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Axel holes at 2.5° or bend axels at 2.5° or a combo?

Discussion in 'Ask The Pros' started by DR650SE, Feb 2, 2019.

  1. DR650SE

    DR650SE Hammering Axles

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    I'm beginning work on my family car for next year and a car i'd like to enter in a few pinewood derby charity events or adult racing events. I'm trying to decide which route on the axles. Is it preferable to bend the axles 2.5° or would it be better to get a jig that allows for a 2.5° axle hole?


    Or should I go both? I know the 2.5° bent axle helps with alignment since you can spin the dominant axle to fine tune the axle. but was wondering if maybe it's overkill. Back axels straight with 2.5° holes and dominant wheel with a straight hole but bent axel?


    Below are the items I'm looking at.

    Axel jig
    https://www.pinewoodpro.com/pinewood-derby-axle-hole-pro-driller.html


    Axel bender
    https://www.derbyworx.com/products/tools/tools-for-alignment/pro-axle-bender/
     
  2. Darkside

    Darkside Pinewood Ninja

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    I've got both of those tools and don't use either one. The jig looks nice, but I found the tolerance between the holes in the jig and the bit were way too loose, making it hard to get a good straight drill. The bender works well, but I wouldn't use it on a polished axle which is when you need to use it. Not trying to talk bad about either one. Just passing along my experience from having both.

    For drilling axle holes I use the block from Jewkes and a drill press. And for bending axles i just cut a bending groove and use a small block of wood, a hammer with the axle clamped in a vice.
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2019
  3. Jimmy & his 2 Kids

    Jimmy & his 2 Kids League Racer

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    Just make sure you do NOT go with bent axles in the rear. Drill at 3* and use straight axles. You will bend the DFW axle so that you can turn, tune and set steer. The bend allows it to move and be “adjustable”. If your rear wheels are able to move... they will. And this will slow your car down. Even a good run over a stop section may be enough to move a bent rear axle. Then you risk being toed in or out and loosing speed.
    There’s more too it too I am sure that the pros here can probably elaborate on. I just know that much which was always enough for me to not do it.
    Hope that helps
    Jimmy

    Ps... here’s the crazy part... even unbent straight axles aren’t perfectly straight. Pros cut a tuning groove in the head and use that to their advantage and also “tune” rear axles for the most speed. But keep in mind that’s such small increments. The big movement allowed of a bent axle is too much.
     
  4. Reecedad

    Reecedad Workshop Leader

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    I agree with jimmy if you are sure you have a good drill. If you don't have a good drill I'd bendthe rears to be able to correct it
     
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  5. DerbyDad4Hire

    DerbyDad4Hire Administrator Staff Member 25+ Pro Race Wins! National Champion

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    Just get a good jig. I am taking preorders for the next batch which will be here in 2 to 3 weeks. All jigs ordered have been shipped!
     
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  6. DR650SE

    DR650SE Hammering Axles

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    Thanks guys! As far as cutting a bending groove, are there any videos? Any tutorials? I just want to ensure I get it right. I'm assuming I polish the axel prior to bending? And maybe a bit more polish after?
     
  7. Darkside

    Darkside Pinewood Ninja

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    Go to YouTube and search "how to bend derbydad4hire" first video. And yep, you polish before bending. That's just one of the issues with the benders. They'll scratch your polished axles.
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2019
  8. Jimmy & his 2 Kids

    Jimmy & his 2 Kids League Racer

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    I will say this... with this years 3 Awana cars I can’t express how thankful I am that I am NOT drilling the bodies myself!!! ;) :) :cool:
     
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  9. TRE

    TRE PWD Royalty Pro Racer Pro Race Winner

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    I use axle bender all the time i wouldnt bend any other way
     
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  10. Darkside

    Darkside Pinewood Ninja

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    Well I suppose it's possible I'm not using it properly. Only used it a couple times and I had issues with getting a clean bend that left the running surface straight and it scratched the polished surface. Didn't mess with it after that. Went to cutting a bending groove on the lathe and bending that way.

    Like I say all the time, I'm no pro. Just passing on what I've learned from my own experiences.
     
  11. DerbyDad4Hire

    DerbyDad4Hire Administrator Staff Member 25+ Pro Race Wins! National Champion

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    The Derby Worx bender does not do well. The Goatboy bender has no issues when bending.
     
  12. DR650SE

    DR650SE Hammering Axles

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    How do you ensure the nail only bends at the groove? Do you hammer with a flat head screw driver on the groove?

    I'm getting eager to tart work on my family car and need to formulate a plan first before I go buying all the possible tools lol. Otherwise I'll blow a lot of money.
     
  13. Darkside

    Darkside Pinewood Ninja

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    The axle is going to bend at the point of least resistance. Which is the whole point of the bending groove. I started out bending it with a screw driver on the groove. Now I use a small block of wood, like in the picture, but only because I have an IRRATIONAL fear of beating on it with a screw driver. in reality, the screw driver never did the axle any harm. The wood bends it only at the groove as well. Just my preference. I checked a couple after bending and the running surface was still straight and the finish unharmed. DD4H is a pro though and his video shows the use of a screw driver. Take other people's ideas and do some experiments of your own and see what you come up with. For me the experimentation and testing is half the fun anyway.
    20190203_114429.jpg
     
  14. Darkside

    Darkside Pinewood Ninja

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    Oh, and blowing money is just part of it too. I choose to ignore how much money I have sunk into little wooden cars. If I paid any attention to it I would have to start questioning my sanity. :)
     
  15. Jimmy & his 2 Kids

    Jimmy & his 2 Kids League Racer

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    Here’s Johns vid cutting the groove and also bending with a tap of the screw driver st just the right spot...
     
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  16. recraig

    recraig Pack Champion

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    I have to second this one. I am not a woodworking kind of guy, but even I can get pretty good rear axle holes drilled with the jig I bought from John. I've used it for three years now with cub scouts in workshops and without fail, those cars have run very well. I think that the one I have is the "super goat boy" (the one with the built in clamp) and it is idiot proof enough that even I can't screw up the drill! For the past three years boys who attended the workshops have finished in the top 4 of the pack, the only interlopers being a couple of guys who purchased completed cars on ebay and ran third each year.

    My point with this is simply that if an idiot like me can use this tool, ANYONE can...
     
  17. recraig

    recraig Pack Champion

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    A related question, I thought about trying to drill pre-steered axle holes for the DFW for the boys' workshop this year, but gave up since I couldn't figure out how to do this with the jig. I assume that the way to do this is with the Block? Anyone done this on their own? I figured it would make the process a lot easier for the boys since it eliminates tuning and we really don't get much time with the track we share with three other packs...
     
  18. DerbyDad4Hire

    DerbyDad4Hire Administrator Staff Member 25+ Pro Race Wins! National Champion

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    All you need is a tuning board. 3" over 4 ft.
     
  19. Jimmy & his 2 Kids

    Jimmy & his 2 Kids League Racer

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    Yep, there’s actually some pros that don’t have tracks and just use a tuning board. Mine is a shelf and ruler. Lol
    Mind you I’m no pro, just trying to swim with the big fish is all. But I do know some fast guys who don’t have tracks.
     
  20. Prozach2

    Prozach2 Pack Champion

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    To get the best result, I need a drill press for your jig, right? If so, any advice on a good but relatively inexpensive drill press?
     

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