How to prepare pinewood derby car body for gluing axles in place

Before even starting the process of tuning, a builder needs to address the following. If I am drilling my own axle holes, how do I keep the axles in place? After all once I install them, I will not be able to drill through the metal.

A series of holes need to be drilled prior to painting, prior to installing the wheels and axles. It is not crucial to make them perfectly spaced, or in a perfect line. What is important is that you leave room from the edge so that the glue doe not accidentally leak on your wheels.

Pinewood derby axle glue holes

Pinewood derby axle glue holes

Graphite Wheel Channel Pinewood Derby Body

Unless you build a lot of cars, one of the problems you will quickly find out is that with drilled axle holes, there is practically no way to add graphite to the hub once you have installed the wheel and gapped them properly.

Here’s a builders tip. Add a graphite lube channel. With the BSA slots, you have wood removed that allows you access the inner wheel hub. With Drilled body you literally run into a brick wall. So just add some angled channels that allow you to to get to that spot. I do mine with a rotary tool. This can easily be done withe a file or some sand paper. I just like power tools

If you accidentally take off too much and end up in the axle hole, no worries, just remember that with the BSA blocks, there is an entire slot all the way across the body. It’s not going to hurt a thing.

Pinewood derby axle graphite channels

Pinewood derby axle graphite channels

What glue to use to glue Pinewood Derby axles and wheels

Super Glue or CA glue is glue of choice for many years. Just remember this stuff is super runny or liquid, a little will go a long way and I have ruined many wheel sets because of this. Little drops, I mean little. And make sure your car is nice and flat so that it does not run into the wheel. It WILL.

Expert builders are now choosing RED locktite screw thread anti-vibrate treatment. They apply it the same way as super glue. It seems that it penetrates the wood better and it literally locks the axle in place. Not going to move the tune job. So if you are out of super glue, or want to give that a try I highly reccommend it.