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mashmaster

Parents.....

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even more than that, I'm bothered by the high number of premade kits being entered.....and even winning the most creative awards and similar....

We tell some of our parents that if you don't have access to ban saws and no carpentry skill at all Hobby Lobby sells BSA PWD kits, all you do is snap on the wheels and paint them up but that they'd have to work out the weight.

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From my point of view, what was once a fun activity for the boys has somehow been morphed into a win-at-all-cost competition.  I think my son viewed it that way and thus figured it wasn't worth the hassle.  That was 30 years ago now.  I'm thinking it's gotten worse over the years.

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A general purpose hand cut saw (cross cut even) and a rasp, and a bit of sandpaper is all that's needed... a cheap little hand coping saw helps for fancier shapes. Most folks have a hand drill motor or even an old fashioned manual auger.... no need for a drill press.  Actually one can get by without a drill at all.

band saws and power tools really aren't necessary.

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Ship the block to some third world orphanage with the design specs and have their kids send it back. Maybe one day they'll get a crack at those manufacturing jobs we complain about everyone losing. :D

We tell some of our parents that if you don't have access to ban saws and no carpentry skill at all Hobby Lobby sells BSA PWD kits, all you do is snap on the wheels and paint them up but that they'd have to work out the weight.

i tell parents just give the kids markers and have them decorate the block.

 

My oldest brother made my first PWD car. I'm sure he thought he was helping me, but I just watched him round out the edges using the saw in his wood shop and apply a perfectly even coat of paint. He let me nail the wheels on. Although I always appreciated my brother's care, I never did like that car and never was particularly proud of the 3rd place ribbon it got.

 

The other cars I made: made with my pen knife and whatever paints me and my buddies could find.

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I saw one boy take the pieces out of the box, put it together get the weight right, and entered it as is.  Didn't win anything, but it was his car and he got to participate in the Derby.  EVERYBODY in the event knew who made THAT car and the notoriety and attention he got he thought was pretty cool.

 

Yes, like @@qwazse I have seen a couple of the cars over the years made with a whittling knife.

Edited by Stosh
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Later, when I was old enough to do the heavy lifting and help Dad clean out the garage, I learned that the goofy wooden thing with a motor on the side was a band saw my brother had made from scratch. 8) So much for teaching a man to fish.

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As a Commissioner, I am inevitably on the check in table.  I make it a point to talk to the Cub, not the adult.  I ask  him, do you want to add weight, or shave this off, or what is the cars name.   If the adult answers, I politely ignore them and ask the Cub again.   I get some good answers, even get the car re-assigned to the adult class! 

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This is why I preferred the space ship, wind up the prop, let it fly, watch it crash, rebuild it, and repeat event. It was all for the boys and they enjoyed it because they got to do it over and over and over. It was pure fun.

 

The pinewood derby will always bring out the worst in adults. I saw it nearly 20 years ago with parents using CNC machines to hollow out the wheels so I don't think it has changed. Fortunately it's just the pinewood derby. It sort of reminded me of the win all you can game at wood badge.

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This is why I preferred the space ship, wind up the prop, let it fly, watch it crash, rebuild it, and repeat event. It was all for the boys and they enjoyed it because they got to do it over and over and over. It was pure fun.

 

The pinewood derby will always bring out the worst in adults. I saw it nearly 20 years ago with parents using CNC machines to hollow out the wheels so I don't think it has changed. Fortunately it's just the pinewood derby. It sort of reminded me of the win all you can game at wood badge.

ha ha....

sorry to say, yes it has changed since then.

Now the rules have been carefully crafted by some lawyer, probably a buddy of said machinist

    I forget how it was worded, but in my district a few years ago anyway.... basically it very cleverly says you can's modify the wheels but yet you can. The average parent, not to even mention kid, would read it to mean that you can't touch the wheels..... but if you were clever you would see that you can....

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This is why the pack my son was in added a Lego derby to their yearly agenda. The pack purchased special Lego wheels that fit on the PWD track. The kids would make their own car bodies at home or borrow from the bin of Legos that the pack would provide on race day. We'd attach the wheels and they would take turns racing them just for fun on the track. When they were done, they could rebuild and race again. It was much more fun for the boys, and at least you knew they were building the cars themselves. The siblings enjoyed participating too.

 

FOLLOW UP - Yikes, I just did a search for Lego wheels to provide a link to the company where we bought the wheels (it was Derby Magic). It now looks like other companies that provide PWD cars and accessories are into the game and they have already turned the fun act of building Lego cars into a competitive sport. There's lists of rules, ways to add weight, suggestions for shaving the Lego wheels, etc. I'm shocked and saddened. This is probably how the whole PWD thing turned into what it is today rather than just a fun thing a dad and his son could do together.

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So my troop is helping the local Pack at their Pinewood derby tomorrow.  I see this message of a mom of a cub scout that is a Webelos I.  It make me angry and sad at the same time.

 

Child X's 2017 Pinewood Derby car.

This is the third one I have made. I hope it's as fast as last year's.

The above is why  my  two scouts' cars never won a heat in their combined 10 years of PWD competition. It's ok, because they still had fun. 

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even more than that, I'm bothered by the high number of premade kits being entered.....and even winning the most creative awards and similar....

Way back when I was a WDL, the Pack had one year with maybe 10% of the boys with premade cars (including the overall winner).  We then made a rule for next year that the PWD kit had to be used.  Didn't have the problem ag ain.

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