Baking Your Block of Pine

I have said several times that the more weight you put in the rear of the car, the faster the car will go. However, did you know that even the initial block contains weight that can be moved to the rear? All wood blocks contain water, and water is a very heavy substance. Just a little bit of it can weigh a lot, relatively speaking. All of the water locked up in the front half of your car is badly placed weight, so move it!

Before you do anything else to your car, put the wood block in your kitchen oven and bake it. This will cause most of the water locked up inside the wood to evaporate. With that water gone, you will be free to put more weight near the back of the car. Children should not perform this task without adult supervision.

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees

Depending on the humidity in your area, you may need to adjust the temperature or the time you use for baking the block. However, even in the Sahara Desert, a wood block will have some water in it. Every gram of weight you move to the rear of the car will make your car go faster. If you want to bake more than one block at a time, you may need to adjust the cooking time a little bit.

Once the oven is preheated

Place the block on a cookie sheet and then right into the oven. We usually bake our block for about 2 hours.

Caution: Be sure to keep a close eye on what’s going on in the oven. If you neglect the block, you could start a fire or overbake the wood. If the wood begins to turn brown or black, you have the temperature too high. We want to evaporate the water, not burn the wood.

One Comment

  1. George Barney says:

    I rounded our wheels with a lathe. Should I still finish the wheel by sanding with 600 grit wet/dry sandpaper as shown in your book on Speed Secrets?

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