Scouts-L Mail Archive for October of 1998: Re: Pinewood Derby Tracks
Re: Pinewood Derby Tracks
Steven G. Tyler
Thu, 22 Oct 1998 21:53:46 -0400
Present, Jack wrote, in part:
> I have been approached by my Pinewood Derby Committee about the possibility
> of building a new track. Since our current track is, to say the least, a
> little bit behind the times, I applauded this idea.
Before you throw out the "veteran" track, I'd first consider the
traditions that may have attached to the old track. My son's Pack's
track is 30+ years old, with a lot of memories. Refurbishing may be
called for, rather than replacement.
Frankly, I'd consider replacement only if: 1) the track has deteriorated
to the point it is effectively unraceable and unrepairable, or 2) the
Pack has grown to the point where the number of lanes makes running the
PWD too long.
As to 2) if you're currently doing elimination heats, consider going to
a computer managed system like dbc-mifco instead. Manually, it was
taking our approx. 40-Cub Pack about 3 hours to run the PWD on the
veteran 3-lane track. Now, with about 100 Cubs, the race takes only
about 2-1/2 hours, with every car running 6 times!
> What threw me was the suggestion that the new track be built out of
> plexiglass on a light-weight wooden frame!
> Looking through the rules, I can find nothing which forbids this - but,
> nevertheless, remain nervous about it since I have never seen or heard
> of one made of anything other than wood!
> Does anyone know of anything which would preclude the use of a fiberglass
AFAIK, there's no "official" track or rules for making a track -- each
Pack/District/Council makes up its own rules. I've heard of (but not
actually seen) metal-surfaced tracks, so I don't see why plexiglass or
fiberglass couldn't be used. If you are thinking of clear plexiglass,
I'd be worried about scratches, which might rapidly make it look like a
cutting board! ;-)
YIS, Steve on Cattail Creek <Steven G. Tyler>, Severna Park, MD, USA
"The Computer Counselor," Technology Consulting for the Law Office
Advancement Chair and de facto Webmaster, Troop 339,
Baltimore Area Council, BSA (http://members.aol.com/troop339/)