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How to Precisely Check Alignment

Discussion in 'Pinewood Derby Help Videos' started by LightninBoy, Apr 5, 2016.

  1. B_Regal Racing

    B_Regal Racing PWD Royalty Pro Racer

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    Check this also. With the chuck fully retracted (e.g. up), check if there is any play/runout in the chuck by trying to lightly wiggle it. Next, set the "Feed Depth Stop" to approximately 2" and lower the chuck until it reaches the depth stop with the Feed Handle, and check for play. Lastly, set the "Feed Depth Stop" to approximately the maximum depth and lower the chuck until it is fully extended with the Feed Handle, and check for play. You also may want to check how square your drill press is when it is fully extended. You'll be surprised what you find.
     
  2. Cramjet

    Cramjet League Racer Pro Racer

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    I guess it matters how much bend you have in your DF axle, so has anyone experimented with raising the hole for the DFW a little bit?
     
  3. B_Regal Racing

    B_Regal Racing PWD Royalty Pro Racer

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    [​IMG]
     
  4. Greatred

    Greatred Pinewood Ninja

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    Thank you for the ideas. Earlier I did in fact have a cupped table that I corrected with another suggestion at the time from this board (attached laminate board and squared table with machine square and pin gauge in chuck--I was told the table was to thin to deck).

    I did as B Regal suggested and discovered that the first 2 inches of plunge was square but not between 2" and 3 ". I shorted the jobber length bit in the chuck to just little more than needed for axle and raised the table and went slow. I had 2 perfect (4x4!!!!!) in a row.

    Your the man B Regal. Glad I got to meet you last weekend.
     
  5. Crash Enburn

    Crash Enburn PWD Royalty

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    See my post #22 in this thread. (The formula under "second guessing" is the correct one)
     
  6. Chalk

    Chalk Pinewood Ninja

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    Great information. 123 blocks and pin gauges ordered.
     
  7. gdurban

    gdurban District Champion

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    What size pin gauge? If using a #43 drill bit (0.089"), I assume a 0.090" pin gauge would be a good fit?
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2016
  8. bracketracer

    bracketracer PWD Royalty Pro Racer

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    For me, the fit varies depending on the species of wood I'm drilling. Pine leaves a slightly looser fit than , say, poplar does. To that end I bought pairs of pin gages in .0005" increments from .0880" through .091". That seems to fit the holes from every brand of axle I've come across so far. (In case you need to go back and check holes after you've relieved them for the axles).
     
  9. gdurban

    gdurban District Champion

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    Thanks.
     
  10. DerbyDad4Hire

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

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    For whatever reason, I have never had a fast poplar car.
     
  11. Watchitgo

    Watchitgo Pinewood Ninja

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    This may be a silly question but how far do the pin gauges need to go into the axle holes to get a proper test of the alignment? My pins appear to be firmly in the holes but are also not that deep.
     
  12. DerbyDad4Hire

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

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    The more shallow, the more they will flex.
     
  13. Kinser Racing

    Kinser Racing ********************* 25+ Pro Race Wins! National Champion

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    Insert the pin gauges as far as you can into the woodd block.
     
  14. Watchitgo

    Watchitgo Pinewood Ninja

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    I just watched watched Bulldog's silver bullet video. In it he uses a pin vise to insert the gauge pins. So that is what I tried. It works much better than my fingers. Thank you everyone.
     
    BulldogRacing likes this.
  15. GravityX

    GravityX PWD Royalty Pro Racer

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    Another tip. Slightly round the leading edge of the pin gauge to allow for easier insertion into the drilled hole. The sharp edge will have the tendency to dig in or grab the wood as it's being inserted and restrict how far it can be pushed in. Mount the gauge pin in a drill and ONLY sand the sharp leading edge down, DO NOT sand down the diameter of the pin gauge. I typically "round" both ends so that I don't have to figure out which end is sanded down.
     
  16. DerbyDad4Hire

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

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    ;)
     
  17. bracketracer

    bracketracer PWD Royalty Pro Racer

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    After Lightninboy showed me how to check alignment and I tried it myself and found some speed, I decided to make myself an alignment checking kit so I could go back and check my existing cars as well as every new car I build. I machined up a fixture similar to a Silver Bullet but with a provision for clamping, then cut notches on the opposite face to provide clearance for a car with fenders already attached. Now I can not only use it to drill new bare bodies but also check bodies with fenders attached. I had a lot of time in making the fixture and I wanted to protect it, so I found a case at Harbor Freight for $15 and bought some Kaizen foam on Amazon. (Thanks for the link Gravity X!). The 1 1/8" thick foam filled the case snugly and I was able to cut in for my fixture and clamp bar, 1-2-3 blocks, machinist's square, clamp wrench, and box for my gage pins.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    So now my alignment tools are all together and safe!
     
    Skywalker Racing likes this.
  18. GravityX

    GravityX PWD Royalty Pro Racer

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    Now that's the "Perfect Alignment" of tools right there, all in one place! Great Job Stephen!
     
  19. B_Regal Racing

    B_Regal Racing PWD Royalty Pro Racer

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    I would say he made a great "case" for others to check their alignment more closely...
     
  20. Troy Taylor

    Troy Taylor Pinewood Ninja

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    May I ask where you got the pin gages from?
     

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