How to prepare pinewood derby car body for gluing axles in place

Before even starting the process of tuning, a builder needs to address the following.  If I am drilling my own axle holes, how do I keep the axles in place?  After all once I install them, I will not be able to drill through the metal.

A series of holes need to be drilled prior to painting, prior to installing the wheels and axles.  It is not crucial to make them perfectly spaced, or in a perfect line.  What is important is that you leave room from the edge so that the glue doe not accidentally leak on your wheels.

Pinewood derby axle glue holes
Pinewood derby axle glue holes
Pinewood derby axle glue holes
Pinewood derby axle glue holes

Graphite Wheel Channel Pinewood Derby Body

Unless you build a lot of cars, one of the problems you will quickly find out is that with drilled axle holes, there is practically no way to add graphite to the hub once you have installed the wheel and gapped them properly.

Here's a builders tip.  Add a graphite lube channel.  With the BSA slots, you have wood removed that allows you access the inner wheel hub.  With Drilled body you literally run into a brick wall.  So just add some angled channels that allow you to to get to that spot.  I do mine with a rotary tool.  This can easily be done withe a file or some sand paper.  I just like power tools

If you accidentally take off too much and end up in the axle  hole, no worries, just remember that with the BSA blocks, there is an entire slot all the way across the body.  It's not going to hurt a thing.
Pinewood derby axle graphite channels
Pinewood derby axle graphite channels
Pinewood derby axle graphite channels
Pinewood derby axle graphite channels

What glue to use to glue Pinewood Derby axles and wheels

Super Glue or CA glue is glue of choice for many years.  Just remember this stuff is super runny or liquid, a little will go a long way and I have ruined many wheel sets because of this.  Little drops, I mean little.  And make sure your car is nice and flat so that it does not run into the wheel.  It WILL.  

Expert builders are now choosing RED locktite screw thread anti-vibrate treatment.  They apply it the same way as super glue.  It seems that it penetrates the wood better and it literally locks the axle in place.  Not going to move the tune job.  So if you are out of super glue, or want to give that a try I highly reccommend it.  
 
 
Here's the answer to the million dollar question.  What do I suggest?  First I say check you rules......  Then use the following advice.

So my choice:  Physics car body 3-wheel racer.  Lead Weight. 3k bent axles (3x 2.5, 1x 1.5), pliers, Wheel Polish kit or service, Derby Dust graphite.  You will have to choose what wheels you want to play by, but they will determine speed of car second to tuning the axles correctly


Pinewood Derby Tuning is the Key

So you are going to need to focus mainly on tuning or adjusting your axles.  You want your car to go down the track as straight as it can without going side to side.  Easiest way to do this is 3 wheels touching and make it ride along the center strip.  So you purposely make it track to the high side.  Takes time.  Not technical, Not complicated, just time.  The correct tool-- axle pliers.  This $25 purchase is the difference between a headache and a breeze.  what you will need is 4x bent axles so that you can do this:  for 4 wheels I always suggest 3x2.5 1x1.5 angles

If you have to do 4 wheel tuning....

Pinewood Derby Speed Axles

polish level.... 
3k for graphite with break-in 
100K for oil or graphite with just dust and spin.  You are substituting the lube for a higher polish metal.  
Bent axles will be fastest (rail riding) however each axle needs to be adjusted (tuned) so that it steers the car down the track and not side to side.  Each axle will have to be adjusted:  Watch the tuning video above...substitute treadmill for tuning board if needed.  Bent axles for the wheel to ride in one spot and also change the amount of tread presented to track.  Ice skates vs rollerblades just the inner part of wheel will touch. (red wheel). 
Picture
Picture originally published on Derbytalk.com forum

Pinewood Derby Speed Wheels

Wheels

Lighter the better. Lighter wheels will require use of tuning pliers however to remove axles/wheels.  
Polish the bores.  Either you or me.  Its pretty simple.
Flawless bores will eliminate any abnormal rotation in relation to wheel spinning around axles.  

Weight reduced wheels start around 1.7 grams. Have all the lettering.  Charlie Bravo or Black Op's will be those weights. Charlie Bravo has factory outer tread.  Black Op's will have lathed outer tread.
Derby Worx makes a 1.5 and 1 gram wheel, but a little more noticeable machining done to them.   Lighter is always better! They are all very fast wheels.  Choose what will meet your pack's rules.

Pinewood Derby Graphite Lube

Graphite on graphite has a lower coefficient of friction than steel on plastic.  Our theory is build layers of lube on layers of lube.  Then you have graphite on graphite peeling off each race.  Break In / Lube building process
 
 
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This stuff is so good, soon you will be asking for it by name! People can't tell us our lube doesn't work because we use our dry lube for every build. Our faster builds are reaching average speeds of 12.35+ with just sanded BSA wheels and axles  (100% legal)! 

Contains proprietary blend of the industry best dry lubes. It's more than just "graphite."  Believe it or not, our product costs more than the packaging.

Derby Dust ™ Dry Lube Feedback

  • Author: Fred-PA
    Tried the comp sample. Thanks. We won the local division! Onto districts. Now supporting you! :)
  • Author: Member id trekkie527
    Hi. I bought this item recently and used it on my son's derby car. Thanks to this stuff, it clinched the pack victory in a really, really close championship race. My son is now pack champion and he's thrilled. Was wondering if it's possible to purchase more ... and to save it for next year? Would it keep and be as effective if I save it at home for next year as opposed to purchasing it next year before his pack derby? Please let me know. Amazing stuff. Thanks so much! Now he's just eager to get his trophy!
    - trekkie527
  • Author: Gary O.
    5/5: "Well satisfied with Derby Dust , Won fastest in Pack."
    January 30, 2012
  • Author: Member id thomas13103
    Good Times!!!!! We Won!! Buyer: Member id thomas13103
    Mar-16-12 15:07
  • Author: Member id call6573
    awsome stuff Buyer: Member id call6573
    Mar-07-12 19:33
  • Author: Member id byhisname
    Great product--derby dust--we used it & we won. Thanks!!!!!!!
    Feb-19-12 20:37
  • Author: Member id wreckem72
    Fast shipping! Awesome product! 100% Satisfied!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Jan-31-12 19:30
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    Premium product, professionally packaged with quick shipping! A+++
    Jan-26-12 08:52
  • Author: Member id iraqivetgijoe
    WOW! This stuff really works. Product is highly recommended. A+ seller Buyer:
    Dec-02-11 16:27
  • Author: C. Volk
    Hi, I just wanted to let you know that my sons car use durby dust and took 1 place at the pack races. Then took 1 place at distric and set new track record of 3.106 at a speed of 159.7 scale miles per hour and now he gets to go to council races May 5th in Wichita Kansas. thanks Durby Dust!!!!! P.S. I will be ordering more soon!!!
  • Author: bryan 3/5/12
    Hello,

    Thank you for getting me the derby dust last week when another vendors highly rated product just did not cut it.

    I just wanted to take a moment to thank you for sharing your products with me. The experience has been really positive.

    For the derby the combination I ended up running on my sons car and three other kids car (single moms) was

    bsa certified wheels and axles rules
    The polished nail (1000 grit) with creme toothpaste polish Light initial dusting of BP2000 dry lube gently hand rubbed into the axle Pre fill the wheel and axle with another dry lube and spin 5 by hand at slow speeds with a slight shake to distribute, This could take 5-6 times Once I have 20+ spins the wheel is mounted Once the car runs straight the final dry lube is added by a needle fill to both side of the wheel and spin for maximum speed and duration.

    Progression: based on processing 20 nails, fastest 16 running on a car Straight wheel and axles nothing done 10-12 spins of time (seconds) Sand and polish (tooth paste and rinsed) 15-16 seconds of revolutions before stopping

    Light dusting and burnish maybe 1 more second of spin

    If I use bP2000 as the final lube and break in the maximum wheel spin is
    23 to 24 seconds, good for most races but not going to districts.

    With derby dust dry lube added at this level of prep the spin count averaged 31 seconds of spin before stopping.

    Based on running on the test track at the house (25 feet) with a pace car
    20 spins/seconds loses to the pace car by 1 car length (7)
    24-25 seconds of spin loses by 3 inches at the finish
    31 seconds of spin beats the pace car by 2 inches based on 5 runs with lane swapping

    In real time comparisons:
    Track 32 feet, wood with high tech finish electronic time and start gate

    5 Oz car, running 4 wheels down, 7 inches long ran the track in 2.49 seconds, which Grand Prix software calculated as 216 mhp estimated.

    At the race on Saturday, my sons car won the grand prize for best average time over 4 runs and set the track record for speed. The attached picture is his car.

    How do I know the extra revolution of spin made a difference as the number two car, lost by 500th of a second. Less time than it takes for a hummingbird to flap his wings 3 times in hoover flight.

    If you have any question please feel free to call and I'd be glad to try it. My wife this morning said she had still not sent the extra $6 for speed shipping I will make sure it out tonight. The only thing better than your product, was the teams attention to detail, in getting the product out to me quickly, to make the race day event. The three kids cars, who I used it on also did well making the day special for them.

    Thanks so much for your time and help.

    Bryan
  • Author: L. Cappelli
    We won this weekend! First try after 47 years. Thanks for all your help, great product & we would not of done so without you. 3 generations are very proud. Humble lessons are on tap.

  • Author: @403woodcrafts
    So the weekend before our Pack race, I gave a sample of Derby Dust to some friends that are in another pack. They generally have good cars and have been very helpful to us in our first year. So they watch the treadmill turn in video and used the Derby Dust on his car. Well, he won Webelows II Den and his Overall pack. He had a top speed of 195mph!!

    My sons are in the Tigers and the Wolves. Our Pack has a wooden 3 lane 28 foot track and each car runs each lane twice, then after the slowest time is thrown out they place the top 3 by average time. My Tiger won his den by having an average of 0.018 seconds faster than second and finished 4th in the Overall. My Wolf won his den by having an average of 0.086 seconds faster!!! The Cub master walked over to me after the first run and mumbled.... damn that was fast! An average car on our track runs about 2.65 seconds (180 mph) My Tiger was running 2.63's and .64's (his is the car with the fishtail problem) and my Wolf was the only Scout to run under 2.6 4 of his six runs were 2.58's and .59's!!
  • Author: Member id smb9495
    Great product, won our first derby!
  • Author: Member id mitchell_99
    Great product, love the derby dust!
  • Author: Member id phyedguy1269
    A+++ First Place with Lube
  • Author: Member id tater67_99
    ausome product. Race was friday my boy took 1st place
    Apr-15-13 13:44