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HomeOff Topics › Cub Scout Pinewood Derby Tricks
10-29-2011 03:37 AM  7 years agoPost 1
Mr.Green

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Kaysville, Utah

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So my son has his first pinewood derby in cub scouts coming up. Does anyone have any great tips to making a fast car? We plan on removing the spurs off the nails and polishing them, and using graphite. We also plan on making a sleek body and moving the rear axle back. Any other ideas?

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10-29-2011 04:35 AM  7 years agoPost 2
hbk2owner

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indianapolis, Indiana

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Shoot when i was little i made a school bus and it got 3rd place. my mom did the adult run and she got first and it was a peace of cheese and had brain from Pinky and the Brain on it. My dad made a truck and he got 2nd. WOW THAT BRINGS BACK MEMORIES!

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10-29-2011 05:08 AM  7 years agoPost 3
FlytilyaDrop

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Playboy mansion

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Make sure the weight is placed in the front but behind front axle and very most center to make weight equal between front wheels.
You want the weight to pull the car down the track.
And you really dont need to move the axle back, no need.

Now here are the secrets that ive never shared with anyone, with the burrs removed off of all four nails, also as they are sharp take off a hair line around the edge of the head of the nail making it rounded.
Then put each nail into a drill and polish each nail with 1500 grit paper or red scotch brite.
Also polish the flat sides of the wheel that contacts the track, as burrs are also on them, last place to polish is the edge of the inside of the wheel where the plastic touches the painted part of the car, make sure its rounded and smooth, sense you cant use a washer between wheel and paint of the car you need to creat a washer affect out of the graphit into the paint, this is not very important but its something I do anyway, as you read on you will see why.

Now this is important, after burrs and nail heads are rounded, put the nail threw the wheel, put the pointed part of the nail into a drill, and on high speed, holding onto the wheel with the other hand, and tons of graphit work the graphit inside the hole of the wheel and with the high speed the graphit creates with the heat a graphit surface inside the hole that is slick, be carefull and keep the wheel straight, and work the nail in circles inside the hole of the wheel.

Last thing I forgot, as the drill is spinning the nail inside the wheel hole concentrate the head of the nail and where the fake looking spokes on outside of wheel is also being worked with graphit as to polish the rounded part of the head of the nail touching the fake spokes is graphited very good that is a key point.

The more spinning of the wheel and nail the better it gets, I spend about 10 minutes on each wheel sometimes more.

When I get ready to install wheels its important to make sure that when the weight of the car is on all four wheels that only the inside edge of wheel is touching the track or surface when you put the car down on all four wheels, kinda like four razor blades wheels going down the track if you catch my drift.

This does two things one is it keeps the car from bouncing on and off the guide the car straddles down the track and second it keeps the wheel from touching the side of the car way better.
What causes a car to bounch on and off the track guide is a car riding on the most flat part of the wheels.

Doing all this with my son is the key to the win my son takes every year, when he shows up everyone worries about his car.

Want to hear the funny part, his car weight is just a fraction less than the acceptible weight every year, its kinda funnier to see everyones dad try and figure out what makes the car win.

Last year my son won against a car that,s weight was over the limit quit a bit, and I thought my son would not win against it, it took second and my son took first.

Oh last year had me sweating a little.
Please let me know how it turns out.
Oh and dont forget, make sure you have your son be involved, us dads sometimes forget to do that. LOL

EDIT,
My son just told me I forgot that you have to keep about 3 mills distance between paint of car and edge of inside of wheel, as you pull outword on the wheel.

This hobby sucks, when your not flying.

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10-29-2011 05:43 AM  7 years agoPost 4
c54fun

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Dallas Texas

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Wow, great info..

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10-29-2011 12:41 PM  7 years agoPost 5
Bill F

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Hillsboro NH

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Someone get way to into the pinewood derby. Ever watch the movie derby dad? The point is for the kids to make the car with the dads help not the dad to make the care while little bobby sits in the care watching. it is not about winning but bonding with your kid.

Sorry I am a former DE and derby dads always bothered me. They where very pushy and rude. Who cares if the car is the fastest as long as you kid had fun with you making it. I am sure polishing a wheel for 10 min is not fun for the kid. Not to mention everyone know the kid had little to do with making the car which is not in the sprite of the pinewood derby.

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10-29-2011 01:38 PM  7 years agoPost 6
mmc205

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PA - USA

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you actually want the weight as far back as possible. This gives you the most potential energy as the rear end of the drops farther to the straightaway than the front.

this outlines the most important steps for winning

http://www.maximum-velocity.com/fivekeys.htm

***Logo 600 vbar***Henseleit TDR vbar***

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10-29-2011 05:05 PM  7 years agoPost 7
FlytilyaDrop

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Playboy mansion

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Someone get way to into the pinewood derby. Ever watch the movie derby dad? The point is for the kids to make the car with the dads help not the dad to make the care while little bobby sits in the care watching. it is not about winning but bonding with your kid.

Sorry I am a former DE and derby dads always bothered me. They where very pushy and rude. Who cares if the car is the fastest as long as you kid had fun with you making it. I am sure polishing a wheel for 10 min is not fun for the kid. Not to mention everyone know the kid had little to do with making the car which is not in the sprite of the pinewood derby.
I agree some dads get way into it, past the point where the son did nothing at all.

No rules say that the dad cant help his son win and show how to compete in this challanging world we live in.

Bill, thou you have a good point, the first pine wood derby my son was in he wanted to build the car himself and so I make the cuts and he did everything else, I also helped him put the weight in, but he refussed to let me do any of the fun part of the build.
When he lost that first pine wood derby he came to me and said "nexted time dad will you help me win".
He knows its not about winning but with out that win, or winning streak under his belt a kid looses some of his confindence in life.
In this day in age kids need as much confindence as they can get.

Their is a great balance in this as in all things, but loosing is a part of winning, just as much as winning is a part of loosing as well.

And as far as the weight being in the front and rear, as for my sons wins its always been in the front.
And in that link you posted it does say that weight in the rear is better but not always.
And they said the most important part for winning is a car with little friction or drag.
Why else is it that my sons car won against a car with about one ounce more than my sons car had, and his weight was drilled into the rear above the rear axle.
I have a dad that swears to placing the weight equally between all four wheels.

Weight plays in my opinon less than the alignment and polishing of the wheels.

And I did forget to mention, my son reminded me that his car won each heat by almost a full car lenght each time, one father even yeild as a joke saying re-weigh my sons car.

This hobby sucks, when your not flying.

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10-29-2011 10:51 PM  7 years agoPost 8
mr dan

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Stockton Calif

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As a former boyscout, I have to agree with Bill F, let the scout build it himself, he's a boyscout, nothing dangerious about working with a block of pine and a few tack nails, guide him to do some research first. To ask if there are any tricks on getting an upper hand on a derby is getting off the point of what this is all about, letting our youngsters get hands on and doing things for themselves. Wining is not always the goal! should he loose this or something go wrong, well let him figure it out, "what did I do wrong, how can I improve for next years derby?" dont let him get you involved right away, try to refrain from doing any of the build, letr him do it and explain to him why you are not buiding it for him or doing any mods for him. The days of kids building and repairing their own bikes, build gocarts etc are repidly disapearing. It never hurst the child to tell them to try on their own. Just advise durring the build should you see an unsafe practice.

"R.I.P Roman" Citizen 0094 in the Nation

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10-30-2011 02:04 AM  7 years agoPost 9
Mr.Green

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Kaysville, Utah

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He's excited as can be and it is his car. We came up with the design together and cut it out and sanded it today. I see no harm whatsoever with helping him make it a winner. He is helping with everything and loving every minute of it. I never lost a pinewood derby race as a cub scout and he wants to do the same. It's been a long time since me and my dad did my cars and I couldn't remember all the things we did to make them fast. I appreciate all the tips, keep them coming. To those who take offense to it, you don't have to read the post or bother replying. Thanks.

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10-30-2011 03:00 AM  7 years agoPost 10
mr dan

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Stockton Calif

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Your right Mr. green sorry for the reply.
Hope he does as well as you did in your compitition when you were a kid. Some kids might fell a sense of great pressure to hold up to that legacy, and when it goe's not as expected, it requires a great deal of explaining. Some kids feel as if they let their father down . Im sure you have explained this to him so he understands winning is not everything.

"R.I.P Roman" Citizen 0094 in the Nation

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10-30-2011 03:47 AM  7 years agoPost 11
GREYEAGLE

rrElite Veteran

Flat Land's

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Some of the best
I've ever seen and some of the fastest are the car's built by boy's whom are fatherless and mom is deeply involved raising him alone.

With out all the wiz bang go fast modifications One was called the money car - just glued a couple of dollar bill's around it ! and glued it together - wheels on the nails - basic.

Mom just helped and followed the directions It was a 1st place.

Another 1st place was just painted right out of bottle of yellow by his little sister - assembly helped by mom with orange dots and a Velveeta sticker- It got nicknamed Cheese WIZ

Probable the most inspiring was done by a boy with temp foster - who just wrapped it the nite before with a ICE CREAM SAMICH wrapper

It's just great once the action start's and out of absolute nowhere / come a butt ugly betty - that belongs to some young kid wearing patches on patches and shoes that do not fit - that just smokes all the torpedoes. Then listen too -- But Why Daddy ? WHY ? as the tear's and fit's start and all sorts of promises are made.

I actually came to a sort of conclusion on the winners upon examination after the award's are made : They all had a commonality --

I'll never give it up 1 Hr's work and a go fast car
And the lil guy with his toes stickin out - or mom did it themselves.

As a Adult we just privately shake our heads and smile

greyeagle

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10-30-2011 04:28 AM  7 years agoPost 12
GyroFreak

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Orlando Florida ...28N 81W

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My grand girls (6 and 7) built and shaped they're own. The painting was atrocious but I was proud of them and the work they put into it. More importent was they were proud of the work and accomplishment by them, with only verbal guidance from me. No , they didn't win, but they were proud and even picked on some of the kids who obviously had not done a bit of work on the streamlined highly polished Dad-Cars. There should be a separate race for Dad' s cars.

I think about the hereafter. I go somewhere to get something, then wonder what I'm here after ?

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10-30-2011 04:55 AM  7 years agoPost 13
ToddG

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Las Vegas, NV

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Other than the tool liability, it would be an interesting change to have an impound building facility and/or possibly a 'stock' class. Have the kids build the cars on Friday night and Saturday, racing on Sunday. No cars going home and no 'Dads' cars. Have another unlimited class where the parents can go all out with the dozens of modifications beyond the child's skill level. Been a lot of years, but are the pinewood derbys still Cub Scouts, or higher?

== One thread in Off-Topics keeps me comin' back. ==

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10-30-2011 07:43 AM  7 years agoPost 14
FlytilyaDrop

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Playboy mansion

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Oh my gosh, I must go tell my son that anytime he gets involved into anything I have to tell him to do it on his own,,,,,to many here are so wrong in the involvement of son and father, or daddys car, what ever.

If no one on here can get the point of building a derby car with son done in the right way both involved, win or lose then I feel sorry for ya.

Its our job as fathers to teach our kids how to do something and do it the best they can, win or lose.

Its our job as fathers to show how to win not lose, if he loses the race we teach him then that everything is not about winning.

As a son who's father helped me do my very first pinewood derby and then again the nexted year after I never won, he explained to me its not about winning and I did understand but I never did my own car again and never had interest to do another car after that cus if it wasent about winning as well then why keep do it???????????????

Sorry but if I can help my son learn how to win more times than losing, then by all means Im doing it to teach him how to keep on fighting for the things he wants in life.
And I hope my helping just in this derby alone he continues to come to me for guidance and help.

This hobby sucks, when your not flying.

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10-30-2011 02:42 PM  7 years agoPost 15
GyroFreak

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Orlando Florida ...28N 81W

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Sorry but if I can help my son learn how to win more times than losing, then by all means Im doing it to teach him how to keep on fighting for the things he wants in life.
Yes, by helping and teaching, not doing it for him.
.
.
And for those who want to win at all cost.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Pinewood-De...f#ht_3517wt_962

I think about the hereafter. I go somewhere to get something, then wonder what I'm here after ?

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10-30-2011 03:03 PM  7 years agoPost 16
Jim-bob

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Little Hocking OH USA

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Back when I was doing this there were kits and a book of tips available from Hodges Hobbies. Don't know if it still is but it helped make a really SLOW car competitive

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10-30-2011 09:20 PM  7 years agoPost 17
Hughes500Pilot

rrKey Veteran

Anaheim, CA

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Just a few pointers...

1. Go to the store and buy a few extra bags of wheels and axels. Use the axles that are formed the best and most straight.

2. Smooth the axels and get the burs of the shaft with a finhgernail file.

3. Go through the wheels and find ones that are most round and fit on the axel the best.

4. Dont "nail in" the axles. You should push them straight down into the wood. Glue the axles to the wood. Dont get any glue on the axel!!!!!

5. Use dry graphite to lube the wheels/axels. Dont be pretty... Just flood it on. The more the better. Any excess will just fall out.

6. Be sure to weigh your car on a good scale. You want it to weigh exactly 5 ounces. Put all of your weight in the very, very back of the car. This gives it more ramp time.

7. Buy a book called PINEWOOD DERBY SPEED SECRETS by David Meade, Fox Chapel Publishing. It's about $10. It has excellent instructions with outstanding color photos of how to make a winning car. Worth every penny.

Lastly, sure you can but pre-trued and run in axel set. But for $40 it's expensive. Plus you are not doing the work yourself. So stay off the internet Pinewood Derby sites.

-Steve

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10-30-2011 09:39 PM  7 years agoPost 18
FlytilyaDrop

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Playboy mansion

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Gyrofreak ,,,,,

Where in any of these post on this thread does it say where only the dad does ALL the work?????
I'm sure I and everyone here has said working as a team with your son.
Your post makes it sound like I and others here are doing all the work and the son does nothing at all.
Your post here has no meaning.
Most of all my secrets can be performed by my son, I just don't let him handle the dangerous tools.
Please point out where I and others have said our kids do nothing.

And where did we say our kids have to win at all cost as you mention??

This hobby sucks, when your not flying.

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10-30-2011 10:48 PM  7 years agoPost 19
GyroFreak

rrProfessor

Orlando Florida ...28N 81W

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to win at all cost as you mention??
It was a joke, did you look at the ebay link ? $179 with video documentation.
And somebody bought it, talk about winning at all costs. AND I am not implying that the posters on this thread are like that, but you will see cars at any pine wood derby that were obviously not built by pre-teens.

I think about the hereafter. I go somewhere to get something, then wonder what I'm here after ?

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10-30-2011 11:11 PM  7 years agoPost 20
DVS

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California

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Make sure that the car rolls as straight as possible.

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