Pineywood - Redux


Today my son and I made the Pineywood Derby car for the District Race.
This is the second Pineywood Derby car that we have made this year.
The first one came in Second Place in the Pack Races.
But, guess what, that car didn't conform to the rules used at the District Pineywood Derby Race.
Had to make another car.
Good news is that this car is a little faster than the original car.
Bad news is that it's uglier than snot.
Ah well, sixty test runs on a 32' Piantedosi wood track, with a Fast Track timer, give an average of 2.253" per run.
Any of you guys know if this is in the ballpark for me and my nine year old not to be shamed in front of our peers?
Other good news is that the boy is starting to get real comfortable with the drillpress.
He even took a few swipes at the bandsaur, without hardly lookin' away from the cutline.
He's starting to like the shop real good.
I believe I about got this young fish hooked.
Regards,
Tom Watson
tjwatson1ATcomcastDOTnet (real email)
http://home.comcast.net/~tjwatson1 /
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That sounds real fast compared to the aluminum track my son's pack uses... the fast cars there run about 5.5 seconds. I'm not sure of the comparative lengths but compared to the track in your movie the aluminum track doesn't seem as high at the start...
My kids have won within their rank in the Pinewood Derby but not overall. Raingutter Regatta is another story... they took first and second place overall last fall. I figured out how to make the boats work well and trained the kids on a length of gutter in the driveway. ;~)
John
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On Sun, 05 Mar 2006 01:14:27 GMT, "John Grossbohlin"

John:
You guys must be running something like a sixty footer.
The track in the movie was a forty and the rise was 48". (we were getting times of about 2.75 - 3.00. i would guess that the longer flat of a longer track would skew the results, as would the difference in rise.)
The district track, and the test track that I used today are 32'.
We don't do the Raingutter Regatta but I sure would like to.
(you know what that means - "so, mr. watson has volunteered to run the Raingutter Regata for next year - sigh...)
I don't even know what it looks like.
Can you clue me in?
Regards,
Tom Watson
tjwatson1ATcomcastDOTnet (real email)
http://home.comcast.net/~tjwatson1 /
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Tom,
I pulled up stills that I took at the race and compared them to your movie... Your movie track appears to have a significantly longer sloped section that looks like it might be as much as 40-50% of the length before it flattens out. Our aluminum track flattens out at about 25% of the length. As for overall length, I don't have a picture that shows the whole track but estimating from the pieces I could see in the pictures I'm guessing about 40-48 feet.
I posted a few photos on ABPW of my kid's cars from this year's race... Sponge Bob and a Lamborghini Diablo... and one from last year--pocket knife. I did a lot of the work on the pocket knife as my youngest was only 7 and a Tiger. My kid's cars always look cool but they don't necessarily roll as well as we'd like... no practice track to test on doesn't help.
The Diablo's faceted shape lent itself well to the application of a handsaw (Lie-Nielson back saw) and block plane. Extra pieces were glued on the sides and top of the block to create the fenders and roof. The wheel openings were cut out with a coping saw. Turned out pretty good for a 10 year old... Sponge Bob's ride was also cut out with the same handsaw and block plane by my 8 year old.

Raingutter Regatta is pretty simple compared to the Pinewood Derby. The boats come in a kit, like the cars, and go together quickly. Basically, two 10 foot lengths of aluminum K-gutter are mounted on saw horses. The ends are sealed with end caps and silicone and the gutters filled with water. Starting gates of pine are fitted at the starting end. The heat winner is the one touching the end cap first with their boat. The kids blow into the sails with lung power as they walk along the side of the gutter. Sail height and keel and rudder placement all influence performance--don't try to shape the hull too much or it will submarine. I posted a picture of the start of the final race last fall... my then 7 year old is on the right and my then 9 year old on the left, both wearing their rank win medals. Mom is in the background covering her face. The youngest one took first overall... ;~)
Tom, I think you would make a fine chair for the Raingutter Regatta. ;~)
John
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On Sun, 05 Mar 2006 03:01:23 GMT, "John Grossbohlin"

John:
Thanks for taking the time to post the pix.
I like the pocket knife car a lot.
I had no idea that the Raingutter Regatta was:
a.    Actually run in raingutters. b.    Dependent on wind provided by the participants.
It must be pretty funny to see those kids trying to make the boats go faster by blowing on the sails. I'd prolly pass out if I tried to do it.
Thanks.
Regards,
Tom Watson
tjwatson1ATcomcastDOTnet (real email)
http://home.comcast.net/~tjwatson1 /
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wrote:

...
The pocket knife car is one of my favorites too. We've launched a wild selection of cars down the track... in addition to the knife, Sponge Bob, and Diablo in the pictures. The assortment includes a police car, fire truck, dragster, sports car, traffic cone, and a quilt car (wife's). We've got three more years of Pinewood Derby cars for my youngest so maybe I'll figure out how to make them go fast too. ;~)
RE the Raingutter Regatta, it is sometimes funny to see the kids blowing the boats down the track. Hyperventilation is in evidence especially when kids end up in back-to-back heats or in the finals. They can look pretty red at times!
I figured they wouldn't let us enter the boats in competition, but one year I made catamaran's out of the boat kits. I had the kids saw the hulls in half lengthwise and then glue a platform between the halfs with the curved edges of the hull down. The mast was secured to the platform. I could send those boats the length of the track with one blow and get there faster than anyone could get a mono-hull boat down the track. My kids couldn't do it with one blow but they were very fast too... You should have seen the looks on everyone's faces. ;~) We had mono-hull boats with us too so they could race. The next year the rules explicitly forbid catamarans... said nothing about trimarans though. ;~)
Our pack is talking about doing the Space Derby... Space Ships are run down a wire! We have no experience with that Derby so I don't know what to expect.
John
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