Our Pinewood Derby will be held during Pack Night on March 24, 1995, at the Clinton Avenue School. There will be three racing divisions this year: JUNIOR DIVISION - The Junior Division is composed of all Tiger Cubs. Racing for the Junior Division will begin at 7:00 PM. Entrants should arrive no later than 6:45 PM to have their cars registered, weighed, and inspected. COMPETITION DIVISION - This division is composed of all Scouts in Wolf, Bear, and Webelos Dens. Racing for the Competition Division is scheduled to begin at 7:45 PM. Entrants should arrive no later than 7:15 PM to have their cars registered, weighed, and inspected. The first, second, and third place winners in this division will be eligible to race in the Nathaniel Woodhull District Championships to be held at Cubs for Cubs in April. SENIOR DIVISION - The Senior Division is composed of anyone beyond Cub Scout age who still has the "racing bug". Parents, grandparents, older brothers and sisters can all qualify for the Senior Division. SENIOR DIVISION RACERS MUST RACE THEIR OWN CAR. A CAR MAY BE RACED IN ONLY ONE DIVISION. Entrants should be prepared to have their cars registered, weighed, and inspected at 8:30 PM. Racing will begin immediately following completion of Competition Division racing. Once the car is turned in for registration, there will be NO additional graphite applied to the wheels. All graphite should be applied PRIOR TO arrival at the Clinton Ave. School. Excessive graphite application has made a terrible mess of both the track and cafeteria in the past several years. If you haven't already received a kit through your Den Leader, Pinewood Derby Kits can be purchased at Suffolk County Council, BSA, 7 Scouting Boulevard, Medford (off Horseblock Road approximately 1/2 mile south of the LIE) or at the Scout Shop, Hempstead Turnpike, Bethpage (approximately 1/2 mile west of the Seaford-Oyster Bay Expressway). You can also order a kit by telephone (1-800-323-0732, Item # 1622). All racers, regardless of division, must comply with the following racing specifications which are excerpted from the Official Grand Prix Pinewood Derby Kit Instructions: A. Width: Overall width shall not exceed 2-3/4". B. Length: Overall length shall not exceed 7". C. Weight: Weight shall not exceed 5 ounces. No loose materials of any kind are permitted in the car. The car may be hollowed out and built up to a maximum weight by the addition of wood or metal only, provided it is securely built into the body. D. Wheels & Bearings: The car must have four operational wheels. Washers and bushings are prohibited. E. Springing: The car shall not ride on any type springs. F. Details: Details such as steering wheel, driver, decals, painting, or interior detail are permissible as long as these details do not exceed the maximum length, width, and height specifications. G. Attachments: The car must be free-wheeling with no starting devices. H. Inspection: Each car must pass inspection by the Official Inspection Committee before it may compete. The Inspectors have the right to disqualify those cars which do not meet these specifications.
GUIDELINES FOR PINEWOOD DERBY CAR ASSEMBLYThe following guidelines are to be followed when building a Pinewood Derby racer for the Junior and Competition Divisions. These guidelines are established to minimize controversy over the degree of parental involvement in the construction of the car. Remember that, ideally, the building of a Pinewood Derby car is a father-son endeavor. If a father is unable to assist the Scout in building the racer, help from a mother, older brother/sister, uncle, grandparent, or other adult is encouraged. A. Car Design - The Scout should select and produce a sketch of the car design. Ensure that the width of the car is 1-3/4" or greater at the points where the wheels are attached. If the width is less than 1-3/4" at these points the car will not fit on the track. B. Shaping the Car Body - In most cases, the adult is encouraged to rough cut the car body. This is particularly true if power tools are used. 1. If hand tools are used, let the Scout assist in cutting the shape. Use this opportunity to instruct the Scout on the proper use, care, and storage of the tools that you are using. 2. If power tools are used, ensure that all safety devices associated with the tools are employed. Use this opportunity to instruct the Scout on the safe operation of power tools. Make sure that safety glasses/goggles are worn by anyone around a power tool in operation. C. Finishing the Car Body - ALL sanding, painting, decal application, or other detailing of the car body shall be done by the Scout. Once the shape of the car body is established it is the Scout's sole responsibility to finish the car. Guidance by the adult is encouraged, but actual performance of the work falls to the Scout. Once again, use this opportunity to instruct the Scout on sanding technique, painting skills, etc., but don't forget to let the Scout do the work!!! D. Wheels and Axles - Adults should take the lead in preparing the wheels and axles. All of the steps that follow are critical if the car is to be a fast racer! 1. As noted in the instructions that come with the racer, remove the wheel seams using a drill (electric or hand), a six penny finishing nail, and a piece of fine sandpaper glued to a flat block. Let the Scout assist by having him hold the sandpaper (all ages) or the drill (recommended for Webelos only). 2. Insert the axles (without the wheels) into the car body to within 1/4" of the head of the axle. MAKE SURE THAT THE AXLES ARE INSERTED PERPENDICULAR TO CAR BODY. AXLES INSERTED AT AN ANGLE WILL PRODUCE EXCESS FRICTION BETWEEN THE WHEEL AND THE AXLE, CAUSING THE CAR TO RACE SLOW. Gently remove the axles with a pair of pliers by slowly twisting and pulling on each axle. 3. Prelubricate (a) the inside of each wheel and (b) the part of the axle near the head where the wheel will rotate with dry powdered graphite. DO NOT USE REGULAR OIL OR SILICON SPRAY. THESE LUBRICANTS CAN SOFTEN THE PLASTIC WHEELS. 4. Slide the wheels over the axles and gently tap the axles into the car body. A gap of 1/32" (How do you measure that?!!) is recommended between the wheel and the car body. In short, a slight gap should exist between the wheels and the body. Each wheel should turn freely.
TIPS AND TECHNIQUESI. A car with a sleek, aerodynamic shape generally races faster than a car with a "boxy" shape. II. Take plenty of time to sand the racer body. Make the body as smooth as possible. III. Add weight to the body. Cars are allowed to weigh a maximum of 5 ounces. We've all seen many "fast-looking" cars line up to race only to see them slow down considerably near the end of the track. This is usually the sign of a "light" car. IV. Check out the order sheet that came with the Pinewood Derby Kit. Weights, templates, graphite, decals, and paint can all be purchased through the mail or over the telephone. V. Seal the body. Use some sort of wood sealer or "Dull-cote" spray to seal the wood grain of the racer. This will result in a glossier finish. VI. Spray paint normally results in a much better finish than brushed on paint. Many (8 to 10) coats of light spray paint result in a hard, bright, and shiny finish. VII. Don't put the wheels on before you paint the car!!! Finish the body of the car completely before attaching the axles and wheels. VIII. As noted in the Guidelines, ensure that the axles are perpendicular to the body of the car. Axles installed at an angle will guarantee that the car will run slow. IX. Once the axles and wheels are installed and properly aligned, a small drop of glue near the point of each axle (toward the center of the car body) will help to keep the alignment from shifting. Don't get any glue near the wheel end of the axle! X. No matter how much fun it is to push these cars around on the floor, wait until after the race to do so. Scooting the racers around, dropping them on the floor, etc., can damage the wheels and can knock the car out of alignment. Treat the car with care until after the race is over!