Construction Crib Notes

Discussions on race planning, preparations and how to run a "fair" and fun race.
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Randy and Son
Master Pine Head
Master Pine Head
Posts: 272
Joined: Sat Mar 03, 2007 9:02 pm
Location: Elkhorn, Nebraska

Construction Crib Notes

Post by Randy and Son » Sun Mar 15, 2009 7:36 pm

Here is a one page handout we gave out this year to try to help out people who couldn't make it to the Derby workshop. Actually it got a few people to come who wouldn't otherwise have cared. They read the information and realized there was more they could do than just leave things to chance. Its nothing that veterans on DT don't already know, but it is help for the masses.


(It looks a lot nicer as a Word document. If anyone decides sometime you want a copy I can email one.)


Keys to a successful Pinewood Derby car.

Axle preparation
Wheel preparation.
Proper weight
Proper alignment
Adequate lubrication
Time spent building it together

Do …..

…. Follow the rules.
…. Be creative.
…. Work as a team. (More small fingerprints than large ones is always good.)
…. If you need them, buy extra nails and wheels from the Scout store. Straight nails
work better than bent.
…. Remove ridges and burrs from nail head and shaft with a small triangle file. (Don’t
gouge the nail shaft.)
…. Polish nails with several different fine grades of wet emery paper. (for example, 600,
800, 1000, and polishing compound. Or try your own recipe.)
…. Lightly sand wheel treads just until the mold mark feels smooth. (Use a drill to
spin the wheels so you don’t sand a flat spot into the wheel. Spin them slowly being careful not to melt them either.)
…. Polish the wheel bores (whitening toothpaste and a pipe cleaner or Q-tip shaft)
…. Rinse and clean wheels and axles very well (after polishing).
…. Place most of the added weight toward the rear.
…. Align all 4 wheels so the car rolls straight. (Straight path is shorter than a wavy one.)
Use a board propped up 1 inch on one end with a straight line down the middle and slow roll the car down the board.
…. Lube well and often with a dry lubricant such as graphite. Work it in.
…. Arrive at registration slightly underweight. Easier to add weight than to remove it.
…. Adjust the final weight to the 5 ounce maximum.
…. Enjoy the race and the time spent building together.

Do NOT …..

…. Buy an ebay car or speed wheels or speed axles.
(Ask for help or advice or come to the workshop.)
…. Use lacquer over enamel paint.
The lacquer will soften and wrinkle the enamel.
…. Overwork the wheel bores or they will wobble and slow the car.
…. Use liquid lubes. They are against the rules and some kinds can soften the wheels.
…. Play with the car until after the race. Cement and carpet will both do bad things to a
fast car.

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