Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Pinewood Derby happy conclusion

Just after submitting a school assignment that had been giving me anxiety for the past week, I rushed to put the wheels on the two cars and get to the race in time. I always think that the next year I will be ahead of schedule but I always end up finishing right before the race.

Shule ended up winning the race with his toad car driven by a pokemon! This is great because this is his last year so he went out with a bang. I was surprised to find that although Shazer's car didn't do too bad, it was not as close as I thought it would be to Shule's. I inspected it after the race and it turns out that there was a problem with one of Shazer's wheels, there was some glue involved in the final preparations and some got on the wheel. When we left the house I checked that the wheel was spinning freely but I guess the glue wasn't totally dry and in transit some must have seeped where it shouldn't have been. Considering this handicap, it did well and Shazer still has 2 more Derbies to look forward to. His sleek design won the "Most Dynamic" award.
You can see here that before painting, I masked the car around where the wheels go. I smooth this area and apply graphite because the back of the wheel rubs here.
Last night I put the weights in and smoothed out the wheels. I didn't have a scale so I used Shule's first car as a standard and I pieced together a balance with a ruler and a jar of paint.
This simple balance turned out to be quite accurate! When we got to the race the cars were right on and no adjustments were made. The race went quickly; there were only 11 cars this year. All the fuss has paid off and Shule will get a trophy next month at the Blue and Gold banquet.
This is a video of the winning race, look at the left side of the screen at the very end of the video, Shule and Shazer give each other a high five. That's the best part and I nearly missed it.


Mat said...

Congrats to all of you. The cars look great! Winning is gravy.

Anne said...

Congratulations to Shule and Shazer! It sounds like making Derby cars was a great project for all of you to do together, but is it safe to say that you got into it even more than the boys?

Jonathan G.Thwaits said...

yes that's probably true, except that the night before I was really looking forward to it all being over. I just wished the cars would automatically finish themselves. Next year we only have one car to do so that will make it a little less time consuming I think.

the gaileys said...

huh. that is the best story of pinewood racing. i wonder if all the other dads know what an unfair race it is to be up agaisnt you, even with glue in the wheel. are you sure you really are looking forward to only one car next year? sounds like you are totally in the grove.