This is an old project that I’ve procrastinated about writing. It’s a racetrack for my son’s Hot Wheels cars. I made it for his birthday party, so kids could race some cars on it.
I first looked up other racetracks that people made. If someone had a really good design, why not copy it?
When I looked at these other designs, I noticed common ideas; board, lane dividers, and something to hold the ramp on an angle. I didn’t like how the “curbs” were consuming too much of the potential racetrack space. So after looking around in the lumber section, I decide to glue narrow dowel rods to the racetrack to create the lanes. I bought a board and 7 dowel rods (2 dowels to keep the cars from falling off, 4 dowels to create 5 lanes, and 1 extra dowel in case one broke).
I placed the cars and dowel rods on the board, this way I could get an idea of how much space was needed for each lane. After I got an average that evenly divided across the whole board, I marked the lanes on the board. Next step table saw.
I adjusted the blade of the table saw so it would only slightly cut into the board. I only wanted my cuts to go deep enough so the dowel would sit in to grove. I ran the cut across some scrap wood first to get an idea out how deep my cut would be and after I was satisfied, carefully ran the board across the saw.
My wife then painted the board grey, so it would look like a road. I then applied Elmer’s glue to the groves and pushed the painted dowels into the groves. I used books to applied pressure on the rods for a few hours.
Afterward, I felt the board looked too plain. I took some stamp ink and ran some cars on the ink and used the wheels to transfer the ink onto the board. After a few passes, it began to look cars had burned rubber on the drag strip. 🙂
In the pictures you will notice the tower, I decided not to talk about it because my kid rarely uses it. We mostly place one side against the couch or another piece of furniture.