Baking Pinewood Derby Car

Bake the Block: Start with your block of wood, and before you do anything else, bake it in the oven at 250 degrees for around two hours to remove moisture and make it lighter. This will allow you to place more weight to the rear of the Pinewood Derby car where you actually want it.

Follow this article for the secrets to the ultimate Pinewood Derby car.

Baking Pinewood Derby Car

IntroductionWe’ll tell you our favorite tricks and tips and give you the basic physics behind why they work.

  • Graphite
  • Official Grand Prix Pinewood Derby Kit
  • Sandpaper
  • Tungsten weights
  • Wood filler
  • Below are the regulations most Pinewood Derbies follow, referred to as the “Rules in the Box.” It’s very important to follow these rules because if even one is broken, you’ll have a sad kid on your hands and lots of wasted time and energy. Not all Pinewood Derbies are the same so make sure to check with your local Scout District/Council rules to see if anything is different.

  • Car Specifications: Width: 2-3/4”; Length: 7”; Weight: Maximum of 5 Ounces; Width between wheels: 1-3/4”
  • The car must have been made during the current year (year in which derby is being held). Cannot use previous years cars.
  • Wheel bearings, washers, and bushings are prohibited.
  • The car shall not ride on springs.
  • Only official Cub Scout Grand Prix Pinewood Derby wheels and axles are permitted.
  • Only dry lubricant is permitted.
  • Details, such as steering wheel and driver are permissible as long as these details do not exceed the maximum length, width and weight specifications.
  • The car must be free-wheeling, with no starting devices.
  • Each car must pass inspection by the official inspection committee before it may compete.
  • If, at registration, a car does not pass inspection, the owner will be informed of the reason for failure and will be given time within the official weigh-in time period to make the adjustment.
  • After final approval, cars will not be re-inspected unless the car is damaged in handling or in a race. Plus: Check out some brilliant woodworking tips for beginners here. Read Next

    Baking Pinewood Derby Car

    Wood holds water, and water adds weight. We want weight, but we want the weight where it’s most beneficial. Pre-heat your oven to 250 degrees, then bake your block for 2 hours. All the water evaporates, allowing more control during the next few steps. Step 2

    Baking Pinewood Derby Car

    Once your block is dried, most people want to cut it into an interesting shape, maybe make it into the profile of your dream car. But aerodynamics rule the day, and the best shape is a simple wedge. Just like a spoiler on the rear of a sports car, the wedge shape allows as much air to flow over the top of the car without hinderance while keeping the car pinned to the track. Our wedge tapers from 5/16-in. to 7/8-in. A bandsaw and push stick are the quickest way to cut the wedge (wear safety gear and follow safety guidelines), but a coping saw works just fine. Sand the car body up to 220-grit.

    What model scale is pinewood derby car?

    The pinewood derby block is 7″ long. The scale is approximately 28:1.


    Should you bake your Pinewood Derby car?

    Should I bake the pinewood derby block? The short answer is no, do not bake the block. The idea behind baking the block is to remove moisture which will make the block lighter. You can then add more weight to the back of the car.

    How do I make my Pinewood Derby car straight?

    10 Tips and Tricks to a Fast and Cool-Looking Pinewood Derby Car
    1. Bake your block. …
    2. Max out your weight at the regulation 5 ounces. …
    3. Use all of the graphite (dry lubricant is usually allowed). …
    4. Sand and polish your wheels and axles. …
    5. Check alignment. …
    6. Spend time on sanding. …
    7. Use a high-quality paint. …
    8. Add decals!

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