Pineywood Race - without bogus name


When he was a First Grader his Momma took him.
He was without Car and his Momma received a Kit, and the Kit was Good.
He raced a Block with Wheels - and the Block Sucked.
He did not Win, Place, nor Show.
And this Sucked.
When he was a Second Grader his Daddy took him.
His Daddy did not understand Pinewood but he was a Cabinetmaker and he helped the boy make a straight and true car from the Kit. It did not suck and the boy placed Third in his Pack.
The boy was happy and this did not suck.
His Daddy did not understand Pinewood.
This sucked.
This year the boy is a Bear Cub Third Grader.
His Daddy has studied Pinewood.
This year will not suck.
For Christmas this year the boy will receive devices that will true wheels and polish axles and show him the true path of Pinewood.
This year will not suck.
This year his Daddy will allow him to make whatever freakish design comes into his little mind and it will not suck - because it will not matter.
It is all about gravity and friction and his Daddy now understands.
This year will not suck.
This year the boy will have tungsten weights applied to the centerline so that the COG is one and one quarter inch forward of the rear wheels.
Of course, this means that the precut slots will have to be ignored so that the rear wheels can sit closer to the rear of the car. This means that the block o' pine will be drilled for the axles and will not depend on the default placement of those shabby crooked slots.
This year the stock axles will be denibbed and polished with the jeweler's rouge that is normally reserved for Daddy's best chisels. The underside of the nail heads will be coned and polished.
This year the wheels will be trued on the lathe and the hub coned to relieve the friction between hub and body. This year the internal part of the hub will be polished to an ungodly sheen.
This year will not suck.
This year the wheels will be packed with the appropriate lubricant, rather than a spit of WD-40.
This will stop some of the sucking.
This year the finish of the body will be lacquer and not paint, so that it can be polished to a degree where friction is only a possibility - but not an issue.
This year the boy will be taught why we sit the mass so far to the rear and why we worry so about friction.
I don't know how much of this he will get.
He may be informed but not yet educated.
But it will not suck.
This year the boy will learn to run the drill press.
This year the boy will learn to rough out on a well protected bandsaw.
This year the boy will learn how to polish objects on the lathe and drill press.
This year the boy will continue his education about the use of rasps and sandpaper.
This year the boy will get to run the HVLP in the spray booth.
This year the boy will be eight - but by the end of the year he will be nine.
None of this sucks.
This year his Daddy will face up to the runout issues of the drill press and lathe.
This might suck - a lot.
But, Daddy is a WoodDorker and not a freakin' machinist - so we can only take this thing so far.
But - you know what?
It will not suck.
It will be fun.
For both of us.
Yeehaa.
Tom Watson - WoodDorker tjwatson1ATcomcastDOTnet (email) http://home.comcast.net/~tjwatson1/ (website) Tom Watson - WoodDorker tjwatson1ATcomcastDOTnet (email) http://home.comcast.net/~tjwatson1/ (website) Tom Watson - WoodDorker tjwatson1ATcomcastDOTnet (email) http://home.comcast.net/~tjwatson1/ (website)
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Good Luck Tom.
Years ago when my 27 year old was in scouts we competed several times. One year we produced a sleek little car that did fairly well and won a trophy for best appearance. I was proud because he did the final shaping, sanding and spray paint (with lots of parental support of course). That same year we had at least two cars that were, for all practical purposes, professionally designed and built. One in particular was developed by a father who was an aeronautical engineer. This guy made no secret of the fact that he had been able to slip it into the Wichita State University wind tunnel for tests. It didn't even show well in the race.
The one that won was the most unusual car I had seen. The kid and his mother had actually glued together a body that looked a lot like a Model-T roadster - and pretty nice work to boot. I know they ran the wheels in with a belt sander but they were most proud of the body. It blew away every concept regarding wheels, weight placement, streamlining, etc. Pretty neat to watch this young, fatherless fellow win.
RonB
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How old is your son now??? :~)
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27 years old. All of this happened in the late 80's. By the way, he grew up wanting to disassemble and rebuild things. He ended up with a degree in Construction Management and is doing pretty well for himself. He has been assigned to building a school down in NW Arkansas for the past several months.
Ron
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an assembled toy car.
He ended up with a degree in

My son is going for an MBA perhaps Doctorate. He just finished his first semester in college. 3 A's, a B+, and a C+. That was the first C he has ever make. Good enough however to keep his 4 year soclarship intact. ;~) He is in the Honor's College at the University of Houston so I think he did pretty good for his first semester.
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I'm pretty much convinced that aero drag is essentially a non-player in this arena, speed is too slow for drag to really make a huge difference, and the small amount of improvement is going to be swamped by other factors. Weight, CG placement, and friction seem to be the biggest players in this. Proper placement on the track is probably the next largest contributor. If you don't conquer the friction issue, the aero won't do a thing for you.

Pretty cool.
+--------------------------------------------------------------------------------+ If you're gonna be dumb, you better be tough +--------------------------------------------------------------------------------+
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Mark & Juanita wrote:

I'm pretty much convinced you're right. If you drop the car to the floor from the starting height, it will be travelling about 12 miles per hour when it hits the ground. When you force it to travel down 30 feet of track to fall the same distance, it slows it down quite a bit. Aerodynamics plays a part at such low speeds, but it's a small one.
I worship at the altar of friction reduction and wheel alignment.
DonkeyHody "Don't ever wrestle with a pig. You'll both get muddy, but the pig likes it."
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Mark & Juanita wrote:

I was humbled by this story.
http://www.geocities.com/~pack215/thesmellofvictory.html
DonkeyHody "I'd rather expect the best from people and be wrong than expect the worst and be right."
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wrote:

Just to set the record straight, I only commented on the story, it was posted by Tom Watson.

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I know they quit having the pine wood races in our area (they may be back) because it was such a joke. The Dads built the car, and the sons dabbed on some paint, or did some minor sanding to make Dad feel like it wasn't his project.
It got absurd, and most of the kids didn't learn much from the race except that the fact their Dads were sure competitive.
I am sure there was some good father/son bonding along the way, but mostly in the minds of the fathers. It was really obvious to see who was racing for the sake of competition, and it wasn't the 8- 10 year old boys.
Robert
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Mark & Juanita wrote:

Hey, I wasn't making any accusations. I'm as guilty as the next guy. The story just made me want to do more to help those boys with absent, disengaged or simply un-handy parents. This year, I think I'll host a work day to give all of them access to tools and assistance.
DonkeyHody "I'd rather expect the best from people and be wrong than expect the worst and be right."
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<<The story just made me want to do more to help those boys with absent, disengaged or simply un-handy parents. This year, I think I'll host a work day to give all of them access to tools and assistance.

Now THAT would be really cool. I am sure that would be the highlight of some poor lad or lassie's month. I have a 5 year old nephew with a dad that just can't get to showing him around a couple of easy projects.
I "helped" him build an old fashioned carpenter's tote about six months ago, and he talks about it all the time, and he is ready to start any new project I am thinking up. It doesn't even have to be for him... he likes to do things, likes to get dirty, and loves the attention.
Robert
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wrote:

Don,
    I didn't take your post as accusatory, I just wanted to give credit where credit was due. It was a good story and Tom deserved the credit for it.
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On Mon, 19 Dec 2005 21:53:32 -0700, Mark & Juanita

No it wasn't.
Tom Watson - WoodDorker tjwatson1ATcomcastDOTnet (email) http://home.comcast.net/~tjwatson1/ (website)
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Really? Well, whoever posted it deserves the credit. I know it wasn't me.
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Following up on my follow-up, I went back through the thread, RonB is the poster of that story.
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... looks like you're going to have to retire that psuedonym, eh?
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An inside tip! Paint the car red because red cars go fastest.

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On Mon, 19 Dec 2005 20:17:37 -0500, Tom Watson wrote:

-snip-
Good luck. I "helped" my son with his Car three years running. Year one didn't suck because they all ate our dust. We took first and by a large margin. Year two the other kids (dads) got wise and copied our success. We took third overall. Year three we tried just about everything, but so did everyone else. We didn't place. I'm convinced that a lot depends on the quality of the track and how they run the race. That's been a few years ago, he's driving a real Car now.
DGA
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