How to Apply Weights to a Pinewood Derby Car

By Kathleen Bunn
Pinewood Derby cars can become a very creative endeavor.

The Pinewood Derby is an annual event that cub scouts across the United States take part in. They design their own small derby cars from blocks of wood, attach the wheels, decorate them, and then participate in the race against other cub scouts. There are set specifications for derby cars though, and one of those specifications is a maximum weight of 5 ounces. There are several steps that can be taken to add weights to your derby car to make it faster, and they can be found in the steps within this article.

Purchase pre-made weights from your local boy scout store, or order them online here http://www.scoutstuff.org/BSASupply/ItemDetail.aspx?cat=01RTL&ctgy=PRODUCTS&c2=CRAFTS&C3=DERBIES&C4=&LV=3&item=7602&prodid=7602^8^01RTL&. These weights are a set 2.3 ounces, and have pre-made holes with screws included for easy installation. Simply drill the weights into the underside of your finished car and you are good to go. More methods for attaching weights can be found in the other steps.

Choose some bullet shaped fishing weights, in a weight measurement that is right for your car. You will need two weights, and you will need to remember that you want to get your car as close to 5 ounces without going over as possible. So if your car is already 3 ounces, you will want to choose bullet shaped weights that are 1 ounce each, these can be found in the sporting goods section of almost any store.

Drill two holes in the back of your Pinewood Derby car. Do not drill the holes on the underside of the car, but on the back, so the weights that will be placed there will resemble mufflers. Do not make the holes too large, you want the bullet shaped weights to fit nicely within the holes, but have about half of the weight sticking out once glued into place.

Place some super glue or wood craft glue into the two holes that you have just drilled on the back of your car, and insert the bullet weights securely into place. Put the car on a flat surface, and allow it to sit still until the weights have dried into place. In the following steps you will learn about one more method of adding weights to your Pinewood Derby car.

Gather some loose change. You can use various different coins to add a different amount of weight. You can add quarters, dimes, pennies, or nickels, to come as close to the 5 ounces that you are allowed.

Glue the coins in one flat layer along the underside of your derby car using super glue or wood craft glue. Do not make a double layer of coins on the underside of the car, as the car has to clear the track when it competes in the derby race. Visit the resources below for more information on Pinewood Derby cars.

Tip

Do not make a double layer of coin weights under your car, or your car will not clear the track. Use weights to decorate your derby car and make it look more authentic.

Warning

Do not let your car go over the 5 ounce weight allowance, or your car will be disqualified. Use caution when operating a drill to avoid injury.

About the Author

Based in Florida, Kathleen Bunn has been working as a professional writer since 2006. She holds and associate's degree in elementary education from Tallahassee Community College, as well as an x-ray technician's license from Keiser College.