Cub Scout Car Race

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<snip>

Yep.
The point YOU need to remember in all of this is that the point of the activity is to bond with your child, make something memorable, and have a good time.
The kids _will_ remember if the rules are stretched. And they _do_ remember if Dad wouldn't let them do anything.
Some units have a dad's competition, for just these reasons.
Patriarch, who, with the help of his Den Mother wife, raised four pretty good sons. And built more than a few Scout projects.
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com (JMWEBER987) writes:

Actually, our official race scale is only precise to 1/10 oz, so 5.049 oz would be the max for our race. Depending on the accuracy of the scale, of course.
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Tom: It's called the Pinewood Derby and kits are available. Check with the scoutmaster.
Bob

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wrote:

I've heard of the Kirwood Derby.
I would think that a PineyWood Derby would be a particularly heavy and ugly hat worn by folks who was likeminded with Jummy.
Could be wrong, I guess.
Y'all sure we's talkin' about the same stuff?
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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Our pack also has a Polar Derby. Each den builds a sled, one cub rides inside, one on the back skids, and the rest of the den pulls. Through the woods at my house, no less :-)
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My son and I made a match box car (20 years ago ;-)) that came in third in his pack. As I recall, the scout pack provided the car shaped, wood blank. We rough cut the blank then sanded the corners and finally painted the car a bright red (red cars always go faster!). The weight of the car, I am told, is the biggest impact on speed because the car track is gravity feed. I mortised a notch in the bottom of the car and we glued in pennies, as necessary, to reach the 5 oz maximum. The glued pennies did not extend beyond the mortise so the bottom of the car could not catch on anything on the track. The local Post Office was the official weight in station for the race. We used powdered graphite (like you use on door locks) to lubricate the wheel axels. The Pinewood Derby car race was a lot of fun and a good father-son project. Good luck!

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all of the above...my two cents...
#1 make a car that jr will be proud of hanging on his wall, win or lose (and make sure he helps)...we have more than a few pieces of art (and all my fingers are still attached) and actually have more than a few trophies as well...a few years after the fact, former is much more important to the boys than the latter. Shape and finish are a pleasure to goof with. #2 watch the design...track has some nasty angles on the decline that will hurt bad if the car wants to nose-dive. A thin strip of wood is applied to the track to keep you honest on the width between wheels. #3 is play by the rules and learn the rules each step of the way...our last car (a beauty in its own right) cruised through local and regional play, only to be disqualified at the top due to some technicality about the wheels

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I've done 8 of them. 1) Buy a kit. 2) Let the kid design it (and build as much of it as is reasonable) It doesn't matter how silly it looks if the kid is happy with it. 3) Don't worry about winning; you won't unless you cheat. Even then, it is not a sure thing because luck is a big factor. (and a bunch of other guys are also cheating)
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I agree with others that the secret is in the wheels. They need to be accurately aligned. Test it on the floor to see that it runs straight. Moreover, the car needs to be accurately placed on the track so that it starts straight. Don't let anybody else handle the car that might disturb the wheels. The nails that they used to supply for axels were very poor. It could be improved by chucking it in the drill press and smoothing with a file folled by fine emery.
I made one demonstration car with special wheels. I bored out the standard wheel and glued a glass bead in the center. Then I made an axle of a hat pin. The polished steel on glass was very frictionless.
Dick

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wrote:

Signs you are getting carried away with your ( or is it- your son's?) pinewood derby car-
Your Cub Scout now knows how to measure in thousandths of an inch
You showed up the night before, when they were setting up the track-
You tried to calibrate your dietary scale.
If you bought a book about how to win at Pinewood Derby, you might be getting carried away.
If you know that 5 ounces is 141.7 grams
If you used a dial caliper or micrometer
If you used a pocket calculator at any time-
If you used a heat lamp to cure anything
If you made a box just to carry the car in
If you bought more than one type of lubricant.
If you used a jewelers loupe- you might be getting carried away.
If you needed a metal turning lathe, because your wood lathe had too much runout when dressing the wheels-
If you used cad software in the design stages.
You had to buy anything mail order, because neither the corner hardware store nor the Scout Office had what you needed-
You sketched out a quick Gantt Chart-
If your Tiger Cub now knows how to wet sand.
If your budget went over 50 bucks.
If you had to run out to buy more rouge (polishing compound) .
If you used a router at some point in the construction of your car, you might have spent a bit too much time on it.
If you used a wind tunnel, you might be getting carried away with your pine wood derby car.
~~~~~~~~~
seriously, we tried a "Dad's Class" to take some of the heat off the boys.
-Dan V.
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"Dan Valleskey" <valleskey at comcast dot net> wrote in message

<snip of some painfully funny Foxworthy material>

*That's* an interesting idea...
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We have an "unlimited" class for people who don't like rules :-)
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Ahh - the Cabal makes a feeble attempt to hide in the Witness Protection Program...
My rules: 1) It has to be *his* car. Too many Dads get caught up in the competition and take over the construction. The kid ends up watching. 2) Keep it fun. If he wants to do something that'll guarantee last place, do it - it's his car. Your job is Foreman, he's the Boss.
Lil' personal insight - I don't have a ton of fond memories of childhood. But of the few I do, one is me and my Dad doing the Pinewood Derby.
This just might be one of those moments he files away in "novRAM".
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Tom,
I like Toller's and Patrick's replies, it's about father/son quality time - not winning.
Let him build it, but ask him why he wants to do something. Research with him, show him how to use the tools, explain about competitions, winning and what the true aim is. Ask him what *he* expects to get out of it.
When you go to the meet, focus on him enjoying the day and try to ignore the individual (there's always one) that tries to win at all costs (it'll be a parent). Leave before the inevitable argument about the interpretation of the "rules".
If you get it right, win or lose, your son will want to spend more time with dad making 'cool' stuff.
Oh yeah, as Keeter said, mount a GPS, but make sure it's at the back.
I wish you both luck.
--

Greg


"Tom Watson" < snipped-for-privacy@erehwon.com> wrote in message
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Don't need to Google for the rules. They're provided with the official kit.
Poor wheel alignment is what kills most otherwise promising entrants. Four on the floor at all times.
Weights in the "pusher" position seem best. Since the cars usually end up wedge-shaped, it's easy enough to bore a hole with a Forstner, sized properly for a copper plumbing end cap. Bore the cap for #6 sheetmetal screw for final attachment, use up the sinkers as required. It doesn't need to be at the max to run fine.
I always insisted on making the weight holder for my two boys, and then marked a no-cut area 1/4 around the axle insert points before turning it over to them for style. Paper templates seemed better than freestyle.
I also insisted on doing the wheel alignment. Best advice on wheels is to let the boys sand all flashing and irregularity off the rolling portion with block-mounted paper, while the wheels are chucked in a drill press. Graphite on race day (after appearance judging!) finishes the job.
The kids had some real uglies at first, but by the last two years (we raced WEBELOS), they improved. All of 'em ran well, because I got the information above from another father. Kids still have their trophies in their box of "I am great" stuff.
Get your troop to have non-scout competitions, too. I enjoyed racing a car, even when my own daughter beat me two years in a row in the finals.

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simply building the cub's cars. Does it help?
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Not necessarily, but it can lead to some real fun on race night.
Competititive types will not be deterred by any sanction.

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My best advice is look at the basic rules, follow them, and have FUN! Way too many dads become obsessed with winning pinwood derbies. The event is supposed to be a father-SON build. When I was Cubmaster, you could immediately spot the cars that dad had done. Sometimes the kids weren't allowed to touch them (really sad if you think about it). We made sure that there were prizes for lots of things other than winning. We had on the spot awards for things like "Most Creative use of Glitter", "Most Colorful", "Coolest Design Idea"... None of these awards went to dad built cars. After all, the event is for the kids, RIGHT!?!?
Grant
Tom Watson wrote:

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Tom, I ran several Pinewood Derby races during my tenure as Cubmaster. Here's a link to the last set of rules that we raced with. http://www.cubpacks.org/ks/cs/899/PW_Rules_2004.pdf . You need to contact the pack's leadership and see if they have their own "official" rules. There are some links to good websites at the bottom of the rules that have some designs for your son to look at. Above all, have fun at it, and let your son do as much as possible. We also had an Outlaw race that was open to all comers, mainly to try to give the dads an outlet for their own ambitions. Here's a good set of general things to remember: http://www.cubpacks.org/ks/cs/899/10%20Commandments%20of%20Pinewood%20Derby.htm . And on the lighter side: http://www.cubpacks.org/ks/cs/899/signspwd.htm .
If you have any questions just holler, and I'll see if I can help you out.
Murray DeVore
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Many good replies for the most part. I've been doing "pinewood deby" cars for more than 30 years. I have countless 1st, 2nd and 3rd place finishes. Very few other place finishes! (Lot's of boy in the family!) First and formost is wheels! Must be lubricated. use graphite and they ust be aligned. Run the car on 3 wheels 25% less friction. As you can tell it's all about reducing friction. Get the car to max. weight (5 ounces) Don't rely on the postal scales. Get the car weighed on the "pack" scale. All scales are different only the "pack" scale counts. Get it as close to weight as possible you can always adjust it on race day after weighing in on the "pack" scale. Lightly sand the wheels. they will have burrs on them. they must be removed. If allowed by the pack, round the wheels as much as possible. Thus less wheel on the track and less friction. Put the wheels and axels in a baggie filled with the graphite and "shake and bake" them and let sit in the graphite as long as possible before race day. Relube the wheels as close to the time of the first race as allowed by the pack. Let the scout shape the car and paint/decorate it as he pleases. The shape and decorations won't effect the running of the car. Good luck. But remember the most inportant thing about the pinewood derby is to have fun with the scout building the car and have fun race day enjoying the race. Do not emphisise the winning and losing. It's all for fun. But that dosen't mean you can't do the above mentioned to increase the fun a bit by winning. :-)
Dan

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