Getting more Scout Races to support oil as a legal lubricant

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Vitamin K
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Getting more Scout Races to support oil as a legal lubricant

Post by Vitamin K » Tue Aug 29, 2017 8:52 am

Hey folks,

So I'm interested to know: Those of you who run races at the Pack/District/Council level: How much resistance do you see in recent years towards the adoption of rules that permit oil as a legal lubricant?

Is there momentum building to make oil more acceptable, or does it seem that "only graphite" is still the law of the Pinewood Derby land in most places?

I used to be opposed to oil, until I learned more about it. I am wondering if a lack of education about oil lubes is contributing to their dis-use in Derbyland.

I wonder if there would be some worthwhile venues to try to clear up some of the misunderstandings. Maybe a Boys' Life article submission (or perhaps to the Scouting magazine)? What other channels exist for communicating with the Scout world at large?



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Re: Getting more Scout Races to support oil as a legal lubricant

Post by Speedster » Tue Aug 29, 2017 12:25 pm

None of the 6 Districts in our Erie Council allow oil. I'm going to guess at scout level most people agree there is no reason for oil. Graphite is cheap. A bottle of Krytox from Maximum Velocity, plus shipping, is $23.70. Oil cars require grooved axles so rules would need to be changed and most people wouldn't groove their axles anyway. The only way I could ever see oil becoming popular is if the Boy Scouts of America banned graphite as a health hazard.
Actually, if rules allowed graphite plus oil, that might make oil more popular also. I surely would like to race an oil car against a graphite car. By Golly, I'd buy a couple of those Big Bottles of graphite from Hodges Hobby House and give it to anyone who wanted it. OK, now I'm kidding. I'd be happy to share my Krytox.



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Re: Getting more Scout Races to support oil as a legal lubricant

Post by Vitamin K » Tue Aug 29, 2017 2:06 pm

Speedster wrote:
Tue Aug 29, 2017 12:25 pm
None of the 6 Districts in our Erie Council allow oil. I'm going to guess at scout level most people agree there is no reason for oil. Graphite is cheap. A bottle of Krytox from Maximum Velocity, plus shipping, is $23.70. Oil cars require grooved axles so rules would need to be changed and most people wouldn't groove their axles anyway. The only way I could ever see oil becoming popular is if the Boy Scouts of America banned graphite as a health hazard.
Actually, if rules allowed graphite plus oil, that might make oil more popular also. I surely would like to race an oil car against a graphite car. By Golly, I'd buy a couple of those Big Bottles of graphite from Hodges Hobby House and give it to anyone who wanted it. OK, now I'm kidding. I'd be happy to share my Krytox.
Thanks for your thoughts, Bill! I think you may have a few misconceptions, though.

- Oil cars don't require grooved axles. I suspect that they see speed gains from them, but they definitely don't need them. For what it's worth, I don't understand why grooved axles are disallowed. Lightninboy had a how-to somewhere on how he grooved a stainless steel axle with a file, a jig and a dremel.

- I don't ever advocate banning graphite. I've never seen an oil-allowable race that did. Racers should always be allowed to run graphite if they want.

- I'm not actually sure that graphite is actually cheaper than oil when it comes to the number of cars you can lubricate with one bottle of oil, vs the number of cars you can lubricate with a tube of good quality graphite. I may be wrong. That said, I could easily lubricate all of the cars in my son's old pack with a single bottle of oil from Max-V.

What if Krytox were available more cheaply? Maybe something like, 10 bucks a bottle?



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Re: Getting more Scout Races to support oil as a legal lubricant

Post by Darin McGrew » Tue Aug 29, 2017 10:16 pm

I don't know about "most places", but we've never restricted lubricants, as long as it isn't applied excessively so that it causes a mess. But about 10 years ago, we switched from providing graphite at our workshops to providing Krytox at our workshops. But the motivation was more to eliminate the graphite mess than to improve the cars' performance.



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Re: Getting more Scout Races to support oil as a legal lubricant

Post by Vitamin K » Tue Aug 29, 2017 10:40 pm

Darin McGrew wrote:
Tue Aug 29, 2017 10:16 pm
I don't know about "most places", but we've never restricted lubricants, as long as it isn't applied excessively so that it causes a mess. But about 10 years ago, we switched from providing graphite at our workshops to providing Krytox at our workshops. But the motivation was more to eliminate the graphite mess than to improve the cars' performance.
Maybe it's more of a BSA thing, but race rules that I come across very often have "graphite lubricant only" baked into them.



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