So I'll go first and maybe others will share also
My son and I had been working for several weeks preparing his car for his packs annual PWD race for the following weekend. I had a business trip starting Monday morning so we had to get it done this Sunday. We worked all afternoon into the evening. Everything was looking pretty good. It rolled pretty straight. The paint job was slick looking and it weighed in just a hair under 5.00 oz (4.99). All that was left was to add a drop of glue on each axle to keep them from shifting on race day. I have a hot glue gun which I have used in the past, but just this weekend at Home Depot I had seen a bottle of this brown liquid glue called "Gorilla Glue". I bought a bottle thinking this would be the perfect glue for Joshua's car this year......
So we added a few drops to the axle slots and carefully set his car upside down in the garage to dry and called it a night. Just before I went to bed something told me to take a peek. Arggghhhhhhhhh!
I had no idea that Gorilla Glue foamed when it dried. Three of the four wheels where glued to the body! We had no time to rebuild the car before the race. I was able to pull one of the wheels out of the quickly drying goo. The other two I had to break the axles out with wood still attached. I was definitely in the hand wringing mode! I spent the next two hours scraping and cleaning and re-gluing wood fragments and axles. Finally it was done. It looked a little on the sorry side. The two rear wheels canted out at the bottom. One front wheel did not even touch the ground. I gave it a little roll on the ground and it seemed to roll straight. It was all I could do.
I was gone before my son woke the next morning. My wife broke the news to him. She told me on the phone that he took it pretty good.
We showed up the following Saturday for race day. I assured my son the most important part of the race was doing your best and being a good sport. He told me it was OK and that we always had next year and that he would have a great time. I was still in the hand wringing mode.
Guess I should have held my comments. When he set his car for the 1st race no one was more surprised than me when he bested the other two cars by a good three lengths. That success continued throughout the day. He never lost a heat.
When it was all over he asked me how he won. I could only tell him that a power greater than Dad was at work today, for it certainly wasn't anything that I did right.
- Darin McGrew
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When the construction was done, I put it on our postal scale to see how much lead I would need to add. I wasn't going to need any lead. It already weighed about 10 oz.
So I rebuilt it, using less Sculpey this time. It weighed in at about 8 oz.
So I rebuilt it again, using Sculpey only where I really needed it, using as thin a layer of Sculpey as I could, using cardboard and paper mache, removing as much wood as I could, etc. It weighed in right at 5 oz. Actually, I might have taped a penny to the bottom to bring it up to 5 oz exactly.
After all that work (and rework), I was so proud of the car. Then the leader working registration asked, "Is that thing going to fit under the finish gate?"
No. It was an inch or two too tall to clear the finish gate.
I was able to race it, but I had to catch it at the end of each race to protect Calvin & Hobbes from being decapitated by the finish gate. At least it was slow enough that its finish position was always obvious before I caught it.
- Master Pine Head
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- Location: Connecticut
I don't know if this is an oops! so much as the most frustrating Pinewood I ever had the pleasure to host.
Last year our District was in danger of not holding a District PWD due to the lack of a volunteer host. Our Pack had never hosted a District PWD so I volunteered us. To ease the burden on our support staff we decided to hold our Pack Derby in the morning, finishing by 11:00 AM. We planned to return by Noon, greet the District crowd, sell them a Pizza lunch (different room) & run the District.
Morning dawned clear as a bell. We arrived on time & weighed everyone in. As usual a few cars were over & the cordless drilling Dads had us running on time.
Before our own Pack Derby was over the clouds rolled in. Being near the coast you could feel & smell the humidity rising. Before we left the auditorium for a much needed break, the heavens opened up & poured rain of near Biblical proportions.
We were blessed. None of the many roof leaks hit our new Piantedosi Pine track. but.........
As the first few District cars weighed in we began to notice some ugly looks from the irrate looking Dads who were furiously drilling at the "hospital table". Virtually every car was over weight by .1 oz. Our District officials were not all as tenured as the Pack crowd was but my best people were still on hand. I started over to the table anyway.
We had a brand new Ohaus CS200 & I began to suspect it might be an issue. However the test weight confirmed it was spot-on. Just for kicks I pulled out our 2 year old Ohaus CS2000 scale & found the same thing. Every one of the visiting District racers was over weight despite cries & howls that the cars weighed 4.99 on their own Pack's scale just last week.
Then our own Pack started walking back in from lunch. I knew what was coming. One of the more astute Dads wanted our boys still impounded cars to be weighed-in as well. Some CubMasters might have argued the cars had just been weighed 3 hours before but I knew better.
I cooly told him that was part of the plan but that the weigh-in area was moving very slowly so we hadn't started to weigh them yet. Plus our Boys would prefer to witness the event anyway....phew! Hey! Here they come now!
More than half of our Boys cars were over weight by .1 oz as well! Thanks to a great support staff & 4 cordless drills we started a mere 10 minutes late.
Moral of the story: Never underestimate the awesome power of humidity on race day. And always bring extra batteries & cordless drills. I lost an awful lot of drill bits that day.
These funny little cars are like spoonges as one Spoonge Bob toating Scout pointed out!
p.s. This year we built Joshuas car a month early. That has +'s & -'s finishing early. I have plenty of time to fix any goofs, but can't keep Joshua from playing with this years race car. Oh well. Guess I have time to fix any goofs thathe might bring on.
I'm now in the process of building a duplicate for my son in case of axle instability, but does anyone have suggestions for repair work?
Not to under-do anything I decided to add a clear coat after he went off to bed. I sprayed on Lacquer and once satisfied with the high gloss I happily went about my business straightning up the workshop.
I looked over from across the room at the glistening red masterpiece drying under the lamp, but it wasn't glistening anymore. In fact it looked like it was melting
I remember the horror of watching the beautiful red paint crinkling up and dripping off the sides. After a few minutes I decided to end it's suffering and began wiping off the remaining red goop with some paint thinner.
My Son was pretty disappointed the next day, but happily re-sprayed the car which was the fun part for him anyway.
We learned our lesson about spraying lacquer over enamel that year.
There was insufficient wood between the well and the axle slot, and this was amplified by my previous goof with the Dremel hub. End result --- busted out axle slots.
Now we're in recovery mode since the boy is very attached to this design thanks to all the work he's done on it. Presently attempting to use E6000 to "reconstruct" and build up the axle slots using the wood and duct tape. (Does this sound ugly, or what??? )
Race day is tomorrow. Fortunately I recognized a potential catastrophe from the first mistake, and we have a backup car ready to go if the pseudo-Stealth is unable to run.
But, the night we finished the car, and two days before the Pack derby, I decided to check the car one more time for alignment after putting my son to bed. It wasn't rolling perfectly straight (although it was pretty close) so I decided to tweak the axle a bit. But, being new at this, I didn't realize you shoudn't do it while the wheel and axle were still installed. Duh.
Sure enough, because we used a very narrow, dragster-type deisign, I applied too much pressure and the wood leading to the axle snapped right off. I quickly glued and clamped it, but it was a mess. My boy noticed it the next morning but I told him I was just clamping it to make sure everything was secure. He bought it, hook, line, and sinker.
Surprisingly, he won first place in his Pack and I finally told him about the goof up afterwards. Luckily, it all worked out.
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The night before the race, we did our "Time Trials", where each racer gets the change to test run their cars a couple of times, though there is no actual timing done. As soon as my daughter ran her car for her first run, the car went lickety split down the track, hit our stopping blocks and the front end shattered. Both wheel mountings snapped clean off. There just was not enough nose to keep the front wheels from hitting the pads on the stop blocks.
We had to take it home and do some emergency repairs. We carefully glued the wheel mountings back on then glued parts of a popsicle stick to the top and bottom of the crossbar to sandwich the repaired joints. Then we wrapped it all with fishing line, for added strength, and ended up with essentially a splint for the front end. A little paint was added to touch things up (I'm really glad she hand painted it in the first place).
Once we got it back together, we did a little roll test and the car pulled noticeably to the left, but it was too late to do anything about it. Well, to our amazement, during the race, she broke the track record three times and ended up with 1st place in Speed. She did most of the work on the car, so I'm happy that she did so well.
Awana Grand Prix and Pinewood Derby racing - Where a child, an adult and a small block of wood combine for a lot of fun and memories.
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You're livin' right GP!gpraceman wrote: Once we got it back together, we did a little roll test and the car pulled noticeably to the left, but it was too late to do anything about it. Well, to our amazement, during the race, she broke the track record three times and ended up with 1st place in Speed. She did most of the work on the car, so I'm happy that she did so well.