Friday, February 08, 2013

the pinewood derby

We've known for a couple of weeks now that the Pinewood Derby would be this weekend.


And while my husband bought the official Pinewood Derby car - - which is essentially a block of pine wood that he needs to sculpt in to a car - - he has done nothing with it.  At night, when he could be working on his car, I mean - his son's car - we've been busy watching live-stream Netflix movies.

We've thought about the car a lot, though. We've had some very elaborate ideas ranging from constructing it to look like Santa's sleigh - all the way to designing it to look like a submarine. But as it often happens with great plans, the execution can be debilitating.  Instead of doing something, you do nothing except think more and more about the awesome things you'd create if only you had the time and oops. Time's up!

Last night, we realized that tonight is the weigh-in for the race that is tomorrow. And Charlie hadn't even begun construction on the car. Which caused him a great deal of angst because the Derby is a BIG DEAL around these parts and people take their cars very seriously.  Last year, his shark, albeit an awesome creation, didn't even even make the top three rank when compared against the other cars.


Charlie still holds a grudge. He thinks that the reason "his" car didn't win is because the judges probably thought it was purchased. Surely this car had to be made by a professional.  Or a machine. Definitely not by a man who spent a small fortune on tiny woodcarving tools and then stayed up until 3 AM for a week straight. 


Just like the other fathers that were "helping" their children construct their cars.

The cars really are amazing, but so NOT constructed by children. For example, this tank was definitely not built by the seven-year-old from our Den. Even though I know he is a very talented seven-year-old, he would have glued himself to it. 

Because I know seven-year-old boys. 


So this year, Charlie is wracking his mind trying to come up with an idea for the Derby car. William wanted ... heck, I can't even remember what William wanted. Unlike his father, he's not particularly interested in the cars, yet. 


I'd suggested to Charlie that since he was running out of time, he make the car look like a bar of soap. He could just paint it orangish-yellow and carve "Dial" in to the top of it.  Boom. Done!  But he didn't like that idea. So I suggested that he paint it black with little buttons and it could be a remote control. Boom. Done!  But he didn't like that idea, either.  


I'd suggested he borrow the idea from my favorite car that we saw last year and carve it in to an ice cream sandwich. Boom. Done!  Nope. He didn't like that idea, either. 


So this morning when we estimate he has just over 15 minutes, but less than an hour of time to construct the car today, I suggest that he cut the box that the Pinewood Derby car comes in, and glue the box sides to the wooden block. 



Then he could affix the wheels and he'd be finished.  Boom. Done?



Much to my surprise, he loved that idea.  It was simple and best of all, it weighed in at exactly 5.0 ounces - the competition weight. 


It's not very aerodynamic, but it's done. 

Introducing, "The Box Car." 


Charlie thinks it's original and sure, I suppose that's one positive way to look at it! 


  1. Jen, I love it, I sent it to a tenth of my address book !~! I look forward to the follow up post. Happy Weekend.

  2. Hahaha Love it! Was actually thinking that we should just repaint last year's car - as I believe Shep's car placed second.

  3. As a mother who has very little time on her hands - this worked out quite well. Next year, if it was entirely up to me, I'd probably paint it red and call it "The Brick."