My boys go to a club at church called AWANA and one of the activities they enjoy the most is the annual pine car derby, with this year’s being held tomorrow night. It always proves to be a great time when fathers, (and mothers too), get to act just like the kids, watching their cars race down the track.
The photos you see here are the creations my boys and I have come up with over the past few years. The last two years I did most of the work on their cars while they instructed me on how they wanted them to look. This year I took a different approach. I really wanted them to have more of the hands on building with me being there to help them as necessary and to make sure fingers didn’t get cut off in the process.
If you’ve never been introduced to building one of these, the basics are as follows: You start with a block of pine that measures approximately 7(l) x 1 ¾(w) x 1 ¾(h) inches. You are also given four plastic wheels and four metal axles. From here you are allowed to make any type of design you want as long as the overall weight doesn’t exceed 5oz.
So equipped with our car kits, a lot of imagination and a good amount of enthusiasm, the boys and I headed to the “body shop” otherwise known as the garage. After they decided on their design it was time to break out the power tools. (Insert a Tim Taylor grunting sound here). Tool number one would be the band saw. They held the block of wood and guided the blade along the lines they had traced while I kept my hands on top of theirs.
Mission accomplished…both cars got cut out and everyone had the same amount of fingers as when the evening began. Next up, the belt and disc sander. I once again helped them safely learn how to use the sander to smooth out the rough cuts from the saw.
Time to paint. They both decided to start with gloss black. I think my youngest would have picked sky-blue pink with purple polka dots if that had been the color his brother picked. Being the youngest of three boys I can totally relate to this. I always wanted to be cool like my big brothers. Well, this signalled the end of evening number one and the most difficult part for them. Waiting for the paint to dry.
Night number two consisted of helping them add racing stripes, apply decals and paint things such as, windows, doors, and lights. We then glued the axels in place and applied a liberal amount of graphite to the wheels so they will (hopefully) zip down the track.
This was definitely one of those proud papa moments when my boys and I could bond while playing in the garage.