2012 Pinewood Derby Part 1

IMG_2087Ah, every guy remembers their pinewood derby, the toil, the anticipation, the thrill. For me, it was just as exciting passing that experience on to my son…

This year, the pack wanted to standardize on a choice of 4 designs that scouts could pick from, to keep it fair. The scouts would compete in the first heat with these cars. There would then IMG_2088be a second heat that is open to more radical designs, parents, etc.

Not wanting to wait until the last minute (& since weather wasn’t the best) we started our cars this weekend. The first step was to choose which design to use. My son didn’t need ANY help on this one and promptly picked a sleek, pointy model. He cut it out, and we taped it to the block of wood that would become his thoroughbred racing champion. Then he carefully traced the outline along both sides of the car.



Next, we took it out to the shop for the “bodywork” of the project. Now, granted, most of the work involved detail work with a coping saw. However, since he’d gone with a modified wedge-like design, I thought it would save a LOT of time if I just sliced the bulk of it off with my miter saw. Boy, I don’t use it much, but it’s times like these that I’m glad to have all the whistles. A laser and precise angling really help when you’re IMG_2100trying not to ruin your son’s small block of joy.

Now it was time for the details. Once the rudimentary skills of keeping the blade straight were mastered, it was merely a matter of time until the cutting was finished. It had to be broken into several sessions throughout the day to accommodate warming back up, eating, and some play time.

Between supervising, dishes, and other chores, I managed to get a little start on my car, which I’ve decided will be a steam punk truck. Hopefully, this will give me a good starting mass, and give me an excuse to make it look tech-ish.


As always, the least fun part is the sanding. Lucky for us, I have a power tool for that, too! Granted, there was still plenty of hand work for the crevices and crannies, but it sure saved a lot of time evening things out.

It was too cold to paint (not quite 50) so we called it a day. More to come in part 2….


One response to “2012 Pinewood Derby Part 1

  1. Be sure to keep us updated. I’m looking forward to seeing a steampunk truck!

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