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

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

Python pinewood derby car

Most pinewood derby rules limit your car's weight to 5 oz. You will have a speed advantage if you can get as close to the limit as possible. The Python block will need about 2.5 oz of additional weight to bring it up to 5 oz.  Install the weights in your car before you paint it.

Pinewood Derby Scale

The first thing that you should do is weigh the block, and everytning else that will go on your car. Add enough weights until the total is 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 a few suggestions for adding weights to the python pinewood derby car.

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, use three weights that are approximately the same length. You can 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
Racer pinewood derby block with lead weights


  1. Clamp the car block on a flat surface. 
  2. Using a 5/16" drill bit, drill three equally spaced holes into the back of the block at a slight up angle so that you do not drill through the top or bottom of the block. 
  3. Remove the clamp from the block.
  4. Insert the weights in the holes. The end of the weights should be at least 1/8 inch in from the back of the block.This will leave room for the wood putty. Drill the holes slightly deeper if needed.
  5. Weigh the block, wheels, axles and weights again. Adjust the amount of weight if needed for 5 oz.
  6. Install the weights in the block and seal the weight holes with the wood putty. Allow to dry in a warm place for 12 hours.
  7. Sand the wood putty until smooth and flush with the car block.

You can now paint your 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.

Lead Wire Weights

Lead Wire Weights

3 oz. total weight
3 oz. wire weights
Body Putty for Pinewood Derby Cars

Wood Body Putty

ea.

5/16" Drill Bit

Drill Bits
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.

Steel Cylinder Weights

Steel Cylinders are inexpensive and are safe to handle but they are not as dense as lead and cannot be cut as easily.

You will need:

  1. One set of Steel Cylinder Weights
  2. Drill and 3/8" drill bit
  3. Fine Tune Cylinder
  4. Wood putty
  5. Sandpaper
Wedge block with steel weights
  1. Clamp the block to a flat surface.
  2. Using a 3/8" spade drill bit, drill three equally spaced holes into the back of the block at a slight up angle so that you do not drill through the top or bottom of the block. The depth of the holes should be deep enough for all the needed weights.  The holes will be close together so it will be easier if you start the holes with a smaller bit or you can use our Weight Guide.
  3. Remove the clamp from the block.
  4. Insert the weights in the holes. The end of each weight should be at least 1/8" into the end of the block. This will leave room for the wood putty. Drill the holes deeper if needed.
  5. Weigh the block, wheels, axles and weights again. Add some of the Fine Tune Cylinder Weight in one of the holes if needed for 5 oz. The fine tune Weight can be cut with any saw or a heavy duty scissors.
  6. Seal the weight holes with the wood putty. Allow to dry in a warm place for 12 hours.
  7. Sand the wood putty until smooth and flush with the car block.

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

If the completed car is less than 5 oz. drill one or more shallow holes in the bottom of the car just in front of the drilled weights and insert some of the Fine Tune weight in the holes.

Steel Cylinders

Steel Cylinder Weights

3 oz. total weight
3 oz. Steel Cylinders
Body Putty for Pinewood Derby Cars

Wood Body Putty

ea.
Fine Tune Cylinder

Fine Tune Cylinder

Fine Tune Cylinder
3/8" Drill Bit

3/8" Spade Drill Bit

Drill Bits
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.

Weight Guide

Weight Guide

Tungsten Weights

Tungsten is very dense but it is more expensive than the other weights. The density gives you a speed advantage because more of the weight can be placed farther back on the car.

You can use a combination of cylinders and a flat weight for optimum results.

You will need:

  1. Four Tungsten Cylinders
  2. Tungsten Plate
  3. Fine Tune Cylinder
  4. Drill and 3/8" drill bit
  5. Wood putty
  6. Sandpaper
  7. Screw driver
Wedge block with tungsten weights
  1. Clamp the pinewood derby block to a flat surface.
  2. Using a 3/8" drill bit, drill two holes straight into the back of the block The depth of the holes should be enough to hold two cylinders each plus any needed Fine Tune Cylinder. 
  3. Remove the clamp from the block.
  4. Insert the weights in the holes. The end of the weights should be at least 1/8" into the end of the block. This will leave room for the wood putty. Drill the holes deeper if needed.
  5. Weigh the block, wheels, axles and weights again (don't forget the flat weight). Adjust the amount of weight if needed with the Fine Tune Weight. 
  6. Fill the weight holes with the wood putty. Allow to dry in a warm place for 12 hours.
  7. Sand the wood putty until smooth and flush with the car block.
  8. Paint your car and add the wheels and axles.
When the paint has dried and the wheels are on the car, install the flat weight in the slanted flat area under the car behind the rear axle using the supplied screw..
Tungsten Cylinder

Tungsten Cylinder Weight

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

Tungsten Plate

Tungsten Plates
Fine Tune Cylinder

Fine Tune Cylinder

Fine Tune Cylinder
Digital Scale

Digital Scale

Scale
3/8" Drill Bit

3/8" Spade Drill Bit

Drill Bits
Body Putty for Pinewood Derby Cars

Wood Body Putty

ea.
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.

 

 

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