Basic Building Accessories

General topics of interest to racers and race coordinators alike.
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RollerDerby
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Basic Building Accessories

Post by RollerDerby »

What are recommended tools and accessories needed to create a fast car? I’m trying to limit personal spending to around $50 total to avoid any monetary advantage over other kids racing. Thanks.
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FatSebastian
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Re: Basic Building Accessories

Post by FatSebastian »

:welcome: RollerDerby!
RollerDerby wrote: Fri Feb 23, 2024 7:51 amWhat are recommended tools and accessories needed to create a fast car? I’m trying to limit personal spending to around $50 total...
May we assume that the question is limited to just derby-specific "speed" supplies, beyond what is already necessary to build a car (such as woodworking tools)? To what speed supplies or tools (that aren't derby-specific) might you already have free access that wouldn't factor into your budget (a drill press, graphite, sandpapers, plastic polish, numbered drill bits, pin vise, etc.)? How are you constrained by your rules (e.g., must you use the axle slots in the block)? Are you using a BSA kit (Cub Scouts) or a different make of kit?

It is a good question in general... how can one gain speed - on a budget?
RollerDerby
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Re: Basic Building Accessories

Post by RollerDerby »

It is mainly for speed and precision issues. The Awana club uses only their kits and has a free small workshop that helps kids cut and sand the cars and put on wheels. I know there are tools out there for alignment, axle bending, wheel prep, oil, etc. too but am not sure which would be helpful on a limited personal budget. Thanks.
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Re: Basic Building Accessories

Post by exoray »

IMO if you are really on a tight budget, invest in some high end graphite, a basic wheel mandrel, misc cotton swab things and natural fiber pipe cleaners, a set of jewelers files and several grades of fine wet/dry sand paper... Then watch some videos on how to dress the wheels and prep the axles... And spend some focus on weighing the car and the center of gravity...

All the jigs and such help, but they will eat into a $50 budget instantly, you can do a lot of hand dressing to wheels and axles with the stuff above and although your wheels won't be perfectly round and your axle won't be precision ground they will be quite a bit better than stock... Wet sanding the wheels and axels alone can make a world of difference vs stock... And although an axle bending jig is nice, you can bend your own axle in other ways, not as accurate but again better than stock straight axles many times (assuming you can bend them), axel spacing off the car body can be done with a credit card and so on... I find having a pin vice drill handle and drill to clean up the slots or drill new holes is nice, but again $50 is a tight budget and I did fine without an axle drill for years, just using a sacrificial axle nail instead...
RollerDerby
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Re: Basic Building Accessories

Post by RollerDerby »

Thanks. My family had two cars this first year and one was rather wobbly, so I wasn’t sure if an aligner was worth it.
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Re: Basic Building Accessories

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RollerDerby wrote: Fri Feb 23, 2024 1:03 pm Thanks. My family had two cars this first year and one was rather wobbly, so I wasn’t sure if an aligner was worth it.
From my years worth of observations wobbly cars are almost always 'back heavy' aka the center of gravity is too far back and/or there was zero attempt to even try to get the wheels aligned...

If you dial in the center of gravity in that give or take 1" in front of the rear axle sweet spot, and at least attempt to align the wheels by eye to be straight and level, or IMO better yet negative camber (if allowed) the rear wheels most wobble is gone just doing that... And that can all be done just by eyeballing it for your average 'starter' level racing...
RollerDerby
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Re: Basic Building Accessories

Post by RollerDerby »

Yes, that would explain some of the difference. The wobbly car had weight in both the middle and the back that was probably disportionate.
A club leader said he runs on 3 wheels with a notched axle for changes, so I assume that’s where the negative camber comes in. I’m still not clear on the concept but got a library book by Troy somebody, so hopefully that will help.
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Re: Basic Building Accessories

Post by exoray »

RollerDerby wrote: Fri Feb 23, 2024 2:58 pm Yes, that would explain some of the difference. The wobbly car had weight in both the middle and the back that was probably disportionate.
A club leader said he runs on 3 wheels with a notched axle for changes, so I assume that’s where the negative camber comes in. I’m still not clear on the concept but got a library book by Troy somebody, so hopefully that will help.
Three wheels just means you lift one off the track, either drill a new hole higher or bend the axle so it' off the ground... Negative camber is when you use bent axles or drill angled holes so the tires sit like this /▬\ a positive camber is when you use a bent axle or drill an angled hole for a single front tire so that the car rides the rail, that looks like this |▬/

Watch Mark Rober's video it's a great primer... He goes into cambering at about the 9:25 mark, but the entire video is a good primer...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-RjJtO51ykY
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Re: Basic Building Accessories

Post by Loud2ns »

The stock Awana wheelbase is likely the cause of your wobbles. Pushing those axle holes back to the rear of the car would be a huge advantage over those running a stock wheelbase.

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whodathunkit
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Re: Basic Building Accessories

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Also with straight axle or un-cambered axles on the car if the wheel gaps are set to large..
( wheels set to far out from the inner wheel hub to the car body )
The car body can shift and wobble from sliding to the left or right on the axles.
Out of round wheels that are not centered to the bore will also cause vibrations that can lead to shaking, bouncing , and wobbles.


Some of the basic tools the guy's suggested are good ideas..

however some tool's not suggested I can think of ruler and pencil for measuring and marking your design on the block.
clamps or vice for holding parts: A coping saw can do a lot as far as cutting out the design.. even to internal cuts.
Hammer and chisel, Drill and drill bits., sand papers in different grits ranges, glues .
Steel wool (0000) works good on axles and wheels for smoothing.

Accessories: as far as weights.. zinc, lead, metal, or tungsten:
( on a budget build .. you will spend a little more on tungsten weights )
Tungsten it is about 1.7 times the density over the lead.. and more compact so it takes up less room in the car.

Paint's: well you don't have to use paint's if it's not in your budget.. a cheaper route would be:
Magic marker's or colorful duct tapes for car wrap type coverings
What type of automobile can be spelled the same forwards & backwards?
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FatSebastian
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Re: Basic Building Accessories

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RollerDerby wrote: Fri Feb 23, 2024 11:08 amIt is mainly for speed and precision issues. ... but am not sure which would be helpful on a limited personal budget.
I would say that our first - and perhaps most used - tool for enhancing speed was an inexpensive electronic pocket scale. Currently you can get them from Harbor Freight with sufficient precision in the $13 - $15 range, and sometimes 20-25% less when they have a percent-off coupon offer going. A scale not only helps you get your weight closer to the limit, but it can provide a more precise way of determining the weight distribution (by measuring the weight on DFW and back wheels separately). The measured weight from the front wheel(s) of your wobbler can be used as a lower threshold that should not be crossed next time.

(Now, if you wanted to be really thrifty you could try Doc Jobe's yardstick balance, but I'd prefer the precision and ease of an electronic scale, even if it used up one-third of my limited budget...)
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Re: Basic Building Accessories

Post by exoray »

FatSebastian wrote: Mon Feb 26, 2024 5:39 pmbut I'd prefer the precision and ease of an electronic scale, even if it used up one-third of my limited budget...)
My scale cost a bit more, but I also lend it out as the official scale 🤣

https://www.scalesplus.com/tree-dct-50- ... ting-scale
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whodathunkit
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Re: Basic Building Accessories

Post by whodathunkit »

For precision.. while looking for flaws in wheel bores or on axles .. a led lighted magnifying glass.
My fav go to is the Brightech lightview pro.
https://www.amazon.com/Brightech-LightV ... TTS8S?th=1
What type of automobile can be spelled the same forwards & backwards?
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