workshop layout questions

How to have useful construction workshops.
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davet
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workshop layout questions

Post by davet » Wed Feb 22, 2017 12:34 pm

I'll be running a workshop for our first-ever church pinewood derby. I think we'll have to limit the number of kids building to around 30. I've been reading a ton of old posts and getting great info but have some questions.

1) Do you recommend a couple 3-4 hr build days vs more days with less hours? I might have 2 bandsaws available, a few sanders, tons of drills.

2) Should I have each individual workstation open every day of the build or have a certain portion of the build done on a given day?

3) Do I assign one or two people to be running each workstation and then assign maybe 2 or 3 kids to an adult to go from station to station with them?

4) How do I handle the painting portion? Should we shape and paint on the first day so they dry before the next build day? Is spray painting the
best way to go with makeshift booths or brush paint to keep it easy?

5) Should we offer a few different precut body styles instead of trying to cut all those blocks from scratch?

What else?



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whodathunkit
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workshop layout questions

Post by whodathunkit » Wed Feb 22, 2017 4:00 pm

Sounds like your on you way to having a good work shop going!

The more people you can get to help out only takes the load off of trying to do it all by your self! You can't watch over all the kids or the power tool stations.
Depending on how many help with running the work shop is how I would look at the hours for holding it.

Spray paint fumes are sometimes not a good thing indoors!
So id say take the cars out doors to be
Spray painted.
Brush paints are ok.. Just use drop cloths over the tables.

When you say different precut bodies are you talking those from pine car brand or are you talking about taking BSA Kits and cutting several different style bodies out in them to have to offer
All ready cut out?
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What type of automobile can be spelled the same forwards & backwards?

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davet
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Re: workshop layout questions

Post by davet » Wed Feb 22, 2017 4:09 pm

I was considering taking a bunch of blocks and cutting them into about 6 different shapes. I would take maybe 3 blocks and cut them into 6 wedges. I'd leave a few blocks uncut and the kids could choose from any shape they wanted. This would limit the amount of use the bandsaw would get because only a few would be uncut. Others may want to make some shaping mods to the precut bodies but that wouldn't be a s much of a job.

Whoda, would I offer every work station at every shop day or limit shaping to the first day and be done with the big shaping tools after that?



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whodathunkit
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Re: workshop layout questions

Post by whodathunkit » Wed Feb 22, 2017 5:36 pm

davet wrote:
Whoda, would I offer every work station at every shop day or limit shaping to the first day and be done with the big shaping tools after that?
If all the kids attending the work shop were threw cutting and shaping there cars.. then no problems with closing work stations down..
Then moving on to the next steps for the next work shop .

Sometimes you'll get kids that missed out on the first work shop..
So will you'll be looking at offering a 2nd chance for the ones who missed that section that still need to cut and shape a car.
Or will the car type bodies that have all ready been cut out be offered to the kid or kids that missed the first work shop for cutting and shaping a car ?


What type of automobile can be spelled the same forwards & backwards?

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Re: workshop layout questions

Post by Speedster » Thu Feb 23, 2017 8:25 am

For your kind of race I like to think of the race called "The International Race of Champions". IROC. You can even advertise it that way and explain how it works. Everyone gets a Chevrolet Camaro prepped the same way. You might be able to get Chevrolet decals or IROC decals from a Chevrolet dealer. Make a big banner, or 2 or 3, out of poster board with a wedge shape car. Have everyone write IROC on the side of their car. The children will feel special they got to race in this special race.

Strive to make the cars as exact as you can other than color. You want the cars all close at the finish line. I wouldn't do anything with the axles other than putting a drop of oil on them and no work on the wheels. If you do decide to use lead rod, don't drill all the way through the back hole to get more speed. That's a lot of work. Cut the biggest piece that will leave an 1/8" from the end that needs filler. Weight them all the same way. Regarding bent axles. Perhaps your way is best. If the axles are all bent at the same angle the cars might just run closer to each other. Maybe you'll even get a tie.
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Darin McGrew
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Re: workshop layout questions

Post by Darin McGrew » Sat Feb 25, 2017 2:02 pm

If you have to limit the number of kids for some reason, then I'd try to do so by age. I think the sweet spot for the derby is in the upper-elementary age, where the kids are capable of doing more of the actual work on the car, but still need adult supervision/direction/mentoring. So I'd focus on kids in that age range, if I couldn't open the derby up to everyone. That also keeps the competition (both the race and the design judging) more fair if you have 30 kids age 8-11, rather than 30 kids ranging in age from 4 to 14.

I think it's better to have more workshop days if possible. Some families won't make it to some of the days, so more days gives them more flexibility. Our last derby had 3-4 Saturday morning workshops (about 2 hours each), plus a couple Sunday afternoon workshops for families that couldn't make it to the Saturday morning workshops.

For the first couple workshops, our bandsaws are in constant use. Towards the end, we may set up only one bandsaw, and it is being used only occasionally. The drill presses transition from pressing straight axle holes early on, to drilling holes in blocks (for weight or for decoration), to polishing axles. The molten weight comes out after the first week, after at least some of the kids have finished shaping and sanding their blocks. The paint booths (big cardboard boxes with cheap plastic turntables) come out at the same time, after the first week to give everyone time to shape and sand their blocks. Lubricant comes out on reg night, and for a workshop or two before reg night. Reg night is a few days before the derby.

We have experienced people supervising the bandsaws (which are adult only), but we encourage parents to cut their kids' blocks if they want to. Otherwise the supervisors do it. And we have experienced people on the molten lead (also adult only). And someone experienced explaining lubrication and wheel mounting. But as much as possible, we encourage the kids to work with their parents or substitute parents as much as possible.

We provide an assortment of spray paint, paint booths (large cardboard boxes with cheap plastic turntables), handles that clip onto the top of spray paint cans (making it act more like an airbrush and making it easier for small hands to manage), disposable gloves (to keep paint off hands), and paper cups to set the blocks on while painting/drying. The church craft room probably has brush paint for the ones that want to go that route, and a number of cars are painted/decorated at home. (We remind them to bring any decorations with them when they have the car weighted, because they do contribute to the weight of the finished car.)

We provide precut bodies to the younger kids (2nd grade and under), in a couple different styles. It helps if at least one of the styles is pretty generic, for the kids that want to apply decorations that aren't particularly car-like.



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davet
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Re: workshop layout questions

Post by davet » Sat Feb 25, 2017 5:24 pm

Thanks guys. This is the kind of detailed info I need. I'm afraid of kids not not getting cars finished in time.



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