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Discussion Starter #1
I did the majority of the power tooling after he and mom did the layout, and they painted it. I helped him with the weight by letting him melt an ounce of solder into a cavity behind the rear axle. I also made the recesses to mount the tow boom and the engine, and they both looked over a dozen pictures to try to get the paint job right. We had a terrible time of it last year and had what amounted to too much help to try and get things figured out to run it and even compete on an average level. He was more than happy to part out two of his toy cars to make this thing happen.

This year we studied all kinds of advice from the internet, and only went with things that were stated on EVERY site we looked at, if one person said they did this or that we passed that tidbit by, and barring some small stuff that was worked on just before the races with the help of an official and some spare Pinewood Derby supplies for anyone who needed to use them, we had a Scout that stole the show. The times were taken on an "official" track, with laser timers, and all times were entered into a computer. We were pretty close to getting to the regulation 5 ounces maximum, and only had to super glue a quarter and a penny to make the max weight.

He HAD to have Tow-Mater from the movie Cars as his derby car/truck.

He won three ribbons:
Fastest car in his class.
Fastest car overall.
Best of show (participant judged and out of 10 other cars, only 4 didn't vote for my boys car).





 

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Race The Truck
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Real cool,
My dad but a lead sinker in mine and it was a slug down the track. I think it was to heavy the guy weighing it just smiled I guess he new it was not going anywhere.


Craig
 

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Brian Martin,Freelance adviser
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LOLOLOL, that is GREAT. My boys is next week, I am letting him do a lot more this time too. He really got a kick out of Mater, he is doing "Lightning McQueen" !

Brian
 

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Discussion Starter #4
In the big show slated for February 10th here, we have several more classes.

I am looking into making one for myself to see what more I can play with. I would go in the adult class with the limit raised to a higher, wider, and up to 10 ounce car, the rest of the rules are gone as it's more an exhibition along with being a fundraiser for the Scouts, my son can enter his car in that one for free, I would have to foot $5, but I can't see why not, it's helping them all out.

My daughter wants to have me put together a Lightning Mcqueen car too, but I think she should go with one of the "girl" cars to show up all the Boy Scouts that are going to be there.

That silver rectangle on the bottom of Mater, is 1.25 ounces of lead solder melted into a hollowed out cavity, and to make the full 5 ounces we only needed a quarter and a penny superglued on to the car somewhere, I figured the best place was halfway forward and no further to keep the weight even.
 

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Don't sound like you need any help but----- Put your weight as far back as you can and still keep the front on the track. This keeps the weight on the slope longer thus faster times. And as any dragracer knows a hundredth of a second counts. :)

An after thought. When my Grandson was doing this, he built a halfscale track and two or more cars. Whichever one was the fastest, he worked on the other cars to beat it when he got that one faster he went to work on the other one. Placed second in all catagories. First went to a car "built" by a 5 year old that pebble beach would have be proud to display. :)
 

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1955 2nd series Chevy Pick Up
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Very cool! Good job to you Dads out there helping your sons. Tell M&M jr excellent job! :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup:
 

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My son did the pine derby car thing too,,back in the 80's ,,, we weighed it on a machinest scale to get it exactly 5 0z,, and turned the edges of the wheels down to create a peak in the center of the wheels, to eliminate friction and surface area in contact with the track,, the car was faster than snot,, and was beating all the other cars before the races,, I tryed to keep him from playing with it before the races but he wouldn't listen,, he crashed it before the races, broke it and couldn't race,, My son is now helping his son with his car,, and is doing the same mods,,, maybe now we will find out how they work,,,, My son remembered what happened at his race,, so he made another car for my G/Son to play with so he can save the fast one for the races,, so I do think my son learned something from his experance and remembered it all these years,, his races aren't untill next week,,,:thumbup:
 

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Brian Martin,Freelance adviser
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Below are some photos of my boys car that he finished last night. I don't know how fast it will be, we pushed pretty hard on the wheel and axle work being we were late finishing it, but I think it should work pretty good.

And BadRat, changing the shape of the wheels is cheating. It is against the rules and shouldn't be done. I have parents in our pack that will do it year after year even though we make it clear when releasing the car. I thought I had put a stop to it this year and I was late to the weigh in and I'll be damned if the Cub Master didn't take the cars in and the friggin wheels are reshaped. Then there is another one that had the wheels narrowed.

I have preached and preached to the parents in my den not to do that, that we are going to be strict about it, and THEY are the ones that pointed out to me the modified wheels on other cars! It isn't fair, some follow the rules and others don't.

In YOUR sons pack they may have "looser" rules and not follow the BSA rules to the tee, that is cool. But if they do, be sure the Scout is being taught what is right and wrong, that is kinda the idea of Scouting.

Brian
 

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Brian,, Read the post,, this was back in the early 80's,, It might be cheating by todays rules,, but in those days,, the wheels that came with the kits wern't even of equal width,, I recall having to go through a bunch of wheels to even find 4 that would even work..
I agree that EVERYONE should follow the rules,, and its great that they have parents like you enforce them, ,,,,,, but its for the KIDS remember?? how many of these pinewood derby cars do you actually believe were entirely made by the kid,, maybe that should be rigorously enforced too,..
I think its more about doing something with your son or daughter,, if you read the post all the way through,, you will notice that he didn't get to even race the car,, because he was too excited to play with it and broke it before the races even started, but he did win the show part,,,,:thumbup:
My grand son is doing his thing with his car today,, at his church :thumbup:
 

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Brian Martin,Freelance adviser
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I got you, I wasn't ripping on you, just talking. Believe me, I am all too aware of the dads building the cars. But the kid building the car completely isn't in the rules either. The way it is now, at least at our pack level is that there are six steps.

1. Designing the body
2.Rough cutting the body
3.Sanding the body
4. painting the body
5.Applying decals or extras
6.Installing the wheels

The younger the boy the less steps he needs to do. A Tiger (6 years old) needs to do two. The Wolf (7 years old) has a few more, Bear has a few more until Webelos II when the Scout has to do it all.

So theoretically the Tigers cars should look the best. :)

I had my boy do four when he was a Tiger. He didn't complete the whole thing this year as a Webelos I but helped with him as the final say with wheels and graphics and rough cut, the rest he completely did without any help at all. And on the wheels and graphics I did very, very little.

That is one of the things that bugs me. I have a den meeting dedicated to these cars. We talk about the physics of what makes them go faster. We show how to true the wheels, polish the axle, all the things that they can do. We talked about the wheels and how if they were a disc the car would go faster and invariably a Scout will ask "So why don't we sand the tires thinner?" And he is told that it is cheating because it is against the rules.

Now, what do they think when one of these cars with the reshaped wheels beats them today? The reshaped wheels that were to be stopped at check in, or so they were told?

I realize that the times have changed in this too, please, I am not ragging on you.

Brian
 

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Nice photos M&M. Consider incorporating them into the Wikipedia article on the pinewood derby: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pinewood_derby .

In particular, the first or second photo (showing the three ribbons) is a good demonstration of how standard "Blue Ribbon" awards are given alongside "I Did My Best" types of ribbons. Also, the last photo clearly demonstrates the common practice of using a big chunk of solder for weight, with coins added to come as close to 5 ounces as possible.

Wikipedia is reporting that the Pinewood Derby wheel design changed in the 80's. That might be related to the wheel issue that you guys are discussing.

I agree that the rules should be followed (and enforced) as closely as they are in a "grownup" race. Since the car is made of wood, and gravity-powered, the actual mechanical aspects of the race are minimized. Most of what remains is a child's first introduction to participation in racing culture and protocol, so they should be more careful about that.

According to the Wikipedia article, the Pinewood Derby is modeled on the Soap Box Derby, which seems a little more strict. The electromagnet cheating incident in the 1973 Soap Box Derby is interesting: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soap_box_derby .
 

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Brian Martin,Freelance adviser
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Well, this race couldn't have gone better. Two boys from our den made it to the top three winning first and second. The one that won, didn't loose a race all day! He came in first 10 races! Definitely deserved to win. My boy got into the finals, he won "best paint" and the little Bear who lost every race got best stickers and was very happy. There were no battles at the judges over who won, that is always nice. We did camcord the last race and double checked the results.

All in all a very good day. Oh yeah, and the people who ignored rules and modified the wheels, they didn't win any racing trophys.

Brian
 

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Brian,,, Absolutely no offense taken,, I agree with you 100% the rules should be enforced,, but i would bet that the rules have changed some in the last 27 years too,, There were no electronic timers back then either,, the winner was called by whoever was standing there when the car crashed through into the pillow at the finish line,, The guy that told us about the wheel thing was the scout leader,, no big deal,,, times do change,,
My grand sons race was today also,,, but his group was with the Awanas club from his church,, kinda like the scouts,, they had all the official timing gates and track,, was all handled by adults,, the cars were weighed and adjusted to the 5 gram weight and impounded,, no practice or playing, there was maybe 20 0r 30 cars, each car ran 4 races, once in each lane, 4 cars at a time, then all the times were averaged and the lowest average elapsed time was the overall winner,, [is this normal procedure now?] my G/S won 3 of 4 races and placed 4th overall,,[ his dad didn't modify the wheels , because it was so stated in the rules,,,] he won best in the show category,
I wanted to get some pictures but was in such a hurry to get there that I forgot my camera,,
He was a little disappointed about winning 3 races but losing overall.. but it didn't last long,, we are making a mounting base for his car tomorrow so he can display it in his room,, with his trophy,,, We had a fun day,, rewarding,

Brian,,, Again.. not a big deal,, just talking ok?? we are grownups here are we not? :thumbup: :thumbup: Bill
 

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Brian Martin,Freelance adviser
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Bad Rat said:
Brian,,, Again.. not a big deal,, just talking ok?? we are grownups here are we not? :thumbup: :thumbup: Bill
God Yes Bill, thank you so much. The timers are nice, this is my fourth year and every commitee meeting after the pinewood derby I have info on buying one. :) Why, because ever pinewood derby there is drama among the parents as to who really won. :rolleyes: You have three adult judges, sitting in chairs right over the finish line (a red strip), one picking ONLY the first place car, one picking the second and one picking the third (I was third place judge). Then you have a parent over on the side saying his kid came in first. :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :boxing:

But this year, no crap. I did have one parent that was making a big deal about the wheels then pulling me aside after a race and saying "I know I am not the judge but that white car was clearly the winner". :rolleyes:

We have a totally different way to run the race. We have three rows for the kids to stand in, number 1, 2, and 3. The raceing starts with the first row, each boy takes a ping pong ball out of a hat with a number on it telling them which lane they will race in. Three cars per race (even though we have a six lane track) with the boys waiting in chairs at the very end of the track. Each boy has a cardboard score card hung around his neck on yarn. The boy that comes in first goes to a table right behind them at the end of the track and the judges pick up the cars off the track and put them on the table on their respective positions First, Second or Third. The boy gets a start on his score card Red for first, blue for second and gold for third. They then go and get into the line corisponding with what the car placed. So if you get a 1st in the race you go to the number 1 line , 2nd gets you 2 line and so on. This way, the cars are racing "like" speed cars. Even a super slow car is guarenteed a second or first this way. After all the cars have raced six races and their score car is full, the scores are tallied we have the finals. Each first place gets them 3 points, second gets 2 and third gets 1. All the boys with 11 points or better go to the finals. In the finals they will race three, three car races. Again, those points are tallied for the final three car race for the top car, second and third.

Then of course we have peoples choice voting for Most Creative, best paint, best decals, Scout Spirit. Though it is not said, the cars that win first second or third are out of the running for the peoples choice awards. If one of them should win we simply go the the car with the second highest votes for that particular peoples choice. This way the trouphys are spread out among the boys but still "fair" without that every kid must win crap.

One thing I can say, the parents may make a big deal about the "cheating" or watching the finish line but the boys just don't give a darn. They have FUN and winning or loosing plays a part don't get me wrong. But all in all they put little weight in it. They simply want to RACE and see THIER car flying down the track.

Brian
 

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Thanks brian,,, I like that method of racing alot better than what my G/S group had,, they wern't racing each other ,, they were racing the clock,, I can see where the program you guys use would take much longer to complete,, especially with a large group;;but this is a once a year thing ,, who cares how long it takes,,,but it does allow the kids to race cars with like performance, not a clock,, he won 3 of 4 races but didn;t even place in the top 3,, he didn't get the chance to square off with the cars that were his real competition,, just average time of 4 races,, not good in my opinion,,
I am going to mention your way to my son,, maybe they will consider it for next year.. it was a pretty poorly organized program,, they would call out 4 kids,, they would get to come up and pick up their cars and hand it to a adult that was holding , what looked like a serving tray, with dividers for 4 cars,, then this adult would Carry them over to the starter who would climb a step ladder and place the cars in the respective track,, then release the cars and a timer would show the winner,, with a time at the finish,, but some cars got the exact same time,, in the same race, but only 1 was the winner,, guess that don't matter , as they weren't racing each other anyway,, makes me wonder how accurate the timers were,, the starter actually dumped 4 cars off the tray, while climbing the ladder,, a distance of probably 5 ft,,didn't say a word,, just placed the cars on the track and started them,, didn't check for damage or anything,, :confused: the kids actually had very little participation in the racing,, other than watching,,the adults did it all,,, personally I think it needs some improvement,, :D Bill
 

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Brian Martin,Freelance adviser
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The Cub Master who set up our procedure was before my time in the pack but I know him and he is REALLY into Pinewood derby, even has a test track at his house! But he set this thing up RIGHT. I have been to others and talked here on line with others and I really think how we do it is best.

It doesn't take longer! Our race, with hot dogs, rootbeer floats, Bobcat awards to Tigers, the 32 "trails" the nine semi finals and the one final was only about an hour and forty five minutes! We have had forty cars and believe me it only takes a little longer. And when he did have that many boys we had no awards and stuff, the whole thing only took a couple of hours.

If some guy dropped four cars I know of a few parents (including me) who would have been very pissed. I preach to the kids that these are RACE CARS, not toys. If they drop it, it is their loss (pun intended). The kids carry their cars back to the line and are instructed to hold on to them good, they are RACE CARS. After picking the lane they will race in they walk up and hand them to the adult doing the staging. The adult sets them on a shelf that is built onto the track. THEN carefully takes each one and puts it on the track.

I just found that my wife did get some good pictures and I'll post them. I wish I had a good enough computer to post the videos!

Brian
 

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Brian Martin,Freelance adviser
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Here are the photos, the first shows the three judges with the first and third on the right and the second on the left. The boys who are racing can barely be seen behind them at the rear of the track.

The next is my son handing his car to the starter after he has drawn the lane number on a ping pong ball from in a Scout hat. There are only the three balls in the hat by the way.
You can see the shelf the starter sets the cars on just to the right of his waist. The boys keep the cars as I said between races while they are standing in line.

The next photo is of the cars, I love looking at the cars. There was a very cool 32 Ford Roadster (second car in front row).

The next is of the track before we started. It is roped off real nice with the spectators on both sides. The rows for the boys are at the far left just out of this photo. Again, all roped off clearly marked.

The last is my boy with this car and trophy, obviously a happy little guy, winning races or not.

Brian

By the way number 7 won "Most Scout Spirit", number 11 "Best Decals", Number 12 "Best Paint", number 5 got "Most creative".
 

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Brian Martin,Freelance adviser
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This one is an "artsy" photo he wanted the wife to take. :) I wish it showed the cut or bandaid he got with the exacto knife, he was darn proud of it too!

 

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Laissez les bons temps rouler
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I built a car for my Packs Derby last year to show the boys what was possible with a little effort and patience. They loved my little car.




BTW, I love the CARS derby cars.

Chris
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I'll see if I can get some more pictures from those in attendance that had their digital cameras, I didn't take mine, and both the wife and I were in positions to actually work while we were there.

The wife was assistant timer, and I was finish line reclaimer, I picked up the cars at the end of each race and returned them to the starting line.

In our race EVERY car ran in it's class 1 time in each of the 6 lanes, and the times were averaged to get the winning time, then overall fastest, then EVERYone was given a chance to vote for their favorite car out of all 11 that day.

Troy just loved the fact the 4 others DID NOT vote for him, I explained that the same thing goes for the car shows that we attend during the summer months.
 
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