All racers, regardless of rank, must comply with the following racing specifications which are excerpted from the official Grand Prix Pinewood Derby Kit Instructions:
The following guidelines are to be followed when building a Pinewood Derby racer. Remember that, ideally, the building of a Pinewood Derby car should be done by the scout with the assistance of a trusted adult.
The Scout should select and produce a sketch of the car design. Ensure that the width of the car is 1-3/4″ or greater at the points where the wheels are attached. If the width is less than 1-3/4″ at these points the car will not fit on the track.
In most cases, the adult is encouraged to rough cut the car body. This is particularly true if power tools are used.
1. If hand tools are used, let the Scout assist in cutting the shape. Use this opportunity to instruct the Scout on the proper use, care, and storage of the tools that you are using.
2. If power tools are used, ensure that all safety devices associated with the tools are employed. Use this opportunity to instruct the Scout on the safe operation of power tools. Make sure that safety glass/goggles are worn by anyone around a power tool in operation.
3. Check the grooves to ensure that each is at a perfect 90-degree angle to the car body. A car with untrue axles tends to steer to one side or the other, causing it to rub up against the side of the lane strip, slowing it down.
ALL sanding, painting, decal application, or other detailing of the car body should be done by the Scout. Guidance by the adult is encouraged, but actual performance of the work falls to the Scout. Once again, use this opportunity to instruct the Scout on sanding technique, painting decals, etc., but don’t forget to let the Scout do the work!!!
Adults should take the lead in preparing the wheels and axles. All of the steps that follow are critical if the car is to be a fast racer!