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Catfish Car - Jennifer Camden

In January 2009, my son Hunter wanted to create a catfish pinewood
derby car. He and my husband took a picture of a catfish that Hunter
caught and began working. We were not sure if the car was going to be
fast, but we were going more for looks. Turns out that he received 1st
place in his Den out of 43 Cub Scouts. He also received a trophy for
most creative.

The Arrow - Scott Schnegelberger

Long, long ago (early 2004 to be exact) we did an adult Pinewood Derby
race with modified/extended rules (not a full Outlaw race), and I
ended up falling in love with your Arrow plans. So I bought the
booklet and built the Arrow. Not being too much of a shop geek, it
took me a little longer than your average adult male, but the plans
are well laid out and easy to follow.

I ended up hand-painting an "Order of the Arrow" design on the car,
and it turned out pretty darn good. My car even ended up being dead-
on at 5.0 ounces, so I didn't have to change a thing. A few days
later, I won First Place at the derby. Truth be told, it wasn't even
close... I'm sure the NyOil II helped, but I'm more certain it was the
actual design of the car and the distribution of the weight that made
the difference.

I still have it, proudly displayed on my office desk, most of the
time. The kids played with it and the wheels are probably out of
alignment, and it has some dings on the corners, but it still looks
good. They still find it and play with it when I'm not looking. I
guess they know a good thing when they see it.

'56 Ford Pickups - Lyle and Ben Leis

2009 was the last year for my son to compete in the Pinewood Derby
since he was a Webelos II. He has done well in the past with a
variety of cars, but for his last year, he wanted to build a pickup
truck. We bought a '56 Ford Step side die cast car to copy and
scratch built from there. Since we only had two weeks to get it
completed, it was an ambitious project.

In the past, I have built several exhibition cars while my son built
more conventional cars. Using the profile of the die cast car, we
started with a sketch of the top and side view of the truck using the
Boy Scout wheelbase and overall dimensional requirements. Since this
project required a hollow scratch built body and woodcarving skills,
we each built a truck with me working step by step ahead of my son
while he followed/copied my work on his truck. The original Pinewood
block was cut down to 3/8" thick and thin pine stock was added to form
the bed and truck cab. The panels were carved and sanded to final
shape followed by many coats of primer with sanding between. Since
the colors are transparent, a silver base coat was used under the
transparent top coats. The hollow lead tanks in the rear of the beds
are formed from stick on wheel weights and final weight adjustment was
made using lead shot. A wood screw between the truck bed and the cab
secures the cab to the chassis.

Although the truck didn't do well in the races due to aerodynamic
considerations, for the first time, my son has taken interest in
woodcarving, so I consider it a huge success. His truck also won a
trophy for the Most Unique design, although the judges were probably
not aware of the hollow cab and woodcarving required for the build.

Read More at: Pinewood Derby Times Volume 9, Issue 9

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