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Awana Grand Prix #5: Another year went by, 2011

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Blog entry by PaBull posted 12-07-2011 01:05 AM 3594 reads 0 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 4: Wheels, axles and wheight Part 5 of Awana Grand Prix series no next part

It is November 2011, time to get the blocks of wood, wheels and axles ready for the race. We will have nine cars in the race this year, that is 36 wheels and 36 axles.

I never use the wooden block provided by the club. I do not like the position of the axles (too close together) and I do not like the slots. Other years I have always drilled new holes for the axles. I was never happy with how square the axles were in the block. This caused extra friction.

Always looking for that perfect clear piece of pine. Get rid of the knots.

I square all the boards up on the table saw to be sure all sides were in 90 degree to each other. I like to go to the maximum length they allow me to go, 7”.

On my shooting board I trough them up with my low angle plane.

This year I started with a 3/4×1 3/4×7” block. Cut grooves on the table saw, with the blade set at a 45.


Cut grooves on the tablesaw, with the blade set at a 45. This year I went 3/4” from the front of the car and 5/8 from the back of the car.

The groove needs to be just barely big enough for the axle.

I mark the area the kids can NOT touch. This is where the wheel will be touching the car body. Then underneath I glued a 1/4 board to close off the axle holes.

It this point I let the kids loose on the car bodies. They design the car on paper, and do most of the cutting themselves. They use the band saw, chisels, handsaws, whatever it takes. After this the sand the cars and paint them. I used Shellac to give the cars a nice glossy finish.

For weight I like to use pennies to get them right up to that 5 oz mark.. They fit really nice in a 3/4 hole.

I mount my drill in the vise and plug it into an outlet with a switch and cord. With a zip tie I set the speed of the drill just right and use the switch to turn it on and off.

When working the axles, I use first a small file to get the corner cleaned up. Next I use 300, 600 and 1500 grid sand paper. And finally a polishing past.

I do use a professional microscope to look at the axles real close to see if I missed anything. The picture above is taken with my camera hovering above the microscope. Here you can see the axle above is nice and square, and it is polished up to a high gloss.

Then the race begins:

There were a total of 75 cars entered for this event, as I said, 9 cars were ours. The first three trophies were given for design, we got one of these. The next seven trophies were for speed, we got three of them.

The last one was for the fastest car overall, this one came home too for this black and red car.

And above my favorite, “Mater” from “Cars”.

Kids were happy, that makes me happy.

Thanks for looking, Pabull.

-- rhykenologist and plant grower



9 comments so far

View Brett's profile

Brett

636 posts in 1429 days


#1 posted 12-07-2011 01:45 AM

Very nice. We’re finished with our Grand Prix years, but we had a lot of fun (and won a few trophies) over the years.

Here’s a tip: I abandoned using slots for the axles after our second year. Instead, I started drilling holes for the axles, initially with a drill and a metal jig (which can be purchased online) and later with a drill press. Much more secure than grooves cut with a table saw. Plus, you can also drill one hole higher than the others so the car rides on just three wheels, which is faster. (Of course, your local club’s rules may not allow this).

-- More tools, fewer machines.

View PaBull's profile

PaBull

928 posts in 2411 days


#2 posted 12-07-2011 02:12 AM

Thanks Brett.

I have drilled for years, but after checking the holes i found out the holes were never perpendicular to the block. The slots worked great this year. I will be doing slots again next year.

And yes, we do all our cars on three wheels, lift one front wheel by 1/8” or so. (no problems with club rules)

-- rhykenologist and plant grower

View redryder's profile

redryder

2231 posts in 1848 days


#3 posted 12-07-2011 09:02 AM

My grandson showed up one day after scouts with one of these kits. He wants to build a car but I can’t figure out how you go about weighing to 5 oz….........

-- mike...............

View Bluepine38's profile

Bluepine38

2953 posts in 1832 days


#4 posted 12-07-2011 04:31 PM

Red Ryder, an inexpensive postal scale will get you close, and then we went down to the post office after
hours and used the digital lobby scale that most post offices have for the self service machines.

-- As ever, Gus-the 76 yr young apprentice carpenter

View mafe's profile

mafe

9670 posts in 1836 days


#5 posted 12-07-2011 04:41 PM

That is a awfully cool collection of cars!
What a creativity and what a bunch of victory!
And even the fastest also.
It seemed like a wonderful time spend, and like a day that will always be remembered by you.
Congratulations to all of you here from Denmark.
Best thoughts my friend,
Mads

-- Mad F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View PaBull's profile

PaBull

928 posts in 2411 days


#6 posted 12-07-2011 05:16 PM

Red, Blue is correct. I use a scale to get me close. I like to know what I am getting into before the design is done. So lets take Mater, he is completely hollow inside, while with the wooden skateboard, I had to drill 6 holes to find space for all the pennies to make up for lack of weight. With check-in at club, I would add and subtract pennies as needed to get it right at 5 oz.

Thanks Mads. It was a lot of fun. All the kids in the shop, pulling out last years cars, all the funky designs they come up with. And having the fastest car in the family tops it.

-- rhykenologist and plant grower

View mafe's profile

mafe

9670 posts in 1836 days


#7 posted 12-07-2011 11:38 PM

;-) hope you guys enjoy christmas time, Mathilde and I are going to put up christmas stuff tomorrow here, sp I look forward to a day of smiles, and I bought a little christmas tree we can decorate.
Best thoughts,
Mads

-- Mad F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View PaBull's profile

PaBull

928 posts in 2411 days


#8 posted 12-08-2011 01:01 AM

Mads, I started last night with Christmas gifts. The two youngest six year old girls are making picture frames. These we crafts at a local big home-improvement store, Home Depot. Next is painting and finding pictures. These will be for all the married couples of our household. Next will be pine cutting boards made by the boys, also for the couples. And the list goes on.
We saddled for a PLASTIC Christmas tree this year, due to tight budget. This one was donated to our church, and they thought our house was a good home for it.
Say “Hi” to all including Mathilde from all of us.

-- rhykenologist and plant grower

View Brett's profile

Brett

636 posts in 1429 days


#9 posted 01-13-2012 11:17 PM

As far as weighting our cars, I had good luck with 3/8” lead wire (search for “3/8 lead wire pinewood” online). I drilled two or three 3/8” holes into the side of the car, parallel to the rear axle, and inserted as much wire as needed to get the weight up to 5 ounces. Bondo (used to repair dents in full-sizes cars) works great to fill up the holes. If you need to fine-tune the weight of the car, a U.S. quarter weighs almost exactly 0.20 oz., so you can tape one or two of them to the bottom in a pinch.

-- More tools, fewer machines.

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