Making Wood Car W/ Son, Suggestions?? - Off Topic (Non Trade) - Contractor Talk

Making Wood Car W/ Son, Suggestions??

 
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Old 01-03-2010, 07:17 PM   #1
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Making Wood Car W/ Son, Suggestions??


I'm making a grand prix car out of a block of wood that we are going to race against the other kids at my sons awana group from church. Given the very competitive nature of mine I was just searching for suggestions to make it go VERY fast.
Car basicly can't be more than 7" long, 2 3/4" high, or weigh more than 5 oz. The wheels have to be free rolling (no starting devices or drives).
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Old 01-03-2010, 07:22 PM   #2
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Re: Making Wood Car W/ Son, Suggestions??


It's all about the wheels/bearings. Just compare a matchbox car to a hot wheels car.

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Old 01-03-2010, 07:29 PM   #3
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Re: Making Wood Car W/ Son, Suggestions??


Quote:
Originally Posted by mattsk8 View Post
I'm making a grand prix car out of a block of wood that we are going to race against the other kids at my sons awana group from church. Given the very competitive nature of mine I was just searching for suggestions to make it go VERY fast.
Car basicly can't be more than 7" long, 2 3/4" high, or weigh more than 5 oz. The wheels have to be free rolling (no starting devices or drives).
This is like the Boy Scouts do or use to do. They called it The Pinewood Derby race. Use graphite to lubricate the wheels on the spindles. We would experiment with adding different weights and removing wood to get the fastest shape and weight placement.
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Old 01-03-2010, 07:32 PM   #4
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Re: Making Wood Car W/ Son, Suggestions??


I have never made one, but......

I would think a dense wood like ipe might be a good choice.
I would also think that a taller wheel would be less rolling resistance.

And like Thom suggested bearings will make it faster than no bearings.
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Old 01-03-2010, 07:50 PM   #5
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Re: Making Wood Car W/ Son, Suggestions??


Tall slim solid wheels are the best option for wheels. Bearings with the grease flused out could work but you may be better of with a straight forward axle and sleeve setup with some good lubrication. A model or hobby shop should stock the axle parts you need. Maybe even the wheels. Also aero dynamics play a major part.

This site looks like it may be helpful to you.

http://www.pinewoodpro.com/
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Last edited by BCConstruction; 01-03-2010 at 07:53 PM.
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Old 01-03-2010, 08:09 PM   #6
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Re: Making Wood Car W/ Son, Suggestions??


Back in the day at our pinewood derby, my old man took my car into work and crafted it there. He bored out the front end and inserted lead. Then it was painted over and you couldn't tell unless u weighed it, which they didn't. Won first place fair and square! Well............. I won anywany thats whats important. See if they plan to actually weigh the cars or not.
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Old 01-03-2010, 08:13 PM   #7
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Re: Making Wood Car W/ Son, Suggestions??


You're going to need a good pit crew and some major corporate endorsements. Knock up a local pediatrician's office and some baby food companies for the endorsements. Or call everyone that drops Tiger Woods. They'll have to park that money somewhere else now. One door closes, another opens...
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Old 01-03-2010, 09:19 PM   #8
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Re: Making Wood Car W/ Son, Suggestions??


Ok are you ready for this.

If this is like the pinewood derby they will supply the block of wood and wheels.

They will also weigh the car on race day.

You will need to shape the wood in a wedge shape
what I did is flatten off a rear deck then from the bottom i drilled a couple of through bolts and added washers with cap nuts they looked like exhaust stacks
use as many washers as it takes to dial in the weight this will get you competitive.

But if you really wont to win like I did then make sure that one wheel is slightly off the level plane because 3 wheels have less friction than 4
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Old 01-03-2010, 10:13 PM   #9
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Re: Making Wood Car W/ Son, Suggestions??


ill sell ya a car that won districts 15 years ago
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Old 01-04-2010, 12:04 AM   #10
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Re: Making Wood Car W/ Son, Suggestions??


Quote:
Originally Posted by BCConstruction View Post
Tall slim solid wheels are the best option for wheels. Bearings with the grease flused out could work but you may be better of with a straight forward axle and sleeve setup with some good lubrication. A model or hobby shop should stock the axle parts you need. Maybe even the wheels. Also aero dynamics play a major part.

This site looks like it may be helpful to you.

http://www.pinewoodpro.com/
No bearings, I forgot to put that in the og post. Thanks for all the info. I like the Ipe idea. I just read the bottom of the rules and I can only use the wood block, wheels and axles furnished in the kit. I could prolly cheat on the wood though and no one would be the wiser . Might not be cool though since it is for church . I'll have to restle w/ that one a bit...
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Old 01-04-2010, 01:44 AM   #11
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Re: Making Wood Car W/ Son, Suggestions??


You might want to look at a dry Teflon lube for the axle brgs. Gunshops carry this and don't use much, less can be best.
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Old 01-04-2010, 09:29 AM   #12
 
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Re: Making Wood Car W/ Son, Suggestions??


Get some emery cloth and fix the axles (nails) in a dremel tool or similar tool and deburr and polish the sides of the nail. Place all the weight above the axles. I'd also polish the wheels with a 20,000 grit cloth to smooth them up. Other then that, it'll all depend on the track used. I've raced cars on different lanes, different tracks and they've never been the same.
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Old 01-04-2010, 09:51 AM   #13
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Re: Making Wood Car W/ Son, Suggestions??


Quote:
Originally Posted by mattsk8 View Post
I'm making a grand prix car out of a block of wood that we are going to race against the other kids at my sons awana group from church. Given the very competitive nature of mine I was just searching for suggestions to make it go VERY fast.
Car basicly can't be more than 7" long, 2 3/4" high, or weigh more than 5 oz. The wheels have to be free rolling (no starting devices or drives).
Helping your son to build the car is one thing, doing it for him is another.

This is a good time to hlp your son learn about honesty and inegrity, he may not win the race because there will be other parents that will build the car for their son and cheat, but what is more important, winning a ribbon by cheating, or teaching your son the right way to do thing?
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Old 01-04-2010, 10:15 AM   #14
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Re: Making Wood Car W/ Son, Suggestions??


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Originally Posted by cleveman View Post
You're going to need a good pit crew and some major corporate endorsements. Knock up a local pediatrician's office and some baby food companies for the endorsements. Or call everyone that drops Tiger Woods. They'll have to park that money somewhere else now. One door closes, another opens...
It's a baptist church so I'm thinking just to be a trouble maker I'll try to get PBR to endorse . They keep trying to convince me that drinking beer is a sin. If that's the case then the fridge in my garage is the gateway to hell!
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Old 01-04-2010, 10:23 AM   #15
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Re: Making Wood Car W/ Son, Suggestions??


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Originally Posted by bwalley View Post
Helping your son to build the car is one thing, doing it for him is another.

This is a good time to hlp your son learn about honesty and inegrity, he may not win the race because there will be other parents that will build the car for their son and cheat, but what is more important, winning a ribbon by cheating, or teaching your son the right way to do thing?
I honestly appreciate this. I won't do it for him, just trying to find suggestions for how to make it fast. I also will use the wood it came w/. I'll just teach him how a rotozip works to shape it and hollow it out. I'll also learn w/ him about the best places to add the weight (lead) to make it even so it's optimumly (is that a word?) placed for speed.

I agree w/ you. My son and I actualy do alot together.
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Old 01-04-2010, 10:30 AM   #16
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Re: Making Wood Car W/ Son, Suggestions??


graphite in the axels
Sand the wheels down so they are as thin as a piece of paper
Weigh the car often use a deli scale or postal scale
Add weights over the axles (pennies or small pieces of lead)
dont forget paint adds weight
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Old 01-04-2010, 10:37 AM   #17
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Re: Making Wood Car W/ Son, Suggestions??


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Originally Posted by mattsk8 View Post
I honestly appreciate this. I won't do it for him, just trying to find suggestions for how to make it fast. I also will use the wood it came w/. I'll just teach him how a rotozip works to shape it and hollow it out. I'll also learn w/ him about the best places to add the weight (lead) to make it even so it's optimumly (is that a word?) placed for speed.

I agree w/ you. My son and I actualy do alot together.
I helped run a clinic for the pinewood derby cars, Charlie the scout master who has been doing it for many many years, said the wedge works the best.

Take the axles (Nails) and chuck them in a drill and smooth them with 600 grit sand paper then use graphite on a piece of cloth to get it on the axles.

Check the wheels and make sure they are perfectly round.

I think the weight forward also helps and you want the car to be as heavy as possible.

Good luck, you and your son will have a lot of fun.
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Old 01-04-2010, 10:51 AM   #18
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Re: Making Wood Car W/ Son, Suggestions??


These are the shapes we're concidering



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Old 01-04-2010, 11:03 AM   #19
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Re: Making Wood Car W/ Son, Suggestions??


Find out WHAT rules your bound to first and foremost. All of us local drag racers are contemplating doing a guys night PWD outlaw race...just for betting and beers to pass the winter time since we're freinds with a guy that has a track and sets it up for boy scouts and such in his huge building. When we first talked, i was BLOWN AWAY with all the "tricks" out there to have a fast mofo....but like i said, you have to have some rules so you can "make it appear" within the rules

You can either buy or sand the nails down yourself that hold the wheels on...less contact inside center of wheel, the less the friction. Also sanding down the nail head will reduce friction of nail head that holds wheel onto car.

Graphite lube if allowed on axels ovbiously

IF your allowed aftermarket wheels, just buy the $29.99 set that's as thin as a piece of paper with a special outter coating on the "tread" part that is designed to reduce friction.

Many of the guys will actually "redrill" and raise 1 tire so it "appears" to sit on the ground, by in essence only 3 ever come into contact with the track...less resitance.

One fella who claimed to have won made a "stub nosed semi" design and put all his weight in the front (which just about everybody agree on in front over the axles) and when the gate dropped the "semi" immediately raised the back end off the track and went down on two wheels the majority of the track smoking the herd.

Pretty much all the national champs were in agreement aerodynamics in these cars is null and void, makes no difference....preventing and reducing EVERY place friction can happen is KEY.

Just google pinewood derby and you'll find a pleather of forums dedicated to optimizing the car. For around $100 you can buy all the stuff already done built by "pro's" with the latest/greatest technology for this kids sport....so while it seems caddy, this wood car racing is just like big boy racing...boils down to how badly do you want to win, how much do you want to invest to win, and if you can leave your moral compass at home in order to kick the living sheeot out of all that enter

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