Balance the car on a two-ounce plastic portion container (such as the Solo Soufflés brand cups) turned upside-down, and then insert a push-pin or thumbtack from the inside up into the bottom of the car. Done.
You know... the ones that are about 1-1/4" tall and 2-1/2" in diameter... also known as "sauce" cups. We get these 2 oz. cups regularly filled with condiments at restaurants, or with free sample-sized servings at the local wholesale club. I prefer the black or translucent cups over the clear ones, because they won't show the fastener underneath (the picture uses a clear one to visualize the push pin). Most varieties I've come across are dishwasher safe - just wash and then recycle for derby purposes.
Why do this?
1) The cup tacked on the bottom elevates the wheels, so it won't roll away, and it is impossible for playful hands to roll it around.
2) The cup is securely fastened, so the display base won't separate whenever the car is admirably picked up.
3) The inverted plastic cup is tapered, so it is stable and difficult to tip over.
4) The 2-oz. cup is low-profile, so if it is tipped over somehow, it won't fall very far.
5) It is durable, yet lightweight, cheap, and disposable.
6) It is easily removed, and then only leaves an invisible pin-size hole underneath.
One downside is that repeated removal can enlarge the original pin hole and make it looser, requiring the hole to be relocated.
Other portion-cup sizes also work, but the bottoms of the two-ounce varieties are known to be approximately the same width as the pinewood derby block (1-3/4").
- Darin McGrew
- Pine Head Legend
- Posts: 1824
- Joined: Fri Jul 18, 2003 1:23 pm
- Location: Knoxville, TN
Wow! That's brilliant!
We've used small paper cups (the 3oz size used in cup dispensers) as stands in a paint booth. We set an upside-down cup on a plastic lazy susan, and then set the block on top of the cup.
And I've used short pieces of 1x2 trim to display my own cars, which works great unless the cars are picked up by curious kids.
But these short sauce/portion cups with a pushpin are a brilliant solution.
Coming from someone with your derby experience, that's very meaningful! (So now I can alter the topic title to "World's BEST Pinewood Derby Car Display Stand" - at least for click-bait purposes... )
Same. We've also used larger paper cups, and even the spray-paint-can cap as a stand in a pinch. Haven't tried the plastic portion cups for painting yet (not being sure how they'd react to some kinds of spray paint - probably okay though).
I still haven't set up an image-hosting account again, so until then perhaps somebody else might want to post a photo of a car on this kind of "stand".
One other point I forgot to make...
7) These cups are surprisingly durable.
Retention is always a concern when posting off-site as the site will likely outlast the images if off-site many times, but if you want a quick and dirty way to post images, use https://postimages.org/ you can upload without registration, but if you register you have a few extra perks... I have been using it for forum images for over a decade now, it just works... Just copy the the 'direct link' (second one on the link page after uploading) and put that between the img tags this forum uses...
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We recently tried a plastic portion cup as a spray-paint stand using Rust-Oleum Painter's Touch 2X and it worked just fine! For the painting application, we didn't tack the cup onto the body, because we wanted to lift the wet body off the stand (which was also wet with overspray) to relocate the body to dry.
I generally use paper bathroom 'Dixie' cups with a loop of tape to stick it to the car most of the time... And if the race mandates the 'slots' be used, I put the cups under the axle locations so that they can clearly see (less paint coverage) that I use the slots even though I plug them with a thin strip of wood to make the slot a square 'hole'...FatSebastian wrote: ↑Sun Jul 23, 2023 2:12 pmWe recently tried a plastic portion cup as a spray-paint stand using Rust-Oleum Painter's Touch 2X and it worked just fine! For the painting application, we didn't tack the cup onto the body, because we wanted to lift the wet body off the stand (which was also wet with overspray) to relocate the body to dry.
Good to hear the plastic portion cups didn't melt from the paint, but having had cups melt from resins (mostly) and some paints, I now tend to steer towards cardboard or paper unless it's a PE or PP plastic portion cup for crafting
My biggest gripe is that it's always winter around me when the Cub Scouts do their derbies, so painting and drying with spray paints is a chore in itself... Thus the reason when we took over the local Girl Scouts derby we moved it to October and will be handing out cars next week giving plenty of nice weather to get it painted outside...
That said someday I will have to organize the kid's cars, right now they are stacked in a box layered with towels...
Another cheep way of making a car display stand that I can think of .. ( As a spin off to your original car display stand idea.)
Could even be done.. with some spent 20fl oz plastic pop bottles.
Maybe by hot gluing the bottle cap to the bottom of the car and then screw the bottle on to the cap.. or your way with a screw threw the bottle cap in to the car bottom.
However it's biggest down fall is the car will set higher up and could be knocked over with out some type of weight inside the bottle!
Rocks, Sand, and dirt cheep.
I believe the suggestion only offers disadvantages relative to the portion-cup approach...
- A screw is more destructive than a pinhole. Hot-gluing anything substantial to the bottom of a car renders it permanently immobile. (The main advantage to hot glue would be if the car only had metal around the balancing area that would interfere with a wood fastener.) The portion-cup approach is easily reversed / removed.
- Use of a screw or hot glue requires extra tools; a portion cup requires no tools.
- Filling a bottle with ballast is messy and involved; a portion cup is clean and simple.
- Even if filled with sand or rocks (or water), a 20 oz soda bottle with 5 oz of weight cantilevered on top will be top-heavy and unstable, as noted. A portion-cup is stable.
- Both portion cup and soda bottle are freely available, but the soda-bottle idea won't be in the running for "world's cheapest" because a screw or hot-glue stick is going to be more expensive than a push-pin.
- The aesthetics are really terrible!