Tool Tech Tips

The Pinewood Derby Tools that Derby Worx manufactures are designed to help parent and child teams work together to build a Highly Competitive Racer and learn the fundamentals of friction reduction, alignment and simple physics. On these pages we want to share some of the more advanced tips we have learned and developed over the years to better help all racers.

Pro Hub Tool

For maximum performance with your Pro Hub Tool we recommend polishing the pins on the tool like you would your racing axles. By placing the tool in a large drill or drill press, start with 600 grit sand paper and work through a minimum 2500 grit or even a 1 or 2 micron polishing cloth then finish with your axle polish for a mirror finish. The Pro Hub Tool is also an excellent tool for burnishing in the graphite in your wheel bores and by adding a small amount of graphite in the dished end of the tool, graphite can be burnished into the inner hub face after coning for even more friction reduction

Pro Body Tool

A pinewood derby car body block is not a perfect piece. As nice as some blocks look, they are still cut or planed wood and are not parallel front to back. This creates a problem when drilling straight axle holes not only left to right but getting them parallel front to rear. For maximum performance and precise alignment, choose one side as your reference side; all of your marking and squaring of the Pro Body Tool will be done from this side for greater accuracy. Next, using a full sheet of medium grit or 220 sand paper on a flat counter top or an old piece of safety glass, long sand the body block reference side flat and true. Mark your axle hole locations or the reference line for the existing slot. Firmly square your tool against the trued side of the body block while carefully aligning your reference mark and clamp in place to drill. A folded piece of paper can be added to the opposite side to reduce any tool gap and help with squaring the reference side. After drilling the rear axles first, slide the tool to the front, re-square, clamp and drill. This simple technique will insure you that your holes are perfect every time and all you need is a hand drill (cordless or corded) and the provided #44 drill bit.

Pro Axle Bender

A bend of 2.5° is what we recommend as a good base line and use in our Rail Rider videos. If you have not moved the adjustment collar from when you received the tool, it is already factory set for 2.5° on a BSA axle. Since there are so many different available axles and limited room on the center shaft for index marks, we have developed base line adjustments, and from there it is just a matter of splitting the difference. For instance: on a BSA axle the first mark from the top is 4° and the second mark is 2°, so half way between the 1st and 2nd mark is 3°, then 3/4 of the way down from the 1st mark is 2.5°. It is a good idea to test your bend on some old axles first after making any adjustment to the tool, but the nice thing is, once the tool is set to your desired setting, it will make exactly that bend every time. This is most important when establishing perfect alignment of the rear wheels. Remember, always start your alignment on the rear wheels first, taking the time to establish zero-toe before moving forward to set your steer. There is a lot of overlooked speed in simply getting the rear wheels set correctly, and you will notice the car free up and almost roll effortlessly when they are correct.