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Adding Steel Cylinders to a Pinewood Derby car. It's as easy as ABC! 

Example of pinewood car
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How to add Steel Cylinders to a Pinewood Derby Car

Steel Cylinders

Sold in sets of ten cylinders. Each cylinder weighs 1/10 oz and is 1/2" long.

These weights are best used for cars that need less than one oz of additional weight or they can be used in combination with other weights to bring your car up to the 5 oz weight limit.

Before adding the weights to your car, put the car block, wheels, axles, weights and any other accessories that you will be adding to your car on a scale. Then add the steel cylinders until the total is 5 oz.

Below are a few techniques for adding weights to your pinewood derby car.

You will need:

  1. One or more sets of Steel Cylinder Weights
  2. Drill and 9/32" drill bit.
  3. Wood putty.
  4. Sandpaper

Car Block with Rear Height of 1 inch or more

Weights in a full height pinewood derby car
  1. Drill three equally spaced holes 1/4" from the bottom in the rear of the car. The holes should be 5/8" deep. These holes will hold one cylinder each and will not interfere with the rear axle slot.
  2. Drill three more holes 1/4" from the top of the block and deep enough to hold the remaining weights. Drill at an angle that matches the slope of the top of the car (if any).

Short (less than one inch) Car Blocks


Steel Cylinders on a short pinewood derby block
  1. Drill three equally spaced holes 1/4" from the top of the car. You may need to drill at a slight down angle depending on the shape of your block.
  2. If the height of your car is at least 3/4" you will have room for an additional row of weights. Drill two equally spaced holes 1/4" from the bottom in the rear of the car. The holes should be 5/8" deep. These holes will hold one cylinder each and will not interfere with the rear axle slot.
  3. Insert one weight in each of the bottom row of weight holes.
  4. Insert the remainder of the weights in the top row of holes. Drill the holes deeper if needed to hold all of the weights. 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.

Alternative Method - Drilling From the Bottom of the Car

Drilling from the bottom of the car block may be preferable depending on the shape of the block.

Adding weights to the bottom of the block
  1. Drill three equally spaced holes in the bottom of the car, 1/4" from the back of the car. The holes should be 5/8" deep.
  2. Drill two equally spaced holes 1/2" from the back of the car and 5/8" deep. 
  3. If needed, drill more holes in front of the rear axle.
  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.

Final Steps

  1. With the weights in the blocks, weigh the block, wheels, axles and weights again. If the total weight is less than 5 oz, add an additional cylinder or you can use Tungsten Putty for the additional weight.
  2. Seal the weight holes with the wood putty. Allow to dry in a warm place for 12 hours.
  3. Sand the wood putty until smooth and flush with the car block.

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

Weigh your car one more time and add more weight if needed or drill wood from under the car if it is too heavy.

 

 

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