The Making of the Presidential Limo, a Pinewood Derby Saga

Joe Loriowriter

This past weekend was the Pinewood Derby, which is a big item on the Cub Scout calendar. Based on our previous three years experience, my son had no notions of actually winning the race, but was instead focused on building something cool, with an eye toward winning some other award (Most Creative, Most Patriotic, et cetera).

With only two weeks to go, the boy decided he wanted to do either a car that looked like an iPhone (which he'd seen on the internet) or a presidential limo that played "Hail to the Chief," using the noisemaker thing from a greeting card his grandparents had sent him. We settled on the latter.

The first question was how to cut the block of wood, since I have hardly any tools. As the days ticked down, I decided to spring for one of those Fein Multimaster-type multipurpose tools ($60, for a knockoff brand), figuring maybe someday I'd use it for other stuff.

We copied the outline of the plain wood block onto a piece of cardboard, then drew the outline of the car on that, cut it out, then traced around it in pencil onto the wood block, so we'd know how much to cut for the hood and trunk.

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