Cub Scout Car Race

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My son, a new Cub Scout, has told me that he wants to participate in a Cub Scout wooden model car race.
Before I Google this thing within an inch of it's life, I'd like to ask for the Wisdom Of Those Who Have Gone Before, on the Wreck.
When I asked my wife for the specs, I was told:
"It has to be five ounces."
Hmm.
When I asked my son for the specs, he said:
"What's a spec?"
Sigh...
I was a Boy Scout, but never a Cub Scout. I would like to hear from the Cognoscenti.
Regards, Tom.
"People funny. Life a funny thing." Sonny Liston
Thomas J.Watson - Cabinetmaker (ret.) tjwatson1ATcomcastDOTnet (real email) http://home.comcast.net/~tjwatson1
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wrote:

There is no Cognoscenti, only a cabal.
Barry
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On Wed, 20 Oct 2004 23:59:02 GMT, Ba r r y

there is no cabal.
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snipped-for-privacy@thanks.com wrote:

Fnord.
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wrote:

There is no Cabal. And besides, I know you're in it because you're never at the meetings.
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So I've washed the Board's cars. Picked up their laundry. Bought three kegs (which I dropped off since you wouldn't let me stay).
The hazing wasn't as bad as I thought, tho' it was very cold and the cop didn't think it was very funny. And I don't think the squirrel had a good time at all.
How much longer before you guys vote on new members???
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On Thu, 21 Oct 2004 20:04:01 GMT, patrick conroy

any day now.
and don't forget to drop off the 300 board feet of curly bubinga.
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Several years back, I found a fantastic site on cub cars. Can't tell you where it is now, though.
It talked about lubrication (matters lots) , aerodynamics (doesn't matter!) , weight and where to place it (as much at the back as possible and maximize to the legal limit - get it weighted at the post office to be sure...), how to make the wheel pins smooth and minimize friction, etc. Even said to build it so one wheel wouldn't touch the track, but I think that's illegal in the Cub car world.
Anyway, good luck.
Michel.

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I had two top three finishes out of three years. (The third year I made a three wheeled trike. Took the prize for design, but wouldn't run straiht on the track. I figured that going it, but I digress.) Looking back, I think a lot of my sucess was due to wheel alignment. We had seperate wood axels with nail spindals. I think the designs are different now, but dad always had me align the axels with calipers. I didn't really appresiate why it mattered then, but I suspect now that wheel alignment cut down on alot of friction as the car rolled down the track.
Bernie

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I'm sure a Dags on "pinewood derby" will pull up quite a bit of info. I was one of the ones (many moons ago) that sort of made my own (well dad cut the body on the bandsaw) - but I did the rest.
Sadly, I think I was probably the only one - and my position in the finals were evidently testimony, probably, not to the "skills" of the other young builders, but, rather, their fathers as I didn't do research on lubricants and other such things.
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On Thu, 21 Oct 2004 00:30:13 GMT, "Eric Scantlebury"

That might have been to your benefit, depending on your dad! :) Mine tried to pack the axle with graphite, and the wheels wouldn't turn at all when he was done. Ah well, at least he tried.
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You want to google "pinewood derby"

General rules:
Maximum weight 5.0 oz (FYI: heavier cars do better) Wheel spacing can't change under-car clearance minimum (i.e. don't add things underneath) Can't extend beyond wheels sideways some tracks have a height max too. Must be at least partly built by the scout. length maximum too
Each pack chooses which of the official rules they'll follow, but there is a common set of rules most follow, which should be easy to find now that you know what to google for.
Oh - tip for the little ones. Disk sander. In our house, that's the tool of choice (and usually the scroll saw for roughing) for pinewood derby car carving. Once you get your kit, make a few extra wooden blanks for them to experiment with (save the official blank for the official car).
Adding weights: forstner bit into the bottom, use a flat head screw to attach washers. Easy to adjust this way. Or you could do what my daughter did, and build a truck - and fill the bed with big hex nuts :-)
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As a metrologist (calibration and standards) at my place of employement I can always tell when the pinewood derby time rolls around. I have a steady stream of Dad's weighing cars, wheels, lead shot etc on some of my really accurate high resolution scales. 4.999999 oz. anyone? Mike in Arkansas who may exeragerate slightly the resolution of his scales.
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On 21 Oct 2004 00:44:02 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com (JMWEBER987) wrote:

Would that matter if the scout pack has a $20 postal scale at the event? <G>
I can hear the sound of drilling now...
Barry
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I was always in charge of building the car, but dad did the weighting. We used melted wheel wieghts where ever we could put them. But I remember dad's rule of alway bring a drill and bit to the derby just in case it needs to be lighter. (Note, those where the days before battery powered drills and EPA rules against melting lead and a whole bunch of other things we did, hahahaha.)
Bernie
(JMWEBER987) wrote:

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The weight they sell for derbys is tapered, allowing you to break off chunks if it weights to much.
Did you hear about the guy who hid a magnet in the front? The track in his pack's derby uses a metal bar to ensure all started at the same time. It was ferrous.
And when the metal gate was dropped, one car "leaped ahead."
p.s. He was caught.
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As I recall this was not Pinewood Derby. It acutally happened years ago during the Soap Box Derby nationals. I belive the car had a fiberglass nose fairing with an imbedded magnet. The drop of the metal start gate did give it a push. Somehow they figured it out and disqualified the car (which had obviously done well to get to nationals).
Another example of poor adult judgement and example. One year I saw a Soap Box Derby Car with machined aluminum parts, fine finished wooden parts, rubbed laquer paint and jeweled sponsor's lettering. The best part about it was a much simpler father/son garage-built car blew it away and won the event.
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There _was_ such a case at the Soap Box Derby. It was, in fact, an _electro-magnet_, which was powered-up only when the driver did something very specific to switch it on.
I would -not- rule out somebody having tried a PM magnet in the nose of a Pinewood Derby car.
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On 21 Oct 2004 00:44:02 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com (JMWEBER987) wrote:

Hmm.
We have ASTM downa street (Conshohocken) - wonder what kinda scales dem boyz got?
(duz it really get dis nutz?)
Regards, Tom.
"People funny. Life a funny thing." Sonny Liston
Thomas J.Watson - Cabinetmaker (ret.) tjwatson1ATcomcastDOTnet (real email) http://home.comcast.net/~tjwatson1
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Tom Watson wrote:

A'yup!
And don't forget the GPS.
UA100, Fifth Place but our wind tunnel was ho-made...
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