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Custom Adapters from ModelMotorist.Com

Example of how to make Custom Adapters

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    The following tools and supplies will be needed.

Tools

  1. Hack Saw.
  2. Razor Saw.
  3. X-Acto Knife.
  4. Square.

Supplies

  1. 1 piece 9" Straight track from Brand A.
  2. 1 piece 9" Straight track from Brand B.
  3. Gelatin Epoxy.
  4. Sandpaper.

    2 pieces of 9" straights will make 2 pieces of 6" Custom Adapter tracks.   Curve tracks can be used to make adapters but it takes a little more work.   2 pieces of 9" 1/4 circle will make 2 pieces of 9" 1/8 circle.   It would require 4 pieces of 9" 1/4 circle to make 2 pieces of 9" 1/4 circle Custom Adapters, but you could also make 2 pieces of 9" 1/8 circle Custom Adapters.

Custom Adapter 01

_____ Step I _____

Pick Tracks to Make Custom Adapters From.

    For this example I will use 1 piece of Tomy Aurora AFX 9" straight track, and 1 piece of Marchon MR-1 9" straight track.   For simplicity, Tomy Aurora AFX will be referred to as Brand A and Marchon MR-1 will be referred to as Brand B.

Custom Adapter 02

_____ Step II _____

Mark Tracks for Zero Points.

    The first step is to measure and mark the tracks for cutting.   Each track will get four marks all perpendicular to the direction of travel.   Before making any marks, find the zero point in the track connection.   This is not an issue with earlier tracks since most of them have a flat connection.   Tyco Quik-Clik tracks have a zero point at the center and both edges, as do most snap-together tracks.   Marking the zero point can help you keep track of where the end of the tracks are if need be.

Custom Adapter 03

_____ Step III _____

Mark the Tracks for Cut and Trim Lines.

    From this zero point, scribe four lines across both of the tracks using a square.   From the zero point, scribe a line across the tracks at 3" from each end using a square.   From the zero point, scribe a line across the tracks at 3-1/4" from each end.

Custom Adapter 04

    For clarity, I painted the scribe lines.   The Red lines are the Cut lines.   The Yellow lines are the Trim lines.   The Green lines are from finding zero points.

Custom Adapter 05

_____ Step IV _____

Mitre Box.

    Using a mitre box will make it a lot easier to get a straight, square cut.   If you have a mitre box, skip to step V.   If you don't have a mitre box you can quickly make one with three pieces of wood.   I had a couple of pieces of 2x2 and a piece of 2x10 laying around.

Custom Adapter 06

    First mount one of the 2x2 to the 2x10 using four screws.

Custom Adapter 07

    Use the wider section of track as a spacer.

Custom Adapter 08

    Mount the second 2x2 to the 2x10 using four screws.

Custom Adapter 09

    Mark square and cut a blade guide slot.

Custom Adapter 09

_____ Step V _____

Cut the Tracks.

      Using a hack saw, cut the tracks at the marks that are 3-1/4" from each end of track.   Start from the top and carefully cut all the way through the track.

Custom Adapter 10

_____ Step VI _____

Trim the Tracks.

    The easiest way I have found to trim the tracks is as follows.   Deepen the scribe line with the X-Acto knife.   Using a mitre box and hack saw, cut from the back side of the track until you reach the rails.   DO NOT cut the rails.   Cut parallel to the rails on both sides of all four rails with a hack saw back to the scribe line.   The majority of the plastic will easily crack along the scribe line.   The parts that are still on the rails can be removed with a cut on each side of each rail.

Custom Adapter 11

_____ Step VII _____

Mix the Tracks.

    From this point on I show only one piece each of Brand A and Brand B.   You will need to use all four pieces to make two adapters or they will be of little value.   Notice in this case the slots and rails on Brand A are narrower than on brand B.

Custom Adapter 12

_____ Step VIII _____

Slot the Tracks Pieces.

    If the slots and rails are way out of alignment between Brand A and Brand B, cut four slots in each of the tracks.   These four slots should be cut parallel to the rails on the sides opposite the slot.   These slots needs to be about 1/2" into the ends of the track.   These slots will allow the rails and slot to shift and reduce the amout of misalignment.   Remove plastic from the sides of the rails where the other piece of track's rails will overlap when assembled.   To ensure a smooth connection, it is a good idea to file, sand, or grind a very slight angle on the end of the exposed rails.

Custom Adapter 13

_____ Step IX _____

Assemble Track Pieces.

    With the track surface down on a flat table, slide the pieces together.   Watch for binding of the rails as they enter into the other piece of track.   The X-Acto knife can be used to guide the rails away from binding points.

Custom Adapter 14

_____ Step X _____

Glue the Track Pieces.

    Once the track surfaces and rails are all in proper positions, glue the tracks together.   I always put the glue on the top side of the track first.   After the top side dries I can put more on the back without it drooling through.   Be very careful not to get glue between the rails, because almost all glue will act as an insulator.
    If you want to replace the missing track surface, follow these steps:
  Place electrical tape across the track's surface.
  Cut electrical tape along rail so it will butt up against the rail on the track surface.
  Fill pockets with glue and allow to dry.
  When glue is dry, remove tape.

Custom Adapter 15

_____ Step XI _____

Sand the Glue and Slot.

    Use a piece of folded sandpaper and run it through the slot numerous times until the slot is smooth enough for a car.   Some times trimming is needed in the slot with an X-Acto knife.   Sand the road surface to remove any glue mounds.

Custom Adapter 16

_____ Step XII _____

Paint the Track.

    For a finished look, paint the track to help hide the seam.

Custom Adapter 16

I hope this was helpful.

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