Faster Pinewood Derby Cars


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 6th Grade Science Project

March 25, 2002

The Pinewood Derby Track
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This track we built for the Science Project is now stored in our garage.  Although, several Packs use it each year.  If you would like to use it at your Pack races, check with me and I'll add you to the schedule. 
Northwest Tucson, preferably. 
We can also sell the track and timer for around $750.

We have a sample race chart and some other resources if you need help setting up your racing brackets. 

The basic design of the track was taken from the Cub Scout track plans. The track has 2 lanes and is made with 1/2 inch black melamine with 1x2 redwood side rails. It is 30 feet from start line to finish line. (more...)

fulltrack.jpg (57138 bytes)

The start mechanism is a combination of several designs found on the Internet. Sample Start Gate Sample Start Gate 2

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The spring actuated start gate goes down fast enough that neither car has an advantage.

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The finish line gives the time in a digital readout as soon as the cars pass the finish line.  The fastest time blinks to show the winner.  The accuracy is to one thousandth of a second, which is less than 1/8th of an inch. The timer we picked is Fast Track made by MicroWizard. It cost $275 with an optional battery pack. It's a little less in kit form.

The 4 ft. skid ramp at the end of the track is half an inch high and is covered with black electrical friction tape.  There is a 2" foam pad at the end but only the fastest cars get that far.  And even then, just barely. 
Car accessories aren't damaged by crashing into a pillow at high speed.

We change the friction tape regularly since it loses it's "sticky" over time. A longer stop ramp would be better. We may build a 6 ft. ramp at some point.

skid.jpg (53226 bytes)

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Last modified: January 26, 2015   Copyright 2003-2015 Pullen Consulting, Inc.