Friday, March 1, 2013

It's almost Derby Time...

... the Pinewood Derby, that is!  

Even though this is Trevor's first year in Cub Scouts, we've been making Pinewood Derby cars for the past two years to exhibit and race at the fair.  We have great fun planning, building and racing our cars.

The first time I made a car was 2011.  My dad has an amazing workshop (more on that later), but we didn't have time to visit before the entry due date, so I was stuck using the tools we have here.  I made one simple cut (by hand) then relied on my painting skills to make a fabulous (if I do say so myself) Watermelon Car.

Last year, we made plans to head to my parents' house to make our cars.  I used a table saw to cut a gentle wedge, then used the drill press to create a bunch of holes on one end.  After chiseling, sanding, painting, decoupaging and gluing, I had an awesome Popcorn Box Car.

Last weekend, we went to my parents' house to use my dad's tools to make this year's cars. As I mentioned, my dad has an incredibly impressive workshop.  He is one of those people who can build or fix anything.  From the time I was born (in 1972) to the time my parents sold our house (1984), my dad more than doubled the square footage of the house (by adding on a playroom and a second story) and made most of the furniture in the house.  He also built a 2-story cabin in the mountains.  And dozens of other things.  All this was in his spare time and without any formal training.

As the oldest child, I grew up "helping" Dad with all his projects.  I was the only 5 year old on the block who knew how to mix mortar and lay bricks.  I could hang drywall and I knew why it was important to countersink a screw.  There are pictures of me around age 7 on the 2-story roof installing shingles.  One of these days, I'll share some pictures of the beautiful woodworking my dad does.  
For now, here are some pictures of us starting our Pinewood cars.  That's my dad helping Trevor use the band saw to rough out the shape of his car.  

 
Next, Grandpa helped Trevor use the belt sander.

 
Then they moved to the drill press, where Trevor drilled a hole where a tail will go.  

 
Safety first!  Dad hadn't yet replaced shop glasses that had broken, so we all wore sunglasses as eye protection.  Here I am, using the belt sander.

 
And here's Steve on the band saw.  

 
Now that we've done all the design work, cutting and sanding, our next step is painting and accessorizing, which we'll work on next week.  I promise to show pictures when they're done! In the meantime, do you have any guesses what our cars will look like?  :)

10 comments:

  1. Wonderful memories, and skills that will last a lifetime!! I thought it was amazing that my nephew (at 6 years old) knew the difference between flat/phillips screwdrivers and what channellocks were, LOL! :) I didn't realize he'd ever been around that stuff!

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  2. I can't wait to see the cars!
    I went back & checked out the previous years!
    I think you'll do a honeycomb car!
    Being that octagons are in!

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    1. Good guess, but no. But I think a bee might be a GREAT idea for next year!

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  3. BTW, that chair that Trevor is standing on is another one of Cindy's father's creations. It unfolds into a step lader.

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    1. True. And it's worth mentioning that he built the entire shop itself, from the ground up.

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  4. Wow Cindy, Your Dad is quite the craftsman! Very, very cool. I'm going to guess and say that your car will be a bunny car!

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    1. You are correct! Mine will be a bunny car! I was going to keep with my food theme, but couldn't design something I was happy with. As I struggled with a design idea, the answer was (literally) under my feet. :)

      Trevor will not be doing a bunny. He watched me sketch my design and that gave him the idea for his, which is also an animal....

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  5. Can't wait to see the cars!! And that is cool about the chair that Trevor is standing on!!

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  6. Wow. It must be awesome to grow up learning all those cool skills! Can't wait to see the completed project.

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  7. What a wonderful grandpa and a great set-up he has. It's easy to see that being handy and crafty runs in your family!

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