Friday, November 9, 2007

Daymonster to Enter Pinewood Derby

As many of you may know the company I work for often has competitions and get together events on a weekly basis. Next Friday is no different. Apparently for the past twelve years they have been having a classic Pinewood Derby race in the office. We pick up one of six different kits and we can modify them except for certain aspects (rules will be posted below)

Here is my car kit I picked up.


The kit comes with a wooden block, four wheels,two axels, some metal weights and various accessories. The accessories include like some fake pipes and decals. I do not plan on using the stupid decals and stuff.

Here is my simple vision for what it will be like.

Essentially I am going with the KofC colors and possibly the crest (which might draw some interesting looks from people at work). Pretty much the same body style as the kit as I don't feel like sanding and for 40 feet I don't think aerodynamics will play a key role. (plus my wind tunnel is on the fritz again) Feel free to discuss/criticize my theory in the comment section.

What I think will have the biggest impact on The Daymonster Car's success will be the weighting and the calibration of the wheels. I plan on putting the weights as low as possible near the back of the car, while maintaining enough clearance on the track to roll smoothly. Also I need the wheels and center of gravity to be perfectly straight as to keep The Daymonster Car from going side to side or rubbing against the track walls.

Here is a crude drawing of my weighting plans.

So that's basically my car idea. Any tips would be great. Especially where I can find dry graphite lubricant for the axles and wheels.

Here are the basic rules for the cars:

1. Maximum car size, including wheels, is 7" long, 2 ¾" wide.
2. Minimum care width between wheels is 1 ¾".
3. Minimum clearance between car and track is 3/8".
4. Maximum car weight is 5 ounces (142 grams). Metal or wood may be added.
5. No wheel bearings, bushings, springs, starting devices, loose or moving weights or parts are allowed.

Cars that do not meet specifications may be disqualified. Wheels and axles should be the same on all cars in the race. For further details, a rulebook is available for your viewing pleasure.

There are a bunch of other competitors in this and some of them are engineers and physicists. One of the consultants is having some people from Motorola help him. While this probably means I am not going to win, it also makes it that much sweeter if I beat the odds and pull out a victory.

Here are some of the names of the cars I am competing against. GRRL power, B Sizzle Crash, Mystery Car, Shadow and The 'Mag' Mile.

Thoughts on design, physics, chances of victory, etc.?
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Also, on a completely unrelated topic, I made this lame video today during work. Keep in mind I made it with MS Paint and Windows Movie Maker. I wanted the person with the guitar to be Master Chief but I haven't gotten that far yet. I think the concept could be funny but it's tough to do. Not a bad box image though eh?


13 comments:

Josey WaIes said...

I dont have time to read this right now, I am busy, but I can safly assume you are making one of those. Please cheat, and add more weights, just drill a hole in the bottom and then add some weight and then cover it up.

Pablito Neal said...

here you go http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d5Ff26QGDC0

Pablito Neal said...

this dude spends too much time practicing guitar and not enough on halo

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MUD4EVSHcdA

locopuyo said...

I don't think covering up the weight will fool the scales.

Dammer said...

I do think modifying the space time continuum with one point twenty-one gigowatts will result in some sort of time shift, allowing you to go find a dinosaur of the carnivorous type and sic it on Puyo the Naysayer. Then you can win your derby and eliminate those that oppose you.

Josey WaIes said...

Good point loco, so obv some scale judge will have to be paid off/cut in on the winnings, its ok, has to be done.

Daymonster said...

actually i agree with puyo... they weigh it then it cant leave the racing area so I would be fucked. thats why obviously everyone will be exactly 5 oz. and thus the importance of the wheels be perfectly calibrated. any ideas on how to do that?

Josey WaIes said...

Ok I just actually read the post, wow some hard core dudes, I like it, your compay pwns, I guess thats what you get when you are so rich and work for such a good company. Anyway, I am going to give this a lot of though, I wish i could help build it.

I think wind resistance will matter, i would use a less boxish design than you have posted.

The wheel idea is solid, good call, thats going to be super important. I would WD40 those suckers, maybe even let them sit in WD40 for a few days, or grease, problem with grease in this type of race is i think the car will not weight enough to make that the best lubricant, so your going to have to sick with WD40, but it drys fast, unlike grease, I dont know if you can shoot up the wheels before the race or if thats against the rules but i would try.

Also I would put the weight in the front, for two reasons. First it will pull the car down the track, becuse when the car hits the downslope the weight being in front will force it to take off faster. Second I think it could help stabalize the car, the weight in the back will allow the front end to move more, throwing the car around the track, the weight in the front will force it to go foward (thaks gravity) and pull the back wheels along in a straight line, assuming you have the wheels attached well, sounds like you will.

Let me know how building is going.

Anonymous said...

Lubrication is key.

Daymonster said...

Josey I recomend reading up on pinewood derby. Everything I read says go with graphite dry lubricant as it will not damage plastic wheels. second I don't think I can spray it before each race. Also, everything I have read says weight in the back 1/3 of the car is key. It starts at a slope so actually the weight should be near the back so it is on the decline the longest (think about it)

Josey WaIes said...

I assumed you started almsot flat before it hit the big drop.

Squatting Bear said...

KofC needs a physicist

Dammer said...

I know of a physicist that I can almost guarantee is homeless right now. He is German, and goes by the name of Bernd. Check your local street corners.