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Subject: My custom Pitch Car track pieces... rss

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Brian Geringer
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So I have a bunch of Pitch Car and always wanted to make my own pieces. I hemmed and hawed for a long time about it but temptation finally gave in and I had to give it a try.

The first thing I had to buy was a scroll saw. A scroll saw is like a band saw but more useful for delicate work such as making pitch car track. It is also great for making holes in things or crazy interior designs. Anyway... I popped over to Amazon and picked up a highly recommended saw. This is more of the professional quality model, not an introductory model.



The next thing I needed were spiral blades. See, with a regular straight blade the teeth only face in one direction. Every time you have to go in another direction you need to rotate your piece around to match-up to the teeth. With a spiral blade, however, the teeth face in all 360 directions so you only need to move the piece in a different direction rotating not required.

I recommend these (expensive but worth it!)


Now that the tools were in place it was time to grab some 1/4" sturdy plywood and a sander and get to work.

My first track piece was a hot mess but that is okay! Research. I found some custom patterns in the file section of the BGG Pitch Car forum and started with those. As I found out, the templates I printed have connector pieces that do not exactly line up with pitch car track. That was no problem as I have a sander and could fix it. After cutting out the piece and getting it to fit to normal track I realized that there is a 16th of an inch difference between the plywood and pitch car track. I sanded both the top and bottom until I was satisfied my new piece would fit. Unfortunately, sanding the top of the piece netted ugly results after painting and clear coating it. I also put on too many layers of paint which exasperated things. Anyway see for your self:


"Squish"


It plays well but looks poor. This is an easy piece to make and I am planning to make a few more of them anyway so no big deal.

After my first abomination, I got a lot better and the pieces started to fly out. I found that 2 coats of flat black and 2 coats of clear coat work best. I added "Pitch Car Red" to the insides of circles and dowels to tie in the theme of the track and sanded less and less and just use playing cards to level everything out. There are always problems (I am not master wood worker!!) with each piece I make. Perhaps the connectors are too big or small, or the wood is warped, or I mess up the red paint, or etc. But, I think the rest of the pieces I have finished have turned out pretty well. I hope you agree!

In order of their creation...

"Black Hole"


"Swiss Cheese"


"Plinko"


I have at least 3 more pieces in the process of being made. I'll show them off when I get them done, I promise.

So, thoughts, feelings, insults, ideas for other pieces you'd like to see!?

Thanks!

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Mark Nicosia
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Very cool.
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Bryan Watson
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The Plinko track piece would add some interesting twists for sure!
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Brian Geringer
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nastywarnob wrote:
The Plinko track piece would add some interesting twists for sure!


Your car NEVER bounces the way you want it to!! Its so amusing watching people struggle with it but a little less fun when you try to tackle it. No matter what, Plinko seems to garner the most laughs from all involved. It is just so....... yeah. Good times.

So far the record is 4 flicks to get through it. Heh!
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Brian Geringer
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Inaugural track my son built using all finished custom pitch car pieces.

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Kevin Riddle

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very cool, please post more pics when you make more!
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Patrick G.
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Would you make these for sale?
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William Hoyt
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Very nice work!

Plinko looks terribly, almost frustratingly, tight.

~Will
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Kevin Brown
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Scroll saw? Check!
Pitch Car? Check!

The awesomeness of these track bits are giving me bad thoughts...
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Brian Geringer
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Lurkfish wrote:
Scroll saw? Check!
Pitch Car? Check!

The awesomeness of these track bits are giving me bad thoughts...


If you come up with anything different post it so we can share ideas!

Draw the outline of some track on 1/4" plywood and cut on/outside of the line.
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Brian Geringer
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Floydski wrote:

Very nice work!

Plinko looks terribly, almost frustratingly, tight.

~Will


It is, but... it isn't. If my 5 and 7 year old's can manage it then I give it a pass. We all agree its the best new piece. Just go slow and steady and be ready for the unexpected!
 
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Brian Geringer
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corkysru wrote:
Would you make these for sale?


I'm a little afraid to make them for sale. They aren't as good as they look, honestly. The circles are not perfectly round, the connectors are not perfect fits, pegs aren't perfectly straight, plywood is often slightly warped, they slightly differ from pitch car track height (1/16th of an inch), and I have no way to rout grooves for borders (short of gluing something like a square dowel to the to the track...)

The track play fantastically if you overlook a lot of that and use playing cards to level everything. But, not something I'd feel comfortable to sell.

I am flattered, though. Truly.

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Kevin Riddle

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very humble

you should give yourself more credit, seriously, they look awesome to me

and it should have character!
you made them!!!
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Brian Geringer
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I made this for my boys. Not that it is some compelling mind boggling challenge, but because they thought it was "COOL!" and "AWESOME!" It is a flavor piece, not a challenge piece.

"Shark Bite"
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Kevin Riddle

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I think that one is my favorite so far!

there was another post a while back with cstom pieces as well that might be inspiration

https://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/976601/custom-pieces-i-...

https://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/1084445/more-custom-pie...
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Brian Geringer
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Thanks for the links. I saw one of those before (a bit of my inspiration for this) but the other was new to me.

I want to make a salt flats so I E-Mailed the creator and hope he'll get back to me!! Did he really use salt? And if so, how? (Can you dye salt red? EDIT Yes you can.)

It was fun doing the blood splatters. You can learn how to do anything on YouTube.

I'll have my next piece done tomorrow.
 
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Brian Geringer
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Im pretty happy with the way this came out. 2 track long piece.



became...

"Trench"
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Brian Geringer
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I really want to move away from plywood. It is really a pain with how it is always a bit warped causing leveling issues between pieces. Perhaps a more flexible material would be better? I need to bring the calipers to Home Depot and see what I can come up with.
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Stephen Smith
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PonSquared wrote:
I really want to move away from plywood. It is really a pain with how it is always a bit warped causing leveling issues between pieces. Perhaps a more flexible material would be better? I need to bring the calipers to Home Depot and see what I can come up with.

Did you consider MDF?
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Brian Geringer
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Originally I was thinking the rigidity of plywood would be best. Now that I am dealing with the natural warping of plywood sheets I am willing to look at something more flexible. I am going to HD tomorrow with my calipers and see what matches up the closest to pitch car track and give that a spin on the scroll saw.
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Christian Busch

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I'm looking at making some custom pieces now too thanks your thread and Aaron Hurt's older posts. I've debating on whether to go plywood or MDF. Did you ever try out MDF and if so, how did it work?
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Brian Geringer
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I have yet to try MDF but I know I wont use plywood anymore. The problem with Pitch Car is that the MDF they use is some custom thickness I can not get my HD or Lowes. I have to go with a little too thick or a little too thin. I am going to try to go with the thicker pieces over the thinner.

Let me know how it goes with your attempts. If you find MDF the correct thickness please let me know where you go it. Oh, and WEAR A MASK when you cut the MDF. Your lungs will thank you.
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Stephen Rider
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My first thought RE sanding is that you should only ever sand one side, and make that the bottom. Overall this is very cool. I'm no woodworker, but I like this.

Another idea is to buy a Pitchcar Mini set. BGG forum for Mini has plans for "transition" pieces between the two track sizes. So in regular Pitchcar you have a stretch where the track is really narrow and tight. }:-)>
 
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Stephen Rider
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Thanks for the tip about wearing a mask.

Is it safe to guess that the manufacturer is using the "too thin" type of MDF, and the black "road surface" layer makes up the difference? It's fairly thick, and not the same stuff. I wonder what that is made of. Sprayed on in a factory? Hmmm.
 
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