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EASY Pinewood Derby Car WINS using Science!!!


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  • Atticus
    Atticus 4 жыл бұрын +3585

    It’s been over 25 years since my Derby days. Watching this made me realize just how brilliant my old man was ...and how much I miss him now,too. He wasn’t the type of father to built the projects himself,that just wouldn’t fly with him! Instead,he’d stay right beside and guide me through each step,giving advice and tips along the way. Most importantly,he took the time to explain to me the reasoning behind HOW and WHY things worked the way they did. Consequently(no doubt intentionally) my old man instilled in me a lifelong curiosity in mechanics and engineering,which eventually lead me to a degree and career in Aerospace Engineering. Of all the random YT videos,it took this one to make me tear up and smile at the same time!

    • Michele 'HemlokHex' White
      Michele 'HemlokHex' White 10 күн бұрын

      That's awesome. My grandfather was similar ❤

    • Zaeem Chogle
      Zaeem Chogle 17 күн бұрын

      @JakeBo16 maybe its you that doesnt understand that this is a comment.

    • Brian Yue
      Brian Yue Ай бұрын

      Yooooooooo aerospace engineering is my dream major (I'm applying in Fall of 2023), any tips?

    • rhoonah
      rhoonah 2 ай бұрын +1

      That's awesome and I am quite envious. My dad would tell me to hold the light and then smack me if I dared to ask questions or didn't do something perfectly that he only taught me seconds before. He was, and still is, a prick and the reason why I haven't talked to him in over 20 years. It's sad because I have a degree in electrical engineering and a 25+ year career as a software engineer and have always possessed a natural curiosity on how things work and why but it was never fostered by my father. When it came time for the derby with my son, we made it a true father-son experience and had lots of fun doing it. It didn't hurt that he walked away with 2 first place place trophies in 2 years of scouting either. Thankfully I was able to transform my painful experiences as a son to fond memories as a father.

  • Bailey Jones
    Bailey Jones  Жыл бұрын +698

    My dad would polish the axles super smooth with a sandpaper drill bit. Me and my brother would alternate who won every year. It's hilarious to realize that this was more of a competition for the dads.

    • Michele 'HemlokHex' White
      Michele 'HemlokHex' White 10 күн бұрын

      ​@Elias Kjærbo woohoo!

    • dezz nutz
      dezz nutz 14 күн бұрын

      @Green Wave Weight placement can give an unfair advantage. That said it is sad is they didnt allow for adjustment beforehand, that should have been the rule as it was where we competed.
      If the derby-car was too heavy or too light they would inspect and allow adjustments before racing.

    • Green Wave
      Green Wave 21 күн бұрын

      I had a single mom. We won our first derby but got Disqualified for "weight placement" even though all the top three awarded placers used the same system. same was true for the next couple of derbies... very sad how single moms can't ever get a fair win. in High School I am still proud of my CO2 self-designed racer which earned fastest run of the year, no parental gender politics involved.

    • Bear Bones
      Bear Bones 29 күн бұрын

      Graphite on the axles brings the win

    • David Fredrick
      David Fredrick Ай бұрын

      ​@Shawn Desper glad I'm not in your district. We had top 3 from each den this year. Many of our dens 3rd place cars were within a half car on the 1st place heat cars.

  • Snail066 Snail 06
    Snail066 Snail 06 2 жыл бұрын +2840

    I love how he went from "bullying kids in a kid's competition" to "helping bust crime rings and scammers"

    • Ulysses S. Grant
      Ulysses S. Grant  13 күн бұрын

      You all are fighting like toddlers and it's hilarious.

    • Paper Poet
      Paper Poet Ай бұрын

      @D.X.B. Charles yep

    • notfeedy notlazy
      notfeedy notlazy 8 ай бұрын +1

      As a dad who plays Nerf with 10-olds using drain blaster bazookas, modified precisoon long range blasters with tang sights, 12-round shotgun absolvers and other things that some could consider "stuff to bully kids with", my experience is that the kids don't consider themselves bullied by a rocket car - they consider it awesome to watch.

    • Mr Morning
      Mr Morning 10 ай бұрын

      I don’t know

  • Lisa F
    Lisa F 11 ай бұрын +84

    We set some records today with my son’s “Fast Food” french fry car. Thanks for all the tips, Mark! This single mom and her boys have been having so much fun with derbies ever since finding your video a few years ago. 💗

    • Ellesdy
      Ellesdy 18 күн бұрын

      Yeah Slay Queen!!
      So Brave
      You and your boys and no father in the house it's all so brave, so fun, so great
      Slay queen slay

    • Marek Zubko
      Marek Zubko 8 ай бұрын +1


  • Wade Guidry
    Wade Guidry 2 жыл бұрын +792

    This really makes me miss my dad.45 years ago he "helped" me build the most beautiful pinewood derby car. He was an engineer, we came in 2nd. The car flipped on the final round. He passed away about a year ago RIP Mike.

    • Shrek
      Shrek 17 күн бұрын

      rest in peace 😔

    • Lyymonade
      Lyymonade  Жыл бұрын

      didn’t ask

    • thatonemetalhead
      thatonemetalhead  Жыл бұрын

      rip mike ehrmentrout

    • NotStars
      NotStars  Жыл бұрын

      Rest In Pinewood Derby im sorry for making a joke but seriously R I P

    • James Bryers
      James Bryers  Жыл бұрын


  • Bruce Belvin
    Bruce Belvin  Жыл бұрын +347

    My car was built like a DeSoto sedan and even had car doors. I came in last, but hey, I came in last with style.

    • biggsly5000
      biggsly5000 Ай бұрын

      @Justin Thiel there should be a trophy for last place. Last year our pinewood derby truck actually jumped into another lane, there were some serious alignment issues. I explained that it was an off-road truck, my son was into trucks at the time, now he is into winning.

    • the derp state
      the derp state 3 ай бұрын +1

      My brother and dad made food themed cars every year. They won non of the speed and all of the style awards

    • James xu
      James xu 7 ай бұрын +2

      @Carson Proctor same

    • Justin Thiel
      Justin Thiel  Жыл бұрын +15

      I had a buddy whos dad was a wood worker by trade, his dad used two template bodies and made a perfect scale Lamborghini Diablo, even had holographic paint.

  • ミIɳƚҽɾɠαʅαƈƚιƈ Sραƈҽ Kιƚƚҽɳ

    My son and I watched this video for research for our car and it really really helped us out tremendously. We won 3rd place out of around 60 kids! Thank you, Mr. Rober!!

    • SteamlocoScrapper
      SteamlocoScrapper 3 жыл бұрын

      @Anders Vassli What a cheat!

    • kissmyasthma99
      kissmyasthma99 3 жыл бұрын

      1st placer probably watched this too lmao

    • YNTKTS
      YNTKTS 3 жыл бұрын +1

      The first place must be mark rober car

    • Epsilon 13
      Epsilon 13 3 жыл бұрын

      Dude I got first place every time I did this, 5 times in a row lol

    • TFC
      TFC 3 жыл бұрын +1

      Evanston Conner dude learn how to spell and maybe I would trust you

  • Michael 732
    Michael 732 2 жыл бұрын +56

    Fun fact: I met the guy who was the original maker of the kit. The reason the block of wood is the size it is, is because the company also made window frames and they were the scrap left over from cutting window frames.

    • Maximilian "setzke" Cooke
      Maximilian "setzke" Cooke 7 күн бұрын

      ​@Kris Askew start a local walnut derby league 🤣

    • YouTubeCertified
      YouTubeCertified 13 күн бұрын

      That’s cool thanks for the tidbit

    • Kris Askew
      Kris Askew Ай бұрын +2

      I work in a lumber mill and have been getting ideas looking at our scrap pile.
      Maybe a walnut or oak derby car.

    • Billy Jones
      Billy Jones 2 жыл бұрын +1

      I built my first Pinewood Derby car in 1965.

  • Blake Carey
    Blake Carey  Жыл бұрын +96

    Coming back to this video 5 years later after my dad watched it 5 years earlier from know, knowing that Mark Rober helped me set 5 new records on a 4 lane track is insane.

  • Billy Goat
    Billy Goat  Жыл бұрын +17

    One of my friends always won the races for consecutive years in Cub Scouts. Years later I asked him how he always won. He told me that he (and his dad) put graphite on the axles which reduced friction. Great idea.

  • salty roe
    salty roe 2 жыл бұрын +89

    Back in the late 1950s my dad helped me build a winning pinewood racer (which) I still have. 1st step was to go to hobby shop and by a plastic model of an race car. I built the race car to act as a model for carving the block. Dad showed me how to cut cardboard templates to act as carving guides. He had me drill out the bottom side of the car and put weights toward the back and then us lightweight wood filler for the rest of the hole. This brought the car to maximum weight with more weight to rear. I won for both speed and beauty at my local recreation center and went on to regional where I got 2nd place for beauty. I didn't win for speed because I failed to recondition the axles after the 1st race. At the time dad was working on the 1st ICBMs for the US and treated the pinewood racer as design challenge.

    • Miss you Norm
      Miss you Norm  Жыл бұрын +1

      Wonderful memory. My family lived for years next to abandoned Nike missile battery. 😀

    • Mark Burke
      Mark Burke  Жыл бұрын +2

      Your dad worked on ICBMs! That's insane.

  • Kent Wright
    Kent Wright  Жыл бұрын +6

    Beautiful work Mark. The visualization of energy using blocks is absolute genius.

  • Hiba
    Hiba 2 жыл бұрын +1757

    He just explained energy in physics in like 4 minutes in an understandable way, something my physics teacher can't do.

    • Elias
      Elias  Жыл бұрын

      for real

    • Jersey Bound
      Jersey Bound  Жыл бұрын

      you can explain it in a minute. and probably easier than using blocks.

    • Ben Kiist
      Ben Kiist  Жыл бұрын

      That’s why he’s not in front of a white board and instead firing tshirts into the stands is football fields

    • ShadesOfMist
      ShadesOfMist  Жыл бұрын +2

      teachers can do it but if he is lazy its a bad teacher you know it ?

    • Aaron Exton
      Aaron Exton  Жыл бұрын

      @Robbert van Loon A less cynical viewpoint that I think a lot of people fail to consider is that a video like this probably took him over a week to make (and that's being generous).
      School teachers don't have the luxury of having that amount of time to dedicate to preparing a single class session. They teach multiple classes a day, 5 days a week, to multiple sets of different students. It simply isn't viable.
      I know it doesn't really fit your "teachers are lazy and clueless" rhetoric but the reality is not all learning can be whacky and fun.
      It's easy to look at a topic that was cherrypicked by a youtuber for its potential to make an entertaining video while forgetting all the important topics that most youtubers wouldn't bother with because they lack that entertainment potential. Ultimately there are a lot of topics that can't be presented like this and will require you to do the 'boring' stuff.

  • daveburch235
    daveburch235 2 жыл бұрын +15

    When I heard you mention ballast location in your introduction, I was eagerly waiting to hear what that meant. More than 50 years ago, I built and tested my own Derby car, without my dad, and proved to myself that putting the ballast in the rear made it much faster than putting it in the front. Just hours before the competition my dad asked to see my car, and he then FORCED ME to move the ballast to the nose. He put more trust in his ignorant intuition than in his son's careful experimentation. My car was much slower than before and finished in the middle of the pack. SO, 1. Thanks for vindicating me, but 2. don't assume dads build the cars, or should.

    • ostrich67
      ostrich67 7 ай бұрын +1

      Should have turned it around and run it backwards.

  • Biggie Smalls
    Biggie Smalls 11 ай бұрын +21

    9:45 - wow, that's crazy to see what Mark's channel once was. Such immense growth

  • Stories with Granny Lu
    Stories with Granny Lu  Жыл бұрын +20

    My daughter just won first place at her pinewood derby by using your techniques. Thanks Mark!!

  • Ron Benghazi
    Ron Benghazi 10 күн бұрын

    As a derby winning dad, I can tell you polishing the axles makes a winning difference.

  • crazy_mind1262
    crazy_mind1262 10 ай бұрын

    My favorite design I (my dad) made, was 2 3d printed airfoils with carbon fiber rod connecting them. Then obviously all the stuff you mentioned here. Honestly it was a pretty cool design. Looking forward to improving it when I hopefully have kids in a few years.

  • AerialAtom
    AerialAtom 3 жыл бұрын +7481

    This would have been useful to me 10 years ago.

  • HyperionSc2
    HyperionSc2  Жыл бұрын +8

    Best thing that worked for me was sanding the wheels up to a point so there was way less friction. It made an insane difference.

  • Jay R. aka. Just Pelé
    Jay R. aka. Just Pelé 2 ай бұрын +2

    44 years ago, when I was in the Cub Scouts, my dad and I won the pack championship and came in 2nd at district. Yes, my dad was an engineer (chemical engineer with BASF). We lost by

  • ThinkingOutLoud
    ThinkingOutLoud 2 ай бұрын

    When my sons and I did the PD circuit, many years ago, we figured it out on our own and I used it as a teaching tool. It’s gratifying to see that we had worked out several if these things on our own.

  • Elias Scharf
    Elias Scharf  Жыл бұрын +1

    It would be interesting to see what the theoretical fastest time would be and see how close these are

  • Braden Goertzen
    Braden Goertzen 3 жыл бұрын +3181

    mark is that dad who prepares all year for this and studies aerodynamics in his free time

    • Pangolin
      Pangolin  Жыл бұрын

      @Tyler Ganjian hahahaha

    • kylekdk456
      kylekdk456  Жыл бұрын

      Well I mean actually he studies aerodynamics for work since he’s an engineer aside from also studying it in his spare time occasionally I’m sure and also for multiple consecutive years for school full time. I’m sure he has spent some spare time at some point doing that though, that’s how to are able to be an engineer is spending your life and efforts to learn whenever possible, definitely a full time lifelong task to become as proficient as possible in his field nobody knows all of it just keeps getting better every day you wake up and have time for it.

    • Taag
      Taag  Жыл бұрын

      That’s my dad

    • BeefyG
      BeefyG  Жыл бұрын


    • Rod Mcdonough
      Rod Mcdonough  Жыл бұрын

      . .and just happened to be a NASA engineer as a day job

  • Stan Switzer
    Stan Switzer 2 ай бұрын

    I did this a half century ago with my dad. We used lead weights, which was perfectly normal and allowed at the time.

  • Clint K
    Clint K 15 күн бұрын

    When I was in grade 8 woods class, we did something very similar. Used Co2 canisters to propel our cars across the shop floor while attached to a string. I made a car that was as light as possible, low as possible and the wheels were covered. Fastest car in the class

  • Baron
    Baron 11 ай бұрын

    I can’t believe Mark Rober has got me understanding science so easily and that’s a myth

  • CriodeRio
    CriodeRio 11 ай бұрын +2

    Idk if anyone noticed this, but the transition of the blocks’ color between piles is so smooth.

  • kmb bmj
    kmb bmj  Жыл бұрын +8

    Our Cub Scout pack added some rules to help make it more of a Cub rather than a dad competition. Things like no turned wheels; you could polish the axles but had to do it yourself; age adjusted limits on what dad could do (obviously the little Tigers mostly decorated whereas the Webelos could do a lot more hand work.); and esp build days where power tools and leaders were available so that kids without them (and without dads) could have adult help. We also had an unlimited division for after the kids were done so the dads could show off.

  • James Burk
    James Burk 3 жыл бұрын +6183

    everyone knows that flames make it go faster.

    • Duncachu
      Duncachu 3 күн бұрын +1

      Red Stuff Goez Fastah

    • jep jep aparicio
      jep jep aparicio 5 күн бұрын

      Are you insane?!

    • William Pilling
      William Pilling 12 күн бұрын

      Don't forget the Go Faster Stripes!

    • ShotoPlays
      ShotoPlays Ай бұрын +1

      @Sebastian Liu u just said “s word” online

    • Sebastian Liu
      Sebastian Liu Ай бұрын

      You just said “mommy” online

  • Brass Monkey
    Brass Monkey 2 ай бұрын

    It's at 13:27 when I saw the CO2 powered car that me and my family actually went out of our way with some family friends and connections to make our own no rules pinewood derby event. We did it 2019 and are hoping to resume in 2023 after all that has happened between. Thanks Mark.

  • Texas Swift
    Texas Swift 3 ай бұрын +32

    We’ve done pinewood derby’s at family reunions in the past, we’ve done okay. This is the first year my daughter is doing it as a Scout. We’re going to be the Swiftest down the track.

    • Mystic Jedi
      Mystic Jedi Ай бұрын +1

      Do golf ball dimples

    • Jon Hohensee
      Jon Hohensee 2 ай бұрын

      Texas Swift - derbies

    • Glass Half Full
      Glass Half Full 2 ай бұрын +3

      My son’s middle school did CO2 cars and the science teacher had been unbeaten for 12 years. No graphite was allowed, so we just polished with a drill as shown. Our cars had axel holes drilled all the way through the body and so we also smoothed the inside of the hole with the smoothed axels. Anyway, he ( ok, we) beat the teacher for the first time. Lots of fun!

    • r bu
      r bu 2 ай бұрын +2

      I’m working with my daughter on her’s for powder puff. Not only must it go fast, it has to look like a prehistoric horse wearing a Girl Scout vest. And open to disclose yummy cookies.

  • William
    William 11 ай бұрын +2

    Perhaps your Dad helped you make your Derby car, but many kids actually make their own. (I know I did). Congratulations Mark on totally dominating a bunch of 10-year-olds!

  • Colt Randles
    Colt Randles 2 жыл бұрын +8

    Thanks, Mark. My boys just took 1st and 3rd place in speed in their class following your video. :-)

  • Darren Z
    Darren Z  Жыл бұрын

    My daughter entered a pinewood derby contest once. I was amazed at the number of five-year olds with expertly created cars. If I didn't know any better, I would think their parents had built them.

  • Xaiano
    Xaiano 6 жыл бұрын +783

    I just love how an American sport has morphed from kids racing blocks of wood to dad's spending hours making precision engineered cars that their kids pretend they made.

    • Brenda Kovacs
      Brenda Kovacs 3 жыл бұрын

      @Cyprus Hartford I'm home with my son now alone. Now I have to figure out a Derby car to match all the dads who have all these tools and everything they need. I googled "how to do a derby car with NO TOOLS" and got this. not really all that helpful.

    • Brenda Kovacs
      Brenda Kovacs 3 жыл бұрын

      @Joe Mars it's so technical now...how did you manage to make it so many cents off the ground, only so long, only so wide, only so tall, only so much weight. Can't use this or that and have use only the stuff in the box. Oh, and mom, the only thing we did for you isn't really gauged correctly, so you will need a tool to make that deeper too.

    • Brenda Kovacs
      Brenda Kovacs 3 жыл бұрын

      And everyone speaks of Dads...my son's dad is an OTR trucker who won't be home for 6 weeks. I have NO IDEA how to do this and my son is going to be very embarrassed.

    • Anish Nehete
      Anish Nehete 3 жыл бұрын

      @Jeff McLeod 👌

    • raaston
      raaston 3 жыл бұрын

      when me and my dad did it i designed it and sanded it the rest he did he cut it

  • oriolephan
    oriolephan 2 жыл бұрын

    My dad built mine with a chisel. We had no idea what were doing. We won second place because the scout leader decided to race it backwards. Because it was always to close to tell. My car wasn't made for that.

  • Kleptomania GTA5
    Kleptomania GTA5 2 ай бұрын

    It would be funny to have a video about the physics behind the perfect model of paper plane, and then you try to build the biggest one possible

  • Willhaha Belan
    Willhaha Belan  Жыл бұрын +226

    I lost every time because I actually built them myself.

    • MK3
      MK3  Жыл бұрын +3

      I handbuilt mine too, with my dad only there to teach me and keep me supervised. All my cars had a natural wood finish, no paint.
      2nd, 2nd, 1st, respectively :)

    • Gage
      Gage  Жыл бұрын +5

      I placed 3rd with my own design and car when I was in 3rd grade..went to the next level..it wasnt states or anything not sure what it was..didnt even place. was coold to say I got 3rd since lots of cars were built by the dads

  • Spongebathe830
    Spongebathe830 2 жыл бұрын +30

    My dad wanted to reduce the surface area of the wheels so we narrowed them. Turned out it made it rattle left and right on the track and came last

    • White phantom.
      White phantom.  Жыл бұрын

      @Elias Kjærbo "You"

    • kdwaynec
      kdwaynec  Жыл бұрын

      @QuarktaschemitSenf You forgot to factor in the coefficient of the square root!

    • Ethan
      Ethan  Жыл бұрын +1

      @Elias Kjærbo Fatherless lmfao

    • Spongebathe830
      Spongebathe830  Жыл бұрын +2

      @QuarktaschemitSenf uh oh, do i hear an engineer that is going to make a pinewood break the soundbarrier?

  • soundslikebstome
    soundslikebstome  Жыл бұрын

    In cub scouts my pops took the balsa rocket project to the space age....in the 60's. He turned the body down to reduce weight.....then smeared vaseline on the rubber band. The results were amazing. Other kids rockets weren't halfway down the track when mine reached the end. The other kid's dads were steelworkers. Mine worked for Douglas Aircraft in the math department (b4 pocket calculators). Sheer Domination!

  • Ice Water
    Ice Water 2 жыл бұрын +1096

    "The less friction there is, the faster that car can be!"
    I threw the car, so there is only air resistance, and it worked

  • David L
    David L 2 жыл бұрын +2

    Glad he talked about why 3 wheels relates to the rotational energy. I knew 3 was better, but not the why!

  • Jonathan Derda
    Jonathan Derda  Жыл бұрын +2

    Thanks from my son for making this video. You helped us win his first pinewood derby. Definitely couldn't have done it without your video.

  • Jefley
    Jefley 11 ай бұрын +1

    Nobody makes learning as fun and interesting as Mark Rober does.

  • Jason Guimond
    Jason Guimond 18 күн бұрын

    Any thoughts on using the aerodynamics to cause the car to rail ride?

  • Kelly Doyle
    Kelly Doyle  Жыл бұрын

    Our son just won 1st place in 4 heats of his first Pinewood derby race thanks to these tips! Thanks for promoting planning, design, testing and execution!

  • Ser Bonkers
    Ser Bonkers 2 жыл бұрын +1227

    Randy Marsh accidentally discovered warp speed during a Pinewood Derby build for his son back in 2009. True Story.

    • IanTheScientist
      IanTheScientist 11 ай бұрын

      Yea there's no way he didn't get this video idea from South Park. He is just like the dad that studied how to win.

    • Joey Ackley
      Joey Ackley 11 ай бұрын

      That was Princess Leia

    • Ken Wendland
      Ken Wendland 11 ай бұрын

      I 'member watching a documentary about that. Do you 'member? Yeah, that was cool.

    • nowthatsjustducky
      nowthatsjustducky  Жыл бұрын

      @Hard Mcshaft He certainly has tegrity...

    • my yellow wise rug
      my yellow wise rug 2 жыл бұрын

      I saw that documentary. Mind blowing.

  • Weremoogle
    Weremoogle  Жыл бұрын +1

    As a kid, I carved and painted my own. They performed terribly. It was still fun.

  • I am ion's Cat
    I am ion's Cat 2 жыл бұрын +1

    Mark, could you please post what wheels you used for your 45 minute car. You didn't say if they were stock or lightened and that can make up to a two car difference according to the chart in your video. Were they straight out of the box or were they lightened in any way? Most scout races don't allow for lightning, especially getting to the district level. Thank you for your help.

  • Isaiah Smith
    Isaiah Smith Ай бұрын

    14:29 I love how he already had the go-pro/camera facing backward toward the other car--he knew

  • Connor McNear
    Connor McNear 11 ай бұрын

    Saw this as a high school kid and had no idea what it was about but found it entertaining, now i’m a physics student at university

  • Shite Poster
    Shite Poster 2 ай бұрын

    4:37 its like pumping down a ramp when riding a skateboard(pushing your back foot down just b4 the back wheels leave the base of the ramp). The weight in the back acts as your muscle movement to push the back end down with more force

  • Dustin Worth
    Dustin Worth 7 жыл бұрын +1343

    Thanks, Mark. My girls won the #1 and #2 spot today with the help of these suggestions.

    • Lev Edelson
      Lev Edelson 3 жыл бұрын

      How did you bend the axles

    • reaper creeper
      reaper creeper 4 жыл бұрын

      what it proves to me is that "women" are special in that they can find the time to build a pinewood derby car, go race it and still make it home in time to cook dinner and do the dishes. as long as extracurricular activities don't get in the way of what is really expected i see no harm in it.

      LIFEHACKSFORKIDS. CANN 5 жыл бұрын +1

      Ye right send a video for some proof

    • Valeria Auden
      Valeria Auden 5 жыл бұрын

      daiseechain j

    • Tracy Sanders
      Tracy Sanders 5 жыл бұрын +3

      Dustin Dilworth I

  • Yozarian
    Yozarian  Жыл бұрын

    About 25 years ago I won second place in my district finals. I can’t say I came up with all the ideas myself, but I designed, sanded (I didn’t cut, drill or fill it with lead obviously lol) and assembled it all myself myself. The trophy with a pedestal for my car are on a shelf in my room. I didn’t know the 3 wheel trick and looking now it seems I didn’t use the most effective wheels, but im still proud of 2nd in district. Lol

  • Kolby Braseth
    Kolby Braseth 2 жыл бұрын +3

    Can we just appreciate just how far Mark has come in front of the camera!!

  • Aaron Joshua
    Aaron Joshua  Жыл бұрын

    I just used this design and came in 4th out of 25 for the adult division…only thing I didn’t do was sand the wheels which might have gotten me into the top 3. Overall very easy only took 40 mins. Great car. Average time 3.4785 and first was 3.2068

  • Robert Presti Jr
    Robert Presti Jr 2 жыл бұрын +2

    Going way back I had a car that did very well. It was very simple in shape. I added nuts or something mid back to make it look rear engine to a child. I think I placed second or third , when I didn't even think I stood a chance when considering the time and detail of some of the other cars.

  • sasamichan
    sasamichan  Жыл бұрын

    My dad made winning pine wood derby cars. Waits on the bottom, sleek shape. He had access to the Lenox R&D lab so whatever he did made them always win.
    He also helped me perfectly prevent an egg from breaking with a foam box.

  • Cricket Compared
    Cricket Compared 2 жыл бұрын +2341

    My class: *has a pinewood derby race*
    My teacher: So what’s ur strategy?
    Me: have the most green blocks

    • Soraya P
      Soraya P 2 жыл бұрын


    • Samaya Hone
      Samaya Hone 2 жыл бұрын


    • HadesDaCat
      HadesDaCat 2 жыл бұрын

      @Morgan C yo why you wouldve won both if you didnt show th

    • philT monx
      philT monx 2 жыл бұрын

      @Morgan C congratulations Morgan i think its awesome you did well and took bes appearance.. I think you can take pride in share with your friends.. That takes consideration and that is a great quality to have.

    • Mark Fairbrother
      Mark Fairbrother 2 жыл бұрын +2

      @Chris K nope you didnt
      'Luck out' mate. Helping your child to see his potential whilst at the same time supporting him changing his mind/lifes direction... even if it might not be exactly what you'd hope for him to pursue... That's good parenting! Hoping i can aspire to raise a bright young man like you and your wife have. You sir, deserve to revel in your child's accomplishments, well done to you and your good lady!

  • VIZON-ARY productions
    VIZON-ARY productions 2 жыл бұрын +18

    literally my grandfather built this same design for me in 1998 for my pine wood derby in boyscouts. he also used graphite on the wheels in substitute for ball bearings. he was a mechanical engineer!

    • Michael Szczys
      Michael Szczys 11 ай бұрын +1

      Everybody puts graphite on their axles.
      Every time I have ever seen pinewood derby.

    • Johnny Boy
      Johnny Boy 2 жыл бұрын +2


  • Glorious Grunt
    Glorious Grunt  Жыл бұрын

    Upforce seemed to help me, in a normal car you want downforce to keep more of the rubber in contact with the road but with Derby you want the less friction possible so sanding an "air pocket" under mine helped a lot, also no paint, just primer and sand smooooooooth for that frictionless glide

  • Strikerage
    Strikerage 2 ай бұрын +1

    I would always lose in the Boy Scouts during these contests.
    I told my dad to use WAY more graphite, and he'd always say no. And we'd lose.
    Every time. 😆 Thanks Dad.

  • Eric Prentice
    Eric Prentice 2 жыл бұрын

    Tried a 3 wheel design 33 years ago. Couldn't get it to stay up. Nice to see this one work!

  • Tradingmood
    Tradingmood  Жыл бұрын

    Been more than 40 years ago for me. Polishing the axles (nails) smooth, narrowing the contact points on the wheels, adding lead to EXACTLY the allowed weight, Fancy aerodynamic carving and sanding followed by a polished lacquer paint job... Ran in one rally and won every single heat hands down. Of course, as much as I know all that stuff now, I didn't have a large hand in the actual process at the time. I still have the car and the ribbons on a dedicated little shelf in the rec room.

  • MrDavyBoy
    MrDavyBoy 3 жыл бұрын +394

    I love how easy he makes things to understand for incompetent people like me

    • MrDavyBoy
      MrDavyBoy 3 жыл бұрын +1

      @Brenda Kovacs aight

    • Brenda Kovacs
      Brenda Kovacs 3 жыл бұрын +1

      i understand it, but don't have all the tools he used. I'm a female trying to build this car with no tools for my son. My son's going to be devastated.

    • some guy
      some guy 3 жыл бұрын +8

      Who ever has the most green blocks wins!! now let’s count them, can you count with me? Let’s see uno dos tres🤣🤣

    • Top hat Sheep
      Top hat Sheep 3 жыл бұрын +2

      😂 your such a nice person

    • Jak
      Jak 3 жыл бұрын +18

      The colored blocks especially were a nice touch.

  • A Bennett
    A Bennett 2 жыл бұрын

    Following the scientific tips I found online, helped my son win 1st place in the Pinewood Derby two years in a row. He also won 1st in the Space Derby. Great memories!

  • Kevin Simmons
    Kevin Simmons 2 жыл бұрын +5

    I used a model close to this as a kid back in scouts. My dad worked at a school and was friends with the woodshop teacher lol. Won 3 years in a row

  • Hoopy Doopy Do
    Hoopy Doopy Do  Жыл бұрын

    So, KZclip suggested this for me, and I enjoyed it. My grown son did this with his dad back in the day and they were really consumed with creating it and racing it. A bit of nostalgia, and some learning. Thanks!

  • MoPar Dono
    MoPar Dono Ай бұрын

    when I was in Cub Scouts, my step dad was a machinist and he machined some weights and countersunk them into the main body and we won hands down, but it was disqualified for not for using materials that weren't in the kit.

  • Ethan Aylett
    Ethan Aylett 3 ай бұрын

    And just like that, did everything in this video and took 1st place against 42 other cars. Thanks Mark!

  • What Next?
    What Next? 2 жыл бұрын +479

    I followed his whole video and did exactly everything he said and my sons car was the fastest on the track out of 50 Boy Scouts he won first place thanks to tips and tricks on how he told you to put the wheels and everything

    • Michael Szczys
      Michael Szczys 11 ай бұрын

      I guess everybody cheats and nobody checks these days.

    • William Murray
      William Murray 2 жыл бұрын +2

      Not your son's car. Your car.

    • John Mckisson
      John Mckisson 2 жыл бұрын

      @Tsupi that’s unless you are teaching the child about the physics and the whys and showing the different results. We all learn from each other so it would be a failure to teach as you go along with the build.

    • Draglox
      Draglox 2 жыл бұрын

      Awesome 👌

  • Jeff Richardson
    Jeff Richardson  Жыл бұрын

    My dad (ex RCAF) made me do everything to make my car except melting and pouring the lead. He explained how physics could affect the performance and asked me questions about what I thought I could do to improve it. Another kids dad made the whole car including adding mass to the inside of the wheels (not specifically against the rules and changed the next year). That years regional Cub Car rally he took first and won a camping tent, I took second and got a cook set. He won by one one hundredth of a second, measured by the timing system my dad made.

  • Stephen Brown
    Stephen Brown 2 жыл бұрын +2

    My kid won the pinewood derby with advice from this video. Thanks Mark!

  • Keith W
    Keith W  Жыл бұрын

    He's missing an important piece of the perfect pinewood derby car. Rail riding allows you to move the center of gravity further back (3/4 in). In turn moving the weight back removes weight from the front wheel. Less weight on the front wheel=reduced friction. So, you need to turn the wheel sharper to gain equivalent stability. I think the perfect car will turn pretty sharp and have the weight centered at 1/2 inch.

  • oorjit mahajan
    oorjit mahajan 2 жыл бұрын

    The rialroad mechanism is basically to tighten the wheel to make it slip and prevent turns

  • Marvin Yoani
    Marvin Yoani  Жыл бұрын +6

    I love how mark rober uses blocks when explaining energy :)

    • Marvin Yoani
      Marvin Yoani 10 ай бұрын

      Now i remember now

    • Marvin Yoani
      Marvin Yoani  Жыл бұрын

      I dont even remember making this comment

  • ThePloyMaker's Evil Plans
    ThePloyMaker's Evil Plans 6 жыл бұрын +410

    Scientifically speaking, if you would have put racing stripes on it it would have approximately 2.5 million times faster

    • ru4
      ru4 5 жыл бұрын

      ThePloyMaker's Evil Plans ................ same

    • mel
      mel 5 жыл бұрын

      Troy Lawson but the pinewood cops would chase it

    • Super Goober
      Super Goober 5 жыл бұрын +1

      YES! I didn’t think of that, but it should be obvious. Great catch!

    • TomHaroldArt
      TomHaroldArt 5 жыл бұрын +2

      No question. Don't forget the other secret weapon, though: racing stickers. Get you a sticker from Holley, Hooker Edelbrock, Comp Cams or whomever sounds faster and git you sum SPEED!

    • Super Goober
      Super Goober 5 жыл бұрын +4

      Stripes, sure, but have you considered flames?

  • Chris Archer
    Chris Archer 2 жыл бұрын

    I watch his videos almost everyday and sometimes i want to build the stuff he does

  • Joe S
    Joe S 2 жыл бұрын

    Thanks for making science fun its what we need more of

  • Jeff Tank
    Jeff Tank  Жыл бұрын +1

    I competed in a PWD back in 1985. I won. Mine was similar except that instead of a flat rectangular body, mine was a flat isosceles triangle. Weights were in the center. My initial acceleration was less, but I had a higher top speed. At the bottom of the ramp, I was behind. But on the flat part, I always passed the other cars.

  • flarrow24
    flarrow24  Жыл бұрын +18

    Thank you!! My daughter just won 1st place in her Pack’s Pinewood Derby with all of your advice!

    • RobynBetween
      RobynBetween 9 ай бұрын

      (By the way, to anyone who isn't familiar, I'm assuming it's not Girl Scouts because of the use of the word Pack, since Girl Scouts used the term Troop at all levels, whereas Cub Scouts - ages 6-11 - used the term Pack when I was a kid, and that's the age group that did pinewood derby)

    • RobynBetween
      RobynBetween 9 ай бұрын

      As an Eagle Scout who is trans, it warms my heart to hear of young girls now thriving in Scouting.

  • Jim Blewitt
    Jim Blewitt 2 ай бұрын

    Thanks for the video!
    Our rules state that all 4 wheels have to touch the track. Can you still use the rail riding technique with the straight 4th wheel touching, or does the 4th wheel touching make rail riding less advantageous than trying to align the car to go straight down the track?
    If you should still use rail riding even when the 4th wheel must touch, do you bend that axle as well, matching the other front wheel, but just adjust one wheel or the other a bit more to get the desired drift of 1" or so over 4 feet?

  • Service Representative
    Service Representative 4 жыл бұрын +509

    My son got first place because of this video. Also, it was his first pinewood derby. I fear we set the bar to high.

    • Garfield
      Garfield 4 жыл бұрын

      the bar is never too high

    • cad6il
      cad6il 4 жыл бұрын

      @Keith C Same here. We tried all of these tips multiple times and got badly beaten.

    • Sam Stevens
      Sam Stevens 4 жыл бұрын

      I hear you there. My son got 3rd his first race and then dipped down to 14 the next year after a lot of other people became savvy to this vid. He had a harder time the next year but it was a good teaching moment. We’ll see what happens this year.

    • Steve K.
      Steve K. 4 жыл бұрын

      My son has won 2 years in a row with this information and my daughter was first one year and second the following. Can't wait to see how it goes this year! Thanks again for this great video.

    • Scott Mantooth
      Scott Mantooth 4 жыл бұрын

      true enough

  • Byron Watkins
    Byron Watkins 2 жыл бұрын

    The TORQUE on the wheels is frictional force times axle radius. Narrowing the nails DOES help a little, but a precision wheel to axle, metal to metal fit helps even more. The nail head rubbing the wheel side is at a larger radius still. A hard, polished, raised ring on that side of the wheel would reduce that torque significantly.

  • David Lloyd-Jones
    David Lloyd-Jones 2 жыл бұрын +8

    You are in general totally superb, and I admire you and your work tremendously.
    One bit of advice about your blocks, though: "Kinetic" is not spelled NRRBVV.
    Take my word for it. Go with k-i-n-e-t-i-c.

  • Hello Kitty Fan Man!
    Hello Kitty Fan Man! 11 ай бұрын

    Wow, I did the "Derb" as a kid and never knew about the more obscure of these things (canting, etc.)! And of course my dad and I weren't very knowledgeable about this in general, and we smoothed my car up but took too much weight off in the process and of course my car didn't win.

    LIVINdaISLANDS 808 2 жыл бұрын +1

    This guy makes science fun for once!!!😂

  • Paul Leach
    Paul Leach  Жыл бұрын

    Had a great teacher in high school, he taught us energy in physics using rubber bands, butter tubs, and weights.

  • MtotheM
    MtotheM 7 жыл бұрын +247

    I like how people have spent years trying to improve their designs, then you come along and wins with a door wedge.

    • brandon
      brandon 7 жыл бұрын +1

      +mtothem1337 lol... i remember a lot of wedge designs being poor performers when I did this as a kid 20 years ago. Althought they probably did everything else wrong too. Actually it was pretty funny back then to see all the different designs and crack pot ideas people thought would make them faster. I remember a lot of people putting all the weight to the front as if it would somehow "pull" the car down the track faster. I actually won a couple derbies but it was just a three wheeler with polished axles. No canting or railriding since we had no idea about that stuff back then:)

    • Stronk Vodka
      Stronk Vodka 7 жыл бұрын +2


    • Leonardo Auad
      Leonardo Auad 7 жыл бұрын +2

      +mtothem1337 The power of Science!!!!!!!

    • darla hipps
      darla hipps 7 жыл бұрын +1


    • xnick
      xnick 7 жыл бұрын +1

      +Melting Clocks The benefit of a lighter design is that it will reduce the friction in the axles a bit. But in turn might be more prone to unstabilize due turbulence with the surrounding air. We should check by building those.

  • CalvaryDA
    CalvaryDA 2 жыл бұрын

    One last thing he won’t mention. The thing that makes his car still a a unique secret . The graphite he uses has a molecularly aligned structure

  • Zarin Loosli
    Zarin Loosli 2 жыл бұрын

    Since rotational kinetic energy increases with the square of angular velocity, would it be even faster to lift two diagonal wheels and just let it teeter back and forth?

  • Robert Morey
    Robert Morey 2 ай бұрын

    Cool engineering, love the explanation. Science does work!

  • Patrick R. Sweeney
    Patrick R. Sweeney 11 ай бұрын

    back in middle school i made one of these for a class and mine was shaped after a drag racer because they are the most weight efficient and aero dynamic. of course, mine won all the races by more then a second and my design was brought into question saying to much was taken off though, I fallowed the templet to the "T" I was disqualified. even added sharpy marker flames to it. still feel bad about being disqualified with how much work i put into it.

  • StonedSasquatch
    StonedSasquatch Ай бұрын

    I never even got to touch mine when I was a scout. When my oldest was in scouts he had final decisions and did everything but saw work. We never won a heat but we looked great doing it. His last year for derby the scout master had a Best of Show trophy just for my boy cause they always looked sweet af.

  • Daniel Greenwood
    Daniel Greenwood 4 жыл бұрын +1833

    But how do i make the slowest scientifically possible car that still makes it past the finish line so i can drag out the race.

    • ipudisciple
      ipudisciple 2 жыл бұрын

      Give the tires enough friction that if the wheels don't turn the car stays put. Make the car heavy. Now put a clockwork mechanism on the wheels. On the way down, the falling car drives the escapement and also winds the main-spring. On the flat, the main-spring drives the escapement. All the time, the clock is (literally) ticking. Done right, you should be able to get a time in the region of _days._

    • Justin M
      Justin M 2 жыл бұрын

      @Jay Griffis so basically make the fastest car possible then put the car on the track backwards

    • Paul Earp
      Paul Earp 3 жыл бұрын

      Using Mark's 7 key steps starting at 14:43 , here's where I would start:
      1. Use just enough weight to get your car to the finish line. (This would be the last step)
      2. Don't bother with aerodynamics.
      3. Ride on all 4 wheels.
      4. Use the heaviest wheels possible.
      5. Don't polish your axles, but maybe do bend them to control alignment and keep friction consistent.
      6. Do railride, and adjust the steering against the rail to adjust friction.
      7. Don't use graphite.
      If you need to slow your car down even more, removing weight is better than adding friction.
      If you need to speed your car up, reducing friction is better than adding weight.

    • Iaxacs
      Iaxacs 3 жыл бұрын

      Now you're talking

    • David Lee
      David Lee 3 жыл бұрын

      Use Brownian motion. It will take forever, if you're lucky.

  • nan378
    nan378 11 ай бұрын

    33 years ago I was undefeated! Thanks Dad!!! He must have known these techniques.

  • djohnson1098
    djohnson1098  Жыл бұрын +1

    My son won for many years including winning the troop and going to district finals using this video.

  • Shadowed Enderman
    Shadowed Enderman  Жыл бұрын +1

    My Dad used this video to help me win my cub scout pinewood derby car competition when I was 7, no one could catch up to me 😂

  • Nara Ananda
    Nara Ananda 5 ай бұрын

    This has actually been one of my favorite videos of Mark's