All three include lighting on the top and on the bottom to give a little extra flash on track. Comments and ideas for future welcomed.
Vitamin K, thank you. I knew I wanted to wire them up (at that time I thought I was only making two cars), but I could not find any actual derby lighting that did what I wanted it to do. Most of them were geared toward headlights. After a ton of browsing on Amazon for something that would work (and not make my slim car become thicker), I came across these craft string lights that appear to be popular right now in decorating (later I also found some at Joann's fabrics of the same size and quality). I can post a link if that is allowed here (I know some forums don't like that). The nicest things about them is that they are flexible, can be trimmed to size even without electronic exlerience, have an on/off switch, and use two CR2032 replaceable batteries like you would find on a motherboard for BIOS data. Anyway, I don't currently have a scroll saw in part because we are fixing up our garage, so the cars were cut to basic shape using a miter and table saw. Then everything from there was done using a drill and Dremel. For each car I made a cavity for the battery compartment then made holes throughout in their designated places for the lights. I then indented the light location using the dremel so that they would be counter sunken into the body. I made channels to conceal the wire in order to wood putty it toward the end of the process. With the dino car I plastered it on in order to give a dino dig look.
Here is the undercarriage of one during the light installation:
And here is the Dino Dig car in process:
If you try this process yourself, a few things to note would be that if you want a smooth surface after the fact, and don't want to damage your lights during sanding, they should be sunken appropriately and I even used a little painters tape to help keep them intact. They are durable for the most part but I did have one light become damaged when I forgot it was there and had gone a little crazy with my sanding block. That resulted in splicing in a new light after I had puttied around the original, so don't be like me and instead put a piece of tape there first to remind yourself it is there. Ha ha. Something else to keep in mind is that you can short out your lights if using metal screws to secure it like I did. Of course loosening the screw will bring them right back again. In these areas you can use a thin layer of electrical tape (and I coated the back of my screw heads with nail polish for extra measure). The wires are also easily spliced and reattached using electrical tape. You should also make areas deep enough to conceal your screw heads or chosen method of attaching your wire in order to putty them properly. My field is IT so wiring like this is like second nature for me, but I do not think it would be difficult for anyone especially with these light strands.
If anyone wants additional info on how I worked the wire through the body, just let me know and I will be glad to help.
Thank you very much. I did not do any canting but I did raise a wheel on all of them by bending method. This is because our races are not normally that competitive and I have never seen a car there with any kind of guiding wheel or canting. Since I already get crazy with weight placement and polished axles, I felt that canting would probably be overkill and maybe even unfair in our race. I do however wish to find an adult race in central Pennsylvania or surrounding areas in which I can go crazy, so if you know of any please let me know.
Thank you whodathunkit!
I recommend Troy Thorne's book, "Build a Winning Pinewood Derby car". It can be purchased from Fox Chapel Publishing. I don't usually share mine with my competitors but that would be a personal choice.
Do you prep the wheel bores? Novus 2 is very popular.
The "Mid America" race is coming up. There is a class for everyone. You can mail your cars and then sit back and watch the race on your computer or probably on T.V. The rules are very generous.
Have you ever entered the Mid America race? Is it difficult to ship a car and maintain it's integrity? Like axle positioning and such. I suppose overnighting may help, I just haven't had much luck with UPS and FedEx lately lol. I am going to research it. Once everything is set up in the garage (we have to drywall it yet and finish insulating) I want to experiment with lathing wheels, thinning them and custom fabbing them.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B010J4RM ... c6a4b9661a
Thanks for the link to the lights you used on your car builds!
I have yet to build a car or a semi truck
That has lights built into the design!
After seeing this topic and the way the lights looked on your cars I'm looking at giving a lighted build a go!
Speaking of Mid America it's coming up quick.. April the 29th !
Like Speedster said
It's lots of fun to race there!
Don't know why!
Every time I race the big rigs I keep getting
The best of show awards for the adult semi trucks.
Just luck I guess!
However I'm looking for that to change soon
and be in hope's that someone else will get that award.
So if you got any good tips and pointers
On how not to get that award I'm all ears.
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To give you an idea on the shipping weights for the lights I was able to come up with this info.
Rtgs 20 light strand .. shipping weight 1.6 ounce.
Mirco led 30 light strand.. shipping weight 0.3 ounce.
Rtgs 2 sets of 15 light strands .. shipping weight 0.3 ounce.
100 light strands shipping weight 4.0 ounce.