Ten Steps to a Successful Pinewood Derby

STEP 8: Pre-Weigh-In

This can be a great help prior to Derby Night, especially for Packs with many members. The best time for a Pre-Weigh-in is a week or less from the Derby date. Most of the cars will be finished or almost finished, and will be ready for additional weight to bring them up to the official 5 ounce limit.

Bring an accurate scale. Preferably the same scale that will be used at Derby Night registration. Calibrate it to 5 ounces (141.75 grams). Also bring all the tools and materials that will be necessary to secure the weights to the body of the car. (See the "Workshop" section for a list.) Make sure you've got enough space, tables, etc. for dozens of boys to work on their cars. Make sure you've got enough time to get every car through the process. (About 2 hours should be enough for 40 boys.)

  • Weigh each car (including all parts and accessories). Add weight to bring it up to 5 ounces. Weigh the car and the weights together. Weigh in a little bit light for unfinished cars to allow for paint and wax. Make sure every Scout knows if they are supposed to bring their own weights, or if the Pack is supplying them. Have extra weights, or you might end up borrowing nuts and bolts from the furniture.
  • Each Scout and parent or helper then uses the tools to drill, chisel, or cut some sort of holes for the weights. Add the weights, and secure them with hot glue or plastic wood.
  • Weigh the car and parts again to make sure that they do not exceed the 5 ounce limit, or to see if they need "just a little more." This can happen if a lot of wood is removed to make room for the weights.

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