Free Tips

Don’t Mix Brands of Spray Paint

Posted by on Dec 4, 2011 in Tips | 0 comments

Don’t Mix Brands of Spray Paint

Select the colors you want. To avoid paint problems, use one brand of paint for all of the painting steps—priming, color coating, trim painting, and clear coating. Mixing different brands of spray paint can have disastrous results. In the photos below, a sample block was sprayed with glossy white paint. After the white dried, the same block was sprayed with a different brand of satin green paint. The green paint crackled the white paint over the entire surface. If this happens on your finished car, you will need to resand the car down to...

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Removing Graphite from Paint

Posted by on Dec 4, 2011 in Tips | 0 comments

Removing Graphite from Paint

Though great for lubricating around the axle holes, graphite can get very messy if it comes in contact with the paint. If you accidentally get graphite on the paint, use a little WD-40® on a rag to wipe off the extra. Do not spray the WD-40 right on the car because it could ruin your paint...

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Avoid a Pointed-Nose Design

Posted by on Dec 4, 2011 in Tips | 0 comments

Avoid a Pointed-Nose Design

Do not select a design with a pointed nose. A pointed nose will make it difficult for your car to rest on the pin at the starting gate. It may also cause your car to get bumped around when the pin drops, and it can create problems for electronic timing systems. In most cases, electronic timers require something that is at least 0.25 inches in width before the system will detect it. Some cars with a very pointed nose will not trip the timer until and inch or so of the car has passed under the sensor. Avoid a Pointed-Nose Design Pointed-nose...

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Build Two Cars!

Posted by on Dec 4, 2011 in Tips | 0 comments

Build Two Cars!

That’s right—build two cars. It is impossible for your child to win the Pinewood Derby if you, the parent, build the car. Even if your car comes in first place, your child will know that he is accepting a trophy that you earned. The Pinewood Derby is about more than just winning; it’s a time for children to learn skills and to develop a lasting relationship with an adult role model. Don’t rob them of these opportunities. It is absolutely possible to build a winning car and still allow your child to do most of the work. Here are a few...

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Baking Your Block of Pine

Posted by on Dec 4, 2011 in Tips | 1 comment

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...

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Improving Pre-cut Car Bodies

Posted by on Dec 4, 2011 in Tips | 0 comments

Improving Pre-cut Car Bodies

While some designs inherently possess the features that make them faster, it is possible to take a standard design with standard weights and improve it by making some small changes. Because I’ve seen a lot of coupe designs over the past several years, we’ll use that as an example. By making the two modifications shown below, you will have a coupe design with the weight located in the rear of the car, which will dramatically improve its performance. These same techniques can be used to improve many of the standard designs you see at local...

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