Monday, December 28, 2009

Batmobile Pinewood Derby Car

Holy Pinewood Cars, Batman, it's the Pinewood Derby Batmobile! The Batmobile is one of the most popular, infamous, famous Pinewood Derby Car Designs.
Here are two ways to build a batmobile pinewood derby car. You can get a Batmobile Pinewood Derby Car kit or cut it out yourself using a batmobile car design plan.

How can you build one fast? Get a batmobile derby car design kit! It comes complete with bat instructions and bat decals!

This kit requires a wedge block and black paint. Plan to do some sanding to round off the square edges. This will give your car a nice finished look.

If you want to build your own batmobile pinewood derby, check out this car design plan...

Batmobile car design plan includes cut out templates, 3D autoCAD images to show how to build this car step by step. Also included is weight placement, cut out bat symbol, six painting schemes. See the batmobile pinewood derby animated in 360 degrees!

To make your car fast, get the fastest axles and wheels, the pro speed axles and pro speed wheels from pinewood pro. Yes, it’s an advertisement, but we guarantee these are the fastest (nickel plated!) axles and fastest wheels (perma-coated with graphite!) on the market! See over 100 pinewood derby building and spee supplies from the Pinewood Pro.
Hope this helps! Have lots of bat-fun, happy derby car racing and stay tuned to joe’s bat-blog for more derby car ideas and secrets!!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Pinewood Car Design Ideas

You have your pinewood derby car block of wood and now you want to turn it into a cool, hot racer. Where do you start?

You can download Pinewood Derby in Six Steps , or read on….

Well, first and foremost it is important to let your child decide what car design he or she wants. (Most derby cars are built as a parent/child project.) The more input the child has, the more they will feel ownership of the car and the more they will get out of the project.

Pinewood Pro has written a nice pinewood derby car design idea guide to help you get started. There are over one hundred car design ideas offered, with lots of info and car design resource links.

If you want to start from scratch, I would suggest drilling the axle slots with a drill press so your car rolls straight. You can also raise one wheel (see Winning Pinewood Derby Secrets).

You can also purchase a pre-drilled pinewood car block to save time.

Next you need a car design “theme”. Again, ask your child what they want….a fast aerodynamic race car or a funny theme or perhaps a theme based on their favorite cartoon character.

Once you have the theme, look for ideas related to that theme. Now your child can have fun drawing their car. At this point your pinewood derby car starts taking shape. As the adult in this project, you need to be sure the car is not too difficult to make! Be sure there are not too many intricate cuts.

The best tool to use for intricate cuts is a coping saw . The kit offered by Pinewood Pro includes five coping saw blades as well as a four sided wood rasp to smooth the rough edges.

You are now on your way to building your pinewood derby car. But before you rush off, be sure investigate speed techniques so your car is competitive.

Making a fast car involves all aspects of the car design, wheels and axles. Winning Pinewood Derby Secrets is the bible of speed secrets, but you can read about speed basics at How to Build a Fast Pinewood Derby Car .

Hope this helps give you plenty of ideas for pinewood derby car designs.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Pine Wood Derby Rules

(This is a continuation of my previous entry on pinewood derby racing sportsmanship)

Finally, I decided. Our friendship was more important than winning the pine wood derby.

I spoke to the father again. I made it clear that the wheel modifications were not allowed but I decided to allow his derby car to be entered. I went on to warn him that if he indeed won, his car would NOT be allowed to race at the district pine wood derby.

Sure enough, “Joey’s” car blew everyone off the track in the 1st heat. I went up to my son and explained that Joey had some illegal modifications that violated our pinewood derby rules and that he might not win 1st place this year. He shrugged it off and was genuinely happy that his friend’s derby car was in first place. I sighed with relief.

So who won? As I predicted, Joey’s car took 1st and Steve 2nd. I told my son that today’s lesson was, “sometimes life isn’t fair”. Now go shake your friend’s hand for winning. Steve couldn’t have been happier. His best friend and he had the fastest cars. I took their picture, along with the 3rd place winner, wrote a short article about the joys of Pine wood Derby Racing for the Trumbull Times newspaper.

Steve was very happy and so was his Dad…for he understood sportsmanship.

In that respect, he was the true winner.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Pinewood Derby Cars – Cub Scouts Sportsmanship

Sportsmanship is important in every competition…including pinewood derby car racing. What does sportsmanship mean? Sportsmanship is simply your behavior (or reaction) when you win or lose.

I always tried in instill good sportsmanship in my son by making the following statement before every race, “Remember, win or lose, we did our best. And doing your best is the most important thing.”

The important thing is to have fun on the journey and to follow the cub scout motto, “do your best ”.

I have an interesting story that demonstrates pinewood derby sportsmanship. One year when I was managing our pinewood derby race for our Cub Scout Pack, a boy handed me his car during the weigh-in that shocked me. The wheels were cut in half vertically and each wheel had five large holes drilled through them from the side to make them lighter.

The axles were machined rods that went through the entire block. They were not even pinewood derby axles . Pre-cut cars , polished axles and wheels that have been “cleaned up” with light lathing were fine, even expected for serious racers, but this car was patently illegal using any interpretation of the derby rules.

Unfortunately, the person submitting the car was none other than my son’s best friend! I called over his father and said that these modifications were not allowed. He argued with me (in a nice way) saying that the rules were not specific enough to say he couldn’t cut the wheels in half! I was shocked. This was incredible.

I took a closer look at the car to see if there was something I could do. I could ask him to change the wheels. Problem was the rods went deep into the block and were permanently glued. They were not coming out.

What should I do? I was the pinewood derby race manager …I had to decide.

Should I disqualify the car and send this boy home? I’ve never disqualified a car because no one ever grossly violated the rules . So I thought - who has the most to lose??? It would be the second place winner. Well, guess who was the first place winner two years running? My son! If I allowed this illegal car, surely my son would lose his first place streak.

I talked it over with my pinewood derby race management team. We all knew the car was illegal but no one wanted to make the final decision to toss this car out.

It was up to me and my son had the most to lose!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Pinewood Pro and Pinewood Derby Car Racing

Welcome to my first entry in my Pinewood Pro pinewood derby car racing blog.

I am the owner of Pinewood Pro, the pinewood derby experts since 1995. (Yes, the picture is a little dated, but I will post many more up-to-date pictures soon). I am a Pinewood Derby enthusiast with years of experience building cars, managing races, inventing pinewood derby products, volunteering and donating back to BSA and many other groups. My company offers high quality derby car products along with lots of free articles and guides to help you build and design a winning car.
I look forward to sharing my thoughts, insights and humor to entertain and educate my pinewood derby friends.

I vividly remember carving my very own pinewood derby car when I was a little Cub Scout tyke, many years ago. I couldn’t wait to turn that block of wood into a cool little car. Yes, Dad, you helped me cut the block and do the hard stuff but this car was going to be mine!
I wanted it to have my car design, my paint job and my cool decals...but unfortunately I had no idea how to make it fast, except perhaps to pick a “fast color”. “Blue cars are really fast, aren’t they Dad? We better add some silver streaks, just in case.”

Well, perhaps blue isn’t the fastest color…I went down in Cub Scout Pack history as having come in second to the last in every race I entered. Why second last? Because my brother had the distinction of coming in dead last! Well, dead last would have been better than what happened to his car. Read about the incredible pinewood derby that defied gravity at About Pinewood Pro .
Notwithstanding my own humble pinewood derby experiences, I always followed the Cub Scout motto, “Do your best” the rest of my life and managed to emerge from a tough inner city neighborhood in New Haven, CT to earn a degree in Computer Engineering from Boston University.

Some say that college is a waste of time unless you apply what you learn…Well, low and behold, when my son Steven was ready to build his very own pinewood derby car as a cute little Tiger Cub Scout, I put my engineering knowledge to work to help him with the “speed part” of his derby car design (axles, wheels, weight placement, etc…see our free guide how to build a fast car ).

Steven (and yes, with a little help from his Dad) went on to save the Gargiulo name 30 years later by winning the Cub Scout Pack 468 derby race. He brought a tear to his Dad’s eye when he said, “Dad, I’ll never forget this night.”. He went on to win the District race as well. Wow, the fastest car in the district!!

From that point on, with our winning pinewood derby secrets, we were now the team to beat…every year.

So, follow the Cub Scout motto, “Do your best”, listen to your Dad / parents and work hard in school. That college degree WILL come in handy some day!

…more about Pinewood Pro and Winning Pinewood Derby Secrets in my next blog log.