Asked by: Pompei Kulikowsky
hobbies and interests woodworking

Which end of Pinewood Derby car is the front?

Last Updated: 12th April, 2020

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Which end is the front of a pinewood derby car? Either end can be the front of the car but the end of the block farthest from an axle slot gives you an advantage if it is the front of the car. The reason for this is that you can put weight farther back on the car if the rear slot is close to the end of the block.

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Keeping this in consideration, where is the best place to put weights on a Pinewood Derby car?

Putting Pinewood Derby Car Weight randomly on your PWD car is not the key to getting the most out of your build. Center of gravity placement should be between 1/2-1″ IN FRONT of REAR axle. This is true for all wheel base types.

Secondly, are Bent Axles legal in Pinewood Derby? Axles are LEGAL in all races. LATHED shaft and underside of axle head to remove Crimp marks and Burrs - these must be removed to make your car fast. POLISHED axle shaft to minimize friction, increasing your car speed.

Also, what makes a Pinewood Derby car go faster?

Aerodynamics have little effect in such a short race, but weight does and putting the weight at the back of the car will make your car faster on the flat of the track. Tungsten weights, in most cases, are best because of their high density. Lube the car at the body/wheel friction point.

Can you put weights under a Pinewood Derby car?

The weight should not extend past the rear of the car. Glue bottom weights to the bottom of the block to bring the total weight (including wheels and axles) to 5 oz. Install some of the weight behind the rear axle and the rest in front of the axle.

Related Question Answers

Guofu Camarena

Professional

Should you bake your Pinewood Derby car?

Bake the Block: Start with your block of wood, and before you do anything else, bake it in the oven at 250 degrees for around two hours to remove moisture and make it lighter. This will allow you to place more weight to the rear of the Pinewood Derby car where you actually want it.

Salvia Grinten

Professional

Can a Pinewood Derby car be shorter than 7 inches?

Can a pinewood derby car be shorter than 7 inches? Yes, you can make your car shorter but it is not recommended. A shorter car will have a lower center of mass at the start so it will have less energy to convert into speed when going down the track.

Lamiae Vallinot

Explainer

Should Pinewood Derby wheels be sanded?

Lightly Sanded BSA Wheels
This wheel should be legal in pinewood derby races that specify any of the following: Wheel diameter must be greater than 1.18". The wheels may be slightly sanded to remove any mold marks but may not be modified in any other way.

Reza Verstakov

Explainer

How do you put graphite on Pinewood Derby wheels?

How to apply graphite:
  1. Insert a wheel into an axle.
  2. Hold the wheel down.
  3. Tap the wheel several times with your finger to move the graphite throughout the wheel.
  4. Hold the axle horizontal and spin the wheel with your finger several times.
  5. Repeat steps 2 through 4 several times.
  6. Attach the wheel and axle to your car.

Jianyi Hoegen

Explainer

How do you balance Pinewood Derby wheels?

All tires are out of balance even though they were turned on a lathe. You then balance out the wheel by removing the excess weight from the heavy side or by adding weight to the light side [by adding nail polish or something] until a balanced wheel is achieved.

Gaston Cala

Pundit

What can I use for pinewood derby weights?

Tungsten is non-toxic and 1.7 times denser than lead so it is a good choice, but it is expensive. The maximum weight limit for a pinewood derby car is 5 ounces. Plan on adding 2 to 3.5 oz of weight to your car, depending on your car design and the weight of your pine wood block.

Esma Haining

Pundit

What is a good Pinewood Derby time?

Pinewood Derby Results. The average times with just weight added was 3.288 seconds. There was 0.188 seconds between the fastest and slowest car, about 23 inches. The average time was 2.994 seconds, about 44 inches faster than without graphite (0.353 seconds).

Erin Mommer

Pundit

Can you glue axles on Pinewood Derby car?

For pinewood derby cars, white glue works fine for gluing wood to wood (such as adding wood accessories) and for repairing chips or cracks in the wood. It can also be used for holding the axles in place. White glue doesn't work well on metal, so don't use it to glue metal accessories or weight to the car.

Chahira Urquiza

Pundit

Where do you bend Pinewood Derby axles?

We recommend installing axles with a 1.5° bend for the front of the car and 2.5° bend for the rear. The axles heads are marked in the direction of the bend. Install the axles with the mark straight up. The alignment procedure requires turning the axles while they are in the car slot.

Karoline Rani

Teacher

How do you smooth a Pinewood Derby axle?

Use wet/dry sandpaper starting with CAMI 400 grit (30 micron = 30 μm = 0.03 mm). Cut the sandpaper into 1/4" strips that are several inches long. Dip the paper in water and sand the exposed portion of the axle for approximately 30 seconds with the axle rotating at high speed. Don't forget to polish under the axle head.

Estivaliz Agabekoff

Teacher

How do you raise the wheels on a Pinewood Derby car?

Place your car on a flat surface then press down on each of the front corners of the car in turn with your finger. If the corner moves down as you press then the wheel on that corner is higher and it should be the wheel that you raise.

Romualdas Olten

Reviewer

Do heavier Pinewood Derby cars go faster?

One of the most fundamental rules in the Pinewood Derby is the maximum weight limit of 5.000 ounces, or 141.643 grams. Simple physical principles dictate that a heavier car will run faster. On the sloped part of the track, both a light car and a heavy car will accelerate at the same rate.

Toi Havergoh

Reviewer

How can I make my derby wheels faster?

How to Build a Fast Pinewood Derby Car in 6 Steps
  1. Step 1: Reduce friction to speed up your car.
  2. Step 2: Lubricate Axles and Wheels.
  3. Step 3: Prepare and Polish Axles - Essential for Speed.
  4. Step 4: Balance and tune your Wheels to Maxiumize Speed.
  5. Step 5: Add Weight to Increase Inertia.

Francho Gehmeyr

Supporter

Why does adding weight to a Pinewood Derby car make it go faster?

The idea is that the farther back the weight is, the more potential energy you have because your center of mass is higher up on the track. (Don't put it too far back, or your Pinewood Derby car will become unstable and pop a wheelie.)

Fatumata Warnecker

Supporter

How do you make the best derby car?

Seven Steps for Making the Fastest Pinewood Derby Car
  1. Max out your Pinewood Derby car's weight at 5 ounces and make sure the heaviest part is about 1 inch in front of the rear axle.
  2. Use lightweight wheels.
  3. Use bent polished axles.
  4. Railride.

Reiner Maestro

Beginner

Do aerodynamics matter in Pinewood Derby?

Yes, there is air resistance with these pine derby cars. And yes, for that effect the mass of the car does indeed matter.

Mamerta Mouzouri

Beginner

Is there a minimum length for pinewood derby cars?

The overall length of the car shall not exceed 7 inches. The overall width of the car shall not exceed 2 ¾ inches. The car must have 1 ¾” clearance between the wheels. The car must have 3/8” clearance underneath the body so it does not rub on the center guide rail.

Bernadeta Freudenstein

Beginner

Should you sand Pinewood Derby wheels?

Lightly Sanded BSA Wheels
This wheel should be legal in pinewood derby races that specify any of the following: Wheel diameter must be greater than 1.18". The wheels may be slightly sanded to remove any mold marks but may not be modified in any other way.

Leidiane Muros

Beginner