Workshop question

How to have useful construction workshops.
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woodenshoe1
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Workshop question

Post by woodenshoe1 » Tue Oct 17, 2006 8:14 am

Hello Everyone,

I'm new to the board but have learned a tremendous amount from many of you over the last year or so. Question: What is the most functional way to have a workshop?
Our Awana club has never had one and I am going to attempt one. My kids are done with Grand Prix cars but I work in Awana and see a need. We have had too many kids show up the night of the race and need help with weight,etc. My goal is not to complete the car but to help those families that limited knowledge and/or tools.

Thanks,

Wooden Shoe



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gpraceman
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Re: Workshop question

Post by gpraceman » Wed Oct 18, 2006 12:20 pm

Hello Wooden Shoe and welcome to Derby Talk.

You may get a variety of opinions as to the most functional way to have a workshop.

Here's some things that I have done in the past and have been able to get good attendance:
  • Have more than one workshop. I suggest having at least two, one primarily focused on cutting and shaping and the other primarily focused on finishing.
  • Keep the workshop times as wide open as you can, since people are busy with sports and other activities. I've had good response with Saturdays from 10am to 4pm. People come and go as they need to.
  • Have all of the necessary tools available. A scroll saw (or band saw), belt sander, drill press, Dremel w/bits, and hand drill are a good start. You should also have files, sandpaper, sanding blocks, wheel mandrel, safety glasses, glue, clamps, and so on.
  • Have an "idea book" available. Some racers have no idea what design they want to do. Having pictures of cars and design templates really help. For those that have a design in mind already, have blank templates available with the block outline so they can perfect it on paper and then transfer it to the block.
  • Some have never built a car, so having someone (preferably more than one person) to help guide them really helps. I prefer to coach the adult/child team rather than do the work for them.
  • Have a weigh scale available. Some may only come to use the scale. The more weighting done prior to the race will decrease the check-in time on race day.
  • Setup different workstations if you can (design, cutout, sanding, wheel prep, axle prep, painting, and weighting).
  • Last of all, it is important to get the word out about the workshops and what will be available.


Randy Lisano
Romans 5:8

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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woodenshoe1
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Re: Workshop question

Post by woodenshoe1 » Wed Oct 18, 2006 2:41 pm

Randy,

Thank you for your insights. I found them very helpful. If anyone else has some ideas I'm open for suggestions. I only have one Sat. available for the workshop. Our biggest problem has been clubbers showing up without any weighing done. I offered to have the scale available on Wed. nights, but only a couple people took me up on it. Thanks again for any and all input.

Wooden Shoe



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BigSilver
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Re: Workshop question

Post by BigSilver » Wed Oct 18, 2006 3:46 pm

All I can add is that you may want to have a paint workshop. Many parents in our pack had no experience with sanding sealer, under coat, spray paint, or other options. Have them bring a shoe box or bread pan to paint in and recommend a type of under coat and paint brand for them to purchase and bring to the work shop. Most will opt to leave the left over paint for others to use.


“Knowledge of all things is possible” Leonardo daVinci

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woodenshoe1
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Re: Workshop question

Post by woodenshoe1 » Thu Oct 19, 2006 8:45 am

Big Silver,

I'm going to leave the painting for the family at home. I will give some tips in the workshop but would rather let them do it on their own, less mess and paint fumes in the building. Thanks for the idea though.

Wooden Shoe



ron_mesnard
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Re: Workshop question

Post by ron_mesnard » Wed Nov 01, 2006 8:29 am

Any general suggestions for where your can rent a band saw/work shop if you do not have access to one. I am hoping a Home Depot or some other organization might have a work shop we could use.

I am thinking of trying to bring back a District PWD. I believe it 'died' because it was for the dad's not the boys. I am convinced Workshops are the best way to reduce the ill effects some dads have which ruined our district PWD. Workshops not only tend to level the playing field and teach skills to the boys.

My oldest boy belonged to a den where we had a dad that loved to make model cars. You could not ask for a better mentor. Each year he forced the boys provide more of their own expertise. It is because of him and how he 'grew' our boys that I am in this at all. I do not want my youngest to miss out on such a wonderful learning experience.



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gpraceman
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Re: Workshop question

Post by gpraceman » Wed Nov 01, 2006 9:14 am

ron_mesnard wrote:Any general suggestions for where your can rent a band saw/work shop if you do not have access to one. I am hoping a Home Depot or some other organization might have a work shop we could use.
Some Home Depots may rent out tools, but I haven't seen one with a workshop.

If you have a Woodcraft store in your area, it may have a workshop that you could rent (or talk them into hosting the workshop). They use the workshop for woodworking classes.

You may also be able to find a woodshop in your area that would be willing to rent/host. Another possibility is a community college that offers woodworking classes.

Other than that, maybe it's time to get some tools :wink: Over time I bought a Ryobi scrollsaw, belt/disc sander, drill press from HD for about $99 each.


Randy Lisano
Romans 5:8

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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Re: Workshop question

Post by Mr. Slick » Wed Nov 01, 2006 9:45 am

Avoid BANDsaws -- use scroll saws instead. These are the "automated coping saws" that are much friendlier for kids (and inexperienced parents) to use.

For weight I use the solid tin solder that is used for water pipes - the price is right compared to tungsten and the safety is much better than lead. I premold it into 1/2" square bars before hand so that it is easier to put in the bottom of the cars.


Mr. Slick says: Honey, I am doing this for the kids, not myself.

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