I have an open request to PWD tool and equipment manufactures and resellers. Please make a single step by step DVD video on using the latest techniques and tools in creating PWD cars. I don't want to purchase a workbook or manual. I want a DVD that I can show at a pack meeting of young scouts. Holding the attention of 30+ young scouts with a manual is... well just not feasible. Running a workshop is not either, mostly from the lack of available tools and because of where we meet. But a how-to from start to finish line video is something that could hold their attention long enough to learn a thing or two.
You can even promote your website and the tools you sell. Make it a massive infomercial for your tools or your website. Just include step by step tricks of the trade and techniques. Even show how the improvements work. But also finish it with proper sanding and painting. I've seen my fair share of craft paints and runny rattle can paint jobs to last me.
I'd be more than happy to pay $20 for the DVD. And I think other den/pack leaders would too.
- Darin McGrew
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Or perhaps a modular approach would work. The core video would be as described above, and a series of shorter videos could explain various techniques that may or may not be legal in a given derby.
For example, the following may or may not be legal in a given derby:
- drilling axle holes
- extending the wheelbase
- truing the wheels
- reshaping the wheels
- lightening the wheels
- lifting one wheel
- canting the wheels
- replacing the non-dominant front wheel with a pin
- using thin-film lubricants instead of graphite
This is an interesting proposal. In an age of computer animation and video games, I wonder if watching a step-by-step video would hold their attention too. If I were a producer, I would be concerned that a lot of studio production value would have to be invested to make the video sufficiently marketable - perhaps more than the video could be sold for.ChCarver wrote:Holding the attention of 30+ young scouts with a manual is... well just not feasible. [...] But a how-to from start to finish line video is something that could hold their attention long enough to learn a thing or two.
Have you tried searching youtube? Perhaps what you are seeking has already been tried on some level.
- Stan Pope
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While I am open with information when specific questions are asked, I am increasingly feeling that making a "cookbook" may take the thrill of discovery from the teams of competitors. And that opportunity to discover together is one of the real thrills in PWD racing for youngsters and their mentors.
"If it's not for the boys, it's for the birds!"
But a cookbook video (stole the wording from Stan), that can have where or from whom to buy PWD tools from. So the return on investment has greater potential from the maker. Think of it as a infomercial that is just more than trying to sell you stuff. I watched a good how-to on orienteering and in that video the host was using a handheld Garmin GPS unit. Now I'm more inclined to get a Garmin when I introduce the scouts to orienteering later in the spring. So in a instructional video for PWD, addressing the rail riding technique, if the tool from DerbyWorx is mentioned and shown to make the proper angle in the nail, then that will stick in the mind of the viewer. Or lets say from some internet reseller. So the return on investment has far greater potential than a one time sell of the video.
I hear what Stan is saying, and I believe one on one discovery is the best option. This is the biggest investment for the future in a young man's life. The problem I have is the pack I'm with dads are far and few between. A few don't have dads, but a mass majority of them have either dads that shift work or they are three weeks on and four days off gas/oil field workers. Not much time to invest in that one on one building process. I looked at last years race results and found a very disturbing trend. All the PWD cars from scouts with no or limited time with their dads were in the bottom half of the bracket. The ones with dads that can spend time with them, were in the top brackets. Last year we had one scout just turn in the block of wood and colored it with crayons. See, the ones without that one on one time feel there is no way they can win. I wish I could have one on one time with them all, but I can't. But I can help them all in masse. Show them the techniques, that if they put into play, they have a chance too. They need to know, that even if their father cannot help them, they can do it themselves. Might take longer, be harder, but worth it.
This year my son (going for his Bear patch) is building his own PWD car; minus using the table saw. I taught him everything I learned from this site and others. This progression from being together and him watching me, to now him doing and me watching him is my way of helping him become the man/father I want him to become. The other scouts just need to taught the techniques and helpful tricks. They can do it themselves. When your dad is gone three weeks, scouts tend to get self-reliant quick. But they still need direction, else they become a wild horse. That's why I posted an open letter. Hopefully someone else agrees and has the means to put something together.
By next year, if there still isn't anything, I stitch together videos I find on the web. An open community of videos.
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Also, as someone mentioned earlier, rules can be varied so it would be hard to make a "one size fits all" video. Number of wheels touching, drill holes or use the slots, allowed lubes, amount of sanding allowed to the wheels, etc., can differ. Maybe if a DVD was offered where you can pick and choose from a set of videos to match your local rules, but that would take a lot of time and energy to produce such a video.
Awana Grand Prix and Pinewood Derby racing - Where a child, an adult and a small block of wood combine for a lot of fun and memories.
I'm sympathetic to your plight. I live/work in a District where families don't always have time/resources for decent PWD building. Main constraint on 'cookbook' lies in the variance of local rules.
Two things we tried last year that worked well: (1) Had Dens vs. Dens as a team approach, kids & Dads shared speed tips to help their whole Den do well. (2) Held MANY workshops where tools and expertise were available.
If you PM me your e-mail address I'll send you the rules we used and the modular checklist prep sheet the kids used for building their cars.