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HOME BODY DESIGN Weight Placement Friction Reduction Axel Modification Wheel Prep - Tuning

By moving the center of mass of the pinewood derby car rearward, we can locate the remaining energy available. Just a note, even the smallest change can produce the results we are after. A simplified explanation can be given as follows: By moving the center of mass to the middle of the pinewood derby car we show an increase in available energy at the transfer zone. Slope track to Flat track. Which is exactly what we want. We want to have more energy than the other pinewood derby cars you are racing against at the transfer zone. Keep moving the CM rearward and your gains increase dramatically. So Let's put that 'myth' behind us.. Weight must be towards the rear.


Remember : Fractions of an inch can separate first place from all the rest.

Move the Center of Mass.

We discussed the transfer zone, slope track to flat track previously and it really is THE critical area, which separates the winning pinewood car from all the rest.

Remember that after your pinewood cars center of mass reaches the flat track, Gravity can no longer help it. Yep, that was it.. So you can see why it’s so important to have gravity act on the center of mass for as long as possible to squeeze out as much Positive energy as possible. If your pinewood cars center of mass is near the front of the car when it reaches the flat track there will be no extra energy from gravity to give it more speed after that point. In the DVD video as well as in the downloadable PDF file, we explain in detail how to find your energy reference.

Weight Placement Tips Ok- So where is the BEST PLACE to weight my car ? Think about the TRANSFER ZONE... If 2 cars weight exactly the same.. why does one of them weigh more at the Transfer Zone?


Now the best way to take advantage of Physics, specifically designing your car body to maximum advantage of the ‘concentration of mass’ theory and the height of that mass on the track in the following simplified formula.
Potential energy = mass x height x gravity.


Now you can see by moving the center of mass towards the rear of the car you can find more available energy. But this is common knowledge. Remember, you only get a few chances on raceday to actually WIN, so you really need to pull out all the stops. You need to be able to squeeze out even more energy than the other cars you are racing against. How do you do this??

Potential Energy = Mass (weight of your car) x Height (how high your center of mass is on the track) x Gravity Well Let's apply some of that "Science" to Pinewood Racing.. First, we need to talk about Potential energy

Your Pinewood body design Must use as much lead weight or Tungsten weight as possible. How do you do this? You use only enough pinewood to provide structural support for the wheels and the weight.. Well, you may think this limits your Design Opportunities Right? To Some Extent that's true.. But if you want to WIN the Pinewood Race, that's what you have to do..

Where do you put your lead weight ?? Lead weight High or Low? By putting a little extra thought into this problem, we show you exactly where you must place your weight in order to acheive the maximum potential energy available to your pinewood car.


You will see in the video the tests conducted and you will see firsthand the difference in performance and how to apply this directly to your car. It's not only the horizontal position of your weight (either Lead or Tungsten),The vertical position of your lead weight can also add that Little extra boost of energy to your car. We show you exactly what to do.. And you will KNOW why after you watch the video.. Remember you only get a few short chances to WIN. You might as well know more than the next guy!

Yes you have to eliminate the pinewood. The Lead Weight is much more dense (heavy) than the same Volume of Pinewood. IF you could build a car which has the greatest concentration of mass being affected by gravity for the maximum length of time – your car would absolutely fly down the track. You WILL WIN. On our new DVD - We show you how to construct your next pinewood body to do all of this.. and This is what you need to keep in mind when designing your body and weighting your pinewood car. Gravity affecting the concentration of mass for the LONGEST period of TIME.


Gold -Symbol Au Atomic weight 196.9655 19300 kg/cubic meter - Heavier than LEAD which is Great for concentration of MASS but at a cost of $440.00 per ounce you would need about 4 ounces so it would cost you about $1760.00 just to add weight to your pinewood car. Far too expensive for the average racer to consider. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Lead- Symbol- Pb Atomic weight 207.2 11340 kg/cubic meter.lead is usually contaminated with metals such as antimony, arsenic, copper, gold, silver, tin, and zinc. The ancient Romans used lead to make water pipes, some of which are still in use today. Unfortunately for the ancient Romans, lead is a cumulative poison and the decline of the Roman empire has been blamed, in part, on lead in the water supply -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Tungsten - Symbol W Atomic weight 183.84 19250 kg/cubic meter. and at about $50 per metric ton mined, you should be able to outfit your Pinewood derby Racer with Tungsten weights as a cost effective and Concentration of Mass abiding alternative to LEAD or Lead-Tin composite weighting. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Rhenium - Symbol Re Atomic weight 186.207 21020 kg/cubic meter. -its density is exceeded only by that of platinum, iridium, and osmium, and its melting point is exceeded only by that of tungsten and carbon. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Osmium - Symbol Os Atomic weight 190.23 22610 kg/cubic meter. discovered at the same time by the British chemist Smithson Tennant in 1803 Unfortunately Metallic osmium is hard, brittle and very difficult to make. Powdered osmium is easier to make but emits osmium tetroxide (OsO4) when it is exposed to the air. Unfortunately, osmium tetroxide smells bad and is very poisonous. Therefore, Dont use it to Weigh down your Pinewood car. Bad idea. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Iridium - Symbol Ir Atomic weight 192.217 22650 kg/cubic meter Also discovered by Mr. Tennant, Iridium is the most corrosive resistant metal known. So your pinewood derby car may never Rust. (unless you live in Vermont). In fact a thin, worldwide layer of iridium exists in a layer of sediment that was put down at the end of the Cretaceous period. That fact will not help your pinewood car win any races however so The Professor Recommends using something a little easier to deal with when adding weight to your pinewood car.

What type of Weight should I use? Most pinewood racers use LEAD to add weight to thier cars. And that's fine and good if all you want is for your car to go down the track. But To take FULL ADVANTAGE of physics, specifically the Concentration of Mass Theory, A Serious Pinewood Derby Racer will look for a better alternative.

A Heavier Metal. Because the next guy just might doing the same thing as you! Platinum - Symbol: PT Atomic weight 196.078 21090 kg/cubic meter. at Roughly $866.00 per ounce it would set you back about $3464.00 to add weight to your pinewood derby car.


Below is a shortened version of the periodic table of elements showing the HEAVY METALS

You almost could buy a real car for that much, so even if you are seriously considering it, The Pinewood Professor recommends you buy pizza futures instead.. Other Heavy metals would be Ruthenium, rhodium, palladium (about $200 an ounce), osmium, iridium along with Platinum make up a group of elements referred to as the platinum group metals (PGM) but since most of these are not really suited for Pinewood Racing, Let's look at some of the other Heavyweights.

So For the Highest Performance Weighting Scheme for your pinewood car, You should use Tungsten. Cheap, Not as cheap as Lead, but cheaper than Gold and a Much Higher Concentration of mass than Lead weighting.


An atomic weight (relative atomic mass) of an element from a specified source is the ratio of the average mass per atom of the element to 1/12 of the mass of 12C" in its nuclear and electronic ground state

I can see you are starting to 'GET IT" !!

Of course, We have a entire section devoted to weighting IT's So Important! - specifically focusing on Where to Place the weights (and why) and your center of gravity. Test demonstrations show you exactly the science behind getting top speed out of your Pinewood Racer. It's definately one of the most informative documentations you will see on the subject, For Beginners and Advanced Pinewood Racers - everyone can learn something.

Now on to Friction Reduction !!!------>>>>