Graphite Coated Axles

I am more than positive that we will get tons of “fan mail” from this post. Just to clarify, we can make graphite coated pinewood derby axles if that is what we intended to do. However, we believe they are just a gimmick with short term gain. Therefore, we have chosen not to offer this type of product.  The reason I call it a GIMMICK is that most that use these think they still don’t have to use graphite lube, especially when they pair with graphite coated wheels.  You can read the Q/A section of product reviews and see yourself customers tell other customers that you don’t need additional graphite.  THEY ARE ABSOLUTELY GIVING FALSE INFO.  Product owner/designer not following up with correct advise on their own product.  So they let the false smoke cover the real truth.  If the transaction was honest, they would at least pair the axle/wheel set with a tube of their graphite and call it a win.

For the DIY, it is a simple process same as coating bullets with moly. There is no magic can of spray that will coat the axles them like you see in the pictures.  You FIRST have to prep the axle to the level of polish you desire. The next step is basically impacting the graphite into the PWD axle with steel tumbling media. It will require more costs to invest in getting the right equipment than the average DIY will want to spend. In this sense it will be cheaper to buy the product outright if you choose to go this route. We do not believe it is the best bang for your buck. If you need more info on how the process is done, feel free to email me.  Or you can use a can of graphite mold release.  Clean your axle up, spin it, spray LIGHT coat, and you are good to go.  Nothing too fancy.

Are the graphite coated pinewood derby axles faster than stock? Yes, absolutely.  How long will the graphite applied in this matter last? Usually less than 5 or 6 races. On a 10-run average, it will be far better than stock axles.  Make it a 25 run average, a 50 run average, a 100 run average, see how it will compare.  I bet you will be see EXACTLY what I talking about. You will run through 10 mock races just by spinning the wheels at home. The graphite is never applied in rotational layers needed for your car to perform at its top potential. You can review many comments on multiple sites that will tell you they are good for a few races, but lose their edge after a few runs. Since most pinewood derby cars will race at least 6 times or more to compete to the finals, think about a different way to make those axles faster than buying a gimmick. We have had great results with our treadmill tuning/break in technique. It’s FREE! Costs you NO money and is the best and easiest way to tune your car without a track or tuning board. Watch your car run in real time at its top speed!

The impact graphite application for pinewood derby axles does not yield the same results as applying the graphite to the plastic wheel. Most believe since the pinewood derby speed axles are “coated” with graphite, no additional work is needed. How wrong they are! We have tested many different methods from burnishing, to high levels of polish. We have tried many different lube coatings from firearm lubes to state of the art nano-lube applications. There is really not too many applications of spray on graphite, that really work to your PWD car advantage.  The best method we have found by far is treadmill tuning with graphite application.

Pinewood derby alignment tuning and break in

Finding a sealant or wax that will reduce the coefficient of friction of the metal axle is the key to axle lubricant. You need to find a product that will bond to the surface of the metal, not just coat it.  There are a few out there.  Krytox based are what are suggested by the pro racers.  If you can’t afford that good old LEMON PLEDGE will also do the trick for graphite racers.  Those are the top two options.  No where will you find on any pro racing forum to use graphite coated axles or graphite coated wheels.

Pinewood derby speed axles are far from the official pinewood derby axle that comes in the kit. It takes time and skill to turn remove those imperfections that come on the official axles into speed axles. There are many how-to’s and books that show you how to do it. It just takes time and practice.

After looking over your information, if you feel it is too much to tackle, let us take that headache away. We can do it right the first time and free up that extra time needed to spend making your car body and tuning.