If it’s your first time building a pinewood derby car, you might not know where to begin. These race cars are typically built from pine, plastic wheels, and metal axes and are often raced in derbies hosted by the Boy Scouts of America. To ensure your pinewood derby car has the optimal speed, here are a few design tips to keep in mind.
4 Ways to Build a Speedy Pinewood Derby Car
1. Put All the Weight in the Back
The heaviest part of a pinewood derby car should be about an inch in front of the rear axle. Since a derby race is short, speed is important at all times, and putting weight on the back will give your car speed on the flat part of the track.
2. Prepare the Axles
It’s a good idea to polish the axles of your car with a file and sandpaper. Take time to remove any rough patches from the axles. This will help reduce friction and let your car operate at high speeds.
3. Use Graphite
Graphite is one of the most widely used lubricants for pinewood derby cars and is accepted by almost all organizations. Carefully massage this lubricant into the wood. Doing this will help decrease friction and increase wheel speed.
4. Polish the Wheels
When the wheels of your car are properly polished, they can spin faster and more freely. Graphite works well as a polish — apply it to the side of the wheels that touch the tracks. After you finish, a good rule of thumb is that your wheels should spin freely for about 20 seconds when you flick them.
If you need to buy supplies to build a pinewood derby car, head to Rail & Sprue Hobbies in Jacksonville, AR. The hobby shop has provided residents throughout Pulaski County with model kits and accessories for almost 20 years, carrying everything from model trains to model cars. If you need product recommendations, their knowledgeable professionals will be happy to assist. For more information about their inventory, visit their website or call (501)-982-6836 to speak with a friendly associate today.