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Axles, Axles, Axles....

Even the best car with the best wheels isn't getting to the winner circle without a good set of axles.

If you've ever taken a close look at a regular BSA Pinewood Derby® scout nail axle you would see just that... a nail. Out of the box they are not quite straight and the shaft is oval not round. There are rather large ridges on the inside edge where the head meets the shaft and deep grooves where the machine grabs the nail shaft and then SMASHES the end to form the head. This alone is an excellent way to slow a car down, but unfortunately there are even more defects working against speed.



We offer a couple of very fast SPEED AXLE alternatives as well as standard scout axles for you to tinker with. Check your race rules to see what is allowed. STRAIGHT, SMOOTH AND POLISHED AXLES GO FASTER.

Luckily, the axles don't have to rotate. The BSA axles (nails) are not straight and they do not have a circular cross section. So, as long as you have a straight,Flat Top Axle smooth and highly polished surface on the bottom of the axle where it contacts the wheel bore, you're in good shape. Think about it - The axle can actually be FLAT on top as long as the bottom is curved to the proper radius and polished. I don't spend a lot of time trying to make a nail straight with a perfectly round cross section. Rather, I opt to remove the inherent flaws and true up the surfacebefore giving it a nice polish.


IMPORTANT: The products and construction techniques described are all developed to improve the performance of your pine wood derby cars. Please consult your local racing rules as some of the methods and / or products may be not be allowed.TOP


CNC MACHINED SPEED AXLES


Item #WDSA-N
Electroless Bright NickelWDSA4-N

$6.95



Item #WDSA-NT
Electroless Nickel/TeflonWDSA4-NT

$7.95


NEW SPEED AXLE IV (set of 4)

These custom made axles are the fastest I have ever tested. The new design has a larger diameter shaft for a better fit in the bore. A slight bevel on the inside of the head reduces outer bore face to inner axle head friction and the shaft is slightly undercut. Unlike the official Pinewood Derby® BSA scout axles, there is no metal flash on the inside of the head nor any crimp marks on the shaft to remove and the shaft cross section is perfectly round. These are precision machined from scratch. The inside of the head and the shaft are machined straight and smooth.

OD = 0.089" +/-.0005
LENGTH = 1.060"
WDSA-N = BRIGHT EL NICKEL
WDSA4-NT = NICKEL/TEFLON

WDSA-4 Nickel plating provides a very hard surface that polishes beautifully (better than the Scout axle soft zinc plating) and the harder surface helps to reduce the coefficient of friction. (see independent test results at www.PinewoodDerbyPhysics.com)

WDSA4-NT Nickel/Teflon plating kicks it up a notch with a process that codeposites colloidal teflon to create a very hard surface with the added lubricity of PTFE. The surface color is light grey and may may not look uniform. But, the plating does provide 100% coverage with no loss of lubricity.

"Graphite's Best Friend" A perfectly smooth, straight and polished surface. A perfect marriage between axle and graphite.

I buff the surface after machining to mitigate machine marks and improve the surface finish. These may be polished (but not sanded) to improve the surface. I would recommend using my Stage II polishing papers. Be sure to remove any waxy residual left over from polishing.

These axles are designed for the new Scout wheels but will also fit the old Scout wheels. These are FAST!
Check your rules for legality.TOP
Einstein

Physics Lecture 4 - Do smaller axles really go faster? The answer may surprise you. Go ahead... Click.
I know you're curious..

 

 


OFFICIAL BSA AXLES


Item #H46gd

$11.95



IMPORTANT NOTE: The raw BSA nails are running about .084" (minor diameter) to .089" (major diameter) depending on where you measure the oval crossection. I'm noticing that the crimp marks (on the minor diameter) are getting quite deep relative to previous runs. In order to get a round crossection and substantially remove the crimp marks, I need to turn the nails down to around .080". That's only a .002" sliver. But, it has to come off to ensure a straight cut.


GROOVED BSA SCOUT AXLES (set of 4)
POLISHED AND READY TO GO!

I found that the graphite performs best on a smooth, hard and polished surface (like the speed axle III). But, there is a need for an Official BSA nail. So, after several design iterations, I ended up with a shape that eradicated the burrs and crimp marks while maximizing the beneficial effects of the LubeGroove™.

These axles are NOT replicas. They are made from the OFFICIAL BSA PINEWOOD DERBY® SCOUT NAILS right out of the box. They have been precision turned with a grooves that remove the nail forming marks from the shaft and the metal flash from the inside face of the head. The inside face of the head is slightly beveled back and polished to reduce the contact area with the outer bore face. These are STRAIGHTEND, GROOVED, POLISHED, and READY TO GO. I prepare the axles with a 2000 grit wet sand and a quick final buff with red rouge before packaging. If you wish (and I would recommend) you may apply a finer wet sand (3000+) finishing up with fine jewelers rouge. You can never be too shiny. Check out my Stage II .3 micron Polish Kit.
Pretty Slick!
Check your rules for legality.TOP

t's interesting to note that the reduction of surface contact area is NOT the real benefit. Less surface area with the same load does not make your friction go away. The same force is just concentrated over a smaller area. Check it out:

µ=F/W

It's really a cool phenomena. Click on FRICTION 101 for an easy to understand and eye-opening explanation.

 


Item #H47gg

$11.95


IMPORTANT NOTE: The raw BSA nails are running about .084" (minor diameter) to .089" (major diameter) depending on where you measure the oval crossection. I'm noticing that the crimp marks (on the minor diameter) are getting quite deep relative to previous runs. In order to get a round crossection and substantially remove the crimp marks, I need to turn the nails down to around .080". That's only a .002" sliver. But, it has to come off to ensure a straight cut.


GAP_ANI

NOTE: The H47 axle is turned down for a distance of .300" from the inside of the nail head.

WHY? I only continue the cut for .300" from the head to ensure the rest of the nail fits properly in the BSA block. The .300" polished section is enough area to ensure the bore does not ride on the unprepared surface. This assumes that the gap between the body and the hub face is no greater than .056" or about 5 standard playing cards.


PRECISION LATHE TURNED SMOOTH BSA SCOUT AXLES (set of 4)
POLISHED AND READY TO GO!

It's always a challange to turn a BSA NAIL into a BSA AXLE. These meet the challange. The WDSA Speed Axle IV is the best. But, if your race rules require the Official BSA nail then this one fits the bill.

These axles are NOT BSA Replicas. They are made from the OFFICIAL BSA PINEWOOD DERBY® SCOUT NAILS right out of the box. They have been precision turned smooth and straight to remove the nail forming marks from the shaft and the metal flash from the inside face of the head. The inside face of the head is slightly beveled back and polished to reduce the contact area with the outer bore face. These are STRAIGHTEND, SMOOTH, POLISHED*, and READY TO GO. I prepare the axles with a 2000 grit wet sand and a quick final buff with red rouge before packaging. If you wish (and I would recommend) you may apply a finer wet sand (3000+) finishing up with fine jewelers rouge. You can never be too shiny. Check out my Stage II 0.3 micron Polish Kit.
Pretty Slick!
As always, check your rules for legality.TOP




Item #H45

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$1.25


STOCK BSA SCOUT AXLES (set of 10)
NOTE: Fits 1999 mold wheels and 2009 mold wheels

For those builders who want to experiment with the Official BSA Pinewood Derby® Scout Axles, here is a package of 10. Joy. These nails will fit both the new and old Official BSA Pinewood Derby® wheels. These nails are about 0.087" diameter. It's tough to be exact as the nail cross section is not round.TOP


AXLE POLISHING SUPPLIES


With File - Item #H05

$2.75


Without File - Item #H06

$1.75


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BASIC POLISH KIT

Highly polished axles are an absolute must for the fast Pinewood Derby® racer. Kit contains a generous bag of pumice polishing powder, strips of wet/dry sandpaper, crocus cloth, a small file and instructions. Do not use with H46 or WDSA axles (download instructions)

TOP


Item #WD10-1P

$6.95

READ BEFORE YOU BUY

IMPORTANT: This kit is intened for preparation of raw axles. It is NOT RECOMMENDED for use with my H46, H47 or WDSA axles. These are already finished beyond 2000 to 3000 grit. For axles with a finish of at least 3000 grit you may proceed to the Stage II kit for the next level.

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The kit includes:

• 500 grit paper
• 1000 grit paper
• 1500 grit paper
• 2000 grit paper
• 2500 grit paper
• 3000 grit paper
• 4 application sticks

• Instructions (download instructions)


KICK IT UP A NOTCH

STAGE I 3000 Grit

AXLE POLISH KIT

A properly prepared axle surface is essential in mitigating friction. This polishing kit is perfect for turning the raw nail surface into a highly polished, friction reducing finish.

Each sheet of polishing paper is a generous 5.5" x 4.5" (aprox). This is more than enough to do the job for 3 sets of axles.

To continue on to the next level of surface finish check out the sub-micron kit below.TOP


Item #WD10-2P

$4.95

READ BEFORE YOU BUY

IMPORTANT: This kit is intened for axles that have been prepared with a finish of at least 3000 grit.

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The kit includes:

• 3µm polishing paper
• 2µm polishing paper
• 1µm polishing paper
• 4 application sticks
• Instructions (download instructions)


Take it to a whole new level of shine

STAGE II
MICRON Polishing Paper

AXLE POLISH KIT

A properly prepared axle surface is essential in mitigating friction. This polishing kit takes the axle surface to a whole new level of shine. A 1 micron finish is as smooth as glass and shines like a mirror. This prepares the surface for the final thin film of graphite that will create the ideal mating surface to a properly prepared wheel bore.

Each sheet of polishing paper is a generous 5.5" x 4.25" (aprox). This is more than enough to do the job for 3 sets of axles.TOP