracking.
- Make sure the room has proper ventilation.
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