How to Prep Pinewood Derby Axles

How to Prep Pinewood Derby Axles

Turning BSA (Boy Scouts of America) axles into speed axles is both an art and process. You have to have very specialized tooling to do it correctly as well as efficiently. This is the method that we followed and then tweaked to your liking. It’s a very good start, although the visuals could have been a little better.

To start off you are going to need 3x the amount of axles that you actually need. If you are making one car, then we suggest a dozen axles. If you don’t want to purchase 2 extra sets of wheels and axles, then you can visit our store to get them by the dozen.

The reason being that you only want to attempt to fix the ones that are the straightest. It seems that the axles just might be purposely bent.

Tools Needed

  • File — the finer the cut the better. The key is to remove the burrs and crimps without reducing the diameter of the axle. Shopvelox sells the finest file we have found to date.
  • Sandpaper-wet-400 grit — through the sky’s the limit we like 2000 for dry lube. 60,000 grit for oil.
  • Derby Worx Pro axle press — a must for straightening an axle
  • Metal “bucking” bar to support your sandpaper while sanding
  • Baster of some sort to add water
  • A bowl to catch water from wet sanding
  • Clean strip of cloth material to clean each stage of sanding. YES each stage needs its own cloth. You can NOT share with another stage.
  • You’re going to need a hammer
  • Proper safety equipment
  • Some sort of drill, drill press, or lathe. NO DREMEL!!!!! It spins and removes material too aggressively.

Metal sealant/wax of some sort to keep your new polish job from rusting. Do your research to find the DIY. Most like some kind of jewelry rouge or wax based car polish. We have our own special sealant and it’s not one of those.

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