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Your Pinewood Derby Car Project

Getting Started on Your Pinewood Derby Car?

If you are just getting started on your pinewood derby project, then may we suggest the following guide.  Each step has specific pages on this website to help you through that part of the process.  Click on the links, review and then come back for the remainder of the process.


Time Commitment and Objective
Building a dominating pinewood derby car takes time and commitment.  The amount of time spent on the project depends on what you wish to accomplish and how much time you have.  Of course there are budget concerns as well.  If you wish to build a derby dominator and have your best chance at winning, then you will need at least 15 or more hours building time available over a span of several weeks.  Competitive cars can be built with less time but is that your objective?  So decide first how much time you have, how competitive you wish to be, and the budget and time commitment you are willing to make.  There are no promises of an winning outcome regardless of how much time or money you spend but certainly, your odds increase as you and your scout commit more time and effort to the project. 

The following table offers basic suggestions for the time commitment and items you will need for each level of success desired:

Pinewood Derby Project

Time Needed (Approx.)

Speed Tips Manual Speed Pack Suggested
Derby Dominator 15+ Hours Dominant by Design Pro Speed Pack
Win 10-15 Hours Dominant by Design Deluxe Speed Pack
Place 7-10 Hours Dominant by Design The Basics Starter or Deluxe Speed Pack
Show < 7 Hours Dominant by Design The Basics Basic or Starter Speed Pack

Other Items You Will Need

In your building process, the above are minimum needs.  You will also need a good saw, regular drill, dremel tool, and potentially other specialty tools.  For example, the Pro-Body Tool is considered a necessity if you are allowed to implement extended wheel bases.  A drill press comes in quite handy as well.  Of course, you will need paint, decals, dremel bits, towels, stop watch, work table, model brushes, tape and other items you only think of as you continue thru the project.  Yes, you can run up quite a bill along the way.  So be smart and start early so you can implement as many of the tips as possible.


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