Jacksonville, Arkansas
1200 John Harden Dr.
Jacksonville, AR 72076

4 Design Tips for Building a Fast Pinewood Derby Car February 19, 2019

Jacksonville, Pulaski
4 Design Tips for Building a Fast Pinewood Derby Car, Jacksonville, Arkansas

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

pinewood derby carIt’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.

Other Announcements, Events and Deals from Rail & Sprue Hobbies
4 Design Themes for Pinewood Derby Cars, Jacksonville, Arkansas
Pinewood derby cars, generally made from pine with plastic wheels and metal axles, are frequently raced in derbies hosted by the Cub Scouts. If you’re helping a c...read more
Do's & Don'ts of Model Train Storage, Jacksonville, Arkansas
If you build and collect model trains, it’s important that you know how to protect them. If not stored correctly when not on display, cars and locomotives will get dirty, dusty,...read more
How to Build the Fastest Pinewood Derby Cars, Jacksonville, Arkansas
Pinewood Derby events give Cub Scouts an opportunity to show off their creativity and ingenuity while competing against their friends. Pinewood Derby cars are usually made of wo...read more
3 Essential Pieces of Scenery for Your Model Railroad, Jacksonville, Arkansas
Landscape plays a key role in making your model railroad look realistic. There are essential pieces of model scenery you’ll want to add to an existing or new layout. They’re versatil...read more
What Are Slot Cars & How Do They Work?, Jacksonville, Arkansas
Slot car racing is a hobby that was invented more than a century ago and reached the height of its popularity in the 1960s and ‘70s. Decades later, it’s gaining traction once again a...read more