Accurately mounted axles = Top speed!
In pinewood derby racing, winners and also-rans are often separated by fractions of an inch. Although many factors affect car performance, precision alignment is key to reaching the winner's circle.
Unfortunately, inserting axles into axle slots is not easy. The axles don't want to insert straight, the wood can easily break, and setting the proper gap can be tricky. There must be a better way.
And there is! Introducing the Pro-Axle Guide, a precision machined device that will improve the speed of your pinewood derby car by ensuring accurate mounting of axles:
- Axle Insertion - Ensures accurate mounting of axles (in axle slots) to improve alignment. Accurate alignment is critical for top speed!
- Wheel-to-body Spacing - Establishes the correct gap between the wheel hub and car body. The proper gap minimizes car wander and reduces excess contact between the car body and the wheel hubs.and an added bonus:
- Reduced Risk of Block Damage - During the insertion process the Pro-Axle Guide provides support to the wood around the axle slot, minimizing the risk of damage.
Tip: Use the Pro-Body Tool to prepare the axle slots before using the Pro-Axle Guide to insert the axles.
To use the Pro-Axle Guide, follow the instructions included with the tool or the instructions below. Click on any of the small pictures to view a larger picture.
"We recently purchased the Pro-Axle guide. This was our third derby event and our son's first victory. My son made the design free hand (a truck) and cut the design on a scroll saw. I aligned the wheels using the axle guide and added the weight. To our surprise, the truck won every race! When the parents raced their vehicles, the car I made beat the rest of the parents' cars. Everything from building and the weight placement were the same as the last two years. The only difference this year was using the Pro-Axle Guide. It's a great tool at a reasonable price."
- Use the included hex key to loosen the screw. Rotate the gap gauge until it is perpendicular to the body of the tool, and then tighten the screw. Make sure the ridge on the tool is aligned in the center of the gap gauge. The gap gauge can permanently remain in this position, or can be rotated back to minimize damage to the gap gauge during storage.
Partially Insert Axle
- Kits with Standard Axle Slots - Place the tool on the bottom of the car with the ridge in the axle slot, and the gap gauge positioned over the side of the car body. Partially insert an axle.
- Kits with Axle Holes or Shallow Axle Slots - Partially insert an axle, and then place the flat side of the tool against the bottom of the car, and the gap gauge positioned between the car body and the wheel.
- Place the axle head on a hard surface, firmly hold the tool to the block, and apply downward pressure on the axle. Continue until the axle will go no further.
- To achieve the proper wheel-to-body gap on non-BSA wheels, use your thumb or the handle of a small screwdriver to press the axle in further. Alternately, use the Axle Install Support to provide the needed pressure.
- Carefully remove the tool and repeat for the other three axles.