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Pinewood derby?

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Esteban86K5, Dec 12, 2005.

  1. Esteban86K5

    Esteban86K5 1/2 ton status

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    Anyone compete in one with the kids before? Our church is haveing a race in Feb and the kids and I are all going to compete. This will be a first for us so i was just wondering if anyone had any suggestions. It's amazing how much info is on the web about these. Too much to take in.:eek1:
     
  2. mikey_d05

    mikey_d05 1 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    I was a boy scout, put all the weight in the back.
     
  3. 79k20350

    79k20350 3/4 ton status

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    my dad and i did alot when i was a kid. we won states 2 years:D best in show 4yrs:D the trick is to center the weight, (evenly distributes over the fornt and back wheels, less friction on all wheels) use graphite for a lubricant. we would chaul the wheels up in a drill and hit them on some sand paper to make sure they were perfectly round. go to a local hobby shop, they should have everything you need.
     
  4. Beast388

    Beast388 1/2 ton status

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    I competed in 2 different pinewood derbies as a cub scout in the early 80's (yikes!) and did well. I took first place the first year and took second place the 2nd year with my younger brother taking 1st.

    Here is my bit of advice:

    1. Make sure you are clear on the rules and know what you can a can't do to the car.:D

    2. We lengthened the wheel base to make the car more stable.

    3. Smooth the axles (nails) and remove and burrs or irregularities.

    4. Thin the wheels to reduce friction. We chucked them up in a drill and smoothed and sanded them.

    5. We used dry molybnium lubricant rather than graphite......I don't remember the reason for that.....but that's what we did.

    6. Make that car as absolutely heavy as the rules will allow. We drilled a 1/2" diameter hole in the wood and poured molten lead into it. Have a way to remove some weight in case the scale being used is slightly different that the one you used to set up your car.

    7. Make sure the wheels are perfectly aligned. A car that swerves back and forth on the guide will be slow.

    8. Use an aerodynamic design. Resist the temptation to add drivers, windshields, headers etc. Those create drag! My winning car was modeled around the shape of an SR-71 fuselage......smooth....clean and black!!

    Most of all, have fun with your son building the car!!:bow: :D :D :D
     
  5. Esteban86K5

    Esteban86K5 1/2 ton status

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    Good tips guys, thanks.

    I am actually building 4 of them. One for each child and one for myself. We are having a children race and adult race. The kids all picked a favorite hot wheels car and I made thier cars similar to the one they picked. Mine is still up in the air as to what i am building.:rolleyes:
     
  6. k20

    k20 3/4 ton status

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    screw aero, build a k5 and have the best lookin one
     
  7. Can Can

    Can Can Pusher Man Staff Member Super Moderator

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    Sorry to sound like a dummy, but what the heck is a "pinewood" derby? :dunno:
     
  8. Esteban86K5

    Esteban86K5 1/2 ton status

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  9. Esteban86K5

    Esteban86K5 1/2 ton status

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    I already drew on up and i was going to use brakeline for a simple cage. But i think I want to win this year.:D
     
  10. Can Can

    Can Can Pusher Man Staff Member Super Moderator

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    Cool!!! I get it now.

    We don't have anything like that up this way. Looks like a lot of fun.:thumb:
     
  11. diesel4me

    diesel4me 1 ton status Premium Member

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    No Pinewood Derby!!??

    Man,you were robbed of one of your best childhood father/son projects if you had no "pinewood derby"!!... :eek1:

    Funny this subject came up today..just yesterday I was poking around in the garage built under our house (more like a 13'x19' bedroom with a 6'6" overhead door:rolleyes: )---I was looking for some bolts,and I saw one of the Pinewood Derby racers my dad and younger brother had built!--it was sitting on the table I had my bolt drawers sitting on..I stopped dead in my tracks,and completely lost my train of thought..

    I was taken back to the days my dad helped me build one (ok,built FOR me practically!)..fond memories like those usually bum me out a few minutes later,when reality sets in,and I realize its been 5 years and 6 months since I lost my dad already..:( --can't believe how fast time has passed..

    This "racer" had a driver glued into the seat area..looked like a wooden toy from some other game or something..it had the lead weight in the center too..

    I don't recall ever winning anything,or even coming close with mine,nor did either of my brothers that I know of..but it was the time spent with my dad making it I remember and treasure the most!..my car is probably long gone,I have no clue if its in the rubble buried around here in the house..but the memory of making it with my dad will live as long as I'm breathing..:crazy:
     
  12. Can Can

    Can Can Pusher Man Staff Member Super Moderator

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    Actually, I was probably saved from countless nightmares. My dad's version of woodworking is picking up the phone and calling a carpenter....:doah:
     
  13. kgblazerfive

    kgblazerfive keymaster Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    When I was in AZ we had adult pinwood derby races with the only rules that the car had to fit on the track and weigh five ounces. I powered mine with a model rocket engine and that thing flew. it caught the pillow on fire that they were using to stop them at the the end. The guy who won it all, put a electric engine in his. Mine wasn't consistant it wouldn't light some times then the wires would slow it down.
     
  14. justhorsinaround

    justhorsinaround 3/4 ton status

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    If you're one of the ones building the track make sure you don't do what one of my scout masters did and send a 3/8's inch drill bit through the palm of your hand.

    My Dad just left me to my own devices when it came to my pinewood experience. So if I remember right I lost miserably.

    A few years later however I stumbled across a couple of untouched bodies that became the Speed Racers of Death. It's amazing how much faster they go when you mount an .049 model airplane motor to them.:D
     
  15. ntsqd

    ntsqd 1/2 ton status

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    Local troop had an "Adult" division to keep the Dad's from souping up their kids Derby cars too much. Only rules for the Dad's class was that you had to use the original block of wood for the body and it couldn't weigh more than one pound.

    I built one for a friend. Turned the chassis from 1/4" steel bar stock, two axles and a center bar. Made the wheels from Stainless tube with aluminum pressed into the center. The stainless 'tires' were V shaped and almost sharp. Wheels rolled on RC car trans sealed bearings, with the shields removed and dry - no grease of any sort. The dry bearings was a trick a local sponsored RC driver told me he used in racing.

    Turned the wood body in a 4 jaw chuck, shaped it into a tear drop shape. Then I hollowed out the bottom side and poured lbullet ead into it. Took it to work and weighed it on their rod balancing scale. Was exactly 2 ounces under the legal weight w/o paint.
    Never got to run it as the body got lost when the paint shop closed.
     
  16. roadhawg

    roadhawg 1/2 ton status

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    Best designed ride in state. We won the local on speed and a very close second in state. what you cant see is the two "AA" batteries, 4 computer led's for tail lights and penlight bulbs for headlights. we molded them in with wood filler putty.
    Things to make it fast.....most importantly....WEIGHT right to the limit with provisions to add and remove some depending on judges scales at the race. Smooth and true tires with drill and emery cloth. If you can narrow the tread of the tires the thinner the better as its less resistance to the track. polish axles with the emery cloth and i've even seen some people groove them so they will trap more graphite powder between the wheel and the axle. Make sure it rolls smooth and straight.
    We had to relocate the axles by drilling into the body because the block kits that you buy dont align the axles very true. (the car would curve and that gives you resistance on the raised center part of the track.) Lastly i belive aerodynamics plays a part in it. we tried to make ours as sleek as possible but had to leave room for the batteries. It was built with a floor grinder, wood rasp and lots of sanding. (my boy knows how to use the sandpaper and a rattle can now!)
    I used graphite powder as a lubricant, you need to be sure to check with the rules i wasnt able to use silicone spray but you might be able to as i believe it is classified as a dry lubricant. You should be able to pick up graphite powder anywhere locks are sold i got mine at Lowe's.

    Its really alot of fun to do together i really miss it.
    Hope this helps you out!

    Mike

    warbird.jpg
     
  17. steve_kibbe

    steve_kibbe 1/2 ton status

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    I did it four years in a row when I was in scouts. I had a simlpe wedge shape. Make sure the top AND the botom are slick. Air goes inder it aswell. IIRC we couldn't relocate the wheels but we could use graphite. Definately work on the wheels, they are pretty sorry in kit form.

    Good luck. Let us see the final result and your trophy :D
     
  18. az-k5

    az-k5 1/2 ton status

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    Use stick on tire weights. Hollow out the bottom of the car for them. They are easier to use, and you can get them to be a little more presice. Just go to a local tire shop and tell one of the guys in the back that you need a few ounces for one. I always flipped mine over and used the dril press for the axle guides. It had to have the same wheelbase. With a couple of dads that were carpenters in my troup competition was tough. My troup leader was a hobbiest wood worker (had almost any tool we needed) and really helped out the kids who's parents didn't have the tools or time.
     
  19. surpip

    surpip 1 ton status

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    i carved mine with a pocket knife and a sand paper, looked like an early vette, i won best in show, i was so freaking proud of myself
     
  20. Burt4x4

    Burt4x4 3/4 ton status

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    Hey Estamom, I too did this as a kid and I even got 1st place two years ina row. I still have my cars and trophys.
    We used fishing weights, split type. We drilled holes in the front(bottom) and glued the weights inside the holes. The center of the car (bottom) was a bigger hole were we glued alot more splitshot weights all in the big hole.
    anyway just thought I would chime in on how we weighted the car down...good luck
    Later
    Burt
     

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