Getting more Scout Races to support oil as a legal lubricant

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Vitamin K
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Getting more Scout Races to support oil as a legal lubricant

Post by Vitamin K » Tue Aug 29, 2017 8:52 am

Hey folks,

So I'm interested to know: Those of you who run races at the Pack/District/Council level: How much resistance do you see in recent years towards the adoption of rules that permit oil as a legal lubricant?

Is there momentum building to make oil more acceptable, or does it seem that "only graphite" is still the law of the Pinewood Derby land in most places?

I used to be opposed to oil, until I learned more about it. I am wondering if a lack of education about oil lubes is contributing to their dis-use in Derbyland.

I wonder if there would be some worthwhile venues to try to clear up some of the misunderstandings. Maybe a Boys' Life article submission (or perhaps to the Scouting magazine)? What other channels exist for communicating with the Scout world at large?



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Re: Getting more Scout Races to support oil as a legal lubricant

Post by Speedster » Tue Aug 29, 2017 12:25 pm

None of the 6 Districts in our Erie Council allow oil. I'm going to guess at scout level most people agree there is no reason for oil. Graphite is cheap. A bottle of Krytox from Maximum Velocity, plus shipping, is $23.70. Oil cars require grooved axles so rules would need to be changed and most people wouldn't groove their axles anyway. The only way I could ever see oil becoming popular is if the Boy Scouts of America banned graphite as a health hazard.
Actually, if rules allowed graphite plus oil, that might make oil more popular also. I surely would like to race an oil car against a graphite car. By Golly, I'd buy a couple of those Big Bottles of graphite from Hodges Hobby House and give it to anyone who wanted it. OK, now I'm kidding. I'd be happy to share my Krytox.



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Re: Getting more Scout Races to support oil as a legal lubricant

Post by Vitamin K » Tue Aug 29, 2017 2:06 pm

Speedster wrote:
Tue Aug 29, 2017 12:25 pm
None of the 6 Districts in our Erie Council allow oil. I'm going to guess at scout level most people agree there is no reason for oil. Graphite is cheap. A bottle of Krytox from Maximum Velocity, plus shipping, is $23.70. Oil cars require grooved axles so rules would need to be changed and most people wouldn't groove their axles anyway. The only way I could ever see oil becoming popular is if the Boy Scouts of America banned graphite as a health hazard.
Actually, if rules allowed graphite plus oil, that might make oil more popular also. I surely would like to race an oil car against a graphite car. By Golly, I'd buy a couple of those Big Bottles of graphite from Hodges Hobby House and give it to anyone who wanted it. OK, now I'm kidding. I'd be happy to share my Krytox.
Thanks for your thoughts, Bill! I think you may have a few misconceptions, though.

- Oil cars don't require grooved axles. I suspect that they see speed gains from them, but they definitely don't need them. For what it's worth, I don't understand why grooved axles are disallowed. Lightninboy had a how-to somewhere on how he grooved a stainless steel axle with a file, a jig and a dremel.

- I don't ever advocate banning graphite. I've never seen an oil-allowable race that did. Racers should always be allowed to run graphite if they want.

- I'm not actually sure that graphite is actually cheaper than oil when it comes to the number of cars you can lubricate with one bottle of oil, vs the number of cars you can lubricate with a tube of good quality graphite. I may be wrong. That said, I could easily lubricate all of the cars in my son's old pack with a single bottle of oil from Max-V.

What if Krytox were available more cheaply? Maybe something like, 10 bucks a bottle?



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Re: Getting more Scout Races to support oil as a legal lubricant

Post by Darin McGrew » Tue Aug 29, 2017 10:16 pm

I don't know about "most places", but we've never restricted lubricants, as long as it isn't applied excessively so that it causes a mess. But about 10 years ago, we switched from providing graphite at our workshops to providing Krytox at our workshops. But the motivation was more to eliminate the graphite mess than to improve the cars' performance.



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Re: Getting more Scout Races to support oil as a legal lubricant

Post by Vitamin K » Tue Aug 29, 2017 10:40 pm

Darin McGrew wrote:
Tue Aug 29, 2017 10:16 pm
I don't know about "most places", but we've never restricted lubricants, as long as it isn't applied excessively so that it causes a mess. But about 10 years ago, we switched from providing graphite at our workshops to providing Krytox at our workshops. But the motivation was more to eliminate the graphite mess than to improve the cars' performance.
Maybe it's more of a BSA thing, but race rules that I come across very often have "graphite lubricant only" baked into them.



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Re: Getting more Scout Races to support oil as a legal lubricant

Post by 358t » Sun Dec 03, 2017 10:30 pm

Getting rules changed in the pack/district/counsel is like pulling teeth. Most of the scout people running these pwd races don't understand enough about how these cars work or in this case graphite and oil enough to make intelligent decisions. So they won't change anything in fear of making a bad decision. Its like its written in stone even though technology has passed them by.

I'm all for oil. Regarding "dry" lubes like graphite or wet lubes (oils).... We experimented with both graphite and Krytox last year and graphite is by far the messiest of the lubes not to mention bad for us, plus your and our kids health if they breath in the powder. It gets everywhere and fouls up the track (and floor), our homes, workshop etc more than properly used Krytox. It takes very little Krytox when done correctly and more isn't better/faster therefore it isn't falling on the track/floor. But if it did it is far easier to clean up.



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Re: Getting more Scout Races to support oil as a legal lubricant

Post by rcmoeur » Fri Feb 09, 2018 11:05 pm

Four Peaks / Thunderbird Districts in Grand Canyon Council (Arizona) started allowing oil a couple years ago. Current rules: http://www.richardcmoeur.com/scout/2018 ... es2018.pdf



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Re: Getting more Scout Races to support oil as a legal lubricant

Post by Skywalker Racing » Sat Feb 10, 2018 12:53 am

I think Scouters, in general, are just resistant to change that doesn't come to them from on high (at national) - particularly when it involves things they don't quite comprehend. Although shocking to us derby enthusiasts, learning the nuance and intricacies of the PWD is not top priority for every unit or district leader. Worse yet, some mistakenly think they already know it all.

One major obstacle to oil's acceptance is the BSA itself. The "rules" in the BSA kit still specify "Only dry lubricant is permitted." This is echoed in official BSA publications such as the "Leader How-to Book." Again, many (not all, but many) Scout leaders are married to those BSA publications and even though they say "suggested" rules or "example" rules, they assume the ones offered must be the best ones.

All it would take is those official documents (kit inserts and leader pubs) to state how much cleaner, safer, and more efficient krytox is, and the debate would be forever over. They license and sell the stuff for goodness sake.



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Re: Getting more Scout Races to support oil as a legal lubricant

Post by Speedster » Sat Feb 10, 2018 4:11 am

I think the biggest objection is the cost. With shipping a bottle is about $25.00. The second objection is "We don't want it all over our track". OK, that's simply ignorance. Some folks say, "We had a bottle at our workshop and it lubed a 100 cars and we still have a lot left". That's nice but everyone doesn't have the luxury of a workshop. Between today and tomorrow I will be inspecting over 200 cars between cub scouts and Girl Scouts. I'll count the number who don't even have graphite. If both graphite and oil were allowed it would be disastrous. The builders following science are usually winning by a big margin now. The Mid America race has proven oil is faster. If only oil were allowed I fear we're going to get 10W30 all over the track. Don't laugh. It happen in one of our races when it was decided to do a "Favor" for someone and make him the inspector. I'm not against oil. These were simply my thoughts.



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Re: Getting more Scout Races to support oil as a legal lubricant

Post by Skywalker Racing » Sat Feb 10, 2018 7:52 am

Cost is a myth. At one drop per axle, I bet cost per race is comparable if not cheaper than graphite. The issue is in the way it's packaged. There's no profit in selling a Scout only 20 drops of Krytox his first year of Scouting. I may have just figured out why BSA doesn't push it!



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Re: Getting more Scout Races to support oil as a legal lubricant

Post by Darin McGrew » Sat Feb 10, 2018 1:42 pm

My experience changing the rules/procedures for a derby was at the local level, with no regional authority to stay compatible with, and no conflicts with the instructions in the box.

And even then, it was a challenge. It's just a lot easier to keep doing things the way they've always been done. There needs to be a motive for the change that people can feel, that can motivate people to agree to the change.

And this is with a group that runs a fairly flexible derby. We've never restricted the choice of lubricant. We've never restricted the dimensions of the car beyond the basic "must fit the track" rule.



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