4 Lane Pinewood Derby Start Gate - Electronic Mechanical

My daughters and I are creating a racing series with Cars made on the Glowforge . They will be bi-weekly race on my youtube channel. I just finished the 4 lane release gate thats official dimensions. I made it with 3/16" plywood (luan). I have plans ready below.

Here’s the Build Video



Fun stuff!


What a great project to do with your daughter! I’m guessing ET doesn’t usually win the race (too much wind drag). But I’m probably wrong about that.


thanks. I love this project.

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ET is surprisingly fast.


Drag is actually fairly immaterial for pinewood derby racers. What matters is weight (should be exactly as much as allowed and rearward weighted to provide the push) and friction (only 3 wheels touching the track, wheels sanded dead smooth through 2000 grit emery paper or better and axles similarly sanded & burnished). Wheels and axles bathed in graphite powder during the run (use round stickers on the wheels to hold a reservoir of graphite powder in the well of the wheel). :grin:

My son’s would spend hours a day for weeks spinning the axles in a drill with increasing grit sandpaper. They put more time into the racers than school :slightly_smiling_face:


Thank you everyone.

Thanks for that awesome advice I should have straight track done by end of July. The gate is done, and the track will be mobile. x5 8ft sections. So 40’ with 4 lanes. I need your expertise when I run my Design of Experiment to get the fastest car in the world.

Thank you James!

I’ll add the next build video to this Playlist.

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