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How to add weights to a Hornet Pinewood Derby car. It's as easy as ABC! 

Example of pinewood car
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How to add weight to our Hornet Pinewood Derby Car

Your pinewood derby car should weigh 5 oz. for your best chance of winning the race. The Hornet block will need about 2.4 oz of additional weight to bring it up to 5 oz.

Install the weights in your car before you paint it.

Pinewood Derby Scale

First, place all of your car's components on an accurate scale. Add weights to bring the total to 5 oz. Do not go over 5 oz.

When your car is complete, weigh it again. If it is over 5 oz, drill a few holes in the bottom of the block about an inch behind the front axle to remove some wood. 

Below are two suggestions for adding weights to the Hornet pinewood derby car. Use a similar procedure if you have different weights,

Lead Wire Weights

Lead is toxic. Always use gloves when working with lead and make sure that none of the lead is exposed after you install it in the block.

When weighing the car and weights, divide the three weights into 5 lengths that will bring the car to the 5 oz weight limit. Cut the weights with a hack saw, coping saw or wire cutters.

You will need:

  1. One set of Lead Wire Weights
  2. Drill and 5/16" drill bit
  3. Wood putty
  4. Sandpaper
  5. Hack saw, coping saw or wire cutters
Hornet pinewood derby car with lead weights


  1. Clamp the car block on a flat surface. 
  2. Measure the length of the weights then drill five 5/16" holes straight into the back of the block in the pattern shown above.  Be careful to drill above the rear axle slot.  Drill the holes just deep enough to accommodate all the weights. The depth of the holes should be 1/8 inch deeper than the length of the weights. This will leave room for the wood putty.
  3. Remove the clamp from the block.
  4. Weigh the block, wheels, axles and weights again. Adjust the amount of weight if needed for 5 oz.
  5. Install the weights in the block with an extra 1/8" of depth for the wood putty. Seal the weight holes with the wood putty. Allow to dry in a warm place for 12 hours.
  6. Sand the wood putty until smooth.

You can now paint your pinewood derby car and add the wheels and axles. 

If the completed car is less than 5 oz. drill one or more hole in the bottom of the car in front of the other weights and insert some of the leftover lead weight in the holes.

Body Putty for Pinewood Derby Cars

Wood Body Putty

ea.

5/16" Drill Bit

Drill Bits
Lead Wire Weights

Lead Wire Weights

3 oz. total weight
3 oz. wire weights
Digital Scale

Digital Scale

Scale
To place your order:
1. Enter the quantity you would like to order next to each of the above items.
2. Click the "Add to Cart" button below.

Tungsten Weights

Tungsten costs more but it is very dense allowing more of the weight to be placed farther back on the pinewood derby car.

You will need:

  1. Four 1/2 oz Tungsten Cylinders
  2. Two 1/4 oz Tungsten Cylinders
  3. One Fine Tune Cylinder
  4. Drill and 3/8" drill bit
  5. Sandpaper
  6. Wood putty
Hornet block with tungsten weights
  1. Drill two 3/8" holes straight into the back of the block. The depth of the holes should be enough to hold an equal amount of Tungsten cylinders and enough of the Fine Tune Cylinder to bring the car to the 5 oz limit.
  2. Insert the weights in the holes. The end of the weights should be recessed 1/8" into the block to allow for the wood putty.
  3. Weigh the block, wheels, axles and weights again. Adjust the amount of weight if needed with the Fine Tune Cylinder. 
  4. Seal the weight holes with the wood putty. Allow to dry in a warm place for 12 hours.
  5. Sand the wood putty until smooth and flush with the car block.
  6. Paint your car and add the wheels and axles. .
Tungsten Cylinder

1/2 oz Tungsten Cylinder Weight

$2.95   1/2 oz ea. (Recommend 4)
Tungsten Cylinder

1/4 oz Tungsten Cylinder Weight

$1.95   1/4 oz ea. (Recommend 2)
Fine Tune Cylinder

Fine Tune Cylinder

Fine Tune Cylinder
Digital Scale

Digital Scale

Scale
Wood Putty for Pinewood Derby Cars

Wood Putty

ea.
3/8" Drill Bit

3/8" Spade Drill Bit

Drill Bits
To place your order:
1. Enter the quantity you would like to order next to each of the above items.
2. Click the "Add to Cart" button below.