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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
The Pinewood Derby for my son's Cub Scout pack is coming up soon, and we've been working on his car.

....and one for me. :rolleyes: (Unlimited division, of course.)

I decided on doing the Galileo shuttlecraft from TOS, and I have it mostly done. (I'll have to post some pictures soon.) I painted it an overall gray with acrylic paint, and used some sort of fine-tipped marker to draw on all the lines and markings.

Here's where I have a problem. I'd like to protect the paintjob with some sort of clear coat. My wife had something (not sure what it was) to brush over it that I tested in one spot. Not only did the marker lines smear, they started bleeding like crazy. I sanded and cleaned up that spot, but now I'm not sure what to do next. Does anyone have some suggestions as to what I should use as a clear coat?

B.J.
 

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Krylon Crystal Clear from a rattle can is my suggestion, you can mist it lightly, let it dry, mist again, etc. You can get a can for a couple of bucks at any Michaels or Walmart. But any acrylic would probably work (Future, Dullcoat, etc), the trick is applying it lightly at first.
 

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You can always use Future Floor wax. It's a clear polymer that leaves a nice protective shine. You can either brush it on (self-leveling) or shoot it through an airbrush.

BTW - years ago I was a Scout leader and had my boys building Pinewood Derby cars. They asked me if I was going to build one. Since I drove a 1967 VW that I'd restored, I made a VW racer! It turned out pretty good and even won a couple of races with the other Scout leaders. I've still got it somewhere.

Rob
 

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Shit thats right. The derby is coming up and I havent even started wtih my son. Its our first year (He's a tiger and Im the den leader). Any advice for a n00b?
 

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I think the pinewood derby shuttlecraft is a fun idea! How about a Lost in Space chariot? Or a Chitty Chitty Bang Bang?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
No real advice here, since this is the first time in almost two decades that I've done this. My son's a Tiger as well, and he designed his own car. Luckily, he drew a very simple shape that could be cut out easily with a bandsaw. The shaping of the car is probably the hardest part of most designs, since after that all you do is paint, add details/decals, and put on the wheels.

BTW, I was able to use my dad's bandsaw to cut my son's car when we were visiting him, but no such luck for my own "shuttlecar". I had to do all the cutting and shaping with a Dremel and a very limited set of attachments! I'm just glad I didn't screw it up too bad.
 

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My son's a Wolf and this is our second derby. Last year we made a batmobile which didn't win. This year we're going for the scout spirit award and adorning the car with scout patch stickers.

As for advice, it depends on how strict your pack rules are. Ours are very strict. No aftermarket parts, no lathing the wheels, no packing the wheels with graphite, etc. What I can do is debur and polish the axles. I'm told it really helps reduce friction and adds speed. Next, bevel the inside of the axle heads. This reduces the surface area of the head that touches the wheel. Again, less friction. Finally, I'm going to attempt to mount the axles slightly tilted up. The theory here is that less surface area of the wheel touches the track. Yep, you guessed it, less friction, more speed. Oh, I've also heard that if you add weights, you want them at the back/top of the car to gain the most gravity assist possible.

Don't know if any of these tips will truly produce a winner. I'll find out a week from tomorrow.

Please post pics of the Galileo car. Sounds like a cool idea.
 

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We have our Derby next Saturday and still haven't come up with anything yet. I'll have to ask my son if he'd like to make his into a Photon Torpedo. Simple design for just 7 days to go.
 

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jheilman said:
...As for advice, it depends on how strict your pack rules are. Ours are very strict. No aftermarket parts, no lathing the wheels, no packing the wheels with graphite, etc. What I can do is debur and polish the axles...
The rule should be: that the car is to be built entirely by the kid. They don't need no stinking soccer dads.
 

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Yes, the kids should do them. I've seen some top shelf cars sporting hand rubbed laquer finishes that were in no way completely built by the Scout.

But, I'm not about to let a 7 year old take a blade to a block of wood. Supervised or not, just one slip and it's laceration or missing digit time. :freak:

I'll run it through the belt sander table and he takes it from there, including the paint and wheel placement. It's all about fun for the kids anyway.
 

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Our local Starfleet chapter tried the same thing, but in a bit larger scale
Shuttlecart
The local Downtown Merchants Association sponsors a "Downhill Derby", kind of a poor man's Soapbox Derby that we entered this one in.
 

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From the Wikipedia:

"... Judging often goes to the best looking car, but sometimes is awarded to a car that looks like it was assembled by an elementary school child."
(Emphasis mine.)

Sooooo...the winner is the dad who can make the best imitation of a child-made pinewood racer? :drunk:
 

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toyroy said:
The rule should be: that the car is to be built entirely by the kid. They don't need no stinking soccer dads.
That certainly depends on the age of the kid. My son isn't using power tools and he was very bummed last year that he didn't win a single race. So, I'm doing little things he can't do to try and improve speed. The car does not have to be entirely finished by the child. In actuality, the idea is that the parent and child build the car together. He's doing painting and sanding and deciding scheme and paint colors.

Someone posted asking for tips and I thought I'd help out. Kind of resent your implication that because I'm working on the car too that I simply show my son the door and take over. Not that case.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
For my son's car, I'm letting him do whatever he wants to, as long as it's within his abilities and it's safe. He's also the one making all the design decisions.

For my own, I finally got some pictures uploaded. It's a bit simplified, but there's only so much I could do personally. Still, I think it looks nice. Still need to get the clear coat on as well as the wheels. In order to get the proportions right, I had to significantly shorten the wheel base. It's not going to win any races, but it'll look good doing it!
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Considering I live in Huntsville, AL (aka Rocket City), which has the largest concentration of engineers in the country, I don't think I'll have any problems with recognition.
 
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