Hey it hasn't been a week after making the "Pancake Flipper" starting gate...that was suppose to eliminate any issues with the cars starting off at the same time. I noticed a problem after a few runs...First the pins were dropping straight down, thus allowing cars or trucks with higher front bumpers to leave the gate sooner. Sooooooo back to the drawing board. I checked out some Pinewood Derby starting gates and think I've found my solution. The gate is operated by the same "Nitro" button, but releases a hinged piece of wood holding wooden 1/4 inch pins that drop and fall forward thus allowing all cars regardless of their bumper height to leave at the same time. And it works great...and I really mean it this time. Check out the pictures below for a better understanding of my confusion. The parts were less than $8 dollars at Home Depot.
Had to notch out the starting ramp for the pins falling forward.
Side profile 1 gate in the up position
Side profile 2 gate in the down position
The drop gate is held in place by a magnet. I just glued a washer on the "Nitro" hole to make this work.
The magnet drilled and recessed in wood for flush fit.
Now I'm just waiting for Sunday's Big Race...this should be good!