Night-before build day

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leerbennett
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Night-before build day

Post by leerbennett » Sat Mar 14, 2020 11:01 am

Due to COVID-19, will need to reschedule our Awana Grand Prix.
Historically we have held our only build day on a Saturday morning 3 or 4 weeks prior to the Friday night race.
When we reschedule, Looking to add a build day the night before the race. This is in hopes of getting a few more families to participate, who might have had conflicts with the original race date. If this works well, would add it to the plan for next year.

Looking for additional recommendations on promoting and running such a last minute build day.
Our Grand Prix is for our Awana's T&T group, so 3rd through 5th girls and boys, about 25 cars. This is about half of the kids who attend the club.

Our Build day runs for 2 hours featuring multiple Bandsaws and power sanders, allowing car cut outs. We haven't been helping families with placing weights and truing wheels until our pit crew helps cars, which fail to complete a test run, the hour before the race. Some families get into and enjoy figuring out how to build on their own. A few families struggle each year and others do not participate because they don't know how to build a car. Once we get a family to build a car, they do come back their remaining years of eligibility. Top cars are usually from families who have also built for Boy's Club Pinewood Derby.

Would like to run the night-before build day with a single volunteer and minimal equipment. We are unsure of level of interest and other volunteers need to setup track and decorations. I figure we need 1 jig or bandsaw, 1 table sander, 1 drill, 2 dremals, for cut out. Fine tuning tools used by pit crew, e.g. scale and Axle puller, would also be available the night before.

Anyone know how a 2nd and/or last-minute build event effects participation rate?
How much demand should we expect for help the night before the race?
Any other advise on providing the right level of help to encourage participation AND individual responsibility for building cars?
Would like to encourage kids to put in the time to build a quality car, but not require families to purchase specialized equipment.



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Darin McGrew
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Re: Night-before build day

Post by Darin McGrew » Sat Mar 14, 2020 2:25 pm

The night before the race, there isn't much you can do other than fine tuning, and maybe emergency repairs for cars that don't reach the finish line on the test track. Bandsaws and bench sanders are not needed. Neither are paint or paint booths.

Drills or drill presses or Dremel tools might be needed to remove excess weight. Tools and supplies to tune the weight (not to add the bulk weight, but to tune the weight), to lube, and to install axles would be useful. A test track to make sure all the cars reach the finish line. That sort of thing.

But our derby schedule is a series of 3 Saturday morning workshops, followed by a midweek registration/weigh-in, followed by a Saturday derby. So we already do things rather differently than you.



Speedster
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Re: Night-before build day

Post by Speedster » Sat Mar 14, 2020 2:33 pm

leerbennett, what you are asking can be done but not using an AWANA kit or any other kit. However, if what you want is for 25 children to build cars and have them race ready in a few hours, that can be done with perhaps 3 or 4 people helping. The weight would be 80 % ready before the workshop started. I've done it once with 3 people. Here's how it was accomplished.
Hodges Hobby house wedge blocks #57
BSA wheel axle kits
Hodges 3/8" x 5 1/2" lead rods. Lead rod cut for rear 2 holes before work starts. They're 1 1l2" long.
Spread axle slots, push axles in with drill press.
Cut duct tape correct size. color of choice.
Black sharpie to make sides of block black.

Quick graphite job.

You're done.
Cost about $180.00.
AWANA kits I think are about $7.00 ea.



leerbennett
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Re: Night-before build day

Post by leerbennett » Sat Mar 14, 2020 6:11 pm

My main goal would be to get more families to participate. Families on the margin don't want to spend $100+ nor spend weeks learning to build a highly competitive car. Last year we had one family cutout cars the night before, paint overnight, and race the next day. However, this case required a lot of volunteer support. Other similar programs provide two cutout dates well ahead of the event, but historically we have only had one.
Our Grand Prix is an optional event, taking place on a different night than our normal club meetings.
By adding cutout support the night before, I am wondering:
1. Would participation actually increase OR might existing families just wait till the last minute.
2. If we open the door to helping the night before, should we expect a lot of demand for help.

Note we haven't provided any sort of test track availability and that seems a bit much for our group to take on. For fairness, we don't want to allow anyone to test on our only real track prior to the event as not everyone would get the same chance due to scheduling.



Speedster
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Re: Night-before build day

Post by Speedster » Sat Mar 14, 2020 8:08 pm

This particular speed build would cost each person about $7.50 (plus there's always shipping) but they would have the weight so it would be cheaper then buying a kit. You would actually be holding the weight in with duct tape. Darin is right about everything. You're going to have 25 children and their adult helper doing the same thing at the same time. It's going to take a lot more time then what you might think. If you are familiar with the Science of Matter and its Motion then doing my build follows all the rules. There's also some fun for everyone building a car with a group this way. Everyone sees the cars going together. You will get a lot of very close races and I guarantee they will all reach the finish line.

I'll tell you what I'll do. I will send you the car, a set of wheels and axles, 1 lead rod with pieces cut for the 2 back holes, and a Black sharpie. I'll explain the width to cut the duct tape to cover the top. You buy a roll of duct tape in your favorite color. 1 picture of a car that's been built this way. The car has had the slots spread and the left front slot raised for a 3 wheeler. I don't have a completely stock block. You can sit down with a racer and see how long it takes you to totally complete the car. Then think about 25 beginners doing the same thing at the same time.

There is no charge for anything and I'll pay the shipping.
email me if you're interested and we'll talk about it.



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Re: Night-before build day

Post by Speedster » Tue Mar 17, 2020 11:10 am

This topic made me think of many things so I decided to see how cheap this could be done with only a hammer, box cutter and something to cut the lead. Lead is soft and cuts easily. I'm using 24 cars because of the pricing of some things from the vendors.
24 cars - $58.80
16 lead rods - $28.00
MV wheels. and axles - $46.80. MV wheels only with BSA axles (chisel point versus blunt end) are the same price
7 Rolls duct tape - Walmart - $27.16. 7 colors, Red, blue, green, gold, silver, black, white,
Total cost - $160.76 or $6.70 each car.
There would be shipping costs from Hodges Hobby House and Maximum Velocity.

The weight would be cut for the 2 back holes before the activity started because they each take a 1 1/2" piece of 3/8" lead rod. The racers would see the rods being installed in the car but time would not be wasted doing the cutting. You're right, you need a scale to determine weight for the 3rd hole.

I realize everyone does not have a Pinewood Derby track but a "track" can be made out of a sheet of 3/8" plywood and 1 1/2" pine lattice strip. Ladders, chairs, bricks and anything you can think of would hold the track in place.

What if someone had a Birthday party for 10 children, or whatever number, they built a car and then raced it. The kids have a race car to take home with them. Or maybe you have a family get together and Grandma wants to have a car too. The possibilities are endless.

Happy racing Everyone.



Speedster
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Re: Night-before build day

Post by Speedster » Wed Mar 18, 2020 1:28 pm

This is something that will save a lot of time in the build.

The top of the car was covered with the full width of duct tape. The piece was placed on the top of the car with one side even with the side, car turned over, extra tape removed with a box carter and cutting board. No cutting of a special size duct tape. 1 piece of lead rod, - 3/8" x 1 1/2" , placed in each of 2 rear holes. Nothing placed in 3rd hole. Wheels were installed. Car weighed 136.28 grams. Car balanced 1 1/2" in front of rear axle slot. I would recommend the cars be run this way because they will all be very close to this weight. If the cars were to be made to weigh 141.75 grams (5 ounces) it would take a lot of time because it would be necessary to cut a piece of lead rod about 1/4" and then keep trimming it until you got what you wanted.

This will have been a lesson in the Science of Matter and its Motion. If the racers are interested in speed you will have given them a good start.



leerbennett
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Re: Night-before build day

Post by leerbennett » Thu Mar 19, 2020 9:44 am

A night before build day would be a very different type of event than our Grand Prix tradition.
In my case I am looking to add build help the night before; we already have a cut out date weeks before the event and a pit crew for an hour before the event. Looking to provide additional help with a limited number of volunteers.
My question is how to "flatten the curve" and match the demand for help with the limited capacity of the volunteers.
So for example, I think that the night-before build should not be announced/advertised until after the initial cutout day.



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Re: Night-before build day

Post by Speedster » Thu Mar 19, 2020 12:55 pm

You're very 1st paragraph said you wanted to run a night before "build day". That opens you up for anything and everything. You're inviting children to a Workshop. You will need to be able to build and complete a car. That's going to include weight if someone walks in with an AWANA kit. If you advertise this and you can't provide what the folks think you meant I fear there's going to be problems. If you do this workshop I would be interested to learn what the folks ask you to do.
I wish you well.



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Re: Night-before build day

Post by Speedster » Fri Mar 20, 2020 8:18 am

leerbennett, Please be patient with me. I have a few questions regarding the car.
Do you use the AWANA kit? If so, are the kits given to the racers FREE? If not, do you keep extra kits for someone wanting a kit at the last moment?
What are the rules of the race? I am presently working with someone in AWANA and their rules allow an Extended wheelbase. Do your rules allow an Extended wheelbase?



mclewis_13
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Re: Night-before build day

Post by mclewis_13 » Fri Mar 20, 2020 8:11 pm

I’m in the same boat as you. I don’t have an answer for how it will affect your numbers. I can tell you how we do it.

Since we don’t have many tools and about 60 cars purchased this year we are doing 4 pit nights, completely optional. They are 3 hours each across a month of Saturday’s.

We are providing weights, paints, and tool access.

Day 1 - Design and Cut and sand.

Day 2 - weights modifications for axels location

Day 3 - Paint axle tire prep

Day 4 - track is set up for tests runs and tuning.

I pray we can still race when this is all over. I’ve got my truck all prepped and ready to roll.



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