Pinewood Derby Graphite / Lubrication

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Pinewood Derby Graphite Lube

The purpose behind Pinewood Derby Graphite Lube is to make a car faster.  What we want to do is reduce that kinetic and static friction forces.  During the race, the wheel hubs will rub on the axles. You can manually reduce those friction forces through axle and wheel preparation.  However, even if after you have properly prepared and polished your axles and wheels, there can still be more done to reduce friction.   Choosing the best lube is the final step.  Every millisecond adds up!

Since Pinewood Derby rules and regulations are set at the local level by the officials running the derby, it’s always important to make sure that your car falls within those established rules. For Pinewood Derby lubricant specifications, some district or pack rules only allow the use of dry lubricants, in which case the best Pinewood Derby lubricant is often a graphite lubricant.

Graphite Dry Lube

Your scout rules will probably require that you use a dry lube. If so, use quality graphite, such as Derby dust® Dry Lube graphite powder.  We must lubricate all friction points when installing wheels and axles.  And then even take it further by “breaking-in” those parts.   Most rules that I have read address this specifically: graphite or oil. This will tell you 2 things: what lube you need and what polish level your axles need to be at.

  • For graphite polish your axles at 3000 grit as the highest level.
  • Use a pure graphite blend with no additives
  • You cannot just “dust” a little graphite in the wheel hub and be done. You must pack the graphite tightly in the hub until the hub is completely packed full of graphite. If it’s not dirty, it’s not lubed.  Here are the lube points
  • Race day- Be sure to dust your wheel bores one last time right before handing it in.
  • DO NOT graphite the outer tread of your wheel. Doing this not only makes the track dirty, it also reduces the needed friction to keep the wheels on the track.  A super slick wheel surface only makes the car wobble more. Think of it like a drag car spinning out of control because the wheels do not grip the track surface.

Derby Dust Dry® Lube

Derby Dust® offers one of the best pure Pinewood Derby Graphite Lube on the market designed specifically for pinewood derby car events.  In compliance with standard BSA rules, the techs at Derby Dust® designed the ultimate Pinewood Derby Graphite Lube for derby cars by utilizing high quality pure graphite blends.   Using only pure graphite at different flake size, we ensure that every possible part of your metal axles and plastic wheel will be coated with graphite to reduce the static and kinetic friction forces.  Reducing friction will make a faster car.

Then we furthered improved the graphite dry lube with a unique break-in process that works.  As a result, our customers break track records every year.  Plain and simple.  Our Feedback shows!

Reduce Friction

The purpose of adding lubricant is to reduce friction and add speed. The axle lube kit featured here allows you to burnish your axles with graphite, filling any small scratches in the metal and leaving behind a thin, slick film. For ultimate speed, check out DuPont’s pure Krytox®. If allowed by the local rules, this is the best lubricant available.

The key to gaining the fastest pinewood derby speed is using a successful graphite lube.  By building layers of graphite lube with our break-in process, racers will reduce friction between the plastic wheel and the metal axle. With reduced friction, the pinewood derby wheels will spin faster.  Therefore, the cub scout pinewood derby car will reach the that finish line quicker.

Winner’s Circle

If you are a pinewood derby car racer and have exhausted all avenues of pinewood car designs and weight adjustment for that much needed boost of speed, then you need to take advantage of this unique graphite dry lube now.

  • Graphite Derby Dust is the best dry lubricant used to improve the racing qualities of your derby car. Tell your grandpa there’s something new! When you are only allowed to use dry lube, this is the best choice.  No additives such as moly tungsten or  boron.  Highly quality, multiple mesh sized graphite flake.  This allows for graphite to be embedded in the plastic that it will not blow or rub off.  It allows the graphite to be stacked in the valleys of your axle. Don't forget to polish your wheel bores from the manufacturing process: And if you need more speed, seal you wheel bores after your polish job and before adding graphite. Scroll this page down to watch the video and learn more about this product.
  • Derby Dust® tech's offer the Pinewood Rail Riding Axles Bent Kit that is ready for your champion build.
    • Trued, straighten axles
    • Highly polished axles to your choice polished with the industry's only cnc polishing machine.
    • Ready for graphite or oil racing
    • Available with adjusting slots machined in the head of the axle for adjustments
    • Bent with Derby Worx Pro Axle Builder
    • Custom Rail Riding configurations:  Straight, 1 degree, 1.5 degree, 2.5 degree
    This combo when properly installed will give you the edge needed to get you into the winner's circle.  Rail Riding works if the car is adjusted properly.  And it helps if your track sections match perfectly when it is assembled. You must use a tuning board to adjust them correctly.
  • Pinewood Wheel Polish Kit

    $7.95
    The most overlooked speed step by far.  Polishing the bores.  Go to any league forum and read up the hundred different ways people polish the wheel bores.  It the top racing secret that most will NOT share. This is the first stage of wheel prep.  Removing manufacturing flaws from micro scratches to mold "junk".  All that extra stuff increases friction.  To make the wheels faster, you must remove that friction.  We offer 2 part polishing compound that will smooth out those issues.  If you need even faster speeds, seal your wheels with our bore sealant before burnishing with graphite.
  • Two dozen (24x ) micro bore no scratch buffing spears

    These new Craft Cotton Swabs have tightly spun cotton tips and are easy to use.  Use wet, use dry.  Can be used for just about everything.

    These are industrial strength cotton swabs, and compared with those found in supermarkets, they do not fray as easily when wet or dipped in solvents, resulting in less wastage.

  • Once your graphite lube has been raced off, there is no lubrication between your axle and wheel bore.  To ensure that you have an advantage, the more friction you can reduce will give you the advantage over the next racer.  Polishing axles to a finer, mirror like surface will reduce friction. Everything needed to POLISH axles.  First step to polishing is straightening out your axles.  Please don't forget this step.  Straighten axles with a Pro Axle Press Kit comes with the following parts:
  • Not some cheap thing from a hobby store.  1 Dozen (12x) Applicators!
    • Extra fluffy body
    • Cotton spun
    • Thick diameter
    • No exposed metal!
    • Best Pipe Cleaner for burnishing wheel bores
    • Great swab for applying pinewood wax / sealant
    • Best swab for buffing wheel bores
    • YouTube video on how to use it
  • Once your graphite lube has been raced off, there is no lubrication between your axle and wheel bore.  To ensure that you have an advantage, the more friction you can reduce will give you the advantage over the next racer.  Polishing axles to a finer, mirror like surface will reduce friction. Wet sanding can only do so much.  If you need a step up in a competitive pack, this is the next step.
    • 1ml of paste will do plenty of axles.  Should be good enough for 10+ sets of axles.
    • Do NOT use with 100k grit axles.
  • Ultimate Speed Wheel and Axle Kit Turn your BSA Wheels and Axles into Speed Demons. Everything needed to get the job done for those that don't really know where to start.
  • Pinewood Derby Car Performance Oil Lube -PROL

    We found an alternative to the discontinued DuPont™ Krytox®GPL 100 Oil Lubricant.  Pinewood Derby Car Performance Oil Lube -PROL is silicone based lube is 100% food grade, non toxic, clear, odorless.  Less viscosity than that of GPL-100.  Does not harm plastics.  This is a premium synthetic thin-film lubricant containing no additives giving it an extremely low viscosity at 5 cSt .  Top performer for oil.  Should outperform any graphite. We call it PROL. GPL-100 HAS BEEN DISCONTINUED FROM MANUFACTURER.  PLEASE BE PATIENT WHILE WE LOOK FOR AN ALTERNATIVE.  
  • Once your graphite lube has been raced off, there is no lubrication between your axle and wheel bore.  To ensure that you have an advantage, the more friction you can reduce will give you the advantage over the next racer.  Adding a wax to the bores, will provide that extra step in reducing friction. Hard Core derby racers will coat the inner bore with a fine layer of synthetic Pinewood Wheel Bore Wax / sealant after the polishing step. With new nano technologies, wheel surface friction is even furthered reduced to immeasurable levels.  As most cub racers are in a time constraint, we feel that polishing alone is adequate to give you the advantage.  Most of these waxes/ sealants need a good amount of time to cure. So, before you commit, be sure that you have the time to see it to the finish. If you are running in the Mid-America or NYC race derby, you will need to step it up a notch with a final bore wax treatment prior to lube break-in.