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.


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.

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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)2017, 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 – December 22, 2017

Home Depot – Stephen Henry


This is the car my son Benjamin Henry built for his first pinewood derby. He placed second in his age group! As you can see, we had to lighten the car quite a bit to be able to adjust the center of mass rearward to where we thought it would work best. We added a screw and some washers to adjust the weight easily on race day. He painted it himself using a spray can for the orange and borrowed my airbrush for the windows. The decals were from a 1/25 scale plastic model. They were a little big for the car so we trimmed them with a razor before we applied them.

Wind Cracker – Lee Klinghoffer

This is my son Jared’s car called “Wind Cracker”. We built it together for this year’s pinewood derby. We had to use a bit of extra block to get some height to accommodate the design. We did a cutout on the underside of the front for a fast start off the line. The car was primed, and then painted with Tamiya spray paint. A purple undercoat was followed with a deep metallic blue to get a deep cobalt blue tone. He did not, unfortunately, win a speed award (we couldn’t get rid of a small rear end wobble), but he did win an award for outstanding craftsmanship.

Blue AGP – Jeremy Isaac

This was my son’s Awana Grand Prix car this year. He wanted to go for speed instead of design this time, so we pulled out all the stops and it paid off big time: First place in the Sparks division, followed by first place overall. After running a total of 8 heats, this car’s slowest time was notably faster than the best time from any other car all day.

From Pinewood Derby Times Volume 12, Issue 12
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 6 – December 13, 2017

In this Edition

– Editor’s Notes
– Feature Article – Drilling – Use your Drill for Maximum Benefit
– Humor
– Product Showcase – DerbyDome – $2.00 Off
– Pinewood Derby Car Showcase
– Pinewood Derby Memory – Priceless!
– Q&A


Editor’s Notes

Three New Products Just In Time For The Racing Season
Maximum Velocity has introduced two new tungsten weights, and a new drill bit to simplify your car building:

Domed Adjustable Tungsten Round (Part 5068) – This 3.65 to 4.0 ounce round provides the weight flexibility of our regular Adjustable Tungsten Round, but sports a domed top to add extra weight while keeping the car profile low. This weight supports a Popular Internet Design.

9/32 Inch Tungsten Rod (Part 5067) – Tungsten Rod combines the simplicity of cylindrical weight with the low height benefit of cube weight. These tungsten rods allow thin cars to be built without creating underbody pockets. Each order contains 10 rods totaling 3.5 ounces.

19/64 Inch Brad Point Drill Bit (Part 5004) – The perfect drill bit for the 9/32 Inch Tungsten Rod.

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.


Feature Article
Drilling – Use your Drill for Maximum Benefit
By Randy Davis

Over the years I have learned a lot about drilling into pine blocks, and on several occasions I have shared this information in newsletter articles. This includes drilling accurate axle holes, best drill bit types, etc.(1)

Today’s article is an accumulation of most of my knowledge on drilling as it relates to pinewood derby car building. We will cover the items mentioned above, as well as some drilling techniques. I hope you find the information useful.

Basic Drilling Tips
First, let’s cover some basic tips and techniques that are applicable to any drilling situation, and certainly to any pinewood derby project.

1. Wear eye protection – just one tiny piece of wood thrown into an eye is very painful and oftentimes difficult to remove.

2. Immobilize the wood that is being drilled. With small pieces of wood, such as a pinewood derby body, do not attempt to hold the wood with one hand and drill with the other, as the wood can easily be twisted out of your hand.

3. Drill early, before cutting the wood. It is always easier to drill a rectangular-shaped piece of wood than to drill an irregular shaped piece.

4. Use a medium speed, and start the drill before the bit engages the wood. You can touch the sharp tip of the bit at the drill location and then start the drill, but make sure the cutting edge of the bit is not contacting the wood when the drill is started. Otherwise the wood can be torqued, or the drill can be twisted out of your hand.

5. When drilling deep holes, drill part of the hole, then, with the drill still running, pull the bit out of the wood to clear the chips from the hole. Then drill the rest of the hole.

6. When drilling completely through a piece of wood, place a scrap piece of wood tightly against the exit point of the hole to be drilled. Then drill through the wood and into the scrap piece. This will minimize chipping at the exit point.

Drill Bits for Weight Holes
When the phrase “drill bit” is used, the image that comes to the mind of most people is a standard high-speed steel (HSS) drill bit that is part of the drill bit set in most people’s toolbox. This type of drill bit is certainly the most popular, but it is not the best drill bit choice for many woodworking tasks, including drilling axle holes.

Regardless of the drill bit type, make sure to know the chuck size of your drill. The chuck size determines the maximum shaft diameter of the drill bit that can be used. Most drills today have either a 3/8 or 1/2 inch chuck. If your chuck is 3/8 inch, make sure to purchase bits with a shaft no larger than 3/8 inch.

There are many different types of drill bits available at your local hardware store including Forstner, Brad Point, Auger, Spade (or Paddle), HSS, Carbide, and Cobalt.(2) Let’s look at each one.

Forstner – Produces a flat-bottomed, clean edged hole with no chipping. The center point ensures that the hole is drilled where desired. For drilling holes over 7/16 inch, Forstner Bits are generally a better value than Brad Point bits. Some Forstner bits have a saw tooth edge (as seen in the photo) while others do not. Either type works well for pinewood derby use.

Forstner bits are commonly used for creating wheel wells for attaching to the side of a pinewood derby block. They are also used for creating holes for tungsten rounds.


Figure 1 – Forstner Drill Bit

Brad Point – Produces a clean edged hole with no chipping. The center point ensures that the drill bit doesn’t wander. For drilling holes between 1/8 and 7/16 inch, Brad Point bits are usually a better value than Forstner bits and do a better job than HSS bits.

Brad Point bits are commonly used for drilling weight holes in pinewood derby blocks.


Figure 2 – Brad Point Drill Bit

Auger – Produces a clean, accurate hole. The screw tip causes the bit to “power feed”, and the auger shape helps in chip removal, so this type of bit is beneficial for drilling very deep holes.

Although Auger bits can be used for pinewood derby cars, Brad Point or Forstner bits are usually a better choice. The screw tip on the Auger bit is not desirable for pinewood derby cars as it makes the hole too deep, and the power feed action can be unwieldy for novice woodworkers.


Figure 3 – Auger Drill Bit
Photo Source: www.toolbarn.com

Spade – Also known as a “Paddle Bit” this type of inexpensive bit is used for rough boring. Typically, they are used in carpentry where a clean hole is not necessary. I strongly recommend avoiding Spade Bits for pinewood derby use as they create a rough hole.


Figure 4 – Spade Bit
Photo Source: www.drillspot.com

Drill Bits for Axle Holes
If your pinewood derby race rules allow axle holes, then you have likely drilled the holes using a drill press, or a Pro-Body Tool or Pro-Axle Jig.(3) For Cub Scout axles, a #44 bit is recommended, while a 3/32 inch bit is typically used for Awana axles. For a few other kits, a #43 bit works well. But regardless of the bit size, there is a difference in the type of bit used. These include HSS, Carbide, and Cobalt.

HSS – A general purpose drill bit for use in wood, metal, plastic, etc. Especially in larger sizes, HSS bits often chip the edge of the hole, and can “wander” (i.e., not entering the wood at the location you want).

HSS drill bits are flexible and strong. They are inexpensive and used where long-term durability of the cutting edge is not important. The flexibility of the HSS bit is helpful in minimizing broken bits, but the flexibility is a hindrance where accuracy is concerned. For
drilling axle holes with a Pro-Body Tool/Jig, a HSS bit is fine, as the tool minimizes the flexing and wandering of the bit; but when drilling holes with a drill press the flexibility really hinders accuracy.


Figure 5 – HSS Drill Bit
Photo Source: www.rockler.com

Carbide – An extremely hard bit with a durable cutting edge. Due to the rigidity flexing is virtually eliminated. However, because they do not flex, they are prone to breakage if careful technique is not applied. Carbide bits often come with a shank larger than the bit. So, if you purchase one, make sure to get one that is long enough to drill axle holes – many Carbide bits are too short for drilling axle holes.


Figure 6: Typical Carbide Bit
(Source: www.carbidespecialties.com)

Cobalt – An extremely hard bit with a with a durable cutting edge. Due to the rigidity, flexing is virtually non-existent. But Cobalt bits have a big advantage over HSS and Carbide bits – Cobalt bits have a “split point” tip that is specifically designed to keep the bit from
“wandering”.

Wood is a relatively soft medium, but it is not consistent in density. Depending on the grain, wood will change from a hard to soft density over a small fraction of an inch. This change in density affects the way the drill bit goes into the wood. The drill bit will seek to go into the softer part of the wood. With a HSS bit, the bit may wander seeking a soft spot, and then when it has entered the wood it will tend to flex away from the hard grain. This results in inaccurate holes. Carbide bits also wander, and if they wander when in a drill press, due to the rigidity of the bit either the wood will move, or the bit will break. It seems odd, but I have broken more carbide bits when drilling into wood than any other type of bit.

Cobalt bits, with their split point, are virtually wander-free. Like other bits, once the bit enters the wood it will want to follow the softer grain, but this can be compensated for with proper drilling technique.


Figure 7: Cobalt Split Point vs. Typical Bit

Drilling Techniques for Axle Holes
Excellent wheel alignment is a key factor in creating a competitive pinewood derby car, and using drilled axle holes (instead of slots) is a key way to improve wheel alignment. Of course, this assumes that the axle holes are drilled accurately.

The information below will address how to drill accurate axle holes (and some inferior techniques that you want to avoid) with either a hand drill/Pin Vise or a drill press. But before drilling axle holes make sure to check your local rules to make sure they are acceptable for your race.

    Hand Drill/Pin Vise

To accurately drill axle holes with a hand drill or a Pin Vise you must use a drilling guide: either a Pro-Body Tool or Pro-Body Jig. Do not attempt to freehand-drill axle holes – the results will likely be much worse than using the axle slots.

The Pro-Body Tool is a drilling guide designed specifically for drilling axle holes in pinewood derby blocks.


Figure 8 – Pro-Body Tool

It is placed over the bottom of the block, and then clamped into place. The drill bit is then run through the holes in the Pro-Body Tool. The metal of the tool ensures that the drill bit goes straight into the wood. Full instructions for using the Pro-Body Tool are located Here. However, here are a few additional tips.

1. Keep the drill bit aligned with the hole in the tool. Don’t flex the drill bit – it can break.

2. Make sure the Pro-Body Tool fits snugly on the wood. If it is loose, use paper to shim it; if it is too tight sand the sides of the wood block.

3. The Pro-Body Tool is equipped with a separate guide hole for drilling a raised hole for one of the front axles.

Drill Press

The Pro-Body Tool is highly accurate, and in some ways preferable to a drill press. But for more flexibility in hole placement, and for drilling larger quantities of blocks the drill press is a good option.

The principle employed by the Pro-Body Tool is that all holes are referenced to the bottom of the block. Thus, an out of square block will not affect the accuracy of the axle holes.

This same principal must be employed when using a drill press. Thus, when using a drill press, an accurate, vertical fence must be present.(4) By pressing the bottom of the block to the vertical fence the holes will be referenced to the bottom of the block, eliminating any issues due to an out of square block. The fence will also ensure that each hole is drilled at exactly the same height off the bottom of the block.

However, most people with a drill press do not use a vertical fence. Instead, they place the left side of the block on the drill press table and drill the right-side holes. Then they flip the block over, and drill the left side holes. This will result in holes that are not exactly the same height off the bottom of the block, and, if the block is not perfectly square, the resulting holes will not be parallel to each other, leading to poor alignment. This is shown – in an exaggerated fashion – in Figure 9.


Figure 9 – Inaccurate Holes Due to Out of Square Blocks

Some people attempt to resolve this issue by using a long drill bit to completely drill through the block. However, since the drill bit is narrow and long, it will flex, leading to inaccurate holes. This is especially true in pine, as the wood tends to have hard and soft layers which causes the drill bit to flex.

Instead, it is best to use a short bit, and drill half way through the block. As mentioned earlier, issues due to non-square blocks can be resolved by using an accurate vertical fence. The key is to make sure the block is clamped firmly to the fence, even if the side of the block is not flush against the drill press table (see Figure 10).


Figure 10 – Vertical Fence Creates Accurate Holes Regardless of Block
Shape

To minimize the effect of soft and hard grain on the drill bit path, squeeze (or clamp) the block to the fence, then enter the wood slowly. After drilling half of the hole, pull the bit out to clear the wood chips, then complete the hole. Drilling slowly will minimize the affect of the hard portion of the wood grain on the drill bit path.

Conclusion
Inaccurate drilling can lead to slower performance and lots of patching. But with the proper drill bits, equipment, and technique, accurate drilling is achievable by anyone.

(1) Additional information can be found in the following articles:

Drilling with Accuracy

Drilling Small Holes

Drilling Axle Holes with Precision

(2) Specific drill bits for pinewood derby use can be found Here.

(3) The Pro-Body Tool and Pro-Body Jig can be found Here.

(4) Meaning that the side of the fence is perfectly parallel with the drill bit.


Humor

Tricky Questions II
[answers are below]

1. The maker doesn’t want it; the buyer doesn’t use it; and the user doesn’t see it. What is it?

2. A child is born in Boston, Massachusetts to parents who were both born in Boston, Massachusetts. The child is not a United States citizen. How is this possible?

3. Before Mount Everest was discovered, what was the highest mountain on Earth?

4. Clara Clatter was born on December 27th, yet her birthday is always in the summer. How is this possible?

5. Captain Frank and some of the boys were exchanging old war stories. Art Bragg offered one about how his grandfather led a battalion against a German division during World War I. Through brilliant maneuvers he defeated them and captured valuable territory. After the battle he was presented with a sword bearing the inscription “To Captain Bragg for Bravery, Daring and Leadership. World War I. From the Men of Battalion 8.” Captain Frank looked at Art and said, “You really don’t expect anyone to believe that yarn, do you?” What’s wrong with the story?

6. What is one thing that all wise men, regardless of their religion or politics, agree is between heaven and earth?

7. In what year did Christmas and New Year’s fall in the same year?

8. A woman from New York married ten different men from that city, yet she did not break any laws. None of these men died and she never divorced. How was this possible?

9. Why are 1990 American dollar bills worth more than 1989 American dollar bills?

Answers

1. A coffin

2. The child was born before 1776

3. Mount Everest, it just hadn’t been discovered!

4. Clara lives in the southern hemisphere.

5. World War I wasn’t called “World War I” until World War II.

6. The word “and”.

7. They fall in the same year every year, New Year’s Day just arrives very early in the year and Christmas arrives very late in the same year.

8. The lady was a Justice of the Peace.

9. One thousand nine hundred and ninety dollar bills are worth one dollar more than one thousand nine hundred and eighty-nine dollar bills


Product Showcase

DerbyDome – $2.00 Off

A Great Christmas Present

The DerbyDome is a high-quality case for safely displaying pinewood derby cars. The DerbyDome has the following features:

– Heavy duty, clear dome fits snuggly with the black pedestal to keep cars dust free while providing a complete view of the car.

– No-tools-required fastening system keeps the car in place – fits BSA, Awana, and other wheels.

– Car may be mounted horizontally or tilted to either side.

– Product includes: dome, pedestal, 2 mounting brackets, blank paper identification labels, and assembly instructions.

– Custom nameplate can be ordered through the manufacturer (order form included).

Through December 26, 2017, you can get a DerbyDome for $2.00 off. To take advantage of this limited time offer, add part 5210 to your shopping cart and use coupon code DEC13NL during checkout.


Pinewood Derby Car Showcase

Today’s cars are from Dan Schuster

Chicago Cubs

My son and new Scout, Ollie, wanted a Chicago Cubs car. This was our best one and it was extremely fast on the flats. We based its design on a teardrop shape, making the body as thin as possible while still keeping it shapely. We opted to reverse the shape by designing it with a short nose and long tail. We’d like to place the success we had on the Cubs sticker.

Salt Flat Racer – Original and Version 2


My other son, Henry wanted his car to look differently than the others, so we made a black salt-flat racer complete with balsa and aluminum wheel fairings. The original had a full fairing covering all four wheels. In the end it proved to have the weight spread out along the entire body, hence, the updated 2 wheel fairing. All the weight  as centered around the rear axle. It too did very well, but we were shooting for looks on this one.

Family Truckster

The yellow family truckster was loosely based on a car we saw online but we put our own spin on it. Oddly enough, it was unexpectedly quick considering the higher, less sleek profile. The entire body was hollowed out as the top portion was paper-thin balsa wood with a coating of wood glue for strength. This one was the family build.

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
Priceless!

Yesterday our troop ran a derby for a pack at a church. I was score keeping and the scouts were handling the registration, starting gate and finish line. During one heat the scout on the gate let the handle slip out of his hand and the rebounding pins launched two cars off the track to the floor. One car, a wedge, hit nose first and broke the right front quarter back to the axle completely off the car.

I called an official time out and asked the scout if he wanted to repair his car. He indicated he would like to, but he needed help. Well, I took him to the pits repaired the car with epoxy, did a quick alignment with one wheel raised, lubed, and glued the axles down. We
allowed him two practice runs and continued the race.

He had been in the losers bracket with one loss at the time of the accident. He went on to take 2nd Place in the pack. Glue? – about five cents. Lube? – maybe a penny. My time? – nothin’. The expression on his face? – priceless!

Jamie

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: My daughter and I made two cars this past spring. She took first place in the standard division and in the outlaw races. But for the outlaw race next year, we want to use the full weight allowed. She won using a 5 ounce car this past year, but they allow for a 1 pound maximum. We used the 4060 Pro Ultralite BSA wheels for the 5 ounce cars, but I don’t think those wheels would hold up well on a 1 pound car. Which wheels would you recommend for a car that heavy? We want to use BSA wheels so people won’t complain that we did not use the parts from the kit. Should we make the car lighter?

A: Congratulations on the victory last year.

I did some testing on maximum weight for performance – you can find it Here and Here. With graphite lube, I would not go over 9 ounces. With Krytox 100 lube, you could go up to 14.5 ounces.

I would go with a sturdier wheel – probably the 4090 Speed Wheels.

But if you won by a decent margin last year, you might stick with a lighter weight car and lighter wheels. The effect of 1g wheels is likely about 0.04 seconds advantage.

On a 9 ounce car with graphite, the benefit was only .03 seconds, so this could be a step down. With Krytox 100, you may get enough advantage to overcome the advantage of lighter wheels.

Q: When we paint our cars, we use automotive paint from AutoZone. We put on a nice coat of primer, sand it with high grit sandpaper, and repeat until perfectly smooth. Then we apply the color coat. I have never known what I should do about the area where the hub of the wheel could potentially rub on the body of the car. I have heard that it should not be painted and instead use a No. 2 pencil to rub lead into the bare wood. What do you recommend?

A: I prefer to paint the area the same as the rest of the car. Assuming you use a clear coat, you will have a very slick surface. With a high-quality graphite on the inner hub, it will work fine. In my opinion, this is better than bare wood with graphite. But if you go with bare wood, rub high-quality graphite into the surface. Don’t use a pencil, as pencil lead is low-grade graphite mixed with clay.

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.

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

(C)2017, 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.

Decals, Etc.: How to Spiff Up Your Car

Decals, Etc.: How to Spiff Up Your Car
By Randy Davis

The difference between a boring pinewood derby car and a real eye- catcher could be a unique design, excellent craftsmanship, or a professional paint job. But in many cases all it takes are some decorative items to make a car really stand out. Let’s take a look at four types of decorative items that are easy to use, relatively inexpensive, and sure to give your car a special look.

Dry-Transfer Decals
Unlike stickers, dry-transfer decals are very thin and do not have a clear edge. Thus, they blend into the paint such that you have to look closely to see that the design is actually a decal.

Unlike water-slide decals, dry-transfer decals apply with no water; and unlike stickers, dry-transfer decals do not adhere to the car body on contact. Instead, dry-transfer decals use a pressure activated adhesive. So, an advantage of dry-transfer decals is that they can be finely positioned before they are permanently attached.





Figure 1 – Examples of Dry Transfer Decals

To apply dry-transfer decals, cut out the desired design, place it on the car in the desired location, hold it down, and use a soft pencil with a rounded tip to scribble over the entire decal (you will actually be scribbling on the transfer material, not the actual decal). After scribbling over the entire decal, carefully lift up on the edge of the transfer material. If the decal is not completely detached from the transfer material, scribble some more and try again. After the transfer material is removed, take the provided tissue-like paper and rub it over the entire decal.

If desired you can apply a clear coat over the decal. But first, make sure the clear coat is compatible with your paint job, and test the clear coat on an unused decal (apply it to a scrap piece of wood). I have successfully used acrylic and lacquer clear coats over dry- transfer decals, but it is best to play it safe by testing before spraying the car.

You can find the dry-transfer decals on our website Here

Stick-On Decals
Stick-On decals, as well as stickers are also good choices. They are inexpensive and easy to apply – just make sure you put the sticker where you want it. As you know, stickers like to attach themselves where you don’t want them!





Figure 2 – Examples of Sticker Decals

My daughter used stickers to decorate her Diamondbacks car; she found the stickers at a team shop. I believe that team stickers exist for every professional team, as well as most college teams.


Figure 3 – D-Backs Car

To apply Stick-On decals, simply cut out a decal, remove any dust or debris from the car, peel off the backing, and stick it in place. If you want to apply a clear coat, make sure to first test compatibility.

You can find the Stick-On decals on our website Here.

Body Skins
At our pinewood derby race, we pass out design award ballots to the kids that have a car entered into the race. So, whichever cars look cool to the kids win the design awards. At our last race, two cars with body skins won design awards. In my mind they are not outstanding in any way, since the shape was quite common and the finish was a body skin. But the kids must have thought the skin was some kind of exotic paint job.

In fact, a well-applied skin does look very unique; and if you are not aware of body skins, you will be wondering how the car builder achieved such a unique look.




Figure 4 – Examples of Body Skins

Body Skins apply quite easily to simple-shaped cars, while applying skins to complex cars is quite a challenge. On their website, PineCar, who is the manufacturer of most Body Skins on the market, shows pictures of very complex cars with Body Skins. My guess is that those cars do not really exist, but instead were made with photo editing.

To apply a skin to a simple wedge or block shaped car, follow the instructions below. For complex cars, the same technique is used except that the skin must be pieced together and the pieces must overlap slightly.

    1. Remove any dust or debris from the surface of the car.
    2. Determine how much material is needed to wrap the car without overlapping the material on the bottom of the car. Trim off the excess.

 


Figure 5 – Trim Material
 

    1. Peel off the backing paper.
    2. Use a soft, wet sponge to press the skin onto the car body. The transfer paper will release when it is thoroughly soaked. Do not use force to remove the transfer paper.

 


Figure 6 – Apply Skin
 

    1. Fold the design under the bottom of the car.

 


Figure 7 – Bottom of Car
 

  1. Smooth out wrinkles by dipping your fingers in water and rubbing over the skin.


Figure 8 – Finished

As with other decorative items a clear coat can be applied, but make sure to first test compatibility. Body Skins can be found on our website Here.

Pin Striping
I am a big fan of pin striping; it is relatively inexpensive, easy to apply, and can really dress up a car. Pin striping is a long, thin, colored tape that has an adhesive backing. It adapts well to curves in the car and can be mixed and matched, both in color and in width.


Figure 9 – Yellow Pin Striping (1/4 and 1/8 inch)

To apply pin striping, unroll a piece longer than you need, pull it taut and then apply it to the car. Use a piece of tissue paper (not Kleenex, but the kind used in gift bags) to press down on the pin striping. This will eliminate any air bubbles and ensures that it is pressed down well. After the pin striping is in place, trim the excess with a sharp knife (hobby knife or razor knife). If the pin striping will be placed on the front and/or back of the car (as in Figure 9), wrap the pin striping under the car and trim it off underneath. This makes for a much cleaner finish.


Figure 10 – White and Black 1/8 inch Pin Striping

For other image of cars with pin striping, or to find the pin striping on our website, Click Here.

Conclusion
It doesn’t take a lot of work or cash to change a common-looking car to a real eye-catcher. So, when designing your pinewood derby car don’t forget the decorative details.

From Pinewood Derby Times Volume 12, Issue 12
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