Most kids speak with great nostalgia when the subject of Pinewood Derby cars comes up. Designs range from the speedy and elegant to the loud, and, in my case at least, ridiculous. However there’s a growing group of both parents and kids who know don’t know a thing about how to craft a racer or what’s possible to do in the first place. To remedy that, our friend Troy Thorne over at Fox Chapel Publishing recently wrote Getting Started in Pinewood Derby.
Troy has an excellent way of breaking the process down and giving step-by-step instuctions that builders of any age can understand and duplicate. The book comes complete with sweet pictures and helpful tips that get you over the rough spots.
There are also a dozen plans in the book that can be cut out and used as templates to replicate his designs exactly and give the other competitors a run for their money. Couple this with the painting ideas, axle and wheel prep, weighting, and test run instructions, and you’ve got 95 pages of racer building know-how to back up both you and the young’n.
When we met him at Maker Faire a few years ago, our first question to Troy was “Do your designs really work?” He pointed us over to his booth where he had close to 50 lightning-fast racers on display with a test track set up behind them, and told us to find out for ourselves. We did. They do.
If you’re looking for step-by-step awesome in a book that’ll put a smile on your kid’s face and be a competitive entry into the local race, Mr. Thorne’s Getting Started in Pinewood Derby is a great place to begin.