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