Mid America Pinewood Derby

Discussions on race planning, preparations and how to run a "fair" and fun race.
Speedster
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Mid America Pinewood Derby

Post by Speedster » Mon Nov 18, 2013 9:34 pm

I'm thinking of a stock class for Adults, graphite only. No work is to be done on the wheels other then polish the hubs. No "light" sanding anywhere. Railriders, OK. Matched numbers on wheels, OK. Stock wheelbase using slots. Slots and axles must be visible. The normal rules in the box and maybe a 2" height limit. The cost for the kit and weight would be small.
The purpose would be to see how fast a builder could make a very basic car go. League racers welcome. Total number of entrants could be limited. Not necessary to award trophies. The racers could check the internet to see their times and what order they finished. Maybe do away with the Adult Graphite Only class. Those cars are very expensive.



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FatSebastian
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Re: Mid America Pinewood Derby

Post by FatSebastian » Mon Nov 18, 2013 9:52 pm

Speedster wrote:I'm thinking of a stock class for Adults, graphite only.
I like the idea.
Speedster wrote:Stock wheelbase using slots.
Must the factory slots be used, or can new slots be cut with the same wheelbase dimensions?
Speedster wrote:Slots and axles must be visible.
BSA kit axles only?



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Re: Mid America Pinewood Derby

Post by Speedster » Tue Nov 19, 2013 6:54 am

I just threw some quick rules out to present the idea. Sure, cut your own slots if you want. If someone wants to spend the money for aftermarket Official BSA axles I think that would be fine also. Straight shaft or grooved would be fine. I wouldn't want to allow a groove cut in an axle head. Our District rules do not allow that. If someone would attempt to cheat somehow in this race I suspect they would have severe mental problems. After the race I'd like to see the first 3 (or 4 or 5) winners tell DT exactly how they built their cars down to the finest detail. This knowledge could then be passed to the scouts. Maybe we could buy pictures of the top 12 fastest cars. The scouts could then see what shape is preferred for speed if speed is their main interest. Some folks will have an advantage because of tools and tracks but most will come from their skill in building the car.

Now, how am I going to cut this block down to an 1/8" with this rusty old hand saw?



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Re: Mid America Pinewood Derby

Post by xanthrum » Tue Nov 19, 2013 12:41 pm

These are some interesting suggestions... very very difficult to tech in with our tearing apart a car... but keep things going - We are already started with our committee meetings in fact we are having the 3rd one coming up this Thursday and we are well underway with things for 2014.


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Mid-America Pinewood Derby
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Speedster
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Re: Mid America Pinewood Derby

Post by Speedster » Tue Nov 19, 2013 2:58 pm

Greg, I think you may have meant your line to read …very very difficult to check in without tearing apart a car… Why would it be hard to check in? A stock axle is fairly easy to recognize. The diameter of a wheel is fairly standard. The wheel can't show any sanding or machining. It should be easy to tell if a bore has been made smaller. If someone is capable of building the diameter of a stock axle where the wheel rides, he's cheating. Let him cheat if it means that much to him. No trophies are being awarded and his bragging rights won't be true and he'll know it. Maybe hang a sign over this particular inspection table -- " Only honest people are allowed in this race". That'll stop the cheater.

I'll have a note with my car in the shipping box. It will read "If this car comes in last in more than 2 races please turn it around and run it backwards". Please don't lose the note. Thank You.
Cheers,
Bill
I may have to change my DT name after this race. I had a good one picked out but Seth Toback got it first.



Speedster
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Re: Mid America Pinewood Derby

Post by Speedster » Fri Nov 29, 2013 7:50 am

A few different thoughts. I'd like to see everyone be required to use Derby Evolution's Justice car body, Item DE010. No changes can be made to the body. No holes drilled in the body. No sanding. No fenders. No paint. No body skins.
It would be interesting to see if at the finish line the cars are 1/2" apart or 3 feet.



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Re: Mid America Pinewood Derby

Post by FatSebastian » Fri Nov 29, 2013 10:53 am

Speedster wrote:No changes can be made to the body. No holes drilled in the body.
:thinking: That body is "designed for drilled axle holes" and thus appears to have no slots. Cars with no wheels would be an interesting competition indeed!
Speedster wrote:It would be interesting to see if at the finish line the cars are 1/2" apart or 3 feet.
I might suggest MaxV's block or wedge as a starting point, depending on what you are trying to accomplish. However, I am not sure of the goals based on the "different thoughts" of late. The originally stated purpose was to see "how fast a builder could make a very basic car go;" the laser-cut Justice does not seem to be a very basic car IMO and the latest proposed restrictions possibly limits the builder in "how fast a builder could make" it go.



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Re: Mid America Pinewood Derby

Post by Speedster » Fri Nov 29, 2013 12:39 pm

Yep, you're right, FS. The racer would have to cut slots in the Justice. I didn't consider that could be a terrible problem for some. I was trying to think of a way where everyone would be trying to get the same thing to go fast. Maybe that isn't a good idea either. Your suggestion of MaxV's pine block brings me back to the block in the kit. If someone wants to cut their own slots they can do it. Shift the wheelbase if they want. Turn them loose and let them design anything they want. Paint it, don't paint it, cover it with a skin, anything they want. Sounds Good.



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Re: Mid America Pinewood Derby

Post by FatSebastian » Fri Nov 29, 2013 6:01 pm

Speedster wrote:I was trying to think of a way where everyone would be trying to get the same thing to go fast. Maybe that isn't a good idea either.
As I said before, I like the idea. IMO, the issue with some laser-cut bodies may be that they restrict racers to a very specific type of weight placed in a very specific arrangement and location. Thus "going fast" largely becomes an exercise of axle prep, lubrication, and alignment, after buying the right kind of weights of course. Granted, these are important for building a championship car but they are also secondary or tertiary considerations to many builders.



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Re: Mid America Pinewood Derby

Post by whodathunkit » Fri Nov 29, 2013 8:09 pm

Speedster wrote: If someone would attempt to cheat somehow in this race I suspect they would have severe mental problems. After the race I'd like to see the first 3 (or 4 or 5) winners tell DT exactly how they built their cars down to the finest detail. This knowledge could then be passed to the scouts. Maybe we could buy pictures of the top 12 fastest cars. The scouts could then see what shape is preferred for speed if speed is their main interest. Some folks will have an advantage because of tools and tracks but most will come from their skill in building the car.

Now, how am I going to cut this block down to an 1/8" with this rusty old hand saw?
http://www.derbytalk.com/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=7370" target="_blank

Speedsteer, I'm likeing what your on to about the polished axles and all.
And I know how no one likes post race tare downs..or being called a cheater.

There is nothing mental about saying I have nothing to hide..
As you know it was my first time to ever race at the Mid America pinewood derby..
I diden't win the Adult open.. I did have fun racing there.

So I'll be the frist for the Mid America... post race.. tare down and share ..
the axles I used for the car I raced there.
Image
Image
Image
BSA stock axles are seen in photos to the left.
Hope this helps Speedsteer... Have a Happy Thanksgiving!
Last edited by whodathunkit on Fri Nov 29, 2013 8:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.


What type of automobile can be spelled the same forwards & backwards?

Speedster
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Re: Mid America Pinewood Derby

Post by Speedster » Fri Nov 29, 2013 8:47 pm

FS, I like your thinking. Would you make up a set of rules ? We can submit them to Gregg and maybe he can make something happen.

I know he's cramped for time so maybe limit the number of cars in the Adult Graphite Division and the Adult Graphite Basic Car Division. He might get more entries that way, but not too many, instead of running just one Division.

Whoda, I didn't mean to imply I wanted anyone to tear down their car. I was simply asking folks to share the info on the build and let us have access to a picture of their car.
I didn't win the Adult Open either. Far from it but I had a Blast competing.



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Re: Mid America Pinewood Derby

Post by whodathunkit » Fri Nov 29, 2013 9:20 pm

Speedster wrote: Whoda, I didn't mean to imply I wanted anyone to tear down their car. I was simply asking folks to share the info on the build and let us have access to a picture of their car.
I didn't win the Adult Open either. Far from it but I had a Blast competing.
No problem with tareing the car down for you to take a look at.. Speedster.

However my dumb mental spelling..want's to call you Speedster..
but types it as Speedsteer..Sorry for that!
Whodathunkit


What type of automobile can be spelled the same forwards & backwards?

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Re: Mid America Pinewood Derby

Post by FatSebastian » Fri Nov 29, 2013 10:51 pm

Speedster wrote:Would you make up a set of rules ?
:thinking: I can propose something as a starting point, along the lines of what you suggested earlier:

Adult Graphite Stock Class -

BSA Rules-in-the Box apply (including dimensions), with the following exceptions and additions:

1. Car shall be a single vehicle propelled by gravity alone and with no moving parts except wheels.
2. Body: material shall be at least 50% pine wood by volume, excluding metallic ballast (or put your own percentage here).
3. Wheels: The body shall roll on unmodified Maximum Velocity!® MV Precision Wheels turning on axles fasten in parallel wooden slots separated by no less than 4-1/16” and no more than 4-1/2" center to center along the bottom (or put your own wheelbase numbers here).
4. Axles: Maximum Velocity!® MV Precision Axles, which may be polished and/or bent but not altered in any other way.
5. Axles and wheel hubs shall be visibly lubricated with graphite.
6. Height: 2" maximum.

Any major holes? :polling:

I think this captures the original intent. The motivation for suggesting a requirement for MV wheels and axles is to equalize the starting of construction. I can very well imagine that some people have stashed a set of excellent BSA wheels which might be pulled out for a national event. From my experience, MV wheels and axles are BSA-like in dimension and material, but far superior in quality and consistency. Meaning they are good enough that I don't think people will be tempted to try to do something radical with them and not be tempted to buy hundreds just to pick out the top 2%.



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Re: Mid America Pinewood Derby

Post by Speedster » Sat Nov 30, 2013 6:42 am

Great set of rules, FS. I learn something new everyday. I didn't know these wheels and axles existed. They're certainly cheap enough. I think it's a Great idea. Perhaps we should list MaxV's number 5461 so folks don't have any question as to what to use. Greg probably won't have those blue letters that let folks go right to the part. The wheels and axles will keep inspection to a minimum. I'd like to hear from other racers who might like to join this race. Maybe we can put "Derby Talk" stickers on the cars again.

Whoda, typing errors are irrelevant. I thought by now there would be "Star Trek" type computers where we could stop this typing and just talk. Maybe someday.



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Re: Mid America Pinewood Derby

Post by FatSebastian » Sat Nov 30, 2013 1:17 pm

Speedster wrote:Perhaps we should list MaxV's number 5461...
The kits also work (5457 and 5455). Clarifying details are anticipated; admittedly my post was a tersely worded "starting point". For example, prepping/polishing the inside of the wheel bore is arguably a "modification" of the wheel, but that cannot be inspected and is reasonable to make despite the proposed word "unmodified".
Speedster wrote:The wheels and axles will keep inspection to a minimum.
Probably. The local inspection team should weigh in; I don't know if there is also a need to require that the (flat) axle tips show, for example.
Speedster wrote:I'd like to hear from other racers who might like to join this race.
Like to join? Sure! Commit right now? Less sure due to mitigating personal and professional obligations, but time will tell.
Speedster wrote:Maybe we can put "Derby Talk" stickers on the cars again.
A separate topic discussing construction advice under the Adult Graphite Stock Class rules (whatever they become) would also be welcomed.



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