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  1. #1
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    PINEWOOD Derby Time

    Well, this Dad needs to become a Pinewood Derby car builder expert in the next couple of weeks. This is my first time building. Of course the net is full of conflicting design ideas, but how about Foosters who have built cars?

  2. #2
    Hazardous Taerom's Avatar
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    I remember those! With the help of my dad, my brother and I took 1st and 2nd places respectively for like 3 years in a row! I would take some pictures of our cars, but they're at my parents house right now.

  3. #3
    Hazardous Taerom's Avatar
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    Oh, and I can tell you right now: The most important element to a good pinewood derby car is the PAINT JOB!! You don't want your kids to have boring looking cars, you want them to have the most kick ass cars ever, with lots of flames and stickers and stuff on them!

  4. #4
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    Really? I figured the kids would be more excited about speed, but you are probably right.

  5. #5
    The Guadfather Lecterman's Avatar
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    Just don't decorate it with unicorn thtickerth and threamerth.
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    "Minor bun engine, made Benny Lava!!!"

  6. #6
    Air
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    Destroyer of Wheels Air's Avatar
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    Graphite on the 'axles.'

  7. #7
    Senior Member Michigander's Avatar
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    Put tri flow or some other high quality lube on the wheels. Plus glue the nails in place to make sure the wheels stay true. If you do that and keep the weight high enough, you will do quite well.

    If you want it to look nice, I recomend a band saw.
    Bring back the Sig Test!


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  8. #8
    Unique Vintage Steel cuda2k's Avatar
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    Setup a belt sander on a stand and after everything is assembled run the wheels over the belt with a semi-fine grit paper letting the wheels run free. This will remove any burrs on the wheels (which knocked my best car ever far too early).

    Move as much weight to the back as possible (increases potential energy). Other tips here:

    http://www.derbychamp.com/280.htm

    My favorite car (mentioned above) started from this kit: http://www.a2zhobbies.com/PineCar/Ca.../PIN-P362.html which I modified to smooth out the front end some and cut a V in the backside like a 60's Corvette.

    My last one I did a modified wedge design with a beautifully rounded back end and a very smooth front end to allow the air to very smoothly flow over it. Unforunately this one never made it to the track. My dad talked me into going with his design that he made, and my hand sanded and stained car became a door stop.
    [CENTER][URL="http://VeloBase.com"][IMG]http://velobase.com/App_Themes/VeloBase2_blue/Images/VeloBase2TitleCampagnolo.jpg[/IMG][/URL][/CENTER]
    [CENTER][URL="http://JonPFischer.com"][COLOR="#006400"]Fischer Photography[/COLOR][/URL] - [URL="http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php/785462-My-new-modern-quot-Classic-quot-Kirk-JKS-Classic-Terraplane"][COLOR="#8b0000"]Kirk Frameworks JKS-Classic Build Thread[/COLOR][/URL][/CENTER]

  9. #9
    crushing all limitations
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    I helped my little bro make a "hummer limo" buy cutting a rectangle out of the top front and painting the whole thing black and chrome. It lost the speed contest, but won an award for "most realistic looking"...its all about the bling baby

  10. #10
    You Know!? For Kids! jsharr's Avatar
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    have to know what kind of track you have to fine tune weight placement, but low and far back is probably best. The other basics are, polish your axles. Use a power drill and really fine emory cloth to do this. No burrs. Coat the axles with powdered graphite. Put them in a baggy of the stuff and shake them. Do the same with wheels. Make sure wheel alignment is dead on. Place weight as low and as far back in car as possible, this will vary a bit with track type. Aerodynamics are not important at this level. A basic wedge, high in back low at front is fine. Follow these basics and you should be competitive.
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    Quote Originally Posted by colorider View Post
    Phobias are for irrational fears. Fear of junk ripping badgers is perfectly rational. Those things are nasty.

  11. #11
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    Very important to have the axles and wheels extremely true. The measurements have to be exact front to back with no "toe in" or "toe out". Keep as much wood left intact as possible. More weight is better for the pull of gravity to kick in quicker. But in the same breath, think of the shape of a canoe going through the water. No turbulence in the rear. I could go on and on.

  12. #12
    Senior Member CPcyclist's Avatar
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    Three words for you

    Wheels...WHEELS...WHEELS


    Style is important for the cool factor

  13. #13
    Senior Member DieselDan's Avatar
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    I got banned when I was in scouts because my father is a master mechanic, and I would have access to resources the other kids and parents wouldn't. Then, when my son was in scouts, I got the same crap from his scoutmaster as I have a well stocked bike mechanic's shop (not an LBS) at work. Needless to say I have removed my son from scouts and any and all support of Boy Scouts of America.
    Bikes use brakes to stop.

    If your bike has breaks, don't ride it.

  14. #14
    Trans-Urban Velocommando ax0n's Avatar
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    if you don't have a belt sander, you can use sheets of sandpaper but run the car like it's skidding at a 30 degree angle, one way then the other.
    \ <-car
    |
    |
    v
    Direction of travel


    / <-car
    |
    |
    v
    Direction of travel


    Until the wheels are satin smooth and round. Depending on the rules, you may wish to narrow their contact patch. For the usual slope launch, weight as far back and low as possible is best. We used feeler gauges to set the wheels against the car body at the correct distance, and a digital caliper to check alignment.

    I've won several unofficial adult pinewoods, but then we started using CO2 cartridges, then C model rocket engines...

    By the way, aerodynamics DO matter, but not nearly as much as rolling resistance. Make sure the bottom is as perfectly flat as possible and that there are no angular juts. An ideal design for aerodynamics would be very tapered in the rear, but it's not that practical. Just go for smooth body lines and a good glossy paint job.

    And when it comes to bragging rights, style is big.
    ax0n: Geeky and bikey
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  15. #15
    Señor Member USAZorro's Avatar
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    One of the biggest problems I've seen is dad's doing too much of the work - sometimes all of it. At least let your son design the car and paint it. Make sure he is at least watching you and helping out with the other operations. Next year, have him do more things. Of course it's nice to have a car that's competitive, but the time you spend working on it with your son is way more important than having the car that wins because Dad took complete control of the project.

    Good luck Portis. Ours is tomorrow (Our Scouts run the show).
    The search for inner peace continues...

  16. #16
    Senior Member garysol1's Avatar
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    3 wheels down and 1 wheel up

  17. #17
    was kung-fu fighting lodi781's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Air
    Graphite on the 'axles.'

    +1....graphite makes a huge difference. The best one I ever built was a little roadster. I used a clear plastic cup (cut the cup top) to use as a windshield. It came in second in design.....
    " The love you withhold is the pain you carry, lifetime after lifetime."

  18. #18
    Senior Member Michigander's Avatar
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    Rather than graphite I would suggest break free CLP for the nails. One other thing you can do is rather than put the nails in the little slits, use the nail like it was meant to be used and pound it into the wood next to the slit. Wheel alignment is guaranteed that way.
    Bring back the Sig Test!


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  19. #19
    ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ efrobert's Avatar
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    Ebay is your friend. You can buy a championship car for a few hundred $.

  20. #20
    Banned.
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    Quote Originally Posted by efrobert
    Ebay is your friend. You can buy a championship car for a few hundred $.
    Trust me i thought about that. Instead i bought 3 cars (one already shaped) and a test track online last night. That way we can expirement.

  21. #21
    ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ efrobert's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Portis
    Trust me i thought about that. Instead i bought 3 cars (one already shaped) and a test track online last night. That way we can expirement.
    Nice.

  22. #22
    explody pup
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    My dad and I (read: my dad) carved out a large hole toward the rear of the car and filled it with molten lead until we were barely within the weight limit. I whipped everyone's ass that night and came home with the gold. Too bad there weren't any Girl Scouts there or I'd have come home with a lot more.

  23. #23
    Overacting because I can SpongeDad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Air
    Graphite on the 'axles.'
    Absolutely. My son's cars have come in 8th, 4th, 2nd and last year 1st. Proper axle alignment and graphite are key. Also, get that bad boy as close to 5oz as humanly possible. I carve a core out of the car and fill it with melted solder.

    Aero is pretty much not that important. My son's winning car was a bobsled with 2 Leggo figurines - not aero at all. The year before that a school bus won.

    Fastest car I've ever seen had 3 wheels - built like a triangle with two wheels on one side and one on the other.
    “Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm." (Churchill)

    "I am a courageous cyclist." (SpongeDad)

  24. #24
    Overacting because I can SpongeDad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by USAZorro
    One of the biggest problems I've seen is dad's doing too much of the work - sometimes all of it. At least let your son design the car and paint it. Make sure he is at least watching you and helping out with the other operations. Next year, have him do more things. Of course it's nice to have a car that's competitive, but the time you spend working on it with your son is way more important than having the car that wins because Dad took complete control of the project.

    Good luck Portis. Ours is tomorrow (Our Scouts run the show).
    Yeah, my son has done progressively more each year. At the beginning, it's hard for the little guys to do more than design, sand and paint. Last year he did all the cuts and sanding on the car that eventually won.

    Also, Dremel is your friend.
    “Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm." (Churchill)

    "I am a courageous cyclist." (SpongeDad)

  25. #25
    Banned. FXjohn's Avatar
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    A friend if mine came in second using the raw square original block of wood they give you.

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