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Making Tracks

This is a short overview how we build our tracks. We have already built a couple of tracks: 2 tracks by Kettenkraxler for the Graupner in 1:12, 3 Pistenking tracks in 1:12, 3 tracks in scale 1:8, 1 glued track in 1:16, and one track in 1:32. These widgets have been very useful for this task. There are for sure other methods, too. You have to figure out for yourself what works best for you.

A detailed report on how we built the 1:32 tracks can be found here.

The picture above shows the tracks for the PB145D in 1:8, we called it the “Ibex”-Track, in reference to the heraldic animal of the Kleinwalsertal, and also due to the outstanding climbing abilities.

For the 70 cleats (we calculated 64 for each track, but of course you make some spares) in total 1260 bolts were needed, which means drilling 2520 holes, punching 1278 holes into the belts and tapping 1260 M2 threads. 

Drilling of the counter-panels:

Drilling of the cleats: 

Here it is important to press each cleat well into the widget to achieve a uniform hole position.

This gives a better view of the widget:

Each drilling position can be very precisely defined with a cross table. Once done, a hole is drilled into all cleats of one track at this position. Then move over to the next hole, and again drill all cleats. Of course this can be done without a cross table, which we did for our first tracks. But it makes the job much easier.

Tapping the threads with a power drill. Always apply a small droplet of cutting oil:

For punching the belts we manufactured a template on a CNC milling machine. This enables fast and precise punching. 

The distance of the cleats = 14.65 mm (Graupner standard). 

Of course you may punch by eyeball using markings on the belts, but this takes much longer and is not as precise in the end.

For mounting the cleats to the belts another widget is used: a piece of wood with slots to hold the cleats in the correct position. On one end there is a small stop block. We mount 6 cleats each and then move forward to the next set.

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