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Pinewood Derby FAQ

Do you know what else it's a great time for? That's right, working on your newly acquired pinewood derby car. With the kids off of school, and a lot of time's, a parent or guardian home, why not spend some time designing your pinewood derby car.

I can remember when my son first got his car and I had no idea about a few of the requirements around making the car. Things like weight, length, and how to go about cutting it out. I'm going to try and answer those questions here for you, but if you have any other, please feel free to email me with them.

1. How am I supposed to weigh the car to make sure it's 5 ounces?

Chad's Answer: I really couldn't think of a free way to go about doing this. I looked in one of my motorcycle or car magazines for the 20% off harbor freight coupon and just bought a cheap digital one from there. (the local store is below) I know it's not the best answer but if enough people get them, you could borrow someone's in your den if you don't want to buy one. If anyone has a cheaper suggestion, I can post that on the web page.

2. Where do I get some of the items mentioned on the 617 pinewood webpage? (graphite, weights …)

Chad's Answer: I have found a few places locally that have pinewood sections along with the scout store. Michaels has a good selection of items and a bunch of different kinds of weights depending on what you need. They also seem to have coupons in the Sunday paper or online that can be used to lower the cost. I have also discovered that during this time of year, Lowe's also has a display of pinewood derby items. The scout store is also a good resource but a farther drive.  I'm also told Hobby Town USA has two isles of pinewood derby items all year round.

You can keep your receipt for anything you buy for your pinewood derby car and turn it in to the Treasurer to be reimbursed using your son's scout account.

Hobby Town USA:

9120 Union Cemetery Rd, Cincinnati, OH 45249

Closest Michaels:

9851 Waterstone Blvd, Cincinnati, OH 45249

Closet Harbor Freight:

MASON,OH 45040

I know this Lowe's had a display last year, not sure about other locations:

9380 S Mason Montgomery Rd, Mason, OH 45040

Scout Store:

10078 Reading Rd, Cincinnati, OH 45241

3. Is there a good way to cut the car out and sand it?

Chad's Answer: The tried and true way is a hand coping saw and sanding block. The other method is to introduce your son to power tools. Your neighbor may have a scroll saw and power sander you can use or I also know you can rent them although it may be useful to get more than one person to pay for a rental and make a small den meeting out of cutting the cars. You could also use another 20% harbor freight coupon from a magazine and get a one from there. Harbor Freight isn't the best tools but they are inexpensive but should last for the limited use a lot of us use them for. I have not found a cheap option for sanding and usually have my son use a sanding sponge with different levels of roughness to get the car smooth.

** Cub Scouts does not endorse the use of power tools and would rather you use hand tools, however... **

**** In closing, I am not endorsing Lowe's , Harbor Freight, or Michaels. I just wanted to let new parents know the options available to them and what I found that worked best for me. ****

Chad Toennis