Pinewood Derby Times, Volume 16, Issue 7 – December 28, 2016

Volume 16, Issue 7
December 28, 2016

In this Edition
– Editor’s Notes
– Humor
– Product Showcase – Side Weight System – 15% Off
– Pinewood Derby Memory – Thumbs Up!
– Pinewood Derby Car Showcase
– 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 11.

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.

Call for 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:
[email protected]

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 car shown at:

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:

– Formula One car kit
– Wheel Flares and Paint Stencils
– Raingutter Regatta Decals

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.


Arbitrator ar’-bi-tray-ter: A cook that leaves Arby’s to work at McDonald’s.

Avoidable uh-voy’-duh-buhl: What a bullfighter tries to do.

Baloney buh-lo’-nee: Where some hemlines fall.

Bernadette burn’-a-det: The act of torching a mortgage.

Burglarize bur’-gler-ize: What a crook sees with.

Control kon-trol’: A short, ugly inmate.

Counterfeiters kown-ter-fit-ers: Workers who put together kitchen cabinets.

Eclipse i-klips’: what an English barber does for a living.

Eyedropper i’-drop-ur: a clumsy ophthalmologist.

Heroes hee’-rhos: what a guy in a boat does.

Left Bank left’ bangk’: what the robber did when his bag was full of loot.

Misty mis’-tee: How golfers create divots.

Paradox par’-u-doks: two physicians.

Parasites par’-uh-sites: what you see from the top of the Eiffel Tower.

Pharmacist farm’-uh-sist: a helper on the farm.

Polarize po’-lur-ize: what penguins in Antarctica see.

Primate pri’-mate: removing your spouse from in front of the TV.

Relief ree-leef’: what trees do in the spring.

Rubberneck rub’-er-nek: what you do to relax your wife.

Selfish sel’-fish: what the owner of a seafood store does.

Subdued sub-dood’: a guy, that works on one of those submarines.

Sudafed sood’-a-fed: bringing litigation against a government official

Product Showcase
Side Weight System – 15% Off

The Tungsten Side Weight System allows you to place weight on the side of the car, covered by the rear wheels. When additional weight is placed behind the rear axle, a very aggressive COG can be achieved.

The weights fit nicely into BSA or MV wheels(1) without any contact with the wheel. The weights have a view slot so writing on the inside of the wheel can be seen.

The Tungsten Side Weight System includes two side weights, mounting screws, a mounting tool, and a BSA axle for marking drill locations. To use the system you will need a drill, a 5/64 inch drill bit (or a 1/16 inch drill bit if you have axle holes), and epoxy adhesive.

Through January 10, 2017, you can get a Side Weight System for 15% off. To take advantage of this limited time offer, add part 5070 to your shopping cart and use coupon code SIDEWEIGHT during checkout.

Pinewood Derby Car Showcase

Today’s cars are from Jeff Bartel.

Formula 1 McLaren Mp4-24

When I saw the Formula 1 McLaren MP4-24, I was smitten; I just had to give it a try. The car took the design and speed awards for the Friends and Family division, and was my first adult car entry.

Back to the Future DeLorean

After having made the McLaren, I wanted to work on an iconic car and decided on the DeLorean from “Back to the Future”. This one had doors that opened and a somewhat complete interior (including a flux capacitor). It also won the Friends and Family design award (even if it wasn’t especially fast). I have to confess that I got a little obsessed with this car and spent way too much time on it.

Ghostbusters’ Cadillac Ambulance

For my final adult car, I wanted to create another iconic car, so I went with the Ghostbusters’ Cadillac ambulance. I learned my lesson from the DeLorean and worked only on the exterior. This also took the design award for the Friends and Family division.

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:
[email protected]

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
Thumbs Up!

My son wanted to sign up for scouts.  I thought, “What a great idea!” I thought back to my childhood days in scouts and thought this would surely be great. I instantly started telling – and apparently boring – my son about all of the great times that I had! Of all of the activities that I remembered the most, unfortunately the Pinewood Derby wasn’t one of them.

I’ll never forget the look on my son’s face that day he came home with his derby box in his outstretched hand,  and announced to me as he was handing over the box; “Here you go dad! Make me a great car!” In a blink of the eye, I instantly became my father! And in an instant – after the panic subsided – it all came back to me about my Derby days. The handing over of the box to my dad, the return of the box from my dad, and then, for the next few weeks, the building of “the car” together. Well, before my son could run off for the TV, I was able to apprehend him and hand back the box. Of course for the whole “we’ll do this together” thing, but also for the simple fact that if this car failed, I wasn’t going down alone!

This Pinewood Derby kit looked simple enough. So the box sat for what seemed like the longest time. Then as Derby day approached, I thought, “I’d better take a look at this thing! How hard could it be to attach four nails to a block of wood that resembled a car and paint the darn thing!” I was pretty handy with wood. Gosh I have a ton of wood working tools! I had made things in the past. This was no problem. I’m a dad!! Dad’s know these things. The only real guideline that I understood was the fact that it needed to “look like a flag.” A little red, white and blue paint would take care of that.

So we began. I thought I should cut the block first. No problem. Pulled out the old table saw (I know what you’re thinking) and cut away. This experience was similar to ice carving with a chain saw, something I was totally unfamiliar with!  Holy Cow!!

“All right,” I thought. “Maybe a scroll saw would be better.” Carve a little decorative look to the whole thing. Nope!

Okay, we took our first trip to the scout shop to buy another block. My son was a little puzzled but I kept giving him the “thumbs up” sign and assured him we were “Just practicing.” What a trooper. He just smiled and jumped in the car.

Our next attempt at cutting went a little smoother. My son pointed to the band saw and said, “We haven’t used this one yet.” The car looked great! Well, to him anyway. Bless his heart, Daddy could do no wrong.

I overheard a parent at one of our meetings discussing their car and remembered hearing something about making your own axle slots. Well this wasn’t a problem since I seemed to have accidentally removed the original ones. This was going good! Pulled out the drill; instant axle holes. Put that little nail through the wheel, glue it in the hole and ‘Bam’ we’ve got a race car! Let’s paint. Whoa! OK…. pull out the wheels.

“Just making sure they fit son.”

Thumbs up. Dad’s still great!

“I’ve got my paints dad!,” he said.

“Naw, let’s use spray paint! We’ll get a much better looking paint job.”

I don’t think my son had used a paint can before. But being the “eager” scout, he grabbed the can, pointed it backwards and began spraying his arm! Just another lesson in painting. What a neat father/son project! Two thumbs up!

Well, we finally got the paint on the car. Red on the bottom, blue on the top and some really cool looking star stickers all over. It was coming together.  We even painted the wheels white (A real speed secret!?). We let it dry overnight.

“It’s not real shiny dad. Let’s spray some shiny stuff on it!”

Oh boy – instant problem! This time my son and I learned a very important thing about painting: Compatibility!

Who would have ever thought that all paints and clear coats were NOT created equal. Within moments of painting our car began to “crinkle”. All at once flash backs of chemistry class, memories of my professor discussing things we should never mix together came rushing back to me!

With no time to react, I started wiping off the  car in an attempt to save something! A few re-coats of red, white, and blue and we were back. Throw in a little graphite, a little driver to sit behind the wheel, and we were real car builders. We did it!

Well, this journey my son and I were taking was not turning out anything like I thought. We did have a car though. Not a bad looking car either. And all four wheels were in place!

Race day came. How did we do? As my son’s car came down the track my fingers were turning blue from being crossed so tight. It made it! Every boy left that day with a ribbon. My son got to run six races that day and walked away with a fifth place ribbon. Overall in the whole pack of a one hundred plus boys? No idea – but we left with the BIGGEST grin on our faces, a car, and a ribbon.

Jon Edgar
Ballwin, MO

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.

If your story is used, you will receive a $10 coupon in May of 2017.


Q: What is your opinion of making a  graphite-paste with alcohol?  From what I’ve seen on YouTube nobody can perfectly center the new bore ID and they blame the wobble on an “unbalanced” wheel.

A: When you mix alcohol and graphite you change the lubricating property such that it doesn’t work as well as dry graphite; and you end up with an uneven coating on the bore as you indicated.

Q: When vendors on YouTube try to convince me that their “super-duper” extra ordinary 325 mesh, 44 micron graphite is best because it darkens a section of wood better than their competitors, is there something that I’m not understanding other than that these guys are akin to used car salesmen?

A: I don’t think that color is a good indication of lubricating ability. The  main thing you want is purity. Graphite is a refined product, and can range from 75% pure to 99% pure. The impurities are silica, and other trace  elements and compounds. The purer the graphite, the better it lubes. The second thing to look for is mesh size. I think you want a reasonable mesh  size (like 200) – a smaller mesh (325) doesn’t seem to lube as well. Our  Max-V-Lube is 200 mesh, 99% pure, and our Tube-O-Lube is 325 mesh.

Some people use a finer mesh graphite (Tube-O-Lube) to  lay down a few coatings in the bore, and then the larger mesh (Max-V-Lube) for the final lubing.

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 16 are posted on our web site 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.

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.

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Randy Davis, Editor, Pinewood Derby Times
E-Mail: [email protected]

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