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Quick answers to a simple question: what graphite do you all use?
Do you have a secret recipe?
Use an expensive brand?
Or just straight off the shelf from your local hardware store?
I picked up some for pinewood cars at hobby lobby.seems pretty chunky, thoughcan you mix graphite with a fluid to help get it in the axles better?alcohol maybe? just seems hard to get it to go down into the wheel
I've always just used what I can get at the hobby store or even Hobby Lobby. It's the pinewood derby stuff. I've never had any of it be "chunky" or anything...all nice and fine, works great.
Here's a little video I made using isopropyl alcohol and graphite. The brand I use is in the video. This is literally my only advice I can give builders and feel confident about it. lol
"XL8R Ultra Graphite" by PineCar is much finer (more powder-like) than the regular stuff. Easier to fill those tiny axle gaps.
Science! Well a microscope at least. :P Pile on left is Hobby Lobby pinewood derby stuff, works great for pw cars. On right is finer grind but more pricey. I use a blend of the two. Technically you can make the finer stuff out of the cheaper large grind stuff, but can be super messy.
The only thing I know for sure is DON'T use the stuff from the hardware store and stick to the hobby grade graphite. I watched a DXP video and he was adamant about that. I reckon I should defer to his expertise on that.
I use Pinewood Pro hobby grade graphite, but recently been experimenting with mixes.
Pinewood Pro is neat, it's in a blue bottle (shown below)and the neat thing about it is the micro-plastic beads they put in it, which can help reduce friction...at least from what we've tested, anyways. This stuff works, it's a solid choice.
just be carful it doesn't always come with an accurate opening so it will get EVERYWHERE.
edit: "sub-micron molybdenum disulfide." That's apparently what it is called.
Here's a tried-n-true guide for some modding including the graphite: www.redlinederby.com/topic/more-modding-tips-tricks/3313
I've always followed the process outline in there...car sidewars, put the graphite on the end and then use a fine paint brush to push it in the all the cracks and crevices.
I heard a rumor that "Black Ice" is Molybendium Disulfide suspended in IPA. I can neither confirm nor deny the veracity of this statement.
I've always used "Maximum Velocity" graphite. Lasts quite a while. Lately, I have been trying what I saw on FeralMods Youtube channel and its been working well. It also works great for lubing wheels on Johnny Lightning cars by applying to the backside of the wheels.
I see people mentioning "IPA". What is that?
This is great guys!! A lot of valuable advice and reading "don't use hardware store graphite" makes me realise I should've researched this better years ago.
Also thank you to Redline for changing the title of this thread...sounds a lot better now :)
Here's the graphite we use:
Maximum Velocity Premium Pinewood Car Graphite Powder | Easy Application tip for Derby Car Wheels & Axles | Graphite Lubricant for Pine Derby Car Kits a.co/d/du8KRnH
I was a pretty experienced pinewood derby car builder (5 kids + an adult category for many years). Graphite is definitely your friend! Lots of good advice already shared here!