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Pinewood Derby!!!!

This is a page dedicated to the art and fun of making pinewood derby cars. The biggest event of the year for the cub scouts.

Stores that sell everything you need to make a fast car

Time Machine in Manchester
Crystal Blueprint in Downtown Rockville

Below are the BSA rules that your car must follow:

•The overall length of the car shall not exceed 7 inches.
•The overall width of the car shall not exceed 2 ¾ inches.
•The car must have 1 ¾” clearance between the wheels.
•The car must have 3/8” clearance underneath the body so it does not rub on the track.
•The car shall not exceed 5.0 ounces.
•The official race scale that is used at car check-in shall be considered final.
•The official pine wood block must be used. The block may be shaped in any way that is desired.
•Official BSA wheels must be used. The wheels may not be cut, drilled, beveled or rounded. You may remove the seams and imperfections from the wheels.
•The axles may be altered, polished and lubricated.
•Once a car passes inspection and is entered into the race, only race committee members can touch it.

Car Design:

Car design is one of the more fun parts of pinewood derby. You can design a creative, funny type of car or a super slick racer. I suggest letting your (or your child's) imagination work before narrowing down to something you can actually build.

If you are building a car with a child, be sure to let them do as much as possible. The more they do, the more they will get out of it. The design stage is a great way to get them engaged in the project. Have fun brainstorming car designs. Let your child be creative coming up with whacky ideas before picking your final car design.

How to build a fast car:

To build a fast pine wood derby car, you need to reduce friction. Friction is the enemy of speed. Reduce friction, increase speed. Your pine wood derby car moves from the pull of gravity and is slowed down from friction. Friction acts like brakes. Reduce friction and your car goes faster. Increase friction and your car slows down. Friction DOWN, Speed UP It's as simple as that. Finding the sources of friction and finding ways to reduce it is the tricky part.

How to reduce friction? An easy way to reduce friction in your pine car is to lubricate the two surfaces. This is an essential part of pine wood derby racing. Purchase a tube of graphite and sprinkle a little on the axles near the wheel. Spin the wheel so the graphite works in. You will immediately notice a significant improvement in the wheel speed as you turn it after applying graphite.

Your wheels turn on axles. One of the biggest sources of friction is where the axles and wheel surfaces meet. It is important to make your axles as smooth as possible. Be absolutely sure that the burr under the nail head is filed or sanded off. Once that is sanded off, polish the nail and underside of the head to a mirror like finish.

Imperfections in your wheels cause friction in many areas. Sanding your wheels, however, can be tricky. If the wheels are not precision sanded or lathed, you can actually make matters worse!


Your car moves down the track from the force of gravity. If your car is too light, it will have less inertia in the flat part of the track. Be sure your car weighs as close to 5 oz as possible. Find someone with a scale, purchase an inexpensive scale or weigh your car at the Post Office. Add weights until the car with the wheels and axles is up to 5 oz.

Make your car go straight:

This can be tricky. Roll your car along the kitchen floor. If it veers to the right or left too much, the axles are crooked. Just like steering a car, you need to adjust the steering on your Derby Car. To do this, you must adjust one or more of the axles so the car rolls straight. You can do this by re-drilling the axle holes and reinserting the axles.

Wheel imperfections can also make your car veer left or right. Once again, lathed wheels will remove mold imperfections so each wheel rolls perfectly straight.

Secrets, Tips and Tricks please visit Pinewoodpro.com.


For questions or comments please e-mail the webmaster.

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