ModelMotorist Logo
ModelMotorist left menu
Index Page
Latest changes to ModelMotorist
Register on ModelMotorist
Login to ModelMotorist
Encyclopedias of HO Terminology
Free Stuff
Clean Track
Clean Track
Wiring Diagrams
Custom Wiring
Warnings
Identification on ModelMotorist
Identification of Chassis on ModelMotorist
Identification of Track Connection on ModelMotorist
Identification of Track Controllers on ModelMotorist
Identification of Track Sections on ModelMotorist
Custom Adapters for HO Scale Slot Systems

H.O. Scale Slot Track Custom Adapter Tutorial

    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. Adhesive. Tracks are made of a wide variety of plastics, so the best glue will depend on which brands you use.
  4. Sandpaper.

    2 pieces of 9" straight tracks 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.   Other circle portions can be used to make custom curve portions.   Remember to always make adapters in pairs.
    Important notice.     Make sure you leave enough rail tabs (bottom side of rail) to keep the rails in place.

HO Slot Car Custom Track Adapters image 1
Top

_____ 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.

HO Slot Car Custom Track Adapters image 2
Top

_____ Step II _____

Mark Tracks for Zero Points.

    An important 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.   Marchon 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.

HO Slot Car Custom Track Adapters image 3
Top

_____ 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.

HO Slot Car Custom Track Adapters image 4

    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.

HO Slot Car Custom Track Adapters image 5
Top

_____ 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.

HO Slot Car Custom Track Adapters image 6
Top

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

HO Slot Car Custom Track Adapters image 7
Top

    Use the wider section of track as a spacer.

HO Slot Car Custom Track Adapters image 8
Top

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

HO Slot Car Custom Track Adapters image 9
Top

    Mark square and cut a blade guide slot.

HO Slot Car Custom Track Adapters image 10
Top

_____ 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.   While the rails are still supported file, sand, or grind small bevels on the end of the rails that will be exposed to make a smoother connection and save pick up shoe wear.

HO Slot Car Custom Track Adapters image 11
Top

_____ 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.

HO Slot Car Custom Track Adapters image 12
Top

_____ 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.

HO Slot Car Custom Track Adapters image 13
Top

_____ 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.

HO Slot Car Custom Track Adapters image 14
Top

_____ 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.

HO Slot Car Custom Track Adapters image 15
Top

_____ 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 the pockets from the back side with glue and allow to dry.
      When glue is dry, remove tape.

HO Slot Car Custom Track Adapters image 16
Top

_____ 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.   A card stock finger nail file works pretty good for finishing the slot walls.   Some times trimming is needed in the slot with an X-Acto knife.   Sand the road surface to remove any glue mounds.

HO Slot Car Custom Track Adapters image 17
Top

_____ Step XII _____

Paint the Track.

    For a finished look, paint the track to help hide the seam.   A good trick for painting track is to tape a sheet of wax paper to a flat counter.   Smear a thin coat of petroleum jelly, grease, or butter on the wax paper.   Place track face down and slide in a figure eight pattern until the rails are coated almost to the track surface.   Spray paint the track to the desired color.   After paint dries wipe of the rails.

HO Slot Car Custom Track Adapters image 18
Top

Hope this was helpful to you.

ModelMotorist right menu

Digital download site for 'HO Scale Slot Car Track Layouts 123' Book Series.

Member Only Pages

J Squared Inc original HO slot car products available at.

Member Only Pages

Member Only Pages
ModelMotorist footer
J Squared Inc. Logo J Squared Inc. Address About J Squared Inc.
Contact J Squared Inc.
J Squared Inc. Copyright