If you only need to construct a flat, yet challenging 3, 4, or 6-lane road course, the next page shows a sample sketch of a relatively easy design that can be constructed on a flat surface. Start by constructing a durable platform of 2" x 4"s. The racing surface can be routed directly onto the table "top" but you must be careful where you locate the counter-sunk (we recommend sheet rock screws) fasteners so none fall where the slots would be located. This design has no banks…any over-and-under "bridges…just a fun design you have to drive by using the entire range of the controller. There is also another page which has numerous designs that can be built with any number of lanes.
The vast majority of commercial layouts typically have 8 lanes although we’ve seen a few tracks with 9, 10 and even up to 12 lanes. We feel any more than 8 lanes can be self-defeating due to the difficulty marshalling the track during races. All the layouts or anything you can dream up yourself can be built by any of the commercial builders. Should you decide you ultimately need a professional, there is a list of them on page 16. There are also other builders in the U.S. and we have some of their phone numbers.
The design you select, and the overall size will depend upon how much room you have available and how much money you want to spend. Commercial builders charge anywhere from $30-per-running-foot (8 lanes) for a "wood-ready-you-finish" layout up to $65-per-running-foot (8 lanes) for a "turn-key" completely finished layout. Naturally, if you know what you’re doing; have all the proper tools; and lots of free time and patience, you can build your own considerably cheaper - especially if you do not have to factor the cost of your time in the final price.
Small club-type tracks that do not get mega-usage can also be cheaper if you use copper tape for the electrical contacts rather than stranded braid. Copper tape is available from Parma International, Inc. in North Royalton, Ohio. Parma also has an excellent booklet on track construction. You can obtain these by calling them direct or having a local retail raceway order for you through their distributor. Copper tape is much cheaper and easier to use than stranded braid. Be advised that braid has an extended life. Braid is definitely better if you plan to keep and use the track layout for a long period of time with a lot of usage. Braid also requires a separate routing operation.