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AAACCKKK! Derby car paint emergency!

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I think one of the best parts of PWD is that it is a project parents and son are supposed to do TOGETHER. What's the point of the program if all by themselves boys do is slap on a couple coats of paint and hammer the wheels on?


Yes, my boys and I spend a lot of time working on our cars. Do I spend more time working on the cars than other parents? I'm sure I do. I'll also wager that my kids spend more time working on their cars than most other boys.


Our pack PWD tends to be competitive so there are always a lot of fast cars. We spend most of our efforts on design and one of my boys has won either Best Design or Most Creative the past three years (those awards are voted on by the other Scouts). I have my boys start by designing their cars -- all by themselves -- out of Playdoh. We then work together to build the car in wood.


I'll also admit that I have a killer workshop -- makes that Norm guy on PBS look underfunded. I've been a woodworking nut since shop class in junior high, so this is right up my alley. But we share the wealth, too. We always host a PWD workshop at our house and invite families to come over and use any of the equipment the need.

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Dear Windmills,


Please note that while I pointed out that the pinewood derby is for the kids' cars, i did not advocate 6-10 year olds running pieces of wood through band saws or power miter saws.


However, even a 6 year old can use sandpaper (once mom or dad or uncle or Don Quixote has used the Tim Allen scrap removal methods).


For Example:


My 5 year old painted his "schoolbus" (a blank piece with an extra piece that he and i glued on top - Elmers is quite kid friendly and doesn't taste bad, but not as well as paste) with a small paintbrush and water based yellow paint. Did it look as good as the Dale Earnhardt #3 car with special Imron paint that one of his contemporaries entered? NO Did it go as fast? NO Did he have a smile on his face a mile wide the entire time? YES.


I cut my 11 year olds' car down for him on the band saw as well to save his fingers (didn't do so well on my thumb, but that's another story and on the spot exercise in webelos first aid - complete with "life like" blood). He was able to do the following ...


1. Sand the block

2. Paint using spray enamel (with Dad supervision, not Dad DO) and yes, his fingers were blue afterwards.

3. Buff the wheels using a Dremel (with Dad supervision, not Dad DO)

4. Buff the axles using a Dremel (with Dad supervision, not Dad DO)

5. Install wheels and axles using small hammer


It didn't go that fast, but it was HIS car. It was HIS race.



I on the otherhand did a GREAT job of making my very own Wheel Horse tractor complete with Lego Man Driver and Big Block Chevy engine (from a monster truck kit bought for more money than the pinewood kit cost). Complete with stickers, counterweights and Chromed breathers and exhaust pipes. Satisfied MY need to DO.


BTW, I would suggest just using a hand sander to remove at least one layer of the paint and repaint using VERY thin coats. Hope your son has a great PW derby.




Don Quixote

Former windmill tilter & PW derby official.


EDIT - Please note the above was written tongue planted firmly in cheek before reading the entire thread and is intended for the Daddy Do crowd, not those parents who actually let their kid *gasp* build *gasp* their own PW Derby car.(This message has been edited by Quixote)

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I have to admit, the way you describe your involvement makes me envious. I'd love to have worked with my boys on their cars. I couldn't do it though. I made the decision right from the start that for me, it was either stay out of it completely or do way more than I think is appropriate. I chose the former. It's a personality flaw I have that if I get involved, I end up doing it myself (I've gotten much better grades this time in grammer school than twenty years ago! LOL). That's the biggest reason I do advancements, not Scoutmastering.


I also envy your work shop. I've got a drill (someday I'll have to find the chuck key again) and a tool kit in one of theose plastic cases.



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mk9750 - you are right - you DID strike a nerve with me. I get extremely frustrated with many (if not most) parents today that prefer to parent in a "hand's-off" fashion. You know the kind - the *Oh let's buy'em an electric scooter and a game boy and then he will stay busy and leave us alone* type of parenting. I took your reply as criticism of the very thing I work so hard at - ensuring that my son has a very well-balanced and meaningful, fun childhood. My son has had his share of hammered thumbs, believe me. He also has a great memory of carving his initials, with his own knife, into a big ole tree up in the White Mountains of New Hampshire on one of our many hikes. I do believe my "approach" is on target, but I always appreciate hearing ideas from other parents, and if your feeling is that kids are too pampered today, I do agree. I am no perfect parent, but I am dedicated to providing my son with the skills, knowledge, and values he needs to be a happy productive adult. TwoCubDad - wow that sounds like an aweshome shop. I inherited the woodworking bug from my father, but it is a passion that is only occasionally indulged due to lack of space (darn it). My son has a whole crateful of scraps that I keep adding to, for his many "creations" he has come up with, but we are pretty much resticted to working outside - and it's too darn cold here right now! Currently he is working on a tree fort, and quite proud of it too. I offer him tips, when asked, but it is his project - not mine. Of course, he has a hard time believing that Mom, being a *girl*, worked on a tree fort when she was a kid. Hmmmph. :-)

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