PWD How to Build
Pinewood Derby is a simple race powered by gravity. Each scout builds their own wooden car from the official BSA kit and can enter it to race other scouts down our track. Awards are given for speed and design, see the full list.
The purpose of this event is for the scout (not the parent) to build and race a wooden car. The scout should do as much of the work as is appropriate for his age. It is expected that a Tiger Cub will have quite a bit of help, but a Webelos II should be doing almost all of the work themselves. Buying pre-made parts is NOT the goal of this event! Each scout is expected to build a new car each year.
Quick Tips for Beginners
- Looking at the side of the wood block, the rear of the car should be the end with the axle closest to it.
- Max out the weight: Try to get the weight right up the weight limit of 5.0oz without going over.
- Weight Placement: Place most of that weight towards the rear of the car, so it has the most potential energy when placed on the starting ramp. Too far back though and you risk the front wheels bouncing up during the run.
- Weights are not included in the kit. Add weight to your car with added with coins, metal washers, special steel or tungsten weights. Do not use lead fishing sinkers. Technically they are allowed if completely encased, but better just to stay away from dangerous lead altogether. Do not let weights on the bottom stick out and break the required clearance. See rules for more details.
- Shop for weights at the Scout Store, hobby stores or online.
- You can learn a lot from other parents and the videos below.
Here are some great sources of inspiration:
- BSA Pinewood Derby Site: https://pinewoodderby.org/build
- Scoutorama Pinewood Derby Page: http://www.scoutorama.com/derby/
- Boy’s Life http://boyslife.org/section/hobbies-projects/pinewood-derby/
Tools & Help
Not every family has a garage full of woodworking tools so we encourage our pack to work together and share their expertise. Each Den Leader can coordinate time for your group to work on their cars together so those that need help can get it.
Check The Scout Shop for workshops
Additional building events may be coordinated by your Den Leaders.