Nitro Dan's 2014 Line-Up

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Nitro Dan
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Nitro Dan's 2014 Line-Up

Post by Nitro Dan » Mon May 19, 2014 3:43 pm

Well, districts were this past weekend, and that officially ends my Pinewood Derby season for this year. This first picture is my car from this year. I took first place in the Adult Outlaw Division at both the Cub Scout and Girl Scout district races. It is a straight runner using BSA wheels that I cut down into razor wheels. It uses lead for weighting and the canopy on top is a wooden pullet egg half that I put there for decoration (a small bit of lead underneath it).

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This next picture is my son’s Outlaw car. He is a boy scout, but I don’t let him run in the Youth Division because he is too good at making cars and beats everyone. He took second place in the Adult Outlaw Division for the Girl Scout Districts and third place in the same division for the Cub Scout Districts. Car is the same as my car, but he’s using Tungsten cubes for weight.

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This next one is my wife’s car. She is my biggest competitor in the Adult Outlaw division races. Her car took third place in the Adult Outlaw Division at the Girl Scout Districts and second place in the Adult Outlaw Division at the Cub Scout Districts. Car is the same specs as my car.

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This next one is my oldest daughter’s official entry in the Girl Scout District race. It is a rail rider using Tungsten cubes for weight and graphite for lubrication. The kit is a Max V kit, which is the official kit used by the Girl Scouts in our area. She placed first in the Juniors group and first in District. She also won a medal for “Best Cookie Theme”, which she goes out for each year.

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This next one is my youngest daughter’s official entry in the Girl Scout District race. This is a lead sled design (a box frame cut with a 1/8 inch hobby plywood plank on top). Design was left hollow underneath using lead for weighting and graphite on the wheels. Again, this is a Max V kit. She placed first in the Brownies group and third in Districts. She tried for “Best Animal” theme, but was not able to achieve it.
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My daughters got together with the second place Girl Scout District winner and issued a challenge at the Cub Scout District Races against the top three Cub Scout winners. The challenge was a surprise the announcer sprung on the Cub Scout right after the championship race. He purposely did not mention that they were “Girl” scouts, just that another scout district was present and wanted to issue a challenge. When the boys accepted the challenge, the announcer then asked for the scouts from the Echo Valley district to come forward with their cars. He then corrected himself and said the Echo Valley “Girl Scout” district. You should have heard the surprise go through the crowd! The challenge was on a six lane 42 ft. Best Track. Challengers got first pick of lanes followed by the Cub Scout “home team” winners. One single run down the track, winner takes all bragging rights! The results? The Girl Scouts came in first, second and third, followed by the Cub Scouts! I never thought for a second that it would actually happen that way! Nice job for the Girl Scouts and the boys were real good sports about it. My thoughts were that the Max V wheels would be at a disadvantage since they are heavier than the BSA wheels, but I did notice that none of the Cub Scout cars were rail riders and all three of the Girl Scout ones were, so I’m attributing their win to that.

This next car is my oldest daughter’s Outlaw car for the Youth Division. It is a lead sled design running BSA razor wheels. She took first place in the Youth Division at both the Girl Scout District race and the Cub Scout District race.

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This is the same car seen from the bottom so you can see the lead sled design. There is a weight behind the rear axle that looks like it is part of the car. The space in front of the front axles is filled with a piece of balsa wood and sloped. You can also see how the wheel hubs are indented into the car.

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This next car is my youngest daughter’s Outlaw car for the Youth Division. It is also a lead sled design running BSA razor wheels. It took second place in in the Youth Division at both the Girl Scout District race and the Cub Scout District race.

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This last car is my youngest daughter’s entry in the Cub Scout District Einstein race (turtle race). Her car has no weight added with one rear wheel pressed tight against the car so it doesn’t spin. Wheels are pre-2009 BSA wheels, so they are heavier and not so round. Unfortunately, it didn’t even make it to the finals.

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That complete this year’s line-up. On top of building these cars, I helped run the local Scout’s Shop Pinewood Derby Champ Camp, ran three Pack level races, hosted six Pinewood Derby workshops, did a Pinewood Derby Workshop presentation at District Round Table, and was the University of Scouting instructor for “How to run a Pinewood Derby” class. Been a bust season!

-Nitro Dan
Last edited by Nitro Dan on Wed May 28, 2014 11:50 am, edited 2 times in total.


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Re: Nitro Dan's 2014 Line-Up

Post by whodathunkit » Mon May 19, 2014 7:13 pm

Wow!!! Nitro Dan,
Lots of really cool looking cars designs in the line-up.
I'm really takeing a likeing to the design and shape seen on this car.
Image

I was just reading over on older topic..
By Kayjon.. on the 2006 final PWD car called "The Kinship".
http://www.derbytalk.com/viewtopic.php? ... =deodorant

The car designs and shapes .. almost look somewhat alike!
Might have to try one of these designs for car sometime.

Whoda.


What type of automobile can be spelled the same forwards & backwards?

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Nitro Dan
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Re: Nitro Dan's 2014 Line-Up

Post by Nitro Dan » Mon May 19, 2014 8:24 pm

The design is my Pendulum design. You can find the template (Wing Template 18) in my template collection over here:

http://www.derbytalk.com/viewtopic.php?f=26&t=6218

I was trying to find a evil looking Jack-O-Lantern to put on the front of the car and was going to nickname the car "Mad Jack", but couldn't find the right sticker. I opted for the lightning skull instead. Paint is Krylon's Orange X-Metal (similar to Dupli-Color's MetalCast line).

My son's car is the Missle and my wife's car is the X3 Rail Rider (both in Wing Template 13). My daughter's cookie car is the Screaming Eagle (Wing Template 05). Feel free to use them (that's what they were created for).

-Nitro Dan
Last edited by Nitro Dan on Mon May 19, 2014 9:09 pm, edited 2 times in total.


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Re: Nitro Dan's 2014 Line-Up

Post by Nitro Dan » Mon May 19, 2014 9:00 pm

One other thing I forgot to mention, the kids and I also entered the Cub Scout District's Demolition Pinewood Derby this year. The rules allow you to use cars from previous years, so we just used the ones from last year. I was pretty much under the impression that Demolition Derbies are very random as to who wins and who doesn't. Last year I made it to the finals with one loss (triple elimination) that was put on me by a cub scout from my own pack who had no losses going into the finals. I managed to hang in there against him and actually eliminate him with 3 losses, giving me first place and him second place (this was out of 20 racers).

All year long this cub has been calling me out and demanding a rematch against my car. The only reason I even entered last year was because only two racers had pre-registered and I was concerned that the public wasn't understanding the concept since it was our first time the district was running this type of event. So I gave him the satisfaction and re-entered the car this year, all the while figuring there was no way I could win again.

Sixteen racers entered the Demolition Derby this year. Of course the cub scout who kept demanding a rematch was there with a new demolition car (not the same as last years). As fate would have it, both he and I made it to the finals against each other again! :O Talk about crazy luck! I had one loss against me and he had none going into the finals again. Only this time his car came out victorious and put 3 losses against me. He never took a single loss the entire race. So my winning car from last year wound up taking second place this year! All three of my kids were eliminated early on.

-Nitro Dan


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Re: Nitro Dan's 2014 Line-Up

Post by whodathunkit » Mon May 19, 2014 9:33 pm

Thanks for the car design info.. Nitro Dan.

Demolition Pinewood Derby... I've heard of it but never seen any ran.
Are two tracks used and the cars crash together .. The car that stays on the track wins.
How well do the wedge cars designs work for this?


What type of automobile can be spelled the same forwards & backwards?

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Re: Nitro Dan's 2014 Line-Up

Post by Nitro Dan » Tue May 20, 2014 7:24 am

It's a "U" shaped track with a starting gate at each end. There are no center guide rails, but side guides to keep the cars on the track (at least until they hit). The lane is just wide enough so two cars could barely pass each other if one pulled to the one side while the other pulled to the other side. If that happens, cars go up the hill on the other side and then come back at each other in reverse. Winning car is the car that stays on the track, or in the case of both on the track or off the track, the car that is closest to the center of the track. It is the most popular event at our district races. Here's a picture of the track:

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Over the last two years we've found that most racers will make cars that are either in the "Wedge" group or in the "Blunt Force Trauma" group. The "Blunt Force Trauma" group seems to win out every year over the "Wedges". You can download the rules from our District web site here:

http://newbirthoffreedom.org/indianrock ... -Rules.pdf

-Nitro Dan
Last edited by Nitro Dan on Wed May 21, 2014 6:39 am, edited 1 time in total.


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Re: Nitro Dan's 2014 Line-Up

Post by jzarvey » Tue May 20, 2014 8:32 am

Nitro Dan,

What is the track constructed of? This looks like something we might want to try out.

Thank you,


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Re: Nitro Dan's 2014 Line-Up

Post by sporty » Wed May 21, 2014 2:57 pm

Nice cars. That track does have a appeal. Neat and interesting.



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Re: Nitro Dan's 2014 Line-Up

Post by Nitro Dan » Thu May 22, 2014 9:20 am

The track was actually made as a prototype. We had heard of Pinewood Demolition Derby from the Sam Houston Council in Texas, but never could get anyone to post a picture of what theirs looked like. We had the basic concept, so we built this from 3/8 inch plywood with a black laminate surface glued to it. The side rails are made from 1" x 0.5" molding, but can be done from any molding that is 1/4" to 1/2" in height. Here's a closer up pic for the moulding:

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The 3/8" plywood gives it a natural curve; unfortunately, we used the cheap Chinese made stuff that they sell at Home Depot. The wood splinters and is litterally falling apart, extremely poor grade. Also the laminate is chipping at the edges as well. The connection plates were 10 gauge steel plates, but we found that even 10 gauge steel wasn't strong enough to keep the plates from bending. Although it works as is, I'm just not happy with the construction.

Another Pack from our district saw the track last year and decided to build one back in December. They got with me and took picutres of the prototype. I recommended doing the new one out of a 3/8" high grade American made birch plywood that was finished on one side. This meant they did not have to purchase the laminate, glue and rolling supplies. You have to go to a specialty lumber yard to find this type of plywood and it isn't cheap (cost was $95 for a single 4'x8' sheet and had to be shipped to the location for another $15). I recommended using 1/8" thick aluminum plating for the joints, but they found some 10 gauge steel running studs. The steel was folded like an inward "C" at the edges giving it much added strength to resist the bending and worked out perfectly for them. Here's a picture of their track:

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They painted the finished side black so it looked identical to the prototype track and you can see the steel studs at the joining sections. A much better track than our prototype.

My plan is to get about 3 years of use from the prototype. Then I'm going to take all the hardware off of it and re-assemble it on a new PVC Plank track. Home Depot sells some 1/2" thick PVC Planks (8'x1'x0.5") that have an excellent running surface. I'll just paint the surface black to match the prototype. If you are interested in building the track and would like some more pictures of the prototype, just PM me and let me know. I also have a materials list available as well.

-Nitro Dan


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Re: Nitro Dan's 2014 Line-Up

Post by Noskills » Thu May 22, 2014 4:27 pm

Nice line up!
Noskills


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Re: Nitro Dan's 2014 Line-Up

Post by Speedster » Mon May 26, 2014 5:58 am

Does anyone build a rail rider and put the weight in the front? If you could hit the other car with a big flat front end that was heavy, would you have a better chance of upsetting the other car? Also, if you could make the other car travel farther on the flat by having your weight in the front you might have more velocity when they met. This is really fascinating. I wonder how the "perfect" demolition car would be built?



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Re: Nitro Dan's 2014 Line-Up

Post by Nitro Dan » Mon May 26, 2014 9:48 am

If you build a "rail rider" on this type of track (riding to the outside rail), you have a better chance of passing your opponent without collision (causing a collision from behind). I did this with my green truck I built last year. By using razor wheels on the truck I was able to increase my chances of passing the opponent. Also thin wheels reduced my wheel vulnerability area. A direct hit to the wheel has the capability to rip the wheel from the axle and still leave the axle on the car. I've seen this happen three times in the last two years. Here's a picture of my truck:

Image

Most racers were weighting their cars mid-point (my truck included), but this year's winner had all of his weight up front at the point of impact as you described. His car last year was the same way and he made it into the finals then with no losses against him, so there is probably much validity in what you are stating.

Last year we ran this event for the first time while the official races were going on. It drew so much attention that everyone watching the official races got up and left to see what was happening over at the demolition derby. We had to actually stop the official races and wait until the demolition race was over before continuing with them. This year it has its own time slot.

The crowd really gets into the action with lots of "oh"'s and "awe"'s with each loud crack of impact. The track official stands near the impact area with a tape measure (if needed) and declares the winner of each round. The cars must be released simultaneously from each end, usually with a one, two, three, release count. If it is obvious that the release was unequal, the heat should be re-ran. It is definitely one of the best ideas for an event that we have done at our district races.

-Nitro Dan


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Re: Nitro Dan's 2014 Line-Up

Post by davet » Fri May 30, 2014 10:28 am

That demo derby seems interesting to design for but I just can't see building a car to destroy. I wonder if you could move the axles in about 1 1/2" from front and rear and form a wedge that barely clears the track at the front and rear. Add all weight on bottom of car ahead of front wheels, behind rear wheels and in center.

Or the hammer method with 2 half in bolts screwed into the front with the heads extending beyond the sides a bit to protect the wheels and acting as rammers. I'd have a hard time spending any time on paint or design as I'd hate to see it get ruined.



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Re: Nitro Dan's 2014 Line-Up

Post by Nitro Dan » Mon Jun 02, 2014 9:30 am

Yes, rules state that you can move the axles and weight can be added to the bottom of the car minimizing clearance, but you would have to be careful not to let it drag against the starting guide rail because the car would be considered not to be in a race worthy condition if it gets stuck on that rail and can't go down the hill (hence elimination). Rules also allow for protrusions from the front or back of the car as long as the over all length does not exceed 9 inches. Bolt heads would have to fall under the 3 inch wide rule, but that would be sufficient to protect the wheels on both sides of the car.

Remember it is a demolition derby. You don't take the time to polish axles or true the wheels, and it shouldn't have an emaculate paint job. It just needs to be able to make it to the center of the track (or as Speedster pointed out, just far enough to make the opponent travel further so your vehicle has maximum impact against him). If you are a master pinehead, then you should be able to fix just about any damage to your car (short of it being totally shredded). And since the rules allow you to use the same car year after year, no need to make changes (unless you are not winning).

-Nitro Dan


Take good and make it great. Take fast and make it faster. Performance drives success!

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