With race day approaching, it was time to get Lucas excited about designing his Pinewood Derby car for Boy Scouts. It only took a quick search on Google to get his brain ticking. His first idea was very simple...a carrot shape painted metallic green. Not a bad idea. He kept searching and brainstorming while we told him that there is a lot you can do with a block of wood, a band saw and a Dad as an engineer. :) Lucas decided he wanted to have a cool design and really wasn't worried about how fast it went. He decided that a Harry Potter Firebolt Broom Stick would be his design. We showed him how to draw the different aspects (top view, side view, etc.) and soon the Firebolt was in the making. Dad found a co-worker with a bandsaw (who happens to be the Cubmaster) and he and Lucas rode their bikes across the neighborhood to carve out the broomstick. Little did Lucas know, this was only the beginning.
When Lucas wasn't looking, Dad did a little carving with the Dremel tool (how did we survive without these?) to bring it up to his standards of perfection. Then Dad recounted his austere childhood filled with many, many hours laboriously sanding his pinewood derby cars...no power tools were available back in ancient times. Dad explained how his staunch ethics of hard work, persistence, honesty and valor were all direct results of hand-sanding, and Lucas would someday thank him for the opportunity to do the same. Lucas accepted the challenge without complaint (before he realized how much sanding it would take to make it paint-worthy). Dad was a great supervisor; always willing to tell Lucas that he "wasn't quite done yet," and he shouldn't be in such a hurry.
|New tools = new fun!|
Finally, after many eons of sanding, it was ready for primer. As it was right in the middle of the notorious Polar Vortex (in Florida that's anything below 50 degrees) Mike set up a paint booth inside our house (don't worry, it's a rental). After a short briefing, Lucas spray painted on the primer and let it dry.
|Setting up his car in the paint booth|
|Our kitchen table for the week.|
|Looks pretty awesome Lucas!!|
|Listening to the pack leader, Mr. Lindsay|
|The WEBLO's had a race to kick start the day.|
|Lots of cool designs. Mike pointed out that designs have become much more elaborate since his days as a cubscout...no doubt due to the internet's ability to instantly share pictures and ideas.|
|Lucas registering the Firebolt, for the record, he's in Den 4. :)|
|The competition in Den 4. From L to R there's a broomstick, and aircraft carrier, a "Bad Piggies" car, and big grey rectangle.|
With the narrow broom stick design and heavy weights in the back we were skeptical of its structural integrity. It had a weak spot at the bottom of the handle where Dad nearly poked through drilling holes for the weights, so we were afraid it might not survive the race. We decided to take our chances and not do any test runs the day before. We also made sure that Lucas knew that it might not last, though we had super glue ready to go.
He didn't seem too concerned and was eager to join his Wolf Den.
It was race time!!
|There were 4 racers in his Den and here they are ready for the race to begin.|
|Neck and neck...|
|First across the line!!|
|The competition in Den 7.|
|Setup for the Wolf category race-off with all the top Den winners.|
|The Firebolt wins the first race!|
|Lucas was quick to see that he was the winner!!|
|This was a car with a remote camera on it for filming the action!|
Lucas was beside himself. Dad made a valiant effort trying to underscore the lesson that hard work and persistence pay off...blah, blah, blah...while Lucas nodded vacantly. He also tried to explain that "luck" is a big part of it, and that next time we might not win, and those kids that he beat worked hard too. He agreed and was super happy luck was on his side this time around. :)
After the races the boys were awarded certificates in various categories like best painting, most innovative, most creative, etc. There were some cool cars!!
|There's the Firebolt|
|Top 3 from Den 4.|
|Lucas getting his 1st place ribbon.|
|Wolves Top 3 Racers|
|Proud 8 year old!! The expression is priceless...genuine joy and disbelief.|
|Great job Lucas, we hope you had fun!! We are so proud of you!!!|