Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Where to Buy Pinewood Derby Car Kits

Okay, I feel terrible for those of you who are desperately trying to figure out where to buy a pinewood derby car kit, so are using internet search engines and coming to my blog.

Here is the answer:
You can buy the official Boy Scouts of America Pinewood Derby Kit at your local Council Scout shop. There are also some private stores, such as some sports equipment stores, who sell a limited amount of official BSA merchandise such as uniforms and Scout handbooks. Those places sometimes have pinewood derby car kits. Think about where you bought your uniform that is the same place that will sell the pinewood derby kit.

My heart goes out to you if you are one of the families who were given a kit by their Pack, and in the process of making the car, made some mistake and you desperately need another car.

The kits sell for about $3.50 so this is not a big expense.

Local craft stores such as franchises like A.C. Moore and Michael's also sometimes sell little car kits which are NOT approved for use at the Pinewood Derby race. I mention this so that you DON'T buy those kits. Those also sell for $9-11. Most if not all Packs require that the base kit is the official BSA kit. I also wanted to mention it because they sometimes sell cool stickers and other little decorations that you CAN use to decorate your car with (so long as you don't use them in a way that violates your Pack's rules such as for height, width, length of the car).

Some independent hobby shops also sell weights and other decorations for pinewood derby cars. Ask your Cub Scout Leader or your Cubmaster what local shops sell these supplies.

You will also need to buy weights and those can be purchased at hobby shops or craft shops. Note that some weights are zinc and they are not as heavy as lead weights. So save work and drilling, you would be better off using lead weights.

It actually makes sense for convenience sake, in my opinion, to buy an extra kit before you need it.

Some shops sell out before the busy Pinewood Derby season. Therefore you'd be better off purchasing one or more at the beginning of the year such as when you buy your Scout's uniform.

We have also had to buy extra kits for our too-young for Cub Scouting sibling so he could make one as well. Some Packs allow parents to race also so you'd need to buy the kit for the parent also. My husband and son have also ruined some of the cars while they were making them so they had to run out and get a new kit at the last minute.

If you are in Connecticut, the Yankee Council in Milford has a large official BSA Shop. Here is their website. They are open six days a week. I am sure you can also order the kit online from the official BSA Scout Shop but I am guessing your shipping fee will be equal or greater than the cost of one kit.

Lastly, you will need paint as decoration. You can use the cheap acrylic craft paint which sells for under $1 at large craft stores such as A.C. Moore. You can buy a glossy product to put on as a top coat. You can also opt for the much more expensive and more toxic enamel paints which also happen to be messy to clean up. If you choose the enamel paint, it often must dry overnight, so plan for that longer drying time. Acrylic craft paint dries in a couple hours (or less).

I have my children write their name on the bottom of the car with a permanent marker, and date it. This is nice to have in their own handwriting so in the future you can remember whose it is and what year they made it.

Have fun!

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Bevan said...

Thank you for taking to the time to write this wheneve ryou did. It is going ot help me today.

Michelle said...
This might help some people who don't know where to find their local council Scout shop.
P.S. Thanks for your post, helped me find what I was looking for.

majcpw said...

I enjoyed your blog but wanted to add a word of caution about using lead for weights, as you recommended. It is toxic and there are many restrictions when using it, including washing hands after handling or wearing rubber gloves, avoiding sanding or sawing, and avoid using in food preparation areas.