Cub Scout WoodDorking - Yippee

This is what really floats my boat these days.
We divided up the projects for the year and we are going to spend three sessions on the Design, Construction (Assembly) and Finishing of a Pine car Derby Garage. We have been sitting all the cars out on the floor, with the possible problem ( already realized, unfortunately) that younger children will have the opportunity to stomp the cars.
I am intensely interested in how the Cubbies will respond to the design phase. My only guidance will be in broad terms " The Definition Of The Problem", "The Possible Solutions", "The Best Outcome".
I'll wind up cutting the parts in the shop without help, because I don't really have a kid friendly shop. The kids will then assemble the parts during a meeting.
God knows what will happen during the Finishing Phase - I'll be damned interested to see how it turns out.
I'd like to have any ideas on how to involve the kids in the shop by the time of the Pinewood Derby. My shop seems like a kid deathtrap right now but I would like to make it available at least to the kids who don't have Dads around, so that they have a better shot at the Derby.
Maybe bandsaws and lathes with guards - I don't know - but maybe someone has been there before me.
Regards,
Tom. Regards,
Tom Watson
tjwatson1ATcomcastDOTnet (real email)
http://home.comcast.net/~tjwatson1 /
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Tom Watson wrote:

You're a saint!
Cub Scouts & power tools? Check your homeowners policy, maybe Webelos but I'm not even sure about that.
Are you talking about making the cars or just the garage?
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We are just making the garage in the meetings but I'd be interested in helping some of the people make cars, who don't have the availability of tools.
Regards,
Tom. Regards,
Tom Watson
tjwatson1ATcomcastDOTnet (real email)
http://home.comcast.net/~tjwatson1 /
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Tom Watson wrote:

It has been a long time but IIRC the cars are around 2" wide so maybe you could have the little buggers cut them out with a coping saw. Maybe even a jigsaw with a long enough blade (and one hand tied behind their back like the electricians do) and the block clamped in the jaws of life at kid height.
No way I would let them near a bandsaw or a lathe. A drill press would probably be ok for them to drill holes for the wheels. Hey! wait a minute, I don't have any of those 3 tools. I'll be over to help them with the cars.
ROS or detail sander would probably be safe enough.
Only allow as many kids at a time in the shop as you can keep both eyes on. Kids that age know how to plug things in and push green buttons and chisels look a lot like the screwdriver they've used to take apart their toys.
Good luck Saint Thomas!
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I helped a den do this. I brought my scroll saw and disk sander to their house (yes, it made a mess, it was worth it). I also brought a stack of pages printed with various views of the blanks, so they could draw on them. The den mom had a set of dowels and spray paint, and a block of wood with holes drilled in it.
It went like this...
The blanks were pre-drilled underneath for screwing fender washers in as weights.
Each cub got a pattern sheet. They drew their ideas on paper, then copied them to the wood.
I did some of the scroll sawing, but we tried to talk the parents (and a few cubs) into doing it. Parents and cubs did the sanding. They were timid at first, but the tools I picked didn't bite much, so they quickly got the hang of it.
The den mom hot glued a dowel into one of the holes in the bottom, making carsicles. The cubs took them outside to spray paint them, then put them in the blocks to dry.
Even if the cubs didn't *use* the tools, they still *saw* the block of wood turn into a car, and that made a big difference to them.
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DJ Delorie wrote:

Nice work.
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May I offer a suggestion? Getting them to try to design a woodworking project may be going to fast. They don't even know what then need to consider in a design.
What I did was give them a very simple project that needed no design, and have them try to build it. I let them discover for themselves what they didn't know.
The project was a wooden tool tray with a dowel for a handle. To make it easier, all of the wood parts were rectangular. I had them measure cut and join the wood, and they marked where they wanted me to drill a hole for the dowel handle.
All they needed was a saw, a square, and a way to measure and mark the wood. They learned how to measure wood, make square cuts, compensate for the thickness of the wood, join wood with nails/screws and glue, sanding, and the importance of consistency of measurements.
This sounds trivial, but it teaches important skills in woodworking. I saw tool trays that were lopsided, the holes and handle didn't line up, wood was cut too short, etc. I had to help them fix a few problems... :-) It was a simple one-evening project, and they got a feeling of accomplishment.
And it make a good Father's Day gift.
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Let me ammend my post. If you are doing a pinewood derby, then ignore my suggestion. I meant it as a suggestiong for woodworking in general with Cub Scouts.
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After making many cars over many years I go the following route: Each child must have a adult with them. No one uses any tool until checked out by me. ALL tool are disconnected from power until I reconnect them for use. Any thing sharp is put away if at all possible until it is needed. Shop is cleaned up as much as possible.
When kid arrive I give a safety lecture on the tools to the adults and kids. Very simple and short. I then give each kid a predrawn 3 view page of the car block, pencil, and drawing tools, with the instructions that they are to draw the car they want to make, no adult help. When the car is drawn the adults help them refine it, not design it. When finished the plan is transferred to the block of wood and I cut it out with correct tools. Kids and adults them finish shaping the car using rasps, files, sandpaper etc as needed with me adding power tools when needed. We add weights to the cars while in the shop in what ever manner the kids want. I provide lead internal weights if the kids want them, other wise it is up to the kid and adults as to what kind of weight and where it is placed. I often have adults who can help by using drill presses or sanders which lightens the load a lot. What ever the kid wants is what he gets, polished axels, wings on car, spoilers, etc, can do. Paint and finish they do at home with adult I hope. Over the years I have had people who don't know what a screwdriver is to ones who were more skilled then I will ever be. I have had a little blood spilled (Band-Aid level only). I have had a lot of fun, made a lot of winning cars a few of which did well on the track too. I like your 3 session idea, I usually am stuck with the first two all at once and with no preplanning on the scouts part.

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wrote:

When my father was the Cub scout master, we actually built a test track for the cars. I did not win, but it looked cool like an Indy car.
Mark (sixoneeight) = 618
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HI All:
I agree with everything that has been posted and can very little, after 2 boys in scouts, being den leader and then cubmaster pine wood derby was a blast for all involved. Good luck and have patience especially with the parents...
What I am really hear to present is the very first derby I was in as a bear cub scout we had the pine wood derby, I had a friend who's family was strange and they did little to help their son in scouts, my mom was the den mother and we offered to help. Well to make a very long story short! John O'Neil of Chicago IL, simply, glued the axle blocks to the wood block provided, stuck the axle nails through the wheels and never painted nor carved his car. Most of the other kids had fancy cars and my was very fancy too BTW. Well the winner of the championship was you guessed it John O'Neil's. needless to say we were all shocked as he went on to win the council championship!
So when I was doing the derby day sessions with the kids who had no parents or only one parent I always recanted this story to the boys! Because there always was at least one John O'Neil!
Regards,
Hank KNowles
Markem (sixoneeight) wrote:

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Tom Watson wrote:

I've had cub scouts in my shop. I required the parents to attend to watch the kids. I also made the rule that if they touched anything, they'd have to leave without finishing their project. I unplugged everything, and only plugged it in when in use.
Here were the problems: I wanted to break the scouts into small groups of 3 or 4, but was vetoed. The problem with having 8 kids in the shop is that they will get bored while waiting their turn and then start to goof off. Not necessarily fool around with the tools, but I don't want them jumping around and doing things that might distract me or the kid currently using the tool.
I wouldn't trust a cub scout with a bandsaw. It's just too dangerous for a kid (who won't have 100% attention span). I had kids trace patterns on to wood and cut it out with a jigsaw. Then the got to sand the parts on a pneumatic sander (with my hands helping to hold the parts and make sure they didn't put their fingers on the drum).. Then I let them use a drill press.
I gave the kids a demo on the bandsaw, and cut up some things for them, but I'm not sure that was a good idea. The kids would reach on to the bandsaw table to try to grab the cut scraps.. I stopped immediately, but remember that kids do not think. They will grab before thinking that the saw is still on.So I would definitely not let them use a bandsaw. This session convinced me that the kids should at least be 16. Now your own kid may be mature enough, but remember other people's kids are very unpredictable.
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bf wrote:

other fixed power tool, though over familiarty is partly the problem here.

inc. Norm's "safety glasses" bit, I wouldn't trust him (nor the eldest) in my shop without 1-1 close assistance (and supervision), and he's a bright kid with good attention, some of the others.....
Ok I'll come clean I'm a Scouter, I don't mind assisting other leaders, but tools are toys to most boys, so woodwork is reserved for those who have a proven track record of sensible behavior, often older kids with shop time at school, Cub's all to often are Beavers with attitude!
Niel, aka Badger the Beaver leader, JOTA radio operator and National Scout Air Rifle Championship shooter (UK), and when time permits woodworker too.
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badger.badger wrote:

Yes in hindsight this would've been best. The problem was that the parents got bored too (it was a 2 hour session). Although the event generally went well, and the kids didn't touch anything. There was just one incident where they started jumping around that made me a little nervous.

I've seen this claim. I know I am naive, but to me it seems very safe. I held the handle with the boy as he lowered the drill and had a depth stop set. I emphasized to go slow, back out the bit, etc. Basically, their hand was on the handle, but mine was on top controlling it.. so I felt that was safe. And the workpiece was clamped down, no hands near the bit.

I got part of that cut off. I meant to say a kid should be at least 16 for a bandsaw, and that's the bare minimum (assumes the kid is mature, respects safety, etc). I doubt I'd bring a bunch of 16 year old scouts in to use the bandsaw.
Overall, it was a good experience. Not sure how much the kids enjoyed it, but at least they've been exposed to the hobby. A lot of stuff in scouts is like that. I try to show them something they may have interest in as an adult.
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