Pinewood Derby Car Showcase – February 23, 2018

CHP Cruiser: Randy Lisano

This California Highway Patrol Cruiser was built for our Open Division race for parents and leaders. It actually won first for speed!

The cruiser has working headlights, flashing lights, and a siren. All of the electronics came out of a model from a hobby store. To have enough space to get all of it into the car, the block was cut into horizontal sections. All of the excess inner wood was then removed. The sections were then glued back together, the body outline was cut, and the car was finished. There is a small access door on the bottom of the car to be able to install the electronics and the door has speaker holes. The electronics had to be cut apart (a smaller speaker was used) and then installed into the car along with a battery holder. It was a tight squeeze, but it fit! Surprisingly, with all of the electronics, speaker, and battery pack, an ounce of weight was still needed to reach 5 ounces.

The siren and lights turn on and off, with a slide switch installed where you would expect the rear license place to be. The siren unfortunately would only stay on a few seconds once the switch was turned on, but humorously it would kick back on when the car hit the stopping blocks at the finish line.

Knife Car: Erik Steindorf

My son Tyler and I made this knife car in 2000 while he was a Wolf cub in Pack 430 in Roswell, Georgia. We nicknamed the car “Akela’s Blade”. The car body was made from six pieces of wood sandwiched together. The blade layers, toothpick and tweezers were shaped from thin craft plywood from a hobby store. The blades don’t come out, but the toothpick and tweezers do. Yes, Tyler had a lot of help building the car. We didn’t think a second grader should be using a router, which we used to round the edges and make the channels for the wooden knife and toothpick. But Tyler did do most of the sanding and painting. This car is also fast, which precluded it from winning any design awards. It finished first amongst the Wolves in our Pack and was therefore not eligible for a design award. And we opted to compete for speed and not design at the district level, where we placed fourth, just missing a trophy. After putting in better than 20 hours building this car, we have since opted for simpler designs!

Spirit of New York City: Daniel Bubb

I built this car as a tribute to post-9/11 New York City, and all the good that the city displayed as the citizens pulled together and worked as one during the aftermath.

The very back of the car depicts the ideals that Lady Liberty represents: Democracy, Freedom and Opportunity (to pursue the American Dream).

The two towers in the middle of the car represent the Twin Towers that are now gone but will never be forgotten.

The waves washing up on the star represent the ocean waves washing up on the shore of America bringing the huddled masses to the land of freedom and hope.

The star on the front of the car, and the red, white and blue paint theme represent the Spirit of America, a spirit that can never be broken.

The ram inducted turbo eagle represents all Americans embracing everything that America stands for and in keeping with their duty to God, to Country, and to help other people.

From Pinewood Derby Times Volume 2, Issue 12
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(C)2017, Maximum Velocity, Inc. All rights reserved.
Maximum Velocity Pinewood Derby Car Plans and Supplies

Pinewood Derby Times, Volume 17, Issue 11 – February 21, 2018

– Editor’s Note
– Feature Article – The Wheels Go Round and Round – or Do They?
– Humor
– Product Showcase – Pro-Wheel Shaver XT – 10% Off
– Pinewood Derby Car Showcase
– Pinewood Derby Memory – A Long Wait
– Q&A


Editor’s Notes

Call for Car Photos
The next issue will have an extended car showcase. We have a few photos, but need many more. If we don’t use them in the next issue, we might use them in Volume 18.

So, please send us a photo of your car along with a description of any special features to:
info@maximum-velocity.com

Please include your full name. If selected, we will include the photo and description in this newsletter.

Photos must be sent by e-mail in JPG format (minimum size of 640×480, maximum size of 1280 x 960). Please shoot photos from the front left of the car, similar to the orientation of this car:

Make sure the photo is not blurry. If your photos are blurry, try holding the camera four or five feet away from the car, and then use the camera’s zoom to fill the frame with the car. Also, use a solid (preferably white) background for the photo.

Send only one photo per car, unless an additional photo is needed to adequately show a feature. Don’t forget to include your name, the name of the car (if it has one), and a brief write up on any design features, inspiration for the design, and how the car performed at the race. Thanks.

MV Basic & Wedge Car Kits
If you are planning a race and are not required to use a specific kit type, our MV Basic or Wedge Car Kit are just what you need. These attractively priced kits are equipped with:

Quality Block – Unlike the blocks provided by some organizations, our blocks are soft, northwestern pine blocks, cut precisely to 7 inches long, 1-3/4 inches wide, and 1-1/4 inches tall. These dimensions, as well as the axle slots accurately duplicate the dimensions of standard pinewood derby blocks from BSA and PineCar.

Simple Axle Preparation – Don’t worry about filing off flaws, or losing hub caps. Our Speed Axles have no burrs or crimp marks, and install without hub caps. With or without polishing, they are ready to go. We supply five, so you have a spare.

Quality Wheels – Forget cheap, out of round wheels. Our MV wheels are top-quality wheels. You will not be disappointed with the quality of these wheels.

So, if your organization does not mandate a particular kit type, consider our MV Basic Car Kits or MV Wedge Car Kits. We also offer bulk packs of MV kits in Pre-cut Shapes.

Inventory Clearance Sale
We are clearing inventory on several items including:

– Tundra and tungsten weights
– Formula One car kits
– Paint Stencils

We don’t have many left, so don’t delay. You can find these items Here.

Can We Help?
If we can help you in any way with your pinewood derby project, or if you have any feedback regarding this newsletter, please contact E-Mail Us.


Feature Article
The Wheels Go Round and Round – or Do They?
By Randy Davis

John Lennon wrote that he loved to spend time “watching the wheels go round and round”, and during this pinewood derby season, kids and parents will have a similar desire. In households all over this country (and in many other countries as well), kids and parents will be opening a pinewood derby car kit – dumping out the block of wood, the axles, and the wheels. As they inspect the contents, they hope that those raw materials will become a fast and good-looking car.

How many kids will build a car this season? I have no idea, but I am sure that the number of kits manufactured per year for consumption in the United States would boggle the mind. Clearly, kit manufacturing is a high-volume business.

In high-volume manufacturing, price is the name of the game. Organizations look for manufacturers who can produce the required quantity of kits on time, and at the lowest price. Quality is certainly considered, but since the product is considered a “toy” or craft item, precision is not generally a factor.

This certainly applies to the pinewood derby wheels. To achieve the required volumes, wheels are injection molded in multi-cavity molds (BSA wheels have sixteen different mold numbers). The intent is that the wheels produced by the various molds will look and perform similarly; and to the casual eye, this is true. But a closer look reveals that:

1. Each mold produces a wheel with unique characteristics, and
2. No mold produces a “perfect” wheel.

Injection molding is great for producing parts cheaply and quickly, but not necessarily with precision.(1)

Wheel Variance

The variance in wheel characteristics from mold to mold can be determined by measurement and by observation. These characteristics include (See Figure 1):


Figure 1 – Wheel Characteristics

– Diameter variance

– Bore angle

– Bore placement

– Bore diameter

Diameter Variance – To achieve best performance, each wheel should of course be perfectly round, and all four wheels should have the same diameter. But in reality, pinewood derby wheels are not perfectly round. Some are close, but others are considerably out of round with an oval or egg-like shape.

Bore Angle – When the bore angle is at 90 degrees to the sidewall, then when spun, the wheel will have no side-to-side wobble. However, as the bore angle deviates from 90, a wobble will be introduced.

Bore Placement – To roll properly, wheels should have the bore placed perfectly in the center of the wheel. Some wheels have the bore virtually perfect, but others have the bore offset several thousandths of an inch. This results in a wheel that tends to “hop” as it rolls.

Bore Diameter – Axles must be smaller than the bore to allow the wheel to spin. But if the bore is too large (or axle too small), the excessive “play” will reduce speed. Generally, the difference between the axle diameter and the wheel bore should be about 5 thousandths of an inch. But on many pinewood derby kits, this difference is closer to 10 thousandths.(2)

The first three characteristics, Diameter Variance, Bore Angle, and Bore Placement, together determine the “trueness” of the wheel. A wheel with zero diameter variance, a 90 degree bore angle, and a perfectly placed wheel bore will spin “true”.

Measuring Trueness

There are several ways to measure the accuracy of a wheel. Calipers can be used to determine if the bore is accurately placed, and to measure the Diameter Variance.


Figure 2 – Bore to Tread Measurements on a Typical BSA Wheel

A second method that combines Bore Placement and Diameter Variance is a Wheel Accuracy Gauge. This tool is generally quite expensive, so they are not commonly used.

A more cost effect way, but one that does not give accuracy in numerical values is the Pro-Wheel Shaver XT. By mounting a wheel on the Pro-Wheel Shaver XT and lifting the blade to just above the tread surface, the Bore Placement and Diameter Variance can be determined subjectively. Then by placing the blade along the inside edge of the wheel, the amount of Bore Angle variance can be found.

Correcting Untrue Wheels

Unfortunately, using a wheel mandrel and some sandpaper will not true a wheel. The sandpaper will remove surface defects, but it cannot remove material in the proper locations to create a perfectly circular wheel.

In fact, until recent years, a machine lathe was the only tool that could true a wheel. However, the Pro-Wheel Shaver XT can be used as an affordable, hand-powered lathe for truing pinewood derby wheels. The shaver mounts on a Pro-Hub tool, the pin of which serves as the center axis for the tool. Click Here for photos and more information on the Pro-Wheel ShaverXT.


Figure 3 – Pro-Wheel Shaver XT with Pro-Hub Tool

Note that a Pro-Hub Tool is required to use the Pro-Wheel Shaver XT.

Alternatives

If you use the official BSA kit, then there are two alternative ways to get better wheels.

1. If your local race allows lathed wheels, and you don’t want to do it yourself with the Pro-Wheel Shaver XT, then consider purchasing wheels that have already been lathed.

2. If your local race does not allow lathed wheels, then note that some of the molds produce superior wheels. By using matched wheels from one of the better molds, better results can be obtained.

Lathed wheels are also available for wheels from Awana, PineCar, MV, and RAs.

Conclusion

If you want to watch your “wheels go round and round” as fast as possible, then consider the characteristics of your wheels. The truer the wheels, the faster they will go round and round!

(1) For more information on injection molding of pinewood derby wheels, see: “The Making of the MV Wheel“.  The MV Wheels are more accurate than most other pinewood derby wheels.

(2) A large difference in bore to axle clearance can make an otherwise “true” wheel appear to be faulty. When a wheel is spun on the axle by hand, there is not generally enough mass to hold the wheel bore tightly to the axle. So, the wheel “jumps” around on the axle. It can also “orbit” the axle, a phenomenon which is characterized by a vibration and rapid stopping of the wheel spin. For this reason, hand-spinning wheels on an axle is not generally a good indication of the “trueness” of the wheel. A better test is to spin the wheel on a pin that is one or two thousandths smaller than the bore. This eliminates jumping and orbiting, so that the true quality of the wheel can be observed.


Humor

Q: How can you drop a raw egg onto a concrete floor without cracking it?
A. Concrete floors are very hard to crack!

Q: If it took eight men ten hours to build a wall, how long would it take four men to build it?
A. No time at all since it is already built.

Q: If you had three apples and four oranges in one hand and four apples and three oranges in the other hand, what would you have?
A: Very large hands.

Q: How can you lift an elephant with one hand?
A: It is not a problem, since you will never find an elephant with one hand.

Q: How can a man go eight days without sleep?
A: He sleeps at night.

Q: Why it is impossible to send a telegram to Washington today?
A: Because he is dead.

Q: If you throw a red stone into the blue sea what it will become?
A: It becomes wet.

Q: What often falls but never gets hurt?
A: Rain

Q: What is it that no man ever saw, which never was, but always will be ?
A: Tomorrow

Q: What looks like half an apple?
A: The other half.

Q: What gets wet with drying ?
A: A towel.

Q: What happened when the wheel was invented?
A: It caused a revolution.

Q: Why does a bike rest on its leg?
A: Because it is too tired.


Product Showcase

Pro-Wheel Shaver XT – 10% Off

Sanding the wheels on a wheel mandrel polishes the tread surface, but it does not significantly change the shape of the wheel. In fact, to truly create round wheels, a computer controlled lathe is required. However, this expensive machine is not a practical solution for the casual pinewood derby car builder.

But now anyone can create round pinewood derby wheels. Introducing the Pro-Wheel Shaver XT II, a precision device that will improve the speed of your pinewood derby car by:

– Wheel Diameter Truing – Creating a wheel which is perfectly round,

– Wheel Width Truing – Truing the inside edge of the wheel, removing molding marks and excess material.

Through March 6, 2018, you can get a Pro-Wheel Shaver XT for 10% percent off. To take advantage of this limited time offer, add part 5154 to your shopping cart and use coupon code FEB21NL during checkout.


Pinewood Derby Car Showcase

Turbo – Kevin Moore

This car was inspired by my 8 year old son Dillon’s favorite movie “Turbo”.

Razor’s Edge – Matt Ridzon

“Razor’s Edge” won the Open Class for the 2018 Cub Scout Pack 119 race in New Springfield, OH. During pre-race testing, we found the front wheel was slightly out of round, which caused the car to wobble slightly and occasionally topple. It ran successfully about 50% of the time without toppling. Any time it toppled, it fell leftward, but always manage to continue blazing through the finish line! But to be safe on race day, we decided to install the outrigger (bent finishing nail with nylon bumper on it). The outrigger hovers over the track and only glazes the track if the wheel wobble gets bad enough to knock the car off balance. Placing the weights between wheels was vital for balance. The downside to the design is that the COG is pretty far forward (almost 2 inches in front of the rear axle). My son’s 3-wheel Webelos car actually ran faster than this, but the 2-wheeler made great conversation in the crowd! The car body was so light that 4+ ounces of tungsten weight had to be added to make full weight (5oz). The rear axle is aligned to track straight while the front axle is aligned to steer slightly into the rail.

Share Your Car With Our Readers
Do you have a car you would like to “show off” to our readers? If so, send us a photo of your car along with a description of any special features to:
info@maximum-velocity.com

Please include your full name. If selected, we will include the photo and description in this newsletter.

Photos must be sent by e-mail in JPG format (minimum size of 640×480, maximum size of 1280 x 960). Please shoot photos from the front left of the car, similar to the orientation of this car:

For better focus, keep the camera four or five feet away from the car, and then use the camera’s zoom to fill the frame with the car. Also, use a solid (preferably white) background for the photo.

Send only one photo per car, unless an additional photo is needed to adequately show a feature. Also, only one car per subscriber per year please. Thanks.


Pinewood Derby Memory
A Long Wait

My son, Matthew, just won his first trophy for his first pinewood derby race! Matthew is a Tiger cub this year and he has been enjoying being a Cub Scout tremendously. There is a good story behind his joining, too.

Matt came home with a letter about a Cub Scout recruiting night from his kindergarten class at school last year. He wanted to join and I said I would take him to the meeting. Well, we didn’t know that kindergartners couldn’t join the scouts. All the scouting people felt really bad about disappointing him; he was trying very hard not to cry.

The same recruiting letter came home again this year from first grade and Matt still wanted to be a scout. Again we went to recruiting night and Matt got to officially be a Cub Scout. Well, as it turns out he was the only first grader to join this year so there was no Tigers in our town! Our Cub Scout master was advised to send him to the next town to the Tiger den there. But our Cub Scout master decided to keep Matthew in our community and have him go to the Wolf’s den meetings, and hope that more Tigers would join up (We ended up with two Tigers by the time of the pinewood derby race). I am so grateful that he did, Matthew is a pretty shy boy and has blossomed under his den leader’s guidance.

Matthew and Mom (me) made his car together. He wanted it shaped just like the one on the box, because it had to be fast to get on the box! I did the cutting and he sanded. He was going to spray paint it but his little fingers couldn’t press the button on the can. He put the wheels on and I checked that they were straight. He put decals on it and we got the scale out to check the weight. It weighted three ounces. Matt got some lead weights at the hobby shop and wanted to use them as the seat. so we cut them down and glued them in the “cockpit”. It just happened to be one inch in front of the rear wheels (as I read in one of your stories). It was still a little light so we put “muffler pipes” up out of trunk area. It was 4.95 ounces.

On race day, Matt was so excited about possibly winning a trophy. I kept trying to impress upon him that even if he didn’t win, he could still have fun. When his car came across the finish line in the lead that first time, his face was so excited! I think the whole room cheered for him. He won five out of seven races! He was so proud to get his Tiger cub trophy and even more proud of his car! He still thinks he would have got one of those big trophies if he wasn’t a Tiger. I believe he is right, his car beat the second place finisher three times, but I didn’t ask.

This program does so much for the confidence of little boys like Matthew and everybody has been so great to him.

Lorraine Cressey
Phippsburg, Maine

Do you Remember?
If you have a pinewood derby story that is funny, unusual, sad, heart-warming, etc., please send it to me in an e-mail. Don’t worry about literary polish. We will edit as needed before publishing. Also, please read our submission policy.If your story is used, you will receive a $10 coupon in May of 2017.


Q&A

Q: I purchased from you a car kit that came with steel weights. They fit nicely in the routed out area on the underside of the car.

I have read numerous articles that say tungsten is the best weight to use because of the density of the metal. My question is: would the performance of the car increase with the use of tungsten weights instead of the steel weights? What is confusing to me is if I need 3 ounces of weight, what difference does it make if I use 3 ounces of steel or 3 ounces of tungsten?

A: We offer some cars with steel weight to keep the price down. The balance point typically ends up at about 1 inch in front of the rear axle.

If you substitute tungsten for steel in equal weight amounts, so that the weight distribution between the front and rear pocket is unchanged from steel to tungsten, then there is no advantage to tungsten weight.

But, if you want the balance point closer to the rear axle, then you could substitute tungsten for steel in the rear pocket. Since tungsten is denser than steel, you can put more weight behind the rear axle, thus moving the balance point closer to the rear axle. Just make sure you check the balance point. It is possible that if you fill the rear pocket with tungsten (because the pocket is large) you could end up with a balance point that is too aggressive, leading to instability.

Generally, as you make the balance point more aggressive, you need to implement rail-riding alignment to ensure stability.

Q: I am building a car with my son and we are making a thin flat car this year. Your site was recommended for supplies. What is the best tungsten weights to use? There are so many to choose from on your site.

A: It depends on how you plan to add weight.

Choice 19/32 Tungsten Rod – Relatively Easy – If you have access to a drill press, then you can drill holes in the side of the car for tungsten rods. We also offer the correct drill bit, Part 5004.

Choice 21/4 inch Tungsten Cubes – Harder – This requires making pockets under the car to hold the cubes. However, this is likely the most popular method for weighting thin cars.

Choice 3Tungsten Snap-Off Plates – Easiest – This is the easiest method, as the plates attach to the bottom of the car (the clearance spec will be met). However, this method does not generally provide as aggressive of a COG as the other two methods.

There are other ways, specifically using tungsten canopies, but the above three are the most common methods.

Want Answers?
Do you have a pinewood derby-related question? If so, e-mail us your question.We answer all questions by e-mail, but not every question will appear in the Q&A section of the newsletter.


Back Issues

Are you a new subscriber, or have you missed some of the previous newsletters? Don’t miss out; all of the issues for Volume 5 through Volume 17 are posted on our web site Here.

Issues from Volumes 1 to 4 are available in four formatted documents, ready for immediate download. To find out more, Click Here.


Newsletter Contributions

We welcome your contributions. If you would like to contribute an article, a web site review, a speed tip, or a pinewood derby memory, please e-mail us.

Please read our submission policy.


Subscription Information

The Pinewood Derby Times is a free e-newsletter focused on pinewood derby racing. It is published biweekly from October through March.

If you haven’t already done so, please forward this issue to your pinewood derby friends. But please don’t subscribe your friends. Let them decide for themselves. Thanks.

If this newsletter was forwarded to you, why not subscribe to receive this newsletter. There is no cost, and your e-mail address is safe, as we never sell or share our distribution list.

To subscribe, send a blank e-mail to
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You will receive a confirmation e-mail. Reply to the confirmation e-mail and you will start receiving the Pinewood Derby Times with the next issue.


Randy Davis, Editor, Pinewood Derby Times
E-Mail: mailto:info@maximum-velocity.com

(C)2018, Maximum Velocity, Inc. All rights reserved. Please do not reprint or place this newsletter on your web site without explicit permission. However, if you like this newsletter we grant permission, and encourage you to e-mail it to a friend.

Maximum Velocity disclaims any personal loss or liability caused by utilization of any information presented in this newsletter.

The Pinewood Derby Times is not specific to, and is not affiliated with the Boy Scouts of America, YMCA, Awana, or any other organization.

(R)Maximum Velocity is a registered trademark of Maximum Velocity, Inc.

(R)Pinewood Derby is a registered trademarks of the Boys Scouts of America.

(R)Awana is a registered trademark of Awana Clubs International.

All other names are trademarks of their respective owners.

Pinewood Derby Car Showcase – February 16, 2018

Pencil Car: Jim Schmidt

My son’s car won the ‘Most Unique Design’ award in his age group and pack. There were some other really great cars in the race, but no other writing instruments with wheels! This was a family project: Dad did the design and carving/sawing, son did the sanding and some painting, and Mom picked out the colors and painted.

Gold Racer: David and Bill Brazelton

My son and I built this car in 1968. We designed it together, but he did most of the work. The official car kit was used with additional body work built up with 1/8 inch bass wood. The wood was cut to shape using a coping saw, and contour shaping done with my trusty Model 2 Dremel MotoTool and lots of sandpaper. The finish was clear model airplane dope with bronze powder added. Since official decals were not available in those days, I masked the trim and my son did the painting. After 35 years later, it still looks and runs fine. A good car is a true keepsake.

Toboggan: Tony L. Sell

The leaders of the Triton Cub Scouts change their Pinewood Derby theme each year to give the Cubs inspiration for a new car. We alternate between “Grand Prix”, “Emergency Vehicles”, “Un-Vehicles”, etc. The “Un-Vehicle” uses the same BSA kit, but the end product cannot look like a car – except for having four wheels. We’ve had eagles, sharks, “kiln dried” lumber, cell phones, bath tubs, pencils, candy bars, etc. It’s great fun to see the Cubs’ imagination at work. This ‘un-vehicle’ is my entry for the “Geritol Derby” (Leader, Parent, Sibling derby) which is run after the main event.

From Pinewood Derby Times Volume 2, Issue 11
Subscribe to this Free Pinewood Derby E-newsletter
(C)2017, Maximum Velocity, Inc. All rights reserved.
Maximum Velocity Pinewood Derby Car Plans and Supplies

 

Pinewood Derby Times, Volume 17, Issue 10 – February 7, 2018

– Editor’s Note
– Feature Article – Weighting with Tungsten Rod
– Humor
– Product Showcase – 9/32 Inch Tungsten Rods – 15% Off One Set
– Pinewood Derby Car Showcase
– Pinewood Derby Memory – Helping the Moms
– Q&A


Editor’s Notes

MV Basic & Wedge Car Kits
If you are planning a race and are not required to use a specific kit type, our MV Basic or Wedge Car Kit are just what you need. These attractively priced kits are equipped with:

Quality Block – Unlike the blocks provided by some organizations, our blocks are soft, northwestern pine blocks, cut precisely to 7 inches long, 1-3/4 inches wide, and 1-1/4 inches tall. These dimensions, as well as the axle slots accurately duplicate the dimensions of standard pinewood derby blocks from BSA and PineCar.

Simple Axle Preparation – Don’t worry about filing off flaws, or losing hub caps. Our Speed Axles have no burrs or crimp marks, and install without hub caps. With or without polishing, they are ready to go. We supply five, so you have a spare.

Quality Wheels – Forget cheap, out of round wheels. Our MV wheels are top-quality wheels. You will not be disappointed with the quality of these wheels.

So, if your organization does not mandate a particular kit type, consider our MV Basic Car Kits or MV Wedge Car Kits. We also offer bulk packs of MV kits in Pre-cut Shapes.

Call for Car Photos
Help, we are virtually out of photos for the pinewood derby car showcase.  Please send us a photo of your car along with a description of any special features to:
info@maximum-velocity.com

Please include your full name. If selected, we will include the photo and description in this newsletter.

Photos must be sent by e-mail in JPG format (minimum size of 640×480, maximum size of 1280 x 960). Please shoot photos from the front left of the car, similar to the orientation of this car:

Make sure the photo is not blurry. If your photos are blurry, try holding the camera four or five feet away from the car, and then use the camera’s zoom to fill the frame with the car. Also, use a solid (preferably white) background for the photo.

Send only one photo per car, unless an additional photo is needed to adequately show a feature. Don’t forget to include your name, the name of the car (if it has one), and a brief write up on any design features, inspiration for the design, and how the car performed at the race. Thanks.

Inventory Clearance Sale
We are clearing inventory on several items including:

– Tundra and tungsten weights
– Formula One car kits
– Paint Stencils

We don’t have many left, so don’t delay. You can find these items Here.

Can We Help?
If we can help you in any way with your pinewood derby project, or if you have any feedback regarding this newsletter, please contact E-Mail Us.


Feature Article
Weighting with Tungsten Rod
By Randy Davis

At the end of 2017, Maximum Velocity introduced 9/32 Inch Tungsten Rod as a method of weighting cars as an alternate to Tungsten Cubes. Instead of making rectangular pockets in the bottom of the car into which cubes are epoxied, holes are drilled into the side of the car
into which tungsten rods are inserted. There are two advantages to this method:

1. In general, drilling holes into the side of the car is easier than creating pockets (no chisel required). However, you will need access to a drill press with a vertical fence.

2. More weight can be added behind the rear axle: Three tungsten rods with fit across the car weighing 1.05 Ounces, while six, 1/4 inch tungsten cubes will (with difficulty) fit across the car weighing 1.03 ounces.

The only disadvantage to tungsten rods is that the rods must be inserted before painting, so some calculations are needed to insert the correct amount of weight. I also recommend drilling one or two holes under the car to accommodate tungsten putty or other small weights to perform fine tuning.

So, with that in mind let’s get started.

Mark and Drill the Block
Generally, two holes are placed behind the rear axle and one or two holes are drilled in front of the rear axle. The holes are centered at 3/16 inch off the bottom of the block. From the back of the block the holes are centered as follows:

Rear hole – 1/4 inch
Hole 2 – 5/8 inch
Hole 3 – 1-1/4 inch
Front Hole – 1-5/8 inch

Mark the block with these locations, or your preferred locations.

Set the drill press fence to establish a 3/16 center for the holes, and insert a 19/64 inch Brad Point Drill Bit.

Put a thin, scrap piece of wood on the drill press table (small piece of plywood or similar), and set the drill bit depth to go into the scrap wood.

Place the block on the scrap piece of wood on the drill press table tight against the fence, line up the drill bit with the first hole, hold the block tight against the scrap wood, and drill the first hole. Repeat for the next three holes, shifting the scrap piece of wood each time to a new section.

Finally, move the fence out of the way, adjust the drill bit depth, and drill the bottom hole(s).


Figure 1 – Drilled Block, and Drilled and Cut Block
(Bottom Holes Not Shown)

Cut The Block
Next, the block is cut into a thin wedge.I suggest making a straight cut for the first 1-3/4 inches from the back of the block, then start the taper towards the front. This ensures that the cut does not intersect with the holes (not good).


Figure 2 – Side View of Cut Block

Determine Amount and Location of the Weight
Now it’s time to see how much weight will be needed.I suggest limiting the weight at this point to 4.7 ounces. This allows for body filler and paint.

Place the body, wheels, and axles on a scale. Add tungsten rods until the weight is no more than 4.7 ounces. You will need two wood plugs for each hole that has less than three cylinders. A standard wood pencil works fine, just cut some short pieces and add the required number to the scale. Then add tungsten putty or an alternate weight to bring the weight to 4.7 ounces.

At this time, you can decide where you want the COG to be placed. Of course, the most aggressive COG would occur when the rods are loaded from back to front, with three rods per hole (see Figure 2). But if you don’t want to be that aggressive, then temporarily install the wheels on the car (just barely push the axles in), and adjust the location of the weights until you achieve the desired balance point.

Install the Weight and Patch
Glue the weight into the holes as identified in the previous step. I recommend epoxy, but you can use other glues (not an expanding construction glue like Gorilla Glue). For any hole that has less than three rods, center the rods, then glue a wood plug on either side -slightly recessed. Allow for the glue to dry, then wood filler or Bondo over the holes.

I like to put a thin layer of Bondo over the entire body, and then sand it off. This fills in the wood pores and minimizes grain expansion when painting.


Figure 3 – Sanded Car with Bondo

Sand, Paint, and Complete
Next, sand and paint the car as desired. Make sure to keep paint out of the axle slots or holes.


Figure 4 – Painted Car

At the weigh-in, you can use tungsten putty or an alternate weight to do any fine tuning of the weight using the hole(s) in the bottom of the car.

Conclusion
Using 9/32 inch Tungsten Rods allows anyone to build a low-profile aggressively weighted car, with less work than would be needed with tungsten cubes.


Humor
Science Facts from Students
(Spelling is not corrected)

When you breath, you inspire. When you do not breath, you expire.

H2O is hot water. CO2 is cold water.

To collect fumes of sulphur, hold a deacon over a flame in a test tube.

When you smell an odorless gas, it is probably carbon monoxide.

Nitrogen is not found in Ireland because it is not found in a free state.

Water is composed of two gins, Oxygin and Hydrogin. Oxygin is pure gin. Hydrogin is gin and water.

Three kinds of blood vessels are arteries, vanes and caterpillars.

Blood flows down one leg and up the other.

Respiration is composed of two acts, first inspiration, and then expectoration.

The moon is a planet just like the earth, only it is even deader.

Dew is formed on leaves when the sun shines down on them and makes them perspire.

A super-saturated solution is one that holds more than it can hold.

Mushrooms always grow in damp places and so they look like umbrellas.

The body consists of three parts – the brainium, the borax and the abominable cavity. The brainium contains the brain, the borax contains the heart and lungs, and the abominable cavity contains the bowels, of which there are five — a, e, i, o, and u.


Product Showcase

9/32 Inch Tungsten Rods – 15% Off ($2.69 Off) one set)

Tungsten Rods combine the simplicity of cylindrical weight with the low height benefit of cube weight. These tungsten rods allow thin cars to be built without creating under-body pockets. Your order of 9/32 Inch Tungsten Rods will consist of ten, rods weighing approximately 0.35 ounces each, for a total weight of approximately 3.5 ounces.

Through February 20, 2018, you can get one set of 9/32 Inch Tungsten Rods for 15% percent off. To take advantage of this limited time offer, add part 5067 to your shopping cart and use coupon code FEB07NL during checkout.


Pinewood Derby Car Showcase

Knife Car – Darren White

Here is James White’s “Knife Car” from the DFW Indian Guides outlaw race. He plays the game “Roblox” and this is a replica of one of the items used in the game. Our group has used the Maximum Velocity basic kits for several years and it gives first time builders a more competitive base from which to build. Thanks for putting a great product on the market.

White Flash – Doug Thorne

With your Annihilator Kit and Needle Axle Outlaw Wheels, I was awarded the Cub Pack Grand Champion Outlaw Class.

Share Your Car With Our Readers
Do you have a car you would like to “show off” to our readers? If so, send us a photo of your car along with a description of any special features to:
info@maximum-velocity.com

Please include your full name. If selected, we will include the photo and description in this newsletter.

Photos must be sent by e-mail in JPG format (minimum size of 640×480, maximum size of 1280 x 960). Please shoot photos from the front left of the car, similar to the orientation of this car:

For better focus, keep the camera four or five feet away from the car, and then use the camera’s zoom to fill the frame with the car. Also, use a solid (preferably white) background for the photo.

Send only one photo per car, unless an additional photo is needed to adequately show a feature. Also, only one car per subscriber per year please. Thanks.


Pinewood Derby Memory
Helping the Moms

I own a Hobby Store in Bellingham, Mass. Every year there are several mothers with Tigers that never get any help from the pack. I do my best to help with weights, painting, etc.

This past spring a mother came in with a car that had been cut and painted. Her question was: “What do I do now?”

Unfortunately, there would have been a lot more work to be done since she had cut the axle slots off. She had to have the car ready for Friday night inspection. I took a PineCar kit off the rack (a new design this year), opened the package, glued the weights on the car, put marks on the car around the axle slots and told her to paint the car, except around the axle slots on the side of the car. I would use a wheel and axle kit from the BSA and do the polishing. I asked her to bring the car back when she finished painting. Two days later she came back with the car painted to her Tiger’s satisfaction. We glued the wheels and axles onto car, checked for visual alignment, gave it a graphite lube, etc. I told her she should have a competitive car and to go and have some fun with the Tiger.

I got a phone call on Saturday around 1 PM at the store. She could hardly stop talking as her Tiger had won the whole pack race (he won every race he was in)! She could not believe it and was very thankful for the help. As the Tiger was being announced as the champion, some of the dads were inspecting the car and were claiming it to be illegal, as it must have washers or bearings in it. They were actually going to take wheels off for inspection! But she stated that since the car would be running in the districts, how could they do that? Besides, the car had passed the inspection.

Had they taken the wheels off, they would have been embarrassed since the car was completely standard. The reason it won is that I had followed the principles very closely – sleek design, weight in rear, polished axles, sanded/polished wheels, graphite, etc.

I’m glad I could help the mother. Each year so many first-year families do not get the extra help they need to compete.

By the way, I kind of wish that the men had taken the wheels off the car – it would have been front page material!

Bob Rice
Bellingham, Massachusetts

Do you Remember?
If you have a pinewood derby story that is funny, unusual, sad, heart-warming, etc., please send it to me in an e-mail. Don’t worry about literary polish. We will edit as needed before publishing. Also, please read our submission policy.If your story is used, you will receive a $10 coupon in May of 2017.


Q&A

Q: How aggressive of a COG will cause a car to become unstable: fish tailing, and popping wheelies? I do not have means to test cars prior to racing. I can get between 5/8 to 1/1/8 inch COG depending on body style and type of weight.

A: If you are NOT rail-riding, then I would stick with 1 inch. If you are rail-riding, then you can go to 5/8 inch. But make sure you set a lot of drift – at least 5 inches over 8 feet. You want to make sure the car stays on the rail regardless of the levelness of the track.

Q: The grandchildren can run in an outlaw class. I found on the Internet that you had a derby car mounted with an air turbine motor that was charged with a 9 volt battery. Do you sell that type of motor?

A: Sorry we no longer offer a ducted fan car, as the “brushed” ducted fans are no longer available. You can find “brushless” fans, but these require a motor controller, LIPO batteries, a receiver, and remote control – basically the full RC loadout.

You can read about the “brushed” ducted fan cars in the feature articles in these three newsletters:

Volume 6, Issue 15

Volume 10, Issue 15

Volume 12, Issue 7

Want Answers?
Do you have a pinewood derby-related question? If so, e-mail us your question.We answer all questions by e-mail, but not every question will appear in the Q&A section of the newsletter.


Back Issues

Are you a new subscriber, or have you missed some of the previous newsletters? Don’t miss out; all of the issues for Volume 5 through Volume 17 are posted on our web site Here.

Issues from Volumes 1 to 4 are available in four formatted documents, ready for immediate download. To find out more, Click Here.


Newsletter Contributions

We welcome your contributions. If you would like to contribute an article, a web site review, a speed tip, or a pinewood derby memory, please e-mail us.

Please read our submission policy.


Subscription Information

The Pinewood Derby Times is a free e-newsletter focused on pinewood derby racing. It is published biweekly from October through March.

If you haven’t already done so, please forward this issue to your pinewood derby friends. But please don’t subscribe your friends. Let them decide for themselves. Thanks.

If this newsletter was forwarded to you, why not subscribe to receive this newsletter. There is no cost, and your e-mail address is safe, as we never sell or share our distribution list.

To subscribe, send a blank e-mail to
mailto:pinewood-derby-times-on@mail-list.com

You will receive a confirmation e-mail. Reply to the confirmation e-mail and you will start receiving the Pinewood Derby Times with the next issue.


Randy Davis, Editor, Pinewood Derby Times
E-Mail: mailto:info@maximum-velocity.com

(C)2018, Maximum Velocity, Inc. All rights reserved. Please do not reprint or place this newsletter on your web site without explicit permission. However, if you like this newsletter we grant permission, and encourage you to e-mail it to a friend.

Maximum Velocity disclaims any personal loss or liability caused by utilization of any information presented in this newsletter.

The Pinewood Derby Times is not specific to, and is not affiliated with the Boy Scouts of America, YMCA, Awana, or any other organization.

(R)Maximum Velocity is a registered trademark of Maximum Velocity, Inc.

(R)Pinewood Derby is a registered trademarks of the Boys Scouts of America.

(R)Awana is a registered trademark of Awana Clubs International.

All other names are trademarks of their respective owners.

Pinewood Derby Car Showcase – February 2, 2018

Sponge Fun – Brian & Grant Masek


This was the car that I told you about that they wouldn’t check in since it didn’t have all four wheels on the ground. We took the car home that night, pulled the front end apart, and cut new axle slots through the epoxy with a band saw. We wedged the axles back in with paper shims and re-glued so that all four wheels touched the ground. The car took 3rd in our pack and 4th in the district.

Formula One – Brian Masek

This Formula One was from your plans. I made it just for fun since it looked like a cool design.

Purple People Eater – Ardie T.

Attached is my 2012 adult class derby car winner. As the name applies, it just about ate up the competition. The tail wing was made from a piece off of the main block. Just so happened, it fit perfectly. I looked at it and said, “Yeah, this will be cool”. With some help from your axles and wheels, and a bit of polishing of the axles, it was a true winner.

From Pinewood Derby Times Volume 13, Issue 2
Subscribe to this Free Pinewood Derby E-newsletter
(C)2017, Maximum Velocity, Inc. All rights reserved.
Maximum Velocity Pinewood Derby Car Plans and Supplies

Pinewood Derby Times, Volume 17, Issue 9 – January 24, 2018

– Editor’s Note
– Feature Article – Pinewood Derby Car Kits
– Humor
– Product Showcase – MV Basic Car Kit Bulk Pack – 15% Off One Dozen
– Pinewood Derby Car Showcase
– Pinewood Derby Memory – Just Father and Son Memories
– Q&A


Editor’s Notes

Reader Feedback
As some additional information on the Pro-Axle Bender (Volume 17, Issue 8 – “Using the Pro-Axle Bender”, Bill Launius of DerbyWorx (the manufacturer of the tool) provided the following information:

“A bend of 2.5 degrees is what we recommend as a good base line angle in our Rail Rider videos. If you have not moved the adjustment collar from when you received the tool, it is already factory set for 2.5° on a BSA axle.

Since there are so many different available axles and limited room on the center shaft for index marks, we have developed base line adjustments, and from there it is just a matter of splitting the difference to achieve other angles. For instance, on a BSA axle the first mark from the top is 4 degrees and the second mark is 2 degrees. So, half way between the 1st and 2nd mark is 3 degrees, and 3/4 of the way down from the 1st mark is 2.5 degrees.

It is a good idea to test your bend on some old axles first after making any adjustment to the tool; but the nice thing is that once the tool is set to your desired setting, it will make exactly that bend every time. This is most important when establishing perfect alignment of the rear wheels. Remember, always start your alignment on the rear wheels first, taking the time to establish zero-toe before moving forward to set your steer. There is a lot of overlooked speed in simply getting the rear wheels set correctly, and you will notice the car free up and almost roll effortlessly when they are correct.”

MV Basic & Wedge Car Kits
If you are planning a race and are not required to use a specific kit type, our MV Basic or Wedge Car Kit are just what you need. These attractively priced kits are equipped with:

Quality Block – Unlike the blocks provided by some organizations, our blocks are soft, northwestern pine blocks, cut precisely to 7 inches long, 1-3/4 inches wide, and 1-1/4 inches tall. These dimensions, as well as the axle slots accurately duplicate the dimensions of standard pinewood derby blocks from BSA and PineCar.

Simple Axle Preparation – Don’t worry about filing off flaws, or losing hub caps. Our Speed Axles have no burrs or crimp marks, and install without hub caps. With or without polishing, they are ready to go. We supply five, so you have a spare.

Quality Wheels – Forget cheap, out of round wheels. Our MV wheels are top-quality wheels. You will not be disappointed with the quality of these wheels.

So, if your organization does not mandate a particular kit type, consider our MV Basic Car Kits or MV Wedge Car Kits. We also offer bulk packs of MV kits in Pre-cut Shapes.

Call for Car Photos
Help, we are virtually out of photos for the pinewood derby car showcase.  Please send us a photo of your car along with a description of any special features to:
info@maximum-velocity.com

Please include your full name. If selected, we will include the photo and description in this newsletter.

Photos must be sent by e-mail in JPG format (minimum size of 640×480, maximum size of 1280 x 960). Please shoot photos from the front left of the car, similar to the orientation of this car:

Make sure the photo is not blurry. If your photos are blurry, try holding the camera four or five feet away from the car, and then use the camera’s zoom to fill the frame with the car. Also, use a solid (preferably white) background for the photo.

Send only one photo per car, unless an additional photo is needed to adequately show a feature. Don’t forget to include your name, the name of the car (if it has one), and a brief write up on any design features, inspiration for the design, and how the car performed at the race. Thanks.

Inventory Clearance Sale
We are clearing inventory on several items including:

– Tundra and tungsten weights
– Formula One car kits
– Paint Stencils

We don’t have many left, so don’t delay. You can find these items Here.

Can We Help?
If we can help you in any way with your pinewood derby project, or if you have any feedback regarding this newsletter, please contact E-Mail Us.


Feature Article
Pinewood Derby Car Kits: Similarities and Differences
By Randy Davis

The official BSA car kit is likely the most widely sold car kit available today. But it is certainly rivaled by other kits including those offered by PineCar, Awana, and by Maximum Velocity. In addition, many other kits are also available.

Today’s article will explore the similarities and differences of the most common pinewood derby kits. The source of these kits and the applicability of the various tools to these kits will also be included. Finally, I will share my thoughts on the quality and usability of these kits.

This article will review the kits listed below. The sources of the kits, and list price are provided.

BSA Kit – Local pack, scout shops, directly from BSA (www.scoutstuff.org), and from Maximum Velocity. $3.99 – $4.99

PineCar Basic Kit – Most hobby and craft stores, directly from PineCar (www.pinecar.com), and from Maximum Velocity. $3.99

Awana Kit – Awana clubs get the best price, but anyone can purchase from Awana (www.awana.org). $4.99

MV Basic Kit – Directly from Maximum Velocity (www.maximum-velocity.com). $3.45 ($3.12 in bulk pack of 12)

Royal Ranger Kit – Local club, or directly from Royal Rangers (abbreviated here as RR) (gospelpublishing.com). $3.69

RA Kit Local club, or directly from the manufacturer (royalracers.com). $4.50 with quantity discounting to $4.00

There are several other kits available which are not included here. Most of them are described Here.

Kit Specifications
The following tables summarize the basic measurements of the kits. Unless otherwise noted, the kits consist of a slotted pine block, four wheels, and four axles. All measurements are in inches unless otherwise noted.


Figure 1 – Wood Block

Figure 1 Footnotes:
1. RSP – Rear Slot Position, as measured from rear of block to center of slot, to nearest 1/16.

2. DBS – Distance Between Slots as measured from center to center, to nearest 1/16.

3. Very wide axles slots, greater than 1/16; axle fits loosely.

4. Uses two dowel rod axle supports. The axle slots are half-round troughs into which the dowel rods are glued. The ends of the dowel rods are pilot drilled for the screw axles.

5. Very narrow axle slots, less than 1/16; axle fits very tightly.


Figure 2 – Wheels

Figure 2 Footnotes:
1. Tread width – Except as noted excludes sidewall.

2. Weight for 4 wheels.

3. Narrow wheel, balanced over hub. Width measurement includes sidewall. Tread surface is an edge.


Figure 3 – Axles

Figure 3 Footnotes:
1. “Burrs” are excess material connecting the axle head with the axle shaft. “Crimps” are marks on the axle shaft.

2. Long rod with hub caps, nail axles are also included.

3. Blunt-tipped “hinge pin” axles.

4. Axle head is pre-beveled.

Tool Applicability
The following table shows the applicability of the various specialty tools to the kits.


Figure 4 – Tool Applicability 1


Figure 5 – Tool Applicability 2

Figures 4 and 5 Footnotes:
1. Nail axles only; not for use with solid-rod axles.

2. Use the 5110-“Pro-Hub Tool” to square the outer hub on Awana
wheels.

3. Not for straightening the axle or beveling the head, but can be used with the Pro-Rail Rider Tool for bending the axle.

4. Not for squaring or coning hubs, but required for the Pro-Wheel Shaver XT.

5. Requires 1/8 inch bushing (Part #5159)

6. Can be used as a gap gauge, but does not assist ininstallation.

Comments and Ratings
Here are my thoughts on these kits. The rating is a subjective rating (5 is best) based on ease of use, quality, and opportunity for top speed.

BSA Kit

Overall Rating – 3.7

Block – 5 – High quality with reasonably accurate slots. The slots are offset, with a distinct front and rear orientation.

Wheels – 4 – High quality, with minimal variance between molds. The extra wide opening on the car side of the wheel makes graphite application reasonably easy. However, the extra step on the outer hub detracts from speed.

Axles – 2 – Nail axles are of poor quality, having both burrs and crimps. Many of the nails have flawed axle heads.

PineCar Basic Kit

Overall Rating – 3

Block – 5 – High good quality with reasonably accurate slots. The slots are offset, with a distinct front and rear orientation.

Wheels – 3 – Reasonable quality wheels. The wheels are the heaviest on the market, resulting in slower speeds. So, don’t mix these kits with other kits in a race.

Axles – 1 – The solid rod axle system is unique, and is intended to simplify construction in that there are no burrs or crimp marks to remove. However, the hub caps are difficult to deal with. They are hard to install, easily lost, and sometimes come off during races. But the main drawback is that the solid rod axles are too narrow for the block. If wood is not sanded off the sides of the block, and the paint is somewhat thick, the wheels hubs can rub on the sides of the car. To resolve this problem, either sand at least 1/16 inch of wood from one side of the block, or cut the rod axle in half so that the proper gap can be set between the wheel hub and the car body.

Awana Kit

Overall Rating 3

Block – 1 – The blocks are shorter than the regulation 7 inches, and much of the wood is sub-par. Some of the slots are poorly cut, and the slots are too wide for the axles, resulting in a sloppy fit. The centered slot design does not have a distinct front or rear, and limits design options. It also leads to slower cars.

Wheels – 3 – Light weight and consistent, but too soft to be easily machined or sanded. It is easy to melt the wheels when smoothing the tread surface (make sure to keep the sandpaper very wet).

Axles – 5 – High quality pins. The axles have no flaws and are very consistent. They are perfectly sized for the wheels. Some people use these axles with BSA and PineCar wheels as they provide a high-tolerance fit.

MV Basic Kit(1)

Overall Rating – 4.7

Block – 5 – High quality with reasonably accurate slots. The slots are offset, with a distinct front and rear orientation.

Wheels – 4 – High quality, with minimal variance between molds.

Axles – 5 – High quality pins with beveled axle heads. The axles have no flaws and are very consistent. They are perfectly sized for the wheels.

Royal Ranger Kit

Overall Rating – 3

Block – 3 – Reasonable quality with half-round slots. The wheelbase is longer than other kits, giving the opportunity for higher performance. However, it can be difficult to accurately glue the dowel rods into the slots, leading to alignment issues. In addition, the pilot holes in the dowel rods are often off-center.

Wheels – 3 – Medium quality due to inconsistency from wheel to wheel. The hard plastic is easily machined.

Axles – 3 – Wood screws with virtually no defects. However, they are undersized for the wheel bores.

RA Kit

Overall Rating – 2.3

Block – 4 – Good quality with accurate, slightly offset slots. The slots are too narrow for the axles, leading to possible block splitting.

Wheels – 1 – Low quality. The hubs barely extend far enough to keep the wheels from touching the car body (be careful when removing hub material).

Axles – 2 – Upgraded nail axles, with burrs but without crimp marks. However, they are extremely undersized for the wheel bore.

Conclusion
I realize that most people are required to use the kit supplied by their organization. However, if your local organization has the flexibility to select a kit vendor, this information should help you make a more informed decision. Also, if you are racing in an open competition without a specific kit requirement, consider picking and choosing parts to give your car the racer’s edge.

(1)The higher rating for the MV kit is not just bias. When we designed the kit, we looked at the various kits on the market and chose the best features to include in the MV kit.


Humor

A teenage boy tells his father, “Dad, there’s trouble with the car, it has water in the carburetor.”

The father looks confused and says, “That’s ridiculous!”

But the son insists. “I tell you, the car has water in the carburetor.”

His father, is still skeptical. “You don’t even know what a carburetor is…. but I will check it out. Where is the car?”

“In the pool,” replies the son.


Product Showcase

MV Basic Car Kits – Bulk Pack – 15% Off ($5.62 Off one pack)

Are you looking for quality pinewood derby kits at an attractive price? Are you dissatisfied with the quality of the kits your organization uses?

Through February 6, 2018, you can get a bulk pack of MV Basic Car Kits for 15 percent off. To take advantage of this limited time offer, add part 5458 to your shopping cart and use coupon code JAN24NL during checkout.


Pinewood Derby Car Showcase

Dubba Bubba Jet – Ed Greutert

We have a Dad’s Unlimited Class at our Cub Scout PWD. I won it a couple years ago with a contraption I called the Bubba Jet. This year I built the Dubba Bubba Jet. I have an HD camera mounted on the front that connects to a transmitter so we can watch the race live from the cockpit.

Grandma’s Molasses – Darren White

Sometimes when you think you have a really fast car you have to make fun of it.

Share Your Car With Our Readers
Do you have a car you would like to “show off” to our readers? If so, send us a photo of your car along with a description of any special features to:
info@maximum-velocity.com

Please include your full name. If selected, we will include the photo and description in this newsletter.

Photos must be sent by e-mail in JPG format (minimum size of 640×480, maximum size of 1280 x 960). Please shoot photos from the front left of the car, similar to the orientation of this car:

For better focus, keep the camera four or five feet away from the car, and then use the camera’s zoom to fill the frame with the car. Also, use a solid (preferably white) background for the photo.

Send only one photo per car, unless an additional photo is needed to adequately show a feature. Also, only one car per subscriber per year please. Thanks.


Pinewood Derby Memory

Just Father and Son Memories

I came from a finically strapped family. My scout uniform was second hand. Mom did the best she could to alter it but there was only so much she could do with a uniform that included wool pants that were scratchy and made for a child 3 times my size. Our den mother wasn’t a very happy lady; she didn’t seem to like children. Don’t ask me why she wanted to be a den mother. Dad worked two jobs, Mom worked also. We couldn’t afford some of the field trips, and some of the other expenses that came up while I was a scout.

But pinewood derby was different. Inexpensive and a chance to create something with dreams of winning. Wool pants and few luxuries didn’t matter at that point. Dad didn’t have much spare time to help. My car had an awful paint job – come to think of it, that was its best feature.

I placed last. I cried; I wasn’t mature yet. We lived close to my school where the race was held, so we walked to the school and walked back home. My Dad had his arm around me. After a bit of silence Dad said, “Son, we could have done better. But we done the best we knew how.” It was a lesson in life. Do your best, that’s all any of us can do. I still have that car after 42 years. It’s not for sale, it’s a priceless trophy.

Neil Ezell

Do you Remember?
If you have a pinewood derby story that is funny, unusual, sad, heart-warming, etc., please send it to me in an e-mail. Don’t worry about literary polish. We will edit as needed before publishing. Also, please read our submission policy.If your story is used, you will receive a $10 coupon in May of 2017.


Q&A

Q: How long does graphite last when tuning is complete, but before racing? How long does wheel bore polish/prep last when tuning is complete, before racing? In other words, how early can the axle/wheel prep be completed before racing and the car remain on the “shelf”, and still remain race ready?

A: If the car is not used, then the shelf life is indefinite. Graphite does not evaporate or go bad. Bore polish is used to smooth the plastic. It is then removed with water. So there is no polish left after prep is complete. You can prepare a graphited car well ahead of time as long as it is protected and not used. I would keep it in a climate controlled area, inside a container to keep dust off of the car.

Q: This year my son’s pack is having an outlaw race for dads. If I order your outlaw wheels and axles, can I bend the axles like you would for the regular BSA? I just purchased an axle bender from you but don’t want to damage anything.

A: The tolerance between the wheel bore and axle is fairly tight, so if you bend the axles, you may not be able to slide the wheel onto the axle. When I run a car with outlaw wheels, I leave the rears straight, and put a very slight bend in the front steering axle – less than 1.5 degrees.

Want Answers?
Do you have a pinewood derby-related question? If so, e-mail us your question.We answer all questions by e-mail, but not every question will appear in the Q&A section of the newsletter.


Back Issues

Are you a new subscriber, or have you missed some of the previous newsletters? Don’t miss out; all of the issues for Volume 5 through Volume 17 are posted on our web site Here.

Issues from Volumes 1 to 4 are available in four formatted documents, ready for immediate download. To find out more, Click Here.


Newsletter Contributions

We welcome your contributions. If you would like to contribute an article, a web site review, a speed tip, or a pinewood derby memory, please e-mail us.

Please read our submission policy.


Subscription Information

The Pinewood Derby Times is a free e-newsletter focused on pinewood derby racing. It is published biweekly from October through March.

If you haven’t already done so, please forward this issue to your pinewood derby friends. But please don’t subscribe your friends. Let them decide for themselves. Thanks.

If this newsletter was forwarded to you, why not subscribe to receive this newsletter. There is no cost, and your e-mail address is safe, as we never sell or share our distribution list.

To subscribe, send a blank e-mail to
mailto:pinewood-derby-times-on@mail-list.com

You will receive a confirmation e-mail. Reply to the confirmation e-mail and you will start receiving the Pinewood Derby Times with the next issue.


Randy Davis, Editor, Pinewood Derby Times
E-Mail: mailto:info@maximum-velocity.com

(C)2018, Maximum Velocity, Inc. All rights reserved. Please do not reprint or place this newsletter on your web site without explicit permission. However, if you like this newsletter we grant permission, and encourage you to e-mail it to a friend.

Maximum Velocity disclaims any personal loss or liability caused by utilization of any information presented in this newsletter.

The Pinewood Derby Times is not specific to, and is not affiliated with the Boy Scouts of America, YMCA, Awana, or any other organization.

(R)Maximum Velocity is a registered trademark of Maximum Velocity, Inc.

(R)Pinewood Derby is a registered trademarks of the Boys Scouts of America.

(R)Awana is a registered trademark of Awana Clubs International.

All other names are trademarks of their respective owners.

Pinewood Derby Car Showcase – January 19, 2018

Church Cross Car – Jim White and Aaron Shain

My grandson and I built this RA pinewood derby car for my son-in-law (grandson’s father). We call it the “Church Cross Car” for obvious reasons.

Batmobiles – Craig Look

Here are Evan and Jacob’s batmobiles. Evan’s batmobile is the open- wheeled version, while Jacob’s is the one with the fenders.

Sea Destroyer – Keith, Victoria, and Gabriel D.

Last year (2012) my son Gabriel won his pack race. But when he went to the district race, reality set in and he found out that he was not even close to being competitive. Walking out of the race, my son and I were discussing next year’s (2013) car and we decided to do everything that we could do to make his car the fastest it could be. This year (2013) my son won his pack race again and was able to compete in the district race. Overall he had the 5th best time of the 37 cars in his district. He was very happy with his finish. Thank you for helping make my son’s last race a great and happy experience for him.

From Pinewood Derby Times Volume 13, Issue 1
Subscribe to this Free Pinewood Derby E-newsletter
(C)2017, Maximum Velocity, Inc. All rights reserved.
Maximum Velocity Pinewood Derby Car Plans and Supplies

Pinewood Derby Times, Volume 17, Issue 8 – January 10, 2018

– Editor’s Note
– Feature Article – Using the Pro-Axle Bender
– Humor
– Product Showcase – Pro-Axle Bender – 10% Off ($7.99 Off)
– Pinewood Derby Car Showcase
– Pinewood Derby Memory – New Track Record
– Q&A


Editor’s Notes

MV Basic & Wedge Car Kits
If you are planning a race and are not required to use a specific kit type, our MV Basic or Wedge Car Kit are just what you need. These attractively priced kits are equipped with:

Quality Block – Unlike the blocks provided by some organizations, our blocks are soft, northwestern pine blocks, cut precisely to 7 inches long, 1-3/4 inches wide, and 1-1/4 inches tall. These dimensions, as well as the axle slots accurately duplicate the dimensions of standard pinewood derby blocks from BSA and PineCar.

Simple Axle Preparation – Don’t worry about filing off flaws, or losing hub caps. Our Speed Axles have no burrs or crimp marks, and install without hub caps. With or without polishing, they are ready to go. We supply five, so you have a spare.

Quality Wheels – Forget cheap, out of round wheels. Our MV wheels are top-quality wheels. You will not be disappointed with the quality of these wheels.

So, if your organization does not mandate a particular kit type, consider our MV Basic Car Kits or MV Wedge Car Kits. We also offer bulk packs of MV kits in Pre-cut Shapes.

Call for Car Photos
Help, we are virtually out of photos for the pinewood derby car showcase.  Please send us a photo of your car along with a description of any special features to:
info@maximum-velocity.com

Please include your full name. If selected, we will include the photo and description in this newsletter.

Photos must be sent by e-mail in JPG format (minimum size of 640×480, maximum size of 1280 x 960). Please shoot photos from the front left of the car, similar to the orientation of this car:

Make sure the photo is not blurry. If your photos are blurry, try holding the camera four or five feet away from the car, and then use the camera’s zoom to fill the frame with the car. Also, use a solid (preferably white) background for the photo.

Send only one photo per car, unless an additional photo is needed to adequately show a feature. Don’t forget to include your name, the name of the car (if it has one), and a brief write up on any design features, inspiration for the design, and how the car performed at the race. Thanks.

Inventory Clearance Sale
We are clearing inventory on several items including:

– Tundra and tungsten weights
– Formula One car kits
– Paint Stencils

We don’t have many left, so don’t delay. You can find these items Here.

Can We Help?
If we can help you in any way with your pinewood derby project, or if you have any feedback regarding this newsletter, please contact E-Mail Us.


Feature Article
Using the Pro-Axle Bender
By Randy Davis

Prior to 2013, the Pro-Axle Press and Pro-Rail Rider tools were the only commercially available tools for bending axles. These tools work fine, but have a few limitations:

1. Limited to zinc-plated steel axles – stainless steel and titanium axles cannot be bent with these tools.

2. Dependent on axle diameter – the Pro-Rail Rider tool was designed only for axles with approximately a 0.086 inch OD (BSA size). If axles of this size are aggressively polished resulting in a reduced diameter, the axles cannot be bent without the introduction of a paper or card stock shim.

3. Limited to 1.5 and 2.5 degree bends.

In 2013, the Pro-Axle Bender(1) was introduced as an elegant solution for bending axles. Not only did the tool resolve all of the above limitations, it also is much easier to use.

In the intervening years, I have used the Pro-Axle Bender to bend a large quantity of axles, and in so doing have learned a few tricks. So today’s article will detail how to get the best use of the Pro-Axle Bender.


Figure 1 – Pro-Axle Bender Parts

Tool Preparation
The body of the Pro-Axle Bender (hereafter referred to as the “Bender”) is made from aluminum. Prior to assembly it is tumble polished to soften the edges and create a consistent brushed finish. Unfortunately, the finish is slightly rough, so it can scuff an axle while it is being inserted into the tool. So I recommend polishing the axle trough with some fine grit sandpaper.

1. Remove the thumbscrew and clamp.

2. Wrap a small piece of fine grit sandpaper (800 or finer) around the smooth shaft of a small drill bit (1/16 inch works fine).

3. Place the sandpaper into the trough, and with medium pressure move the paper back and forth for 10-15 seconds.

4. Wipe out the trough with a soft rag and replace the clamp and thumbscrew.


Figure 2 – Polishing the Trough

Next, applying a lubricant into the trough will help preserve the finish of the axle. This should be done before each axle bending session.

If you plan to use Krytox 100 for your wheels and axles, you can apply one drop into the trough and wipe off the excess. However, if you plan to use graphite, then I recommend a dry lube (not graphite). I use Dupont-brand “Non-Stick Dry Film Lubricant” which you can find at many locations including Amazon. The lube consists of Teflon suspended in alcohol. To apply, shake the bottle thoroughly, apply one drop into the trough, and allow it to dry (this takes just a few seconds). If too much lube is applied, just wipe it off with a soft rag.


Figure 3 – Dry Lubricant

Establishing An Angle
The Bender is equipped with indexing marks on the shaft to help identify the bend angle. However, the amount of bend is dependent on the type of axle, and somewhat depending on the spring that surrounds the shaft. So before bending production axles, you will want to use a spare axle to establish the desired bend. The Bender instructions include guidelines for various angles. In the setting column of the instructions, “Full” means that the locking collar is at the top of the shaft, while the numbers 1, 2, and 3 indicate the index lines counting from the top of the shaft.

A few pointers for establishing the angle:

1. Start with a bend angle less than the desired angle. You can always move the collar further up the shaft and bend the axle more, but you cannot “unbend” an axle if the angle is too much.

2. Always use an axle with no burrs or crimp marks on the shaft, as these defects could damage the tool.

3. The collar is locked with a 3/32 hex key (not included with the Bender). Make sure to firmly tighten the collar, but don’t over-tighten.

4. The commonly used angles of 1.5 and 2.5 degrees are not magic angles. If the angles you establish are in the ballpark, you will be fine.

5. To determine the angle of a bent axle, you can use the chart and information located Here.

The actual PDF chart is Here,  but make sure to read the “Preparation” and “How to use the gauge” sections before measuring an angle.(2)

Bending An Axle
1. First, mount the axle in the Bender with the axle head centered in the cup-shaped indent. You can adjust the axle forward or backward if desired, but centering the axle head generally works fine.

2. Tighten the thumb screw snuggly, but do not over tighten.

3. Place your thumb on top of the shaft, and use your index finger to lift up on the bending lever. Lift until the tool stops. Do not squeeze tightly, as the spring could distort, resulting in a larger than desired angle.

4. Release the lever and remove the axle.

5. If the bend angle is not enough, move the locking collar slightly up the shaft, and repeat the above steps.


Figure 4 – Bending An Axle

The Bender instructions recommend marking the “12 o’clock” position of the axle head with a marker before bending. You can certainly do that, but it does add a level of complication when inserting the axle into the bender. I have found that the mark is not really helpful when mounting axles or aligning the car.(3)

Conclusion
The Pro-Axle Bender can greatly simplify the task of bending axles. But if you take the time to properly setup the tool you will improve your results which will translate to better performance on the track.

(1) In late 2017 after this article was written, DerbyWorx introduced a new version of the Pro-Axle Bender. The differences between the new version (Figure 4) and the previous version (Figures 1 and 2) are cosmetic and relate to manufacturing cost. Since the two versions are identical in function and usage, I chose to not re-shoot the first two photos for this article.

(2)Thanks to Stan Pope for making this chart available.

(3) For information on aligning a car with bent axles, please Rail-Rider Alignment Walk-through


Humor

It’s a sunny morning in the Big Forest and the Bear family are just waking up. Baby Bear goes downstairs and sits in his small chair at the table.

He looks into his small bowl. It is empty! “Who’s been eating my porridge?!” he squeaks.

Papa Bear arrives at the table and sits in his big chair. He looks into his big bowl. It is also empty! “Who’s been eating my porridge?!” he roars.

Mamma Bear puts her head through the serving hatch from the kitchen and yells, “For goodness sakes, how many times do we have to go through this? I haven’t made the porridge yet!!”


Product Showcase

Pro-Axle Bender – 10% Off ($7.99 Off)

Accurate Alignment= Greater Speed!

The Pro-Axle Bender provides a simple and repeatable method for bending pinewood derby axles. This allows rear wheels to run canted, and/or the front dominant axle to be aligned for rail-riding or straight alignment. Accurate alignment is one of the five keys to producing a fast pinewood derby car.

The Pro-Axle Bender will work with axles from BSA, Awana, MV, PineCar, and many others. The tool will bend zinc and nickel-plated steel axles, as well as stainless steel and titanium axles.

Through January 23, 2018, you can get a Pro-Axle Bender for 10 percent off. To take advantage of this limited time offer, add part 5198 to your shopping cart and use coupon code JAN10NL during checkout.


Pinewood Derby Car Showcase

The Flash – Duc and Noah Pham

My son and I are big fans of your newsletter! Here is a picture of my son’s car from last year. We like watching the TV show, “The Flash” and thought, “How perfect would that be for a pinewood derby car.” He wanted a fender car so he made them out of balsa wood and used an old pinewood derby wheel with sandpaper glued to it to shape the fenders to fit the wheel. “The Flash” took first place at the pack and district races, and was voted the den’s “Best in Show”.

Music on Wheels – Bruce Edney

This car was designed by my 8 year old grand daughter. All Ukulele parts are hand made. The body wood is maple.

’32 Ford – Randy

This is a ’32 Ford we built for my daughter’s race a couple of years ago. Our expectations were pretty low, but we ended up finishing 3rd overall in speed and 2nd for design.

Share Your Car With Our Readers
Do you have a car you would like to “show off” to our readers? If so, send us a photo of your car along with a description of any special features to:
info@maximum-velocity.com

Please include your full name. If selected, we will include the photo and description in this newsletter.

Photos must be sent by e-mail in JPG format (minimum size of 640×480, maximum size of 1280 x 960). Please shoot photos from the front left of the car, similar to the orientation of this car:

For better focus, keep the camera four or five feet away from the car, and then use the camera’s zoom to fill the frame with the car. Also, use a solid (preferably white) background for the photo.

Send only one photo per car, unless an additional photo is needed to adequately show a feature. Also, only one car per subscriber per year please. Thanks.


Pinewood Derby Memory

New Track Record

We have a “Sponsor” race after our Cub Scout race. Anyone can race for a donation of $100.00. The winner gets a big trophy and keeps it for a year. It then has to be returned to the Pack. This year, we had eleven sponsors.

I explained the pinewood derby to our minister and asked if she would like to race a car. She seemed excited about it, so we built a three-wheeled rail rider together, She worked with me polishing bores, using the concentricity gauge, etc. I practiced with her on being last to stage the car, stay and watch the car in case someone bumps it, etc. She became a master of it.

She won the race and the crowd began to cheer. She didn’t know why. The Pack leader pointed to the big screen where it said, “New track Record”. She said, “That’s so nice of them to tell me that”.

What a lovely person she is.

Bill Klingler

Do you Remember?
If you have a pinewood derby story that is funny, unusual, sad, heart-warming, etc., please send it to me in an e-mail. Don’t worry about literary polish. We will edit as needed before publishing. Also, please read our submission policy.If your story is used, you will receive a $10 coupon in May of 2017.


Q&A

Q:  Are there any weights that are more dense than Tungsten?

A: Only a few metals are denser than tungsten. They are either very expensive, or are radioactive. Pure tungsten has essentially the same density as gold, and is the densest metal that is practical for use as a weight.

The densest metals are shown below sorted by density. Prices for the heaviest six metals are current industrial (bulk) pricing. If these metals were shaped into a usable form (cylinders, cubes, etc.) and sold at retail the price would be considerably higher.

Some prices were converted from troy ounces to Avoirdupois (common) ounces to maintain the comparison.

grams/ml   $/oz       Element name

19.32           $1,170   Gold

19.35           $3 – $8  Tungsten (price depends on purity and shape)

19.84          $42,524 Americium (radioactive)

20.20          $1.48     Uranium (radioactive)

21.04          $80         Rhenium

21.45           $840     Platinum

22.40           $884      Iridium

22.60           $364     Osmium

Q: I read with interest the analysis of the Air Guides that fill the inside of the wheels. Two questions:

A) In a rail riding situation, does the Air Guide hit the guide rail?

B) With the deflectors glued to the body, how do you use a gap tool to set axle body gap?

A: Thanks for your interest.

1. The Air Guides have an inset which is oriented to the bottom of the wheel, so the Air Guide does not touch the guide rail.

2. You have to eyeball it. You can get reasonably close by noticing the spacing between the axle head and the outer wheel hub. Note that the gap measure has only a trivial effect on performance unless the gap is extremely small.

Want Answers?
Do you have a pinewood derby-related question? If so, e-mail us your question.We answer all questions by e-mail, but not every question will appear in the Q&A section of the newsletter.


Back Issues

Are you a new subscriber, or have you missed some of the previous newsletters? Don’t miss out; all of the issues for Volume 5 through Volume 17 are posted on our web site Here.

Issues from Volumes 1 to 4 are available in four formatted documents, ready for immediate download. To find out more, Click Here.


Newsletter Contributions

We welcome your contributions. If you would like to contribute an article, a web site review, a speed tip, or a pinewood derby memory, please e-mail us.

Please read our submission policy.


Subscription Information

The Pinewood Derby Times is a free e-newsletter focused on pinewood derby racing. It is published biweekly from October through March.

If you haven’t already done so, please forward this issue to your pinewood derby friends. But please don’t subscribe your friends. Let them decide for themselves. Thanks.

If this newsletter was forwarded to you, why not subscribe to receive this newsletter. There is no cost, and your e-mail address is safe, as we never sell or share our distribution list.

To subscribe, send a blank e-mail to
mailto:pinewood-derby-times-on@mail-list.com

You will receive a confirmation e-mail. Reply to the confirmation e-mail and you will start receiving the Pinewood Derby Times with the next issue.


Randy Davis, Editor, Pinewood Derby Times
E-Mail: mailto:info@maximum-velocity.com

(C)2018, Maximum Velocity, Inc. All rights reserved. Please do not reprint or place this newsletter on your web site without explicit permission. However, if you like this newsletter we grant permission, and encourage you to e-mail it to a friend.

Maximum Velocity disclaims any personal loss or liability caused by utilization of any information presented in this newsletter.

The Pinewood Derby Times is not specific to, and is not affiliated with the Boy Scouts of America, YMCA, Awana, or any other organization.

(R)Maximum Velocity is a registered trademark of Maximum Velocity, Inc.

(R)Pinewood Derby is a registered trademarks of the Boys Scouts of America.

(R)Awana is a registered trademark of Awana Clubs International.

All other names are trademarks of their respective owners.

Pinewood Derby Car Showcase – January 5, 2018

Batmobile – Dennis Wang

This year my Wolf scout wanted to build the Batmobile. We did some research for some images, and he ended up picking the design from the first two motion pictures. We used Microsoft Visio to create templates from the top and side views. We glued our templates to do the major shaping. The rest of the shaping was done with a Dremel tool and Rotozip sander. We took clear plastic, spray painted one side with black spray paint and then inlaid it to the cockpit which was carved out with the Dremel. We took first in design, and we’re heading to District in March.

Lego Indy – Dennis Wang

Our pack runs a sibling race and my soon to be Tiger scout wanted to build a Lego race car. He eventually settled on an Indy car. We used Microsoft Visio to create the top and side view templates and a scroll saw to shape our standard BSA block. Visio helped us keep the blocks to scale. We used 1/8 inch dowels as the peg portion of the Legos. When the car was done, it didn’t look complete. So we decided to put sponsor stickers. Since Mason is really into “Plants vs Zombies”, we used images we found on-line to decorate the car. The car took first in design in the parent/sibling race.

Viper – Bruce Edney

The Viper design is based on the Lola B08/86 Mazda MZR-R coupe which raced in the American Le Mans Series LMP2 class at Petit Le Mans in October 2009. This car raced in the 2012 Mid-America Pinewood Derby, and the PWDR and WIRL racing leagues.

Sky News – Brian Masek


The Sky News Van was my personal project for last year so that I would have something to work on myself and meddle less with the boy’s cars. I saw a YouTube video of a video car that someone else had made, but they just put a camera on a block and didn’t do anything special with the design. So I decided to try to make a remote TV truck with a working video camera. The truck is not legal for races (it’s slightly too large, and with the camera and 9V battery is very overweight), but it is actually designed to be slow anyway. I bent the axles so that all other cars would pass it and would be captured on the video. At our derby race last year we set it facing the finish line of the race track which allowed the adults to watch the races on a large TV. Then at the end of the race we ran it down the track.

From Pinewood Derby Times Volume 12, Issue 13
Subscribe to this Free Pinewood Derby E-newsletter
(C)2017, Maximum Velocity, Inc. All rights reserved.
Maximum Velocity Pinewood Derby Car Plans and Supplies

Pinewood Derby Times, Volume 17, Issue 7 – December 27, 2017

In this Edition

– Editor’s Notes
– Humor
– Product Showcase – Paint Stand – $2.00 Off
– Pinewood Derby Car Showcase
– Pinewood Derby Memory – Dad’s Car
– Q&A


Editor’s Notes

Seasons Greetings
All of us at Maximum Velocity wish you and your family a Merry Christmas and a great New Year. May you have a blessed year.

No Feature Article
I decided to a take a Christmas break and not have an article in this edition. But I’ll have a new article in the next issue on January 10.

Call for Car Photos
Help, we are virtually out of photos for the pinewood derby car showcase.  Please send us a photo of your car along with a description of any special features to:
info@maximum-velocity.com

Please include your full name. If selected, we will include the photo and description in this newsletter.

Photos must be sent by e-mail in JPG format (minimum size of 640×480, maximum size of 1280 x 960). Please shoot photos from the front left of the car, similar to the orientation of this car:

Make sure the photo is not blurry. If your photos are blurry, try holding the camera four or five feet away from the car, and then use the camera’s zoom to fill the frame with the car. Also, use a solid (preferably white) background for the photo.

Send only one photo per car, unless an additional photo is needed to adequately show a feature. Don’t forget to include your name, the name of the car (if it has one), and a brief write up on any design features, inspiration for the design, and how the car performed at the race. Thanks.

MV Basic & Wedge Car Kits
If you are planning a race and are not required to use a specific kit type, our MV Basic or Wedge Car Kit are just what you need. These attractively priced kits are equipped with:

Quality Block – Unlike the blocks provided by some organizations, our blocks are soft, northwestern pine blocks, cut precisely to 7 inches long, 1-3/4 inches wide, and 1-1/4 inches tall. These dimensions, as well as the axle slots accurately duplicate the dimensions of standard pinewood derby blocks from BSA and PineCar.

Simple Axle Preparation – Don’t worry about filing off flaws, or losing hub caps. Our Speed Axles have no burrs or crimp marks, and install without hub caps. With or without polishing, they are ready to go. We supply five, so you have a spare.

Quality Wheels – Forget cheap, out of round wheels. Our MV wheels are top-quality wheels. You will not be disappointed with the quality of these wheels.

So, if your organization does not mandate a particular kit type, consider our MV Basic Car Kits or MV Wedge Car Kits. We also offer bulk packs of MV kits in Pre-cut Shapes.

Inventory Clearance Sale
We are clearing inventory on several items including:

– Tundra and tungsten weights
– Formula One car kits
– Paint Stencils

We don’t have many left, so don’t delay. You can find these items Here.

Can We Help?
If we can help you in any way with your pinewood derby project, or if you have any feedback regarding this newsletter, please contact E-Mail Us.


Humor

The Ultimate Metric Conversion Chart

1,000,000,000,000 Microphones = 1 Megaphone

1,000,000 bicycles = 2 megacycles

500 millinaries = 1 seminary

2,000 mockingbirds = 2 kilomockingbirds

10 cards = 1 decacards

1/2 lavatory = 1 demijohn

0.000001 fish = 1 microfiche

453.6 graham crackers = 1 pound cake

1,000,000,000,000 pins = 1 terrapin

10 rations = 1 decoration

100 rations = 1 C-ration

10 millipedes = 1 centipede

3 1/3 tridents = 1 decadent

10 monologs = 5 dialogues

5 dialogues = 1 decalogue

2 monograms = 1 diagram

8 nickels = 2 paradigms

2 snake eyes = 1 paradise

2 wharves = 1 paradox


Product Showcase

Paint Stand – $2.00 Off

Simplify and Improve Your Painting

Finally, a paint stand for pinewood derby cars that is easy to use, and works on virtually any car! This paint stand by Derby Guys not only holds your car securely, but also:

– Allows you to hold the car in any position while painting.

– Works with axle slots or axle holes, and with any wheelbase.

– Keeps paint out of the axle slots or holes.

– Provides a stable base while your car dries.

Through January 9, 2018, you can get a Paint Stand for $2.00 off. To take advantage of this limited time offer, add part 5385 to your shopping cart and use coupon code DEC27NL during checkout.


Pinewood Derby Car Showcase

Today’s cars are from Andy Holzer.

1974 Javelin

In the spring of 2016 I was given the chance to purchase a 1974 Javelin. This Javelin was purchased by the current owner’s brother, back in 1974.

This was truly a “kid’s car”, as it is a 360, 4-bbl, 4-speed, console delete, manual steering, drum brake car. It has all the options to make it faster and look cooler, except for an AM 8-track player.

Apparently, the original purchaser was indeed a 19-year-old kid that had a good job and decided he needed a new car. He narrowed his choices down to either the American Motors, Javelin or the Plymouth, ‘Cuda. He eventually decided on the Javelin because “it had more style and he felt it was more car for the money.”

He went to Greenburg’s AMC, in Anoka, Minnesota, to place an order for the car he wanted. He had made the decision to buy a white one with a gold stripe down the side. This is the same car that is shown in the 1974 AMC brochure. But, his best friend at the time, convinced him that the red one was much better looking. So he was persuaded, at the last minute, to order it in Trans Am Red.

He drove his new ’74 Javelin through the summer and had to buy a Plymouth Valiant as a beater for the winter. This car has never seen a Minnesota winter due to the original owner’s foresight.

As I said earlier, I purchased the car from the brother of the original purchaser in May of 2016. He had purchased the car from his brother in 2003. The original owner is 62 at this point.

During the holidays, I was planning on making a Pinewood Derby car of this ’74 Javelin. This car would be raced in our car club Pinewood Derby race in February of 2017. At the time, I decided I should make three cars, one for me and one for each of the owners of this very unique car.

As things normally go in my world, this project kept getting larger. I thought it needed some sort of box to package the car in. I had a Javelin AMX snap together model, and a green Johan snap together promo box with a couple of parts left inside. I thought this would make an interesting box to hold the cars.

So I made a box similar to the promo box.

The original plan was to get these model cars to the owners sometime around the holidays, but with these additions the timing seemed impossible. No one knew these were even in production so timing wasn’t a huge deal. In early February, these cars were ready to go to the owners of this Javelin. Each of the boxes are numbered.

The past owners loved the cars, along with the display box. The top of the box tells the story of the car and ends with, “Marty was able to build ‘his’ model of the Javelin.”

I ended up using Maximum Velocity wheels and axles as they closely resemble the Magnum 500 wheels on the Javelin.







If you are interested in a step-by-step build of this car, please see my post on DerbyTalk.

’55 Chevy “Two-lane Blacktop” Car

The second car I built was the car from the movie “Two-Lane Blacktop”. The movie is a story of two men drag-racing across the U.S. in a primer grey ’55 Chevy. The car is one of the stars of the movie, the actors in the movie were not given names, they were known as the mechanic and the driver.

This was the same ’55 Chevy that was used in the movie American Graffiti; it was modified and painted black for its appearance in that movie.

2016 Dodge Challenger Hellcat


The last car I built in 2017 was a Challenger Hellcat, I built this for a buddy of mine that purchased one of these in 2016. The most expensive part of building this car was getting the matching Chrysler “Go Man Go”, orange touch up paint.

Share Your Car With Our Readers
Do you have a car you would like to “show off” to our readers? If so, send us a photo of your car along with a description of any special features to:
info@maximum-velocity.com

Please include your full name. If selected, we will include the photo and description in this newsletter.

Photos must be sent by e-mail in JPG format (minimum size of 640×480, maximum size of 1280 x 960). Please shoot photos from the front left of the car, similar to the orientation of this car:

For better focus, keep the camera four or five feet away from the car, and then use the camera’s zoom to fill the frame with the car. Also, use a solid (preferably white) background for the photo.

Send only one photo per car, unless an additional photo is needed to adequately show a feature. Also, only one car per subscriber per year please. Thanks.


Pinewood Derby Memory

Dad’s Car
Our son joined the Tiger Scouts in the fall of 2002, so January 2003 was our introduction to “Pinewood Derby Racing.” We were excited about the idea of building a car together (well I was), but we did not know a whole lot about what we needed to do. Other than the few lines of information that came on the sheet that came with the block of wood, four nails, and wheels, we were pretty much left on our own. The pack we belonged to is pretty loose on structure and strong in the boys having good safe fun, and a lot of it. As the weeks went by we found out about the weight limit, length, width, and lubricant requirements.

Austin drew out his design on paper complete with guns, a jet turbine, and a device that extinguished the fire from the jet. We then transferred the design to the wood block. I carved and chiseled, he sanded and was constantly asking, “Are we done yet?” Along with his Mom telling me, “Let him do a lot of the work, it’s his car.” I carved and chiseled and he sanded some more.

He helped put on the first coats of paint and sanded some more and continued with, “Are we done yet??” And Mom, “Let him do a lot of the work, it’s his car.”

He picked out the stickers and helped put them on with the constant resonance of (you guessed it), “Are we done yet???” And Mom, “Let him do a lot of the work, etc., etc.”

We finally got the wheels on, and it was all I could do to keep him away from the car until race day in fear of it getting broken (you know I’m old and wise and know that I would be the one with additional work – that I did not need – when it got broken).

I then went on to build my own car. Our Pack, to encourage the parents to, “Let them do a lot of the work, it’s their car”, have an open race for the parents and siblings. This gives them an outlet for their creative streak and competitive juices. My car was going to be the envy of all the dads and would she be fast!!!!!

The evening before race day came, with cars packed in individual boxes, the whole family took off to the weigh-in and impound. Those around were “oohing” and “aahing” at our cars. The smoothness of the finish and the shine sparked constant comments such as, “How do you do that?” and, “Those are the best paint jobs we’ve ever seen.” My head was getting so big, and I was very proud of our accomplishments so far.

Race day starts with the scouts voting on the cars for ribbons in a number of categories including, most creative, best theme, most original, etc. Austin’s den – the Tigers – were the first den to run. Austin finished second in the den, not bad for our first build, and he also received the ribbon for best paint job.

When all the scouts were done, it was time for the Open race. Not too long after the start I was standing off to the side holding my car with what must have been a sorry look on my face, because one of the officials came over to me and said,

“It’s a good looking car, but the speed’s in the axles.”

It was a great day and we had a lot of fun building, and I was already thinking about next year – “speed’s in the axles.”

Boy does time fly. It was about time for the Pack’s 2004 running of the Pinewood Derby. We did a lot of reading during the year and I had that comment, “speed’s in the axles.” running through my head all year long. Our daughter wanted to participate in the event this year, so we had to build three cars (didn’t think I was going to be left out did you?).

Just like last year Austin, and now Shannon, drew out their designs and we transferred them to the wood block. I carved and chiseled; they sanded and put on the first coats of paint. Not a lot of noise – “Are we done yet?” – this year; I think they were preoccupied with other issues. So I took the time to really work on those axles and wheels: polishing, polishing, and more polishing.

On the night before the race the family set out with cars packed for the weigh-in and impound. Again, a lot of comments on the finish of all three cars and the same official (“speed’s in the axles.”) said:

“They not only looked good but I think they will go good. We will see in the morning.”

The same routine as last year: the boys voted on the cars and then the racing began. Austin, now a Wolf, proceeded to finish in first place for his den and was now eligible to compete against the first place finishers from the other dens.

After all the Scout dens had finished their events, it was time for the open race. Shannon proceeded to win every heat in the open with no losses. I was so proud, but the event was far from being over.

After the Open race was finished and the crowd settled down, it was time for the day’s climax, the bid for Grand Champion. All den first place finishers now raced for the title and the trophy. Yes, you guessed it, Austin won! I could not believe it, what a day.

The event then concluded with the results of the boy’s votes. Austin won the ribbon for best paint job again.

Now I am thinking about next year; how my kids can retain their titles. What happened to Dad’s car? He did okay, you should see his smile!

Fred Wesstrom

Do you Remember?
If you have a pinewood derby story that is funny, unusual, sad, heart-warming, etc., please send it to me in an e-mail. Don’t worry about literary polish. We will edit as needed before publishing. Also, please read our submission policy.If your story is used, you will receive a $10 coupon in May of 2017.


Q&A

Q:  What are the differences in using MV Speed Wheels verses BSA Pinewood Derby Speed Wheels?

A: The MV Speed Wheels, part 4005, are similar to the Pro-Ultra BSA Speed Wheels (part 4060). Both are fully machined and weigh one gram. The MV wheels may have a slight advantage in that the original castings were more accurate, but I don’t think the difference would be measurable.

Note that if you were provided with a BSA kit, then likely you will need to use BSA wheels. Certainly check your rules. The MV Speed Wheels are intended for use in a race that uses MV Car Kits, or in a race where there is no limitation as to the brand of wheels that can be used.

Q: I’m interested in your titanium speed axles. Our scout district race doesn’t allow modification of axles other than removing burrs, crimps, and polishing. Do you offer these axles un-grooved?

A: Sorry, the manufacturer of the titanium axles only makes a grooved version.

However, a non-grooved version is available in stainless steel (part 4051). The only difference between the stainless and titanium is that the titanium is slightly lighter and stronger.

4051: Stainless, non-grooved – 3.6 grams for four axles

4100: Titanium, grooved – 2.0 grams for four axles

Note also that part 4051 is attracted to a magnet, while 4100 is not. Some packs use a magnet to make sure the axles are steel.

Want Answers?
Do you have a pinewood derby-related question? If so, e-mail us your question.We answer all questions by e-mail, but not every question will appear in the Q&A section of the newsletter.


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