Pinewood Derby Memory – 90 Percent

I do a lot of hands-on work in the garage with my three sons around. Drilling, cutting, sanding. You name it, they have done it with my supervision. My oldest son (a Life Scout) never had the advantage of me using your site for tips when he was racing and never did better than 10th place in our Pack Pinewood Derby. But he did his best!
My 2nd son, now a 1st year Webelo, has taken 1st place at the Pack and 2nd place at the District two years in a row, with him doing 90 percent of the work. Being the Cubmaster I hear smart remarks about “his dad must be doing the work”. So this year I stressed to the parents that yes, my son has won 2 years in a row and all the information we used was found on the internet.
You just have to look for it like I did!
So this year, like I always have, I asked my son, “Get a Hotwheels car that you like and we will try to duplicate it; but it still has to be your design.”
He responded back, “I already know I want a low flat car because they have less wind resistance!”. So I told him “The whole idea is to do your best and if you win that’s great!”
So we transferred the lines from the slots to the other side of the block, and marked the block for drilling holes (3 wheels to touch the ground). Then he drilled the holes with a drill press. I then laid out the weight placement for him to drill out. He then used my scroll saw to cut out the body, and then sanded it by hand. Next he chamfered the axle heads and removed the burrs. Then he sanded and polished the wheels.
Spray paint was next, followed by lubricating the wheels. Now I stepped back into the action and helped him install the wheels onto the car, and then align them. I thought to myself, “Yes he did 90 percent of the work.”
On race day he came home again taking 1st Place. After the race I said to him, “You know we even forgot to polish the axles! Next year why don’t we shoot for another category like best of show, or most original, and give someone else a chance to win the race?” He replied, “Yeah, let’s do it!”
Bill Whittaker
From Pinewood Derby Times Volume 5, Issue 10
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