Pinewood Derby Help


Can someone tell me which type of power saw is good for knocking out a few (about 10) pinewood cars in about a weekend?
I'm also someone who know 0 about woodworking so I need something easy to use as well.
Thanks!
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Are you talking about the cub scout activity? If yes, the kids are supposed to be doing the work, not the parents. And, what's with 10 cars? Are you talking about making the basic blocks, or the finish work?
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The blanks start somewhat shaped to begin with. I recently saw a small, bench top Rikon bandsaw at woodwoorkers warehouse for $89 if I remember correctly. That would likely be an ideal tool for the job. See http://rikontools.com/10inBS.html it may have been on sale. Woodcraft does also have a 10% off same coming up soon. If you cant get that one, Delta has a shopmaster small bandsaw for cheap, others do too.
Anyway - benchtop bandsaw would be my tool of choice for this project. A hand held saw of any type would be a big pain in the arse. A table saw could work but I think a bandsaw would be better suited, and cheaper.
Cheaper still would be to just buy the blanks. you will probably want to get one to use as a template anyway. BSA has a supplier for them IIRC.

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Good info, thanks. Last year I did it with a coping saw and dremmel tool. It was really a pain but end the end my kids place 2nd and third.
Not bad since it was my first time I think. This year I have some good ideas and new techniques. The bandsaw is really going to be a suggestion to the girl scouts because they had such a hard time last year and I think they want to get the models done quickly.
As for the pre-cut, I'll suggest that too but I think its better if they get to see how its all done even if we are taking shortcuts.
Better still would be to have their parents help out. I know how frustrating it can be if you know nothing about it but hey, I did it and I'm really lacking skills!
| > Can someone tell me which type of power saw is good for knocking out a few | > (about 10) pinewood cars in about a weekend? | > | > I'm also someone who know 0 about woodworking so I need something easy to | > use as well. | > | > Thanks! | > | > | |
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Yea, I was envisioning you making the 'blanks' to give the kids so they could start carving, using coping saws, files, rasps and stuff to finish them. If you are talking about starting with the pre-cut blanks and making finished cars, ready for paint, then I would look more at a scroll saw, like somone else mentioned, or just a bunch of hand tools. I forgot about the weights thing.
I did get disqualified on a car once. My dad found some wheels with bearings in them, Dunno where he got them. They worked a lot better than plastic with a hole stuck on with a nail!
Where are you located? You may be able to get some unsolicited help with this endeavor as well!
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Pinewood derbies have all sorts of rules. In ours, we had an "open" class. This allowed for wheels with bearings, wheels that had a small vee on their tread to run on instead of the whole tread, most everything but springs, motors, or magnets. In that class, you will really get some interesting cars, but everyone has to agree on some basic rules, and know that they are racing for a separate trophy than the Pinewood Derby Scout one.
One year, an out of the box Cub Scout pinewood derby car won hands down. It was so fast, there was a protest. It even beat the cars in the open category. The car was 100% legal, but as best as could be determined, it was the luck of the draw for the axle holes to have been drilled just right, and the wheels aligned perfectly on the car. It was a good thing. The builder of the car was from a single mom household, and we couldn't have picked a better kid to win.
Steve
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Kenneth wrote:

A band saw.
Barry
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Kenneth wrote:

You are talking about roughing out the general shape of a car from the official pine block that BSA sells in their kit, right? If not, fergetaboutit. The pine block comes with two grooves cut to a fairly precise depth. A table saw with a very thin blade would be the only way to duplicate those cuts. Too much investment for what you are trying to accomplish.
OK, assuming your question is how to rough out the general shape that the cub scout has drawn on his car so that the scout can then sand and paint the car . . . I wouldn't use a power tool at all.
Invest your money in a Black & Decker Workmate or some similar device to hold the block securely while you saw it. Then buy a manual coping saw and a handful of blades. The pine is soft enough that the coping saw cuts it quite well. Get the cut started by yourself. Then put the boy's hands on the saw and cover them with your own and guide him through the rest of the cut. I promise you can cut out each car in less than 15 minutes.
Let the scout use various grits of sandpaper to smooth out the saw marks and clean up the edges. At that age, the boy feels like he did it all himself.
I have a shop full of tools and the skills to turn out a pretty impressive pine car (Which I did for the Dad's competition). But we cut my boy's cars out with a coping saw until the last year when I let him use the bandsaw.
DonkeyHody "I'd rather expect the best from people and be wrong than expect the worst and be right."
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For my kids, I'll use the hand saws. I did have a problem holding the coping saw straight though. Guess its just practice til I get better at it.
For the girls I'll suggest the band saw since they have many to do.
Thanks for your suggestions.
| | Kenneth wrote: | > Can someone tell me which type of power saw is good for knocking out a few | > (about 10) pinewood cars in about a weekend? | > | > I'm also someone who know 0 about woodworking so I need something easy to | > use as well. | > | > Thanks! | | You are talking about roughing out the general shape of a car from the | official pine block that BSA sells in their kit, right? If not, | fergetaboutit. The pine block comes with two grooves cut to a fairly | precise depth. A table saw with a very thin blade would be the only | way to duplicate those cuts. Too much investment for what you are | trying to accomplish. | | OK, assuming your question is how to rough out the general shape that | the cub scout has drawn on his car so that the scout can then sand and | paint the car . . . I wouldn't use a power tool at all. | | Invest your money in a Black & Decker Workmate or some similar device | to hold the block securely while you saw it. Then buy a manual coping | saw and a handful of blades. The pine is soft enough that the coping | saw cuts it quite well. Get the cut started by yourself. Then put the | boy's hands on the saw and cover them with your own and guide him | through the rest of the cut. I promise you can cut out each car in | less than 15 minutes. | | Let the scout use various grits of sandpaper to smooth out the saw | marks and clean up the edges. At that age, the boy feels like he did | it all himself. | | I have a shop full of tools and the skills to turn out a pretty | impressive pine car (Which I did for the Dad's competition). But we | cut my boy's cars out with a coping saw until the last year when I let | him use the bandsaw. | | DonkeyHody | "I'd rather expect the best from people and be wrong than expect the | worst and be right." |
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We always just whittled them with our pocket knives.
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instruct the kids on its use. They don't get to use it.We keep the designs limited to 3 and let them choose then we cut them out. Lots of the kids are from homes with no males or with ones with no woodworking knowledge. So we cut them out and then they can take them home and paint them. Next week we do the axles and wheels. The next week we do weights and test runs. Helps to keep it on a level field. I would recommend you buy the precut kits and just stick to the gluing painting and weights. Their available at your local BSA store or just about any hobby shop. Putting together a kit has always qualified for a badge. If your dead set on cutting them out, contact the head of your district and I'm sure he can get you in touch with a leader who can help out with a saw and instructions. At least we have always done that. There's always some graybeard like me with too much time on his hands. I have loaded up my delta on more then one occasion.
Its not like it was when I was a kid. There are just too many broken homes, mothers show up looking for any kind of help they can get for the kids. We do are best, but always seem short handed. Where are you at, maybe one of the readers could help you out? Ed
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Make the kids do as much as they can. They're supposed to learn from this.
Now, this doesn't mean to let them at the bandsaw, but let them do a lot of sanding. And painting.
I did many a pinewood derby race.
BIG TIP - don't even take the wheels or axles out of the box until time to put them on. They need to be as pristine as possible. Moving them around and rough handling by little hands will oval out the holes and make them run a LOT slower.
Remember - help, don't DO.
Steve
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