Friday, March 26, 2010

Progression in Pine (Or, What I've been doing instead of blogging for the last two weeks)

Fiona's first-ever Pine Car Derby is tomorrow. That fact sunk in rather forcefully about two weeks ago — I have to build her car! So I went and retrieved the kit I had out in the shed: 1 block of pine, 2 axles, 4 wheels, 5 hubcaps, 1 sheet of vague instructions.

I've heard about dads who go all out with their kids' cars, and so I was very conscious about this being a Fiona-directed operation. I'm not quite comfortable turning her loose with a bandsaw just yet, so the heavy cutting and shaping stayed with me this year. But I still had to make what she wanted.

A: So, Fiona, what kind of car do you want?

F: A RACE car! I want it black, with yellow and orange and red flames all along it and a big gold number 6 on the sides and a big gold 6 on the back.

Okeydokey. A race car could mean just about any number of shapes, so I pulled up a keyboard and ran a few pictures past Fiona. This one was "cool!":

A '69 Corvette convertible. Riiiight. No pressure. 2 weeks...

You have to use the block that comes in the kit. The axle slots are in fixed spots, and the wheel s sit outside the block, so we needed to add more wood to get the right look.

The center block is what comes with the kit. I took advantage of the fact that I had to add to the sides by cutting out the shape of the seats now, rather than having to dig out the wood when the sides would be in the way.

Now, we need to shape the sides...

Fiona got her first experience with spray paint by putting on the primer.

A bit more shaping, a few more details, a little less finger. Ow.

A fresh coat of white primer, some blue painter's tape, and an X-acto knife.

A tricky transfer...

I almost stopped right here, because I thought this looked so cool. But I reminded myself that it's Not My Car, and went ahead to the next step...

...a nice coat of black metalflake paint. Once again, I was SO tempted to stop right there. It had such a nice "batmobile" vibe.

The masking tape made ghost flames. Cooooooool. But, it's Not My Car, so the tape had to come off.

Ready for the final details.

I coached Fiona on painting smooth edges and blending colors.

Purple seats? Well, OK.

I snuck in a few details, and fashioned a windshield out of a Juicy Juice bottle.

Fiona did a great job with those flames.

The finished product!

Tomorrow... race day!


Carolina Kerr said...

Those fingers hurt just to look at them. Even though you sacrificed yourself to build the car, I know you had as much fun as Fiona did.

johnsonweider said...

Wow - really impressive! And great job putting Fiona first and letting her control the design process. Awesome job and congrats!