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How to polish the axles on your Pinewood Derby car. It's as easy as ABC! 

Example of pinewood car


Polish your Pinewood Derby Car Axles

The axles that are supplied in your Pinewood Derby kit have burrs and crimp marks that are created during the manufacturing process. These imperfections cause friction between the axle and the wheel.

This is the process that we recommended for polishing your axles

What you will need:

  • Our Secret Formula Axle Polish
  • Old T-shirt or other light cloth.
  • Drill, vice or pliers.

1. Inspect your axles for flaws. Replace defective axles.

2. Check that your axles are straight by either rolling them on a flat surface or spinning them in a drill. Replace axles that are not straight or use our Pro-Axle-Press to straighten the axles.

3. Carefully remove the burr on the head of the axle and crimp marks on the axle shaft with a jeweler’s file.

4. Cut three 8” by 1” strips from an old t-shirt or other light cloth.

5. Spread a very thin layer of the Step 1 polish on a 4” center section of one of the cloth strips.

6. Mount an axle in a drill or vice or hold it with a pliers (drill is preferred).

7. Hold each end of the cloth strip and place the center of the strip under the axle shaft using moderate pressure. If using a drill, spin the axle while slowly moving the cloth about one inch over a 10 second period.

8. If using a vice or pliers, move the cloth back and forth 1” for 15 seconds. Turn the axle 90 deg. and repeat until all sides of the axle are polished.


9. If done right, there should be a dark residue on the cloth.

10. Using the same method, take one of the clean cloth strips and clean the axle of any excess polish.

11. Repeat steps 6 – 11 for the other axles.