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  1. #1
    Super Member Iplayfarmer's Avatar
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    Idaho
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    Massey Ferguson 1215, Toro 266-H, Pennsylvania Panzer, Case 444, Craftsman 14/6

    Default Any Other Pinewood Derby Dads?

    Are there any other dads out there working on a pinewood derby car for a Cub Scout? My Son's race is coming up. His friend is making a police car, so my son wanted a robber car. We agreed on a 1934 Ford Coupe. It seems like something an old gangster would drive.



    I have the car cut out, and I honed the axles and wheels. Now all we have is paint. This is my only boy, and it's his first Pinewood Derby. I'd love any tips or tricks that I can get. I'm not trying to win first place, but it would be nice if my boy could win a race or two.
    From now on I will only buy cars that are a silver/grey color. Then I can make all body repairs with Duct Tape.

  2. #2
    Elite Member dodge man's Avatar
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    Oct 2008
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    West central Illinois
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    Kubota BX2350

    Default Re: Any Other Pinewood Derby Dads?

    My son won his first pinewood derby. We didn't do anything special. The scout leader cut out the shape he wanted on the band saw and he just sanded and painted. I did melt down some old lead bullets and it was at the max. weight allowed. I read a web site after the fact. It told all the tricks to make them faster, none of which we did. It was probably dumb luck.

    The second year we did it, he didn't do as well, and we were a little more carefull.

    We also used some powered graphite on the wheels, which I think is allowed, but one of the scout leaders brought that and did all the kids cars.
    Dave,
    BX2350

  3. #3
    Veteran Member Tig's Avatar
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    Oct 2006
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    The County, Ontario, Canada
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    Kubota, B7100HST-D

    Default Re: Any Other Pinewood Derby Dads?

    I'll second the powdered graphite detail.
    Steve

    The best things in life are not things.

  4. #4
    Elite Member
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    Apr 2005
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    3,670
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    nicholson, pa
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    John Deer Lt160

    Default Re: Any Other Pinewood Derby Dads?

    I did the lead weights in the back, but what cost me 1st place was being on the wrong track. One of our tracks had a bit of a bump which would slow you down and I was on that track. So I would say pay attention to the track unless they randomly let you know what side your on.

  5. #5
    Gold Member
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    Mar 2002
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    331
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    Masssachusetts
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    Yanmar/YM135

    Default Re: Any Other Pinewood Derby Dads?

    Do some Googeling, some people are really nuts with the Pinewood Derby. On Ebay, you can buy cars that are guaranteed to win! Ruins the whole idea in my opinion, but check it out....

  6. #6
    Epic Contributor MossRoad's Avatar
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    South Bend, Indiana (near)
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    Power Trac PT425 2001 Model Year

    Default Re: Any Other Pinewood Derby Dads?

    No. I have girls, so we do Powder Puff Derby. Same deal. Go to some websites and look around. Some folks take all the fun out of it by being so cutthroat. Make sure most of the fun is building the car with the child. That's better than winning in the long run. I remember building my cars with my dad. First year it was too light but we learned. Second year we added weight to the bottom and I won the whole shootin' match. But as others have said, it is kind of luck, too.

    Now, building cars with my daughter, we didn't polish the axle, but we did use graphite powder. We also maxed out the weight at the derby. They had a "pit" area where you could weigh the car and add/remove, measure length, wheelbase, etc.... The only difference between her car and the cars that were faster was their weights were lower on the car than ours. We put ours in the centerline of the block perpendicular to the ground and they put theirs on the bottom of their block, being sure to allow for ground clearance.

    Also, there is some difference as to where forward and backward to put the weights.

    Anyhow, you could make a sience out of it... or you could just have fun. That's what we did. Good times were had by all.
    MossRoad

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  7. #7
    Super Member radioman's Avatar
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    Ontario, NY
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    Kubota BX24

    Default Re: Any Other Pinewood Derby Dads?

    mbrule- yeah there are serious nuts out there, but I tell you, the parts that you can buy is worth the money to be in the top 5. I did that for both of my son's for quite a few years. problem was, It took me and my oldest son 2 years to start dialing in the speed.
    Unless you have your own minature milling machine, and depending on the rules for your local derby and council races- you are better off buying new wheels, axels. When you look inside the tires that was given to you as a blank kit, the numbers don't match so the weight difference and balance is enough to slow down the car.

    I learned that 2 tests runs is the max to dial in the car. otherwise no amount of graphite will make car faster again unless your pack is allowed to use oil which is banned in my boys pack.
    white glue inside on wood part to provide frictionless surface helps. however, it needs to setup over night on each side and cure for 2 days or more to make it hard before the wheels are put on.
    super glue the axles in place after the axles is squared up. (glue from tip point of axle to center- stay away from wheels. its easier said then done) I seen many wheels fall off in middle of race due to loose slots holding axles.

    I can go on and on with tips, but many are common sense, but problem is dialing in how its done. a little bit here and there really helps but it doesnt take much to have an disaster. My oldest son barely made it in 3rd place- youngest son got 2nd place and was place in tentative backup for council race. Never got to race.
    last tip-Weight placement is critical on design.

  8. #8
    Silver Member Triguy1's Avatar
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    Nov 2011
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    North West Ohio
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    Kubota bx2360

    Default

    Sadly, I cannot help with speed. We worked very hard on my son's car and it turned out great, but slow. Dead last

    But is was fun and he was happy with his Mini Cooper, just like moms car.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails -image-659978897-jpg   -image-3409837320-jpg  
    Swim 2.4 miles, bike 112, run 26.2- brag for the rest of your life.

    2011 BX 2360, Rear remotes, 5 ft rear blade, MMM, FEL, sub soiler, 3PH wood spliter, Ratchet Rake, Carryall, Hydraulic top link, 3PH Tiller, 1 row Cultivator

  9. #9
    Super Star Member
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    Mar 2008
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    Northern Fingerlakes region of NY, USA
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    Kubota L3830GST, B7500HST, BX2660

    Default Re: Any Other Pinewood Derby Dads?

    As has been said, weight high/back, smooth your axles (a drill press and a small file or piece of sandpaper work well), smooth your wheels (inside and out) and glue in your axles.

    Aaron Z
    A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.
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  10. #10
    Super Member Iplayfarmer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Any Other Pinewood Derby Dads?

    Quote Originally Posted by aczlan View Post
    As has been said, weight high/back, smooth your axles (a drill press and a small file or piece of sandpaper work well), smooth your wheels (inside and out) and glue in your axles.

    Aaron Z
    Any tricks for smoothing the inside of the wheels? That's the only part that I'm having a hard time figuring out.
    From now on I will only buy cars that are a silver/grey color. Then I can make all body repairs with Duct Tape.

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