Standard Stealth

Standard Stealth

Pinewood Derby Times
Volume 8, Issue 9
January 21, 2009

In this Edition:

- Editor's Notes

- Feature Article - The Derby Worx Story

- Humor

- Product Showcase

- Car Showcase

- Q&A

Editor's Notes

We're Losing Our Memories

Actually, we are out of pinewood derby memories for the newsletter. So if you have an anecdote that is 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: Submission Policy

If your story is used, you will receive a $10 coupon in May of 2009.

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 us at:

Feature Article

The Derby Worx Story
By Bill Launius Jr.

I have always been fascinated by pinewood derby racing! From the time my neighbor came home with his first kit, I could not wait until I was old enough to join the Cub Scouts so I could build a car too. So when I became a Cub Scout in the fall of 1975 my Dad and I went to the local scout shop to pick up a kit and get an early start on the car; we just couldn't wait for that race! That car was gold and black, and it was the coolest car ever because my dad and I built it. As cool as it was it was also fast, faster than everyone’s that year. But little did I know in 1975 what would eventually happen.

As the years went by we were involved with many cars. Several were mine, but others belonged to cousins, neighbors and friends that we helped over the years. When my son, Trey, became a Cub Scout it was even more exciting than ever. With the information age in full swing and the Internet starting to contain pinewood derby information, we could see there was a thirst for more racing information and supplies.

We had several items we had made over the years for building our cars. They were our little secrets, but I could see one guy on-line, Randy Davis of Maximum Velocity, was forging ahead in this new industry and I wanted to share a little of what we were doing. After testing our items, Randy said that they worked well and wanted to know if we would be interested in marketing them. My first thought was, "Wow, this could be a way to make a little racing money!" My second thought was, "We are a marketing firm who works with manufacturing, so I do know a little about sales." I told Randy that I was interested in his proposal. Once again, I didn't realize what was about to happen.

Maximum Velocity launched the Derby Worx Pro Body Tool, Pro Hub Tool and Pro Axle Press in October of 2002. We had no idea how they would sell, but with Randy’s hard work and great reputation, the tools took off, and Derby Worx was born.

The Derby Worx Facility

In 2005, we moved into a new facility in Millstadt, Illinois to help support Derby Worx’s growth. We added a few more products, and with the addition of an Okuma CNC1 lathe we started the Derby Worx Pro RS and SS wheel lines. In June and November of 2005 Derby Worx was granted United Stated Patent numbers for the Pro Hub Tool and Pro Body Tool. This was followed by a patent number for the Pro Wheel Shaver in 2007, and two U.S. Trade marks in 2008. Currently Derby Worx has six patents in different stages.

Okuma CNC Lathe at Derby Worx

In 2007 we partnered with Jay Wiles and Warp Speed Inc. to expand our BSA wheel and axle line up. Jay’s NASCAR background brings the passion and precision to build the best, and both companies complement each other quite well. The Warp Speed facility is equipped with two Haas CNC’s that exclusively turn out pinewood derby wheels and axles. In 2007 DerbyWorx added an Okuma CNC mill for machining additional items like the Pro Rail Rider Tool.

Haas CNC Lathe #1 at Warp Speed

Haas CNC Lathe #2 at Warp Speed

Okuma CNC Mill #2 at Derby Worx

In this current 2008-09 season, Derby Worx has brought several new items to the pinewood derby market. We now have thirty-four different pinewood derby specific products. The six new products this season are the Pro Rail Rider Tool, the Pro Body Jig, Pro Awana Lite wheels, Pro Pine Car Lite wheels, Pro RS-X wheels, and Pro SS-X wheels. We are also very excited in having gained the endorsement of the Boy Scouts of America. Derby Worx supplies the Pro Hub Tool, Pro Wheel Mandrel, Pro Axle Press and Pro Axle Guide to the BSA. But the real success of Derby Worx is driven by our customers, who have accepted our products from the very beginning and have been very helpful with everything from tool applications and improvements to new ideas. Thanks!

Bill Launius Jr.
President, Derby Worx, Inc.

Derby Worx is a leading innovator, manufacturer and distributor of pinewood derby supplies. They are located in Millstadt, Illinois

1CNC stands for Computer Numerical Control. Basically this indicates that the machine is computer driven.


Desmond, who was a real town dweller, drove his car into a ditch when out on the country roads. Luckily, a local farmer was passing by with his big strong horse called Dobbin.

He hitched Dobbin up to the car and shouted loudly, "Pull, Dolly, pull!" Dobbin didn't move one inch.

Then the farmer yelled, "Pull, Robbie, pull." Still Dobbin failed to respond.

Once more the farmer commanded in a stentorian voice, "Pull, Ringo, pull." Again, nothing.

Then the farmer nonchalantly and quietly muttered, "Pull, Dobbin, pull." Immediately the horse easily dragged the car out of the ditch.

Desmond was very appreciative but also very curious. He asked the farmer why he called his horse by a different name three times.

The farmer whispered by way of reply, "Oh, Dobbin is blind and if he thought he was the only one pulling, he wouldn't even try."

Product Showcase

Car Showcase

Guitar Car: Mark Robison

This is one of the more recent cars I have made. I downloaded a picture of a fender guitar, worked it into a pattern, used a little intuition, and voila ... a Fender guitar car! This will surely be a hit among the kids (especially Guitar Hero fans -- like my wife).

Cobra: Mike McBride

I always try to do a theme car every year that I don't intend to race. I've got many interesting pieces of art on wheels, like this fluorescent cobra car that I did for a Halloween race this year.

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 brief description of any special features. Also, please include your full name. If selected, we will include the photo and description in this newsletter.Please e-mail photos to:

Photos must be sent by e-mail in JPG format (minimum size of 640x480, maximum size of 1280 x 960). Please shoot photos from the front left of the car, similar to the orientation of this car:

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!


After sanding with the finest sandpaper, what is the best way to use pumice to finish polishing the surface?

Pumice is generally rated about 1500 grit, so if you have already polished with a paper rated at 1500 grit or finer, don't use pumice.

If you do use pumice, then you will want to take a small amount, add water, and mix into a slightly runny paste. Then put some of the paste on a clean, soft rag and polish the spinning axle for about 10 seconds. Then buff off the residue with a clean, soft rag.

To get a finer finish than pumice, you can use jeweler's rouge, and/or a metal polish such as Brasso, or Mother's Chrome Polish.

Twice, I've chipped the wood of the car when I was putting my axles into the slots. Is there a recommended way to do this without chipping the wood?

If you are using a BSA or BSA-compatible block, then our "Pro-Axle Guide" tool solves this issue. You can find it on our web site

To make sure nothing chips you can pre-install spare axles into the blank block. Then twist and pull the axles out with a pair of pliers. When you put in the real axles, they should go in without difficulty.

Do You Have Questions that Need Answers?
Do you have a pinewood derby-related question? If so, send your question to: We answer all questions by e-mail, but not every question will appear in the Q&A section of the newsletter.

Back Issues

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If you would like to look up an article by name, please use our Newsletter Index.

To access the newsletters by Volume/Edition, please click on a link below.

Volume 8

  1. Volume 8, Issue 1

  2. Volume 8, Issue 2

  3. Volume 8, Issue 3

  4. Volume 8, Issue 4

  5. Volume 8, Issue 5

  6. Volume 8, Issue 6

  7. Volume 8, Issue 7

  8. Volume 8, Issue 8

  9. Volume 8, Issue 9

Volume 7

  1. Volume 7, Issue 1

  2. Volume 7, Issue 2

  3. Volume 7, Issue 3

  4. Volume 7, Issue 4

  5. Volume 7, Issue 5

  6. Volume 7, Issue 6

  7. Volume 7, Issue 7

  8. Volume 7, Issue 8
  9. Volume 7, Issue 9
  10. Volume 7, Issue 10
  11. Volume 7, Issue 11
  12. Volume 7, Issue 12
  13. Volume 7, Issue 13
  14. Volume 7, Issue 14
  15. Volume 7, Issue 15
Volume 6

  1. Volume 6, Issue 1

  2. Volume 6, Issue 2

  3. Volume 6, Issue 3

  4. Volume 6, Issue 4

  5. Volume 6, Issue 5

  6. Volume 6, Issue 6

  7. Volume 6, Issue 7

  8. Volume 6, Issue 8

  9. Volume 6, Issue 9

  10. Volume 6, Issue 10

  11. Volume 6, Issue 11

  12. Volume 6, Issue 12

  13. Volume 6, Issue 13

  14. Volume 6, Issue 14

  15. Volume 6, Issue 15
Volume 5

  1. Volume 5, Issue 1

  2. Volume 5, Issue 2

  3. Volume 5, Issue 3

  4. Volume 5, Issue 4

  5. Volume 5, Issue 5

  6. Volume 5, Issue 6

  7. Volume 5, Issue 7

  8. Volume 5, Issue 8

  9. Volume 5, Issue 9

  10. Volume 5, Issue 10

  11. Volume 5, Issue 11

  12. Volume 5, Issue 12

  13. Volume 5, Issue 13

  14. Volume 5, Issue 14

  15. Volume 5, Issue 15
Volume 4 is available as a PDF file, ready for immediate download.

Volume 3 is available as a PDF file, ready for immediate download.

Volume 2 is available as a PDF file, ready for immediate download.

Volume 1 is available as a PDF file, ready for immediate download.

Newsletter Contributions

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Please read our submission policy.

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Randy Davis, Editor, Pinewood Derby Times

Copyright ©2008, Randy Davis. 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.

The author 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, YMCA, Awana, or any other organization.

®Maximum Velocity! is a registered trademark of Maximum Velocity! Pinewood Derby Products.
Pinewood Derby, and Space Derby are registered trademarks of Boys Scouts of America. All other names are trademarks of their respective owners.

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