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Author Topic: Anyone done the Pinewood Derby with their sons?  (Read 767 times)

Offline biker_reject

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Anyone done the Pinewood Derby with their sons?
« on: Apr 17, 2017, 21:13:32 »
Any parents done this with their Cub Scouts?  This is our second year and man, did we cause some drama this year.  Judge tried to disqualify us by saying our car was not legal and had an "unfair advantage".  Hey, I'm a gear head.  We built a simple car designed to run fast, not look good.  Anyway parents, experience any such drama???

Offline Redbird

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Re: Anyone done the Pinewood Derby with their sons?
« Reply #1 on: Apr 17, 2017, 21:39:26 »
Did it for a few years with my two boys. Never had any drama though. Was always right under race weight, and that was the major concern.
What did they say was the "unfair advantage"?
When you are Dead, you don't know that you are Dead. It is difficult only for Others.

It is the same when you are Stupid.

Offline Rider52

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Re: Anyone done the Pinewood Derby with their sons?
« Reply #2 on: Apr 17, 2017, 22:18:24 »
I also did it with my three sons. No drama, it was all in good fun. I've never seen one disqualified, but I guess it can happen. I've seen everything from just a block of wood with wheels to real show pieces that looked they had 900 hours in them.
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75 Honda CL 360 "Scrambled"
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1978 Yamaha Chappy 80 burning up the highway
Cut my motor in half Sportster to Shortster

Offline biker_reject

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Re: Anyone done the Pinewood Derby with their sons?
« Reply #3 on: Apr 17, 2017, 22:51:59 »
Because it looked like this (first pic)...  The second pic is after the race.  The car over shot the end of the track and hit a chair leg and broke of the right wheel.  They let the car run and it was able to finish 3rd.  The judge insisted the car was not legal, was not made from a BSA approved kit, and that we didn't use the pre-cut axle grooves (after he conceded that it was a BSA kit made by Revell).  As I was arguing my case, holding up the start of the race, my wife overheard and got fired up.  She demanded to see in writing, the rule that says the grooves have to be used.  There was no mention, only that the wheel base distance may not be changed, the axles may not be altered except for polishing, maximum ride height, length of car body, and width of car with wheels attached.  When placed side by side and on top of other cars, our car had exactly the same dimensions.  We just didn't shape it like a real car, or tank, or whatever.  We had maybe an hour of actual work on the car.  Body was cut out at our pack meeting's "wood work day" because there was a band saw available for the parents to cut the car shapes.  If not for that saw, our car would probably be a wedge, which we built last year and won 1st place in the regional event.  We learned a lot from last year, mainly, keep it simple, use the fundamentals of physics to build a fast car. 
« Last Edit: Apr 18, 2017, 21:25:31 by biker_reject »

Offline biker_reject

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Re: Anyone done the Pinewood Derby with their sons?
« Reply #4 on: Apr 17, 2017, 22:54:45 »
After the race, my wife overheard the judge say the car deserved to have broken apart.  He was convinced the car had an unfair advantage.  My wife didn't tell me of this until we got home.  Man, I was pissed for days about him!  So, car is repaired and ready for the regional race this coming Saturday.  Oh, and their scale was not calibrated properly, so I had to drill two holes in the car which knocked chunks of wood off where the drill bit punched through.  I was sweating because people were getting really impatient.  You would not believe the number of people giving us the stink eye when they saw our car.
« Last Edit: Apr 17, 2017, 23:00:51 by biker_reject »

Offline Redbird

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Re: Anyone done the Pinewood Derby with their sons?
« Reply #5 on: Apr 18, 2017, 15:54:04 »
Never had any such drama at any event we attended, and I officiated a couple. The only issues I recall were over weight.
And I'm not condoning anyones behavior, but the Pack holds the official scale. It would be made available before the event to anyone who wanted to use it (with an official present), but at the event, it was the standard all cars were measured by. So to say "their scale wasn't calibrated properly" is a relative term. The same could be said of your scale.

Here's the official BSA rules...

"According to the BSA's Cub Scout Leader How-To-Book, the general rules are as follows:

All cars must pass the following inspection to qualify for the race:
1. Width shall not exceed 2-3/4 inches.
2.Length shall not exceed 7 inches.
3.Weight shall not exceed 5 ounces.
4.Axles, wheels, and body shall be from the materials provided in the kit. Additional wheels can be purchased separately.
5.Wheel bearings, washers, and bushings are prohibited.
6.No lubricating oil may be used. Axles may be lubricated with powdered graphite or silicone.
7.The car shall not ride on any kind of spring.
8.The car must be free-wheeling, with no starting devices.
9.No loose materials of any kind are allowed in the car."


That's not saying the BSA Pack could add in their own rules, but they should've been available to you before the event. Or, at the very least, been on hand at the event.
When you are Dead, you don't know that you are Dead. It is difficult only for Others.

It is the same when you are Stupid.

Offline Turnturtle

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Re: Anyone done the Pinewood Derby with their sons?
« Reply #6 on: Apr 18, 2017, 17:22:26 »
Looks like a great car. When I built a car from a block of pine (not from a kit), I would saw in a groove to give the illusion of the original block. With the damage to the front you should consider a careful alignment. Consult Stan Pope's "How to Build a Winner" for the how to. If you can't find it, shoot me a PM.

Offline J-Rod10

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Re: Anyone done the Pinewood Derby with their sons?
« Reply #7 on: Apr 18, 2017, 17:46:58 »
We did those in a class in jr. high. Though, they had a Co2 canister in the back from a BB gun. Went upwards of 70mph.

Offline biker_reject

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Re: Anyone done the Pinewood Derby with their sons?
« Reply #8 on: Apr 18, 2017, 21:00:41 »
That was my argument exactly, Redbird.  The car met all those requirements, to the T and weighed exactly 5.0 oz. after I had to butcher it with my drill.  It looked radical, but there was nothing radical about it.  Simple, clean, fast as shit. Just like a well built cafe bike. :-)  The judge clearly had his notion of how a Pinewood Derby car should look.  There were some seriously elaborate cars there with all kinds of stuff stuck to them.  Some had model or toy bodies mounted on them.  Aerodynamically like bricks.  Some had fins or spoilers, or cannons and drivers.  I was like, "We don't have time to do all that mess.  The longest time involved was waiting for the Krylon to dry and the weights to come in the mail.  My son spent about 20 minutes sanding the car smooth and about a minute spray painting it.  We had polished axles from last year, so no time in doing that.  I glued in the weights and mounted the wheels and put 20 yr old automotive pinstripe on it.  We rolled it on the floor a few times to make sure it rode the rail. The car was done and packed in a box a week prior to the race.  So easy.

Offline biker_reject

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Re: Anyone done the Pinewood Derby with their sons?
« Reply #9 on: Apr 18, 2017, 21:09:13 »
J-Rod  I wish they'd let the parents build those kinds of outlaw cars.  The one youtube video my son and I watched showed the narrator's version of a compressed air car.  It was crazy!  This is the only vid worth watching.  My son had a hard time with the concept of potential and kinetic energy, friction, and center of mass. Those concepts started to make more sense with the second car because the weights are exposed.  Last year's car was a wedge with the weights sealed inside the body.