Pinewood Derby Times, Volume 18, Issue 7 – December 26, 2018

In this Edition
– Editor’s Notes
– Humor
– Product Showcase: Paint Stand – $2.00 Off (10%)
– Pinewood Derby Car Showcase
– Pinewood Derby Memory: You Can Build Great Cars with Your Kids
– Q&A

Editor’s Notes

Season’s 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 pinewood derby article in the next issue on January 9, 2019.

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.

Pinewood Derby NitroRail Car

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 pinewood derby 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. Printer paper works well as a background.

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.

New Products To Reach Maximum Velocity

Just in time for the 2018-19 pinewood derby season, Maximum Velocity is introducing two new products:

SuperCuda Kit

The supercharged descendant of our Barracuda Kit, the SuperCuda has a very aggressive COG thanks to the back placement of a tungsten canopy, and under-body weight pockets.  Low and sleek, the SuperCuda pinewood derby kit soars down the track, producing top results.

SuperCUDA Pinewood Derby Car Kit - StandardSuperCUDA Pinewood Derby Car Kit - Extended

Bore Swabs

Ten swabs, perfectly sized for pinewood derby wheel bores. Use these swabs to polish wheel bores and to start the graphite lubrication process.

Bore Swabs are softer than pipe cleaners and avoid the risk of scratching the bore with the pipe cleaner wire.

Pinewood Derby Bore SwabsPinewood Derby Bore Swab Usage

MV Basic & Wedge Car Kits
MV Wedge Basic Pinewood Derby KitMV Basic Pinewood Derby KitIf you are planning a pinewood derby 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 Pinewood Derby 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 pinewood derby 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 pinewood derby items including:

– Tungsten & Tundra Weights
– Formula One, Barracuda, and Vector car kits

We don’t have many remaining, 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 Us


“Thanks for the harmonica you gave me for Christmas,” little Joshua said to his uncle the first time he saw him after the holidays. “It’s the best present I ever got.”

“That’s great,” said his uncle. “Do you know how to play it?”

“Oh, I don’t play it,” the little fellow said. “My mom gives me a dollar a day not to play it during the day and my dad gives me five dollars a week not to play it at night.

Product Showcase
Paint Stand – $2.00 Off

Pinewood Derby Paint Stand
Finally, a Paint Stand for pinewood derby cars that is easy to use and works on virtually any car! This Paint Stand 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.

Watch a 2 Minute Video of the Paint Stand in Action

Through January 9, 2018, you can get a Paint Stand for $2.00 off. To take advantage of this limited time offer, add a Paint Stand to your cart and use coupon code DEC26NL during checkout.

Pinewood Derby Car Showcase

In Volume 18, Issue 5, we featured two cars from Chuck Caswell. Here are five more of his cars – sorry no description available.

Pinewood Derby Car from Customer 1

Pinewood Derby Car from Customer 2

Pinewood Derby Car from Customer 3

Pinewood Derby Car from Customer 4

Pinewood Derby Car from Customer 5

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 car shown at:

Pinewood Derby NitroRail CarFor 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
You Can Build Great Cars with Your Kids

My sons (Webelos 2 and Webelos 1) have enjoyed building our pinewood derby cars together over the years. We have used a variety of products and the basic wedge design. I am a stickler about following the rules when it comes to building pinewood derby cars. We built the cars completely from the BSA kit provided, followed your design, axle and wheel preparation, and weight placement instructions. My boys designed their own cars, based on the templates provided. I cut and drilled the holes and they did the rest. I can tell other parents that I certainly was tempted to lend “more than a helping hand” but remembered your “10 Commandments of Pinewood Derby Racing“.

I went over the basics of sanding, polishing axles, lightly sanding the wheels, painting and so on. The boys are old enough to use the wheel mandrel in a battery powered drill. Each day, we’d do a part of the car and then take a break. (Key: start early!!) They did all the work on their cars and finished with the painting. When I saw little things that I might have corrected, I would let them know and see if they would work on it or not. For the most part, they took my suggestions and made the adjustment. Their paint jobs were very nice – could have used some glossy finish – but they were happy with them. Off we went!!

Both boys placed 1st in their respective dens and my Webelos 1 placed 1st in the pack while my Webelos 2 placed 3rd in the pack of about 65 cars!! Here’s the most important part of the story. After the pack finals, I talked with both boys about how they liked building their cars. They said how much fun it was to get to do a lot of the work and they were excited about winning.

My Webelos 1 had NEVER beaten his brother in a race before. But he said, “You know, Dad. It would have been nice for my brother to win the pack since it was his last year.” My Webelos 2 looked a little disappointed after coming in behind his brother and I talked with him also. He was a little sad at first, but then said, “It was really great for my brother to win the pack. He has a really great car!” That’s the Scouting Spirit!! Of course, they were arguing about who’s car looked better on the way home. But hey, what are brothers for!!

SIDE BAR BONUS:  I think the REAL reason they worked so hard on their cars this year is that our pack sponsored an open race for siblings. Their 5-year-old sister wanted to race a car, so I helped her build it. She “painted” it with a pink marker with purple flowers. We followed the same designs as before. She won by a large margin! At the end of the pack finals, they leave the track open, so anyone can race. We lined up all three cars and let them rip!! They were extremely close at the end, but the boys SLIGHTLY edged out their sister. There’s always next year!

MORAL OF THE STORY:  You can build great cars together with your kids. You do not have to cheat or break the rules to build fast cars. Obviously, a Tiger Cub will need more supervision than a Webelos 2. Start early, take some breaks, and enjoy your time. If it’s your first time, ask for help from other parents. Most folks are more than happy to share tips they have learned. Finally, remember your 10 commandments in pinewood derby racing and in life!

James Sedlak

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 2019.


We did well in this year’s race: 1st for Tigers, 1st for Pack. But at District race we had an issue with the wheels. The inspector squeezed our wheels and they flexed (I think they were the Pro-Ultralite 1 gram wheels). 

I don’t want to have any issues next year. Which wheels can we use that won’t flex when squeezed -4090/4080 etc. Which will give us the best edge without causing noticeable squeeze issues?

We have used your products for years and have been very lucky – always fastest in rank and Pack overall. Not sure how long that will last as the “winning secrets” are available to everyone.  Looking forward to the best wheels without causing a fuss. Can you advise?

Congratulations on doing so well at the pack.

The “squeeze” test is so subjective, it’s hard to believe that they would pass or fail wheels based on that. But any of the weight-reduced wheels will flex (Pro-Ultralite will readily flex, Ultralight will flex slightly). The full weight wheels Pro-Stock and Speed do not easily flex. The Pro-Stock wheels are the best of the two.

What grit level are your ready-to-race axles that come with wheels already sanded to?

The BSA Speed Axles that come with our BSA Speed Wheels are shiny, but not polished. Start with 1500 grit. However, we do offer a polished version which are polished to 3000 grit.

If you use the finest paper in your Axle Polishing Kit (2500 grit) on axles, is there really any benefit to using the Diamond Polish afterwards?

The Diamond Polish is one step finer – 1 micron. So, the Diamond Polish does provide a higher shine and a smoother finish.

When using Wheel Bore Polish, the instructions say to wash the bore out with water. I would assume all the polish washes off negating this procedure, but I guess not? Not sure I understand how some stays on and some washes away.

The Bore Polish is a water based, crystalline abrasive, not a coating.  It is basically a very fine sandpaper in liquid form that smooths the wheel bore. You must wash it out to get rid of the abrasive before lubricating.

If you want to apply a coating to the wheel bore after polishing, then use our Bore Wax.

I’ve heard on some internet videos that you shouldn’t spin your wheels, but no explanation as to why. Why is this considered bad?

I’m not sure what the video was cautioning against. Certainly, you do not want to spin wheels on axles that have not been polished, especially raw BSA nails as the flaws could damage the wheel bore. But once axles are prepped and lubricated, you can certainly spin a wheel on an axle.

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 18 are posted on our web site.

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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