Preparing to build Space Derby Kits


The Space Derby is just around the corner.  If you would like to build the kits during your meetings with the kids, there are a few things you can do to make it much smoother and more enjoyable for everyone.  These are tasks that either take too long, or are too difficult for the little kids to do.

Preparing the Bodies

The first thing to do is to join the two halves of the body together. This is very simple, but the glue can take a while to dry enough for the kids to start in with shaping the bodies. Use a thin coat of any wood glue (Elmer’s school glue is fine) and put the two halves together. Make sure the holes on each end are the same size. You will have something like this:

Once the body is dried you need to cut notches in the back of the body so the rubber band has something to grip. Look at the body, and on the end with the LARGER hole cut two notches as in this video:

Building the Propeller Assemblies

Now you need to assemble the propellers. This is a bit fiddly, and requires more strength and coordination than the younger are likely to have. First you need to adjust the propeller shaft. As it comes from the Scout the opening is too small to get the rubber bands in:

Use needle nosed pliers to open up the end so the rubber band can go in easily:

The rest is pretty straightforward, but difficult to explain in words, so here is a short video:

The rest of the instructions are pretty good and the kids should be able to do the rest pretty quickly.


Back from Sedona, and on to Festival of Wires, Day 4


I just got back from a business trip to Sedona, AZ. Read the rest of this entry »



Repeat after me: “Do NOT buy cheap tools”. The 48″ brake I bought is worthless. The aluminum brake bends long before the material does. It may be salvageable with some reinforcement, but probably not.

I found a local shop that had a brake that bent the new cowl firewall for me, so now I can try that again. This week has been very busy with kids activities, so I haven’t gotten much accomplished on the car. I got the floor of the cowl firewall fitted, it is much better than the previous version. So at least the mistake is getting fixed better than it was.