Sunday, January 9, 2011


Riley is in Cub Scouts and the good ol' Pinewood Derby is coming up. We got our kit, we have the drive, but we don't have tools or skills to make a block of wood into a fine racing machine.

Enter Marci with the bright idea of asking our nice old neighbor who has a downstairs workshop in his, er, downstairs.

Rye and I headed over after lunch and expected Dick to simply get out his band saw and cut a block of wood for me.

Back in the day, when Dick's sons were Riley's age, apparently he partook in the Pinewood Derby a time or two. Dick had taken out the four nails and inspected them as if he were a NASCAR mechanic. He was making sure the nails were true (they weren't), that they were smooth (nope), and that the block was square and level (just about).

We put the nails into his lathe, spun them, and filed/ground down the imperfections until they were smooth. He even let me try it and I still made it home with all 10 fingers intact.

He had me and Rye draw out a template for the block and then we took it to the band saw for further work. He has a vaccum cleaner attached to cut down on the sawdust and after a minute, he shut it off, went into a back room and came back with the cans for Riley.

That's Dick in the background, cutting Riley's soon-to-be Blue Ribbon Pinewood Derby racer.

Thanks, Dick!


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