Pinecar one piece axles

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atariguy
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Pinecar one piece axles

Post by atariguy » Tue Nov 05, 2013 3:18 pm

I'm new here, but I've built a lot of pinewood derby cars. My dad taught me a few tricks when I was a Cub Scout, and I ended up doing well in the races. I'm now doing the same thing with my own kids.

Rather than hand out the BSA kits this year, the Cub leaders told us to just go to Hobby Lobby and buy a kit. My sons this year picked Pinecar kits. I've never used the one piece axles before. It appears I won't have to spend hours sanding nails this year, but I'm wondering how good these axles are? Will my sons be at a disadvantage with them, or are they actually better?

One thing I'm really worried about is how to get the axles into the grooves. It will be an extremely tight fight. The instructions say to use a hammer, but I'm hesitant to do that after the car's all painted.

Would I better off seeing if I can find some of the regular nail axles?



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Re: Pinecar one piece axles

Post by Speedster » Tue Nov 05, 2013 4:03 pm

OK, I'm curious. I've never heard of this before. Do the Cub leaders not want you to use BSA kits? Can you use BSA kits? Are you working with a set of rules? If we knew your rules it would be easier to help you. If you can use any axles, Awana axles are available as well as many excellent after market axles. Could you send us your rules?



atariguy
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Re: Pinecar one piece axles

Post by atariguy » Tue Nov 05, 2013 4:11 pm

Things in our pack have always been pretty informal. We're free to use whatever kits we want (including BSA) but we can't go over 5 ounces. Unfortunately, the race is 2 days from now, so my options have become pretty limited unless there's something I need that I can get locally.



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Re: Pinecar one piece axles

Post by Speedster » Tue Nov 05, 2013 5:36 pm

I'll stick with Hobby Lobby.
Your car has already been cut out so your son can sand and paint it a bit.

Hobby Lobby
1. Buy Troy Thorne's latest book "Building the Fastest PINEWOOD DERBY CAR" and speed read it. Pay attention to "Railriding" and wheel bore prep. I hope they have the book.
2. Buy some pipe cleaners if they have them.
3. Buy a tube of Hob-E-Lube graphite
4. Buy some tungsten cylinders and tungsten putty
5. Buy a tube of Chinese wheels and axles and use the axles only. Polish them with Brasso
6. Buy a scale if they have one

Buy a BSA kit, if you can, and use the BSA wheels. Don't sand the outside. Concentrate on the wheel bore.
Set the balance point at 1" in front of the rear axles
Teach your son how to stage the car.

Above all, include your son in all the operations.
Best of Luck
Bill



atariguy
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Re: Pinecar one piece axles

Post by atariguy » Tue Nov 05, 2013 5:50 pm

Thanks. I've got a scale and a couple different books already. This is actually about my 5th year doing this - my kids usually place 1st or 2nd. :)

I usually use lead (I melt fishing weights in my garage), but these kits came with enough screw on weights that it looks like that won't be necessary this year. The cars have already been cut and sanded and the accessories glued on. They're ready to be painted. I have helped some, but I try to let them do as much as possible. (On the other hand, my daughter had a pinewood derby in her physics class a couple weeks ago, and she was required to do everything - but she's 15 and they're 8 and 10.)

But anyway, I guess you're implying that the answer to my question is that yes, the one piece axles would not be to my advantage? ;)



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Re: Pinecar one piece axles

Post by Noskills » Tue Nov 05, 2013 6:32 pm

I am not familiar with the once piece axel. Do you slide it into the axel slot? Is there a cap like a nail head that keeps the wheel on? Just off the cuff you cannot cant a single axel so you loose out there. That means more contact with the rear wheels and body. How about the axel head-does that contact area look as good as a BSA axel?

I would suggest skipping the single piece, trying to cant the rears as per the Troy Thorne book and then follow Speeder's wheel and axel suggestions as well as rail riding.

Noskills


"Nunchuk skills... bowhunting skills... pinewood derby skills... Girls only want boyfriends who have great skills!"
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atariguy
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Re: Pinecar one piece axles

Post by atariguy » Tue Nov 05, 2013 6:49 pm

Thanks. I'll look into that book. I checked on Amazon, hoping there might be a Kindle version, but there's not.

The axles apparently just push into the slot lengthwise, after the wheels have been put on. There are plastic caps that hold the wheels on, and that's one of the things I've been worried about. Maybe I'll race one of the cars against the one my daughter made a couple weeks ago from a BSA kit and see if it makes any difference.



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Re: Pinecar one piece axles

Post by Darin McGrew » Wed Nov 06, 2013 1:15 am

We used the PineCar kits with solid axles and plastic hubcaps one year. On the one hand, the solid axles and hubcaps gave me a look that worked well for my Calvin & Hobbes car. On the other hand, we had a LOT of problems related to those kits that year. I'd recommend wheels and axles from some other kit. I'm not familiar with the kits available at Hobby Lobby, but I'd pick something with machined pins as axles. Second choice would be something with nails as axles, and then file and polish the axles to get rid of the crimp marks and other irregularities. A distant third would be the solid axles and hubcaps.



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Re: Pinecar one piece axles

Post by Speedster » Wed Nov 06, 2013 6:35 am

I'm still fascinated by your rules.

If you entered a car 1/4" thick, tungsten 1/4" cubes for weight, 3/4" COM, extended wheelbase, 3 wheel rail rider, drilled axle holes, .093 stainless steel axles, 1.4 gram wheels, would this car be legal under your rules?



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Re: Pinecar one piece axles

Post by MaxV » Wed Nov 06, 2013 8:48 am

PineCar wheels are the heaviest wheels on the market, so they tend to be the slowest. If at all possible, get some US-made BSA wheels. You will be much better off.



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Re: Pinecar one piece axles

Post by chobo » Wed Nov 06, 2013 7:10 pm

Not sure im late here, but if you use the one piece axle, take an emory board and work the groove carefully til the axle can be pressed in by hand. If you hammer it in, you can possibly bend the axle. Generally, those axles tend to have lots of defects to begin with. Also, Pinecar usually has nails in their kits and they are pretty nice.


Wife:
"You guys know that the derby is over, right?!!"

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Re: Pinecar one piece axles

Post by tjeffrey » Wed Nov 06, 2013 7:39 pm

We race with the Indian Guides/Princesses program and we use the single axle pine car kits. My 3 kids and I have built many of these cars with a lot of success . I wouldn't be so worried about the axles. The one big advantage of these axles is alignment. Assuming you don't bend the axle by hitting it with a hammer! The adjustment is much easier because left and right pairs are pointing in the same direction.

I would be most worried about the wheels. Definitely use a set of BSA wheels - they are WAY faster out of the box than the pine car wheels. If you are competing against a bunch of BSA kits you are at a big disadvantage.

Axle prep - Any of the methods mentioned in numerous posts here will work just fine on these. One additional caution - take a file and hit the ends where the little hub cap goes. The ends tend to be slightly larger and have sharp edges that will damage your wheels the first time you put the wheel on.

Press the axle into the slot with another piece of wood in the center - don't push on the two ends or you will bend the axle.

To go fast make a 3 wheel rail rider if the rules allow. Either bend the end of the front axle and rotate from the non-dominant side to adjust drift or simple shim the axle down and forward to create your drift.

Good Luck!



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Re: Pinecar one piece axles

Post by BallBoy » Wed Nov 06, 2013 7:51 pm

I go to 25-30 races a year and see a lot of cars as I rent out a track and run races for packs nearby. When I do a race I like to have cars go down the track at least once before the racing begins in an effort to make sure all the cars make it to the end. It is not uncommon to have a car not make it all the way down the track. In a vast majority of the cases (I estimate 9 out of 10 times) where a car can't make it to the end that car is a Pinecar solid axle car. Generally the problem lies with insufficient gap between the wheel and car body. I don't know if the bodies are too wide or the axles are too short, but they are problematic. In my experience solid axle cars are almost never competitive against cars with BSA wheels/axles in a typical Cub Scout race.



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Re: Pinecar one piece axles

Post by tjeffrey » Thu Nov 07, 2013 7:35 pm

I don't know about the pre-shaped kits, but the basic pine car block is too wide for the axles. They need to be sanded down 1/8" in total to allow for proper gap. I run workshops and this is the first thing I tell the dads and kids.



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Re: Pinecar one piece axles

Post by FatSebastian » Thu Nov 07, 2013 8:49 pm

atariguy wrote:Unfortunately, the race is 2 days from now, so my options have become pretty limited...
Be sure to let us know how things turned out.



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