After many years away from cub scouts, I ended up touching on the pinewood derby again Saturday. A friend came over to use my tools for his son’s car.

Most of the work had already been done but he wanted to polish the axles to reduce friction and add some weight to the bottom. This he did by himself. That left me to mind the boy.

This kid was a pistol and by that I mean hyperactive. He’s good natured enough but he got bored by the interminable polishing (which is understandable) and I had to occupy him. I ended up clamping some wood scraps in the vice and giving him a saw with which he cut off numerous chunks of wood which I am still finding today. Is was after all only natural to try and throw them into the trash basketball style from across the room. The only problem with this plan was that he would cut off a piece and quickly turn the saw onto the next thing at hand such as my workbench or some of the jigs I have laying around.

We finished up and everyone seemed happy. I hope they do well in the race. Cars win by only milliseconds so it’s hard to say whether any given trick helps or not.

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