Last one until I have grandkids! (Pinewood Derby)

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Project by Kevin posted 04-03-2016 11:48 PM 1391 views 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Here are the last pinewood derby cars my son and I will make until he has a son of his own.

My said that he wanted his for speed, so he built the red one on top. I did NOTHING to help him with it. And the great news is that for the second year in a row, he came in first place in the Pack. He even beat me SOUNDLY!

I built the one that looks like a Pinewood Derby track and cars.

7 comments so far

View at anchor in Orlando's profile

at anchor in Orlando

75 posts in 2442 days

#1 posted 04-04-2016 12:34 AM

I’m making them for grandkids again this year. I have two that are not scouts but want to go to the testing the night prior to the races, one that is a Wolf, and his younger brother (4 years old). I also made mine… So we have a total of 5 cars for the testing and one for the race day. Last year we finished 1st for our den but 5th overall in the Pack. Photos next week.

-- Jack

View Kevin's profile


74 posts in 4279 days

#2 posted 04-04-2016 12:48 AM

Convince the Pack to have a Parent’s division and a siblings/family division. I came in a disappointing 4th place in the Parent’s Division

View Dark_Lightning's profile


4806 posts in 4324 days

#3 posted 04-04-2016 03:12 AM

This brings back memories! My eldest son was a Wolf for his first PWD race. I was working massive overtime in those days, even though I was one of the Den leaders. His grandma helped him cut it out with a coping saw (a pretty crooked cut, at that). He painted it himself with a brush. If I look around, I may be able to find a pic. Fine specimen, indeed. He ended with a 2nd place, which was really funny. The dad of the first place winner bragged about how he had turned the wheels on a lathe at work; the body looked like black glass. But he beat my son by about 1 CM. His son just looked around like, “What?”, while my son was ecstatic with 2nd place, because he built it himself.

There was no axle polishing, tire polishing, or weight added, except the washer the guy organizing the event hot glued to the top of the car to bring it close to the maximum weight limit.

-- Steven.......Random Orbital Nailer

View LesB's profile


3061 posts in 4658 days

#4 posted 04-04-2016 05:07 PM

There is lots of controversy about these cars. Some 40 years ago I helped my son with his (maybe a little too much) but he (we) won both design and the race in his pack two years in a row. Candy Apple paint job and all.
I too think there should be two categories, Dad’s and Son’s. The Dads should only be allowed to help the boy with the wheel/axel alignment and weight adjustments on his car.

Recently my 7 year old grandson has asked me to help him when build a car he visits this summer. He made one with his Dad, my son in law and an engineer, last year. Dad (also the Pack leader) is more or less adamant that the kids should build it themselves. Consequently the boy came in dead last. Losing can be a good lesson in live too, but one loss should be enough.
Now I’m caught in the middle between the boy’s request for help and his Dad’s DIY attitude. I think I will help with the general design, wheel and axel polishing and alignment, weight adjustment (BBs in a groove in the bottom) and send the boy with a partly finished car for he and his Dad to finish sanding and paint a design. He may not win first place but he won’t be last again.
One thing I definitely want to avoid is undermining the father/son relationship.
I regularly give my son in law the “engineer” a hard time about “over thinking things”. He frequently is still thinking about a project when I have it half finished. LOL

-- Les B, Oregon

View Kevin's profile


74 posts in 4279 days

#5 posted 04-05-2016 12:55 AM

Last year, we made two cars that were almost identical. I would show him what to do with the various tools on my car, then let him do it with his own car. I’ve found that this technique of showing/explaining/modeling and then letting him try it to be very successful in not only teaching how to use the equipment, but also gives the kids a sense of ownership and pride in having built it themselves.

View Dark_Lightning's profile


4806 posts in 4324 days

#6 posted 04-05-2016 02:04 AM

Then again, we had a PWD race at work, and the only rule was that the car had to come from the kit provided. I knew a lot less than I do now, but won handily. I’m a physicist by training and have been hands-on as a mechanic and wood worker. I machined the wheels into .080” discs and then drilled holes in them so that they looked like what are now referred to as “donk” wheels. The body was just a basic wedge, weighted so that the left front wheel didn’t sit on the ground. I didn’t know about rail riding at the time (2007), or I would have done that, too. Some people cried “cheat!”, but the organizer called it fair. I beat the 2nd place guy by .012 seconds. That’s about one car length. He was the only other person to seriously work on the wheels. Some were so bad that the body slid on the guide strip and the cars didn’t make it to the bottom of the track. Some engineers are better than others at some things.

-- Steven.......Random Orbital Nailer

View Kyle Jones's profile

Kyle Jones

20 posts in 1958 days

#7 posted 05-14-2016 10:02 PM

I love the track car. The original thinking reminds me of a kid who took his PWD blank block and drilled holes in it, hid the weights in the holes painted it yellow and made a mouse driver. Great job!

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