Tag Archives: Pinewood Derby

Pinewood derby

Mr. B. decided to stick with his design for last year’s car, which unexpectedly took third place in the pack’s race. But he couldn’t resist decorating this year’s car with a full-body decal of red and yellow flames topped off with lines of menacing skulls. Very second grade. At least it will save painting and inhaling the fingernail polish we used last year to make the paint sparkle. Now that the wood is cut–this year by one of the den father’s with a band saw–we need to enlist a family friend with a belt-sander to help him sand it smooth, and polish the axles so the plastic wheels turn faster. Like last year we’ll go into the race not expecting to win anything. But you never know.

Third Place


Mr. Boy’s car won third place overall, out of about sixty "vehicles," in his Cub Scout Pack’s Pinewood Derby race. Also the second-place ribbon for his Tiger Cub (first grade) scout den. Mr. B. chose the car’s shape and colors and did the painting, and was aided by a family friend’s band saw, belt sander and electric drill with the cutting of the block, and his polishing of the axles and plastic wheels. Dad put the wheels and axles on and glued them in place, and handled the distribution of the lead weights up to a maximum of 5 ounces, and Mom contributed clear fingernail polish to make the acrylic paint gleam.We went mentally prepared to lose, so were delighted to win 3rd. 

Pinewood Derby

Mr. Boy’s car is almost ready. He’s off from school on Friday (school district’s "recognition" of Veteran’s Day on Saturday) so we’ll get the wheels and axles on then, and take a picture of it to post here. He realizes we may very well lose the first heat and be unable to compete after that. Trying to ease his disappointment before it arrives. This first year, I said and Mr. B. agreed, will be our experiment. Next year we’ll know more about the local Cub Scout competition, and have some better idea what works best and can move accordingly. All very scientific, of course.

Cub preview

Mr. Boy and his Tiger Cub pals get another shot at attending a Longhorns football practice on Thursday, before which I will be trying to narrow down his color choices for his first Pinewood Derby entry. Uncannily he drew a profile for the car on his rectangular block of soft pine that almost matched the optimal shape found in the "speed kit" books available on the Internet for tips n tricks, etc. Indeed, thanks to a family friend who is a former scoutmaster, Mr. B.’s block has already been cut by band saw, and belt-sanded, and his "axles" and plastic wheels polished with the aid of sandpaper and an electric drill. It’s not all adult-takeover, as Mr. B.’s fingers did the actual work. More later on an interesting industry that’s grown up around this pre-teen cub scout activity.

UPDATE  The Tiger-Cubs-attend-practice was postponed for a second time, this time due to a soggy field being an injury risk to the players getting ready for what could be a tough game against Nebraska. The practice was moved inside where there isn’t enough seating for the cubs and parents.