Pinewood Derby Speed Axles - Axle Polish Grit Level. Which is best for you?

March 19th, 2012

Pinewood derby speed axles are far from the offical pinewood derby axle that comes in the kit. It takes time and skill to turn remove those imperfections that come on the official axles into speed axles. There are many how-to's and books that show you how to do it. It just takes time and practice. Let us take that headache away. We can do it right the first time and free up that extra time needed to spend making your car body and tuning. Visit our online store

We have taken all the hassle out of figuring out this complicated process. Save time and money and check out our axle line. If you only have a few hours to dedicate to your derby build, think about maximizing that time and purchasing a set of prepped axles and wheel. Know that the job is done right. Our prepped axles have been deburred, shaped, straightened and sanded down to a 1000/2000 grit finish. From that point, each axle goes through a buffing process up to 60,000 grit. We use separate buffing wheels to ensure no cross contamination.

For dry-lube users, we offer axles that have been polished to what we believe is the perfect level for dry lube. This is the easiest way to explain it. Take a pencil. Try to write on a surface that is super shiny. See how much (graphite) sticks to the metal. Now take the same pencil and write on a surface that is a little more coarse. See how the pencil (graphite) sticks. We started from the highest level of polish we offered (60,000 grit) and worked our way down. We found that 2000 grit is that level that offers maximum speed and maximum lube retention. Although the higher grits "sound" faster, we find that after a few races, the deviation in time increases quickly and greatly.

Why is this an important thing to understand? Graphite such as Derby Dust™ Dry Lube is an effective lubricant due to its unique blends of plate like structures known as lamellae. These lamellas lay parallel to the direction of motion built during the "break in" process. The unique characteristics of Derby Dust™ Dry Lube allow the layers or lamellas to easily shear over each other resulting in low friction.

Basically explained. The coarse surface allows the graphite to stick or bond to the surface of the metal. From there, with proper break-in technique, layers of lube can be built on top of each other to ensure a friction-free surface. Check out the coefficient of friction of metal on plastic, then check out the coefficient of friction of graphite on graphite. See which is lower which means which is faster. Give yourself the best possible chance! Get the right lube for your build.

For oil lubed cars: We have found that higher the grit, the faster the car. This is why we offer 60,000 grit if you want it. Coming PWD season 2012-2013 we will offer 100,000 optical polish level! Don't waste any more time that you have to. Order yours now!

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Tune your pinewood derby car without pliers with the Super Tuner™ upgrade

February 11th, 2012

Super Tuner™ Axles Upgrade

Tuning your car can be expensive on your pocket and on your axle polish job. Not a problem with our Super Tuner™ uprgade option. A simple cutout made on all 4 axle heads allows you make EZ fine tuning adjustment to each wheel without having to spend on $20 on a set of pliers that could damage your axle heads that you just got to a mirror polish. This is a must for those guys that plan on riding the rail or have to use BSA slots. Sure beats shimming with wax paper! Upgrade your axles to get the maximum possible performance for both speed and tuning!

Please check your pack rules prior to purchasing. Although it does nothing to improve speed, some packs might not allow this upgrade since the head of the axle has been altered.

How does it work? Simply use a flathead screwdriver. Put a tuning mark on the head of the axle with a marker and start rotating your axle until your car is tuned to your desire.

I thought DuPont™ Krytox® was oil!

February 11th, 2012

DuPont™ Krytox®

If you choose, we can seal the prepped axle with a Krytox sealing agent. Through our professional, industry leading, lubrication resources, we have found a substance that binds Krytox to metal. That's right a metal sealing agent that has one of the most frictionless substances known to pinewood derby racing. This is NOT putting a drop krytox oil on it. This is binding Krytox to the surface of the metal. It's like Teflon coating, but a different type of flurocarbon. It is NOT wet or appears to be dry! It is DRY and will not interfere with dry lubes as it is bonded to the surface of the metal.

Why do you need to seal your axles? Krytox sealant is to protect the raw metal so that it does not oxidize (rust) because after all the axles are made of iron (magnetic). If you strip the zinc coating, you need to protect your axles so they will not rust. If your derby car is out in the shop, you have the potential to expose the highly polished surface to the moisture as quickly as over night. Pictured above is rust that formed within 34 hours without sealant. That axle was wiped clean with alcohol prior to testing. This moisture will rust the surface of the axle and you will no longer have that high polished axle meaning you will have an increase in friction. After you did all that work, ever wonder why your car still runs slow?. Don't chance ruining your axle. Seal it! Believe it or not, just think about it.

Pinewood derby car speed axles rust

Yes you will still need lube. This coating will not effect the performance of graphite-meaning it will not gum up graphite. We know the physical properties of our products.

Sorry, we can't share our trade secret. It is not something that can be sold for the DIY. IF you would like to have your axles sealed or would rather purchase a set of our sealed axlesvisit our store.

What do you know about bent axles?

February 11th, 2012

When you bent your axles. Did you gap your axle prior to bending? Otherwise your bend will begin somewhere inside your wheel hub which will cause all sorts of chattering and aligning issues.

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How we make speed axles

January 1st, 2012

We will discuss how we make our axles

Making BSA axles into speed axles is an art and process. You have to have very specialized tooling to do it correctly as well as efficiently.  This is the method that we followed and then tweaked to your liking.  It's a very good start, although the visuals could have been a little better. 

To start off you are going to need 3x the amount of axles that you need. If you are making one car, then we suggest a dozen axles. If you don't want to purchase 2 extra set of wheels and axles, then you can visit this store to get them by the dozen.

The reason being is that you only want to attempt to fix the ones that are the straightest. It seems that the axles just might be purposely bent...

Tools Needed

  • File--the finer the cut the better. The key is to remove the burrs and crimps without reducing the diameter of the axle. www.shopvelox.comsells the finest file we have found to date.
  • Sandpaper-wet-400 grit through the sky is the limit.... we like 2000 for dry lube. 60,000 grit for oil.
  • Derby Worx pro axle press--a must for straightening an axle
  • Metal "bucking" bar to support your sandpaper while sanding.
  • Baster of some sort to add water
  • Bowl to catch water from wet sanding
  • Clean strip of cloth material to clean each stage of sanding. YES each stage needs its own cloth. You can NOT share with another stage.
  • Your going to need a hammer
  • Proper safety equipment
  • Some sort of drill, drill press, or lathe. NO DREMEL!!!!! Spins / removed material too aggressively.
  • Metal sealant/wax of some sort to keep your new polish job from rusting. Do your research to find the DIY. Most like some kind of jewelry rouge or wax based car polish. We have our own special sealant and it's not one of those.

Extended post with no teaser

November 8th, 2011

This is an extended post with no teaser. This means that you won't see this teaser any more when you click the "more" link.

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