"Instant" Cars On-hand?

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Vitamin K
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"Instant" Cars On-hand?

Post by Vitamin K » Tue Jan 14, 2014 6:55 am

So an idea I'm flirting with to possibly run past our Cubmaster is the idea of having a few "instant" cars checked in at weigh-in and set aside for cubs that missed weigh-in or had a disqualifying car, or possibly for siblings of scouts who wanted to race in the open division.

What this would be would be a very basic wedge shaped car with paper glued to the visible surfaces, so that it could easily decorated with markers. The car would be pre-weighted to maybe a hair below 5 ounces (to account for marker ink weight?). The cars could be checked in and held at the weigh-in. If somebody wanted to race and was car-less, they'd be given an "instant car", decorate with markers from a pile and hand it back to the race officials and be entered into the running.

Has anybody ever done anything like this?



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Re: "Instant" Cars On-hand?

Post by Scrollsawer » Tue Jan 14, 2014 3:20 pm

I like the idea, provided the Scout can 'make it their own' to some degree before the 'weigh-in' deadline. That would give them maybe an hour to 'make it their own'.

The experience of having the boy be able to race is paramount, so I would endorse this idea if I were on your Pack Committee. :bigups:

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Re: "Instant" Cars On-hand?

Post by BallBoy » Tue Jan 14, 2014 5:27 pm

Last year my 9-year-old wanted to do a pinewood derby race for his birthday party. I thought that building a car at a party would take too much time, so I decided to go with pre-made cars. I made wedge cars, weighted all of them the same (within 0.02 oz), painted them white, and attached the graphited wheels and axles. The party included time for each child to color his car with a variety of Sharpie markers. The Sharpies allowed for almost immediate drying time and didn't smudge or rub off when dry. Although I didn't weigh any cars after the decorating I doubt they gained any measurable weight.

I did a race a couple of years back where a scout brought his dad's car from when he was a scout. The rules stated that the car needed to be a recent build. Since the car didn't qualify for the race, the scout was permitted to race the car he brought with the understanding that he was ineligible for any awards. All involved were fine with this arrangement. GPRM has an option to exclude a racer from the results, which is what was done for this particular racer. The scout was included in all the racing and had just as much fun as the other scouts. Come trophy-time his name just didn't appear and no one seemed to notice.



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Re: "Instant" Cars On-hand?

Post by Darin McGrew » Tue Jan 14, 2014 5:48 pm

In an hour, you could help a kid actually build a car from an uncut block. We've had kids show up for the first time at our final workshop, and an adult worked with them to do just that:
  • press axle holes with a drill press
  • draw a basic shape on the block and have an adult cut it on the band saw
  • quickly sand the car
  • have an adult add molten weight to bring the car to almost 5oz
  • polish the axles
  • lubricate and mount the wheels and axles
If there was time for paint to dry before the final weigh-in, then the car could even be painted, and the wheels and axles could be mounted at the weigh-in. Otherwise, the car can be decorated with non-paint decorations from the church craft supplies.

I'd rather do that than just hand a kid a pre-built car to decorate.



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Re: "Instant" Cars On-hand?

Post by Vitamin K » Tue Jan 14, 2014 6:15 pm

Darin, I like your thinking. We will be having the weigh-in on a separate date from the race, so this opens some possibilities:

Perhaps this:

If a kid shows up car-less to weigh-in, then he gets the "one hour treatment." Zip him a shape on the bandsaw. Sand it. Weight it. Spray it. Check it in.

If /race day/ rolls around and there's some poor kid who /still/ doesn't have a car (or maybe a little sibling who wants to race in the open division), then they get pre-weighted car and a pile of sharpie markers. They decorate it, tap on the wheels and go.

Darin McGrew wrote:In an hour, you could help a kid actually build a car from an uncut block. We've had kids show up for the first time at our final workshop, and an adult worked with them to do just that:
  • press axle holes with a drill press
  • draw a basic shape on the block and have an adult cut it on the band saw
  • quickly sand the car
  • have an adult add molten weight to bring the car to almost 5oz
  • polish the axles
  • lubricate and mount the wheels and axles
If there was time for paint to dry before the final weigh-in, then the car could even be painted, and the wheels and axles could be mounted at the weigh-in. Otherwise, the car can be decorated with non-paint decorations from the church craft supplies.

I'd rather do that than just hand a kid a pre-built car to decorate.



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Re: "Instant" Cars On-hand?

Post by FatSebastian » Tue Jan 14, 2014 6:57 pm

Vitamin K wrote:If a kid shows up car-less to weigh-in, then he gets the "one hour treatment."
:thinking: Forgive my pessimism, but should one expect a boy with no car to show up to a PWD weigh-in in the first place?



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Re: "Instant" Cars On-hand?

Post by Vitamin K » Tue Jan 14, 2014 7:46 pm

Very fair point. Perhaps send out a message to the Pack that, Weigh-In is the last opportunity to do a "mini workshop" for any boys whose parents haven't been able to work with them yet. I don't think the organizers want any lengthy delays prior to the actual race, just due to how these things tend to run overtime as it is.
FatSebastian wrote:
Vitamin K wrote:If a kid shows up car-less to weigh-in, then he gets the "one hour treatment."
:thinking: Forgive my pessimism, but should one expect a boy with no car to show up to a PWD weigh-in in the first place?



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Re: "Instant" Cars On-hand?

Post by Topspin.D » Thu Jan 16, 2014 11:34 am

At our race I plan to have a few extra pre-built cars, but I was flirting with the idea of allowing some of the sibblings to build "instant" cars using Lego blocks and extra weights we'll have at the race.

http://www.derbymagic.com/minibrickderby.html" target="_blank

Only issue is making sure there are enough suitable lego blocks.



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Re: "Instant" Cars On-hand?

Post by Vitamin K » Thu Jan 16, 2014 1:10 pm

I think a minibrick derby would be awesome for a kids' birthday party. Will have to keep a finger on that.

I bet you could save money buying quality lego clones (e.g., megabloxx).
Topspin.D wrote:At our race I plan to have a few extra pre-built cars, but I was flirting with the idea of allowing some of the sibblings to build "instant" cars using Lego blocks and extra weights we'll have at the race.

http://www.derbymagic.com/minibrickderby.html" target="_blank

Only issue is making sure there are enough suitable lego blocks.



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