I am a mom to four kids under 9 and have been working with my son to construct his derby car for the last 3-4years. We were never "last" but my son yearns for his mom to better his car. He, 8 year old, says "it's all your fault!" I do pull him in to construction where I see fit. He has no interest in wood working - I do though. I do lack some/many of the proper tools because simple lack of knowledge and what is truly the right kind of tools. I did read through other threads and have learned more but what truly are the essentials in having a winning car?
A parent had told me to buy or download a manual or pamphlet from the web something about "Kentucky" on how to build a better car.
Does anyone know what he was talking about? I did search and found Kentucky but...
What is more important - the axels to be polished and sanded so that there is no friction or placement of the weights? How do I polish and remove friction from axles? Is this where the rotary tool kit comes in?
Weights - do I continue using the "square" weights in the box? Do I recess them in the bottom or drill in from the top?
This mom yearns for time to veg out with a woodworking project but of course, without the right tools it will not work. I think I would ask Santa for a bench top drill press and not a drill press table that would take up lots of place.
Please advise. We are also doing a parent race again this year and would like to construct one of my own.
Jeannie in Wisconsin
When is the race?
Are there any group workshops being held prior to this race? This might be a good option since you said you have a limited tool inventory.
I'll be glad to correspond with you via e-mail to walk you through the process if you would like.........There might even be some folks in the Wisconsin area that are members of this forum that will chime in once this thread gets some more views.
Good Luck & let me know if I can help.
(MOMderby.........check your PM box......I have sent you some basic car construction advice)
I raced my own pink decorative car but lost. Good sport.
This forum/buttons is different than I have experience with - so I have to navigate not-so-surely.
I will check back later.
- Go Bubba Go
- Pine Head Legend
- Posts: 1190
- Joined: Sat Nov 18, 2006 1:09 pm
- Location: Northern, Illinois
2 pieces of advice:
1) Take JOKER up on his eMail offer. Hard to beat direct help like that.
2) Click here to read the "New To This" posting for my standard advice. MaxV is actually closing out his movie stock at a reduced price right now. Watch it with the 8 year old, maybe he will see a real boy in the video doing most of the work and get a bit more inspired to do more of his own. Also, the movie goes through all the "good stuff" a little faster than a mom with 4 kids under 9 can probably read a manual (they're distracting little folks, aren't they ).
IMHO, in a nutshell, the most important points are:
1.Weight placement-get the weight as far back in the car as possible, and as low as possible. Check your rules to see if you can move the rear wheels further back to aid in this, so the car doesnt pop a wheelie. Use lead weights. You can find them in the fishing dept at a sporting goods store, or on the ground outside of a tire place. And get the weight right at 5 oz at check in!
2. Wheel and Axle prep is key. Get rid of the mold marks. Lighten up the wheels if you are allowed to do so, by using methods described in this forum. Polish the axles w/ a metal polish. Use graphite lubricant. DO NOT USE THE WHITE POWDER FROM THE BSA STORE. When you lube, put the lube on the axle right BEFORE you put the wheels on. Polish the wheel bores with graphite and a pipe cleaner.
3.Good alignment of the wheels is important too. You could read this forum for days on just this topic alone, esp in regards to Railriding, which does work, BTW!
4.Let the boy design his car. Let him watch the Nascar races etc on TV if he needs inspiration. Let him paint it, put stickers on it, etc.
My son's car has done well the last two years(3rd last yr and tied for first this year) thanks to all the people on this forum!
Another good source is Stan Pope's website.
If you're in the Madison area and want to use some tools for wheel prep, axle prep, and car shaping, let me know. You could probably knock off most of the basic things in 2 hours, or so.
If not, I was in a Hobby Lobby the other day and they have a section with PWD stuff. You can get a pro wheel mandrel (for sanding wheels), a pro-body tool (for drilling axle holes), tube of lube (graphite with MolyB), and a sand-paper assortment (for polishing axles) at very low prices. They also have an assortment of decals, etc.
1. Put the axle that is closest to the end of the car in the rear. This will help minimize the chance for popping the wheelie.
2. Folks say to have the weight distribution point 3/4" to 1" in front of the rear axle. Have the majority of your weight between the rear axle and the center of your car, and this will help with that. Put a small portion of the weight behind the rear axle and at the top of the rear end. This will add a little push in the transition from the slope to the flat runout.
3. Axle prep is very important. If you don't have one, get or borrow a drill. Use that for rotating the axle and get some wet/dry sandpaper in grit levels from 200-600 at a minimum.
4. Lead weights are good, but if you can get tungsten weights, they're better. The cost a little more, but they're denser and take up less space, making it easier to pack it in.
These are the "tricks" that we used with my son's cars the last two years. Our results were two Pack championships, second and third place finishes in his age-group at District, and an overall fourth and ninth place finish at District.
NEWSFLASH!!! I received an email earlier & MOMDerby's son won 1st place in his Pinewood Derby Pack Championship......(no district race in their part of Wisconsin - so his car will retire a winner)...........Way to go MOMDerby & son! Congratulations!
(MOMDerby gave me permission to post the photo & let you guys know)
(A big thanks to Stan Pope, Go Bubba Go, sporty, Gameday, Hurly64, ronin718, & any of the other Derby Talk members that mentored MOMDerby & son in the construction of his 2007 PWD car)
Helping others,especially a child, is what it's all about!!
Not sure who's signature has the tagline: No one stands
as tall as the one who bends to help a child. That says it all
to me!!! IMHO
I was nervous days before and through the night of the race. My "pink parent car" also did very well.
MOMDerby to four young ones, 9, 7, 5, and 3.
Gameday wrote:Wow, how cools is that! Joker, do you have any details of the car they built?
Here is another picture MOMDerby sent me of her son's car (being staged)
(the car was a 3-wheel RH, standard wheelbase with rear wheels moved to back of car, drilled axle-holes because rules did not mandate slots only)
They sent me a video of one of the heats........that car was really moving! - (they did a great job on alignment & set-up)