Flush Trim Bit Failure
With a busy workweek and going down to Tumwater this past weekend, I haven't had much time to work on the rocker. But what does any reasonable person with an ambitious project and looming deadline do? They take on an additional project, of course! Each year, many of the Wilcox office staff take a day to volunteer at Kiwanis Camp Casey, which is a week long summer camp for children ages 6-17 who have physical disabilities. This year, the theme at camp will be "Cars", so Wilcox (a.k.a Cindy) got a local hobby shop to donate 100 pinewood derby car kits to the camp. The hobby shop even agreed to rent us one of their pinewood derby car racetracks for a much discounted rate! The plan is to have the kids decorate their cars and then race them on the track throughout the week.
For those of you who have never seen what a pinewood derby car kit looks like when you start, it's literally a square block of wood. So we have 100 square blocks of wood that need to be turned into shapes that resemble racecars. To avoid potential safety issues that would come with having kids using power tools, we've decided that we'll cut and sand the cars to shape in advance. Each camper will get to install the wheels on their car and then decorate it with stickers and markers to personalize it.
So I put on my thinking cap and thought I had devised the perfect plan to quickly cut these 100 square blocks of wood into car shapes. I did a quick google search and found some basic pinewood derby car patterns.
My plan was to use a 2" flush trim router bit to cut each block to shape. My thinking was that using templates and a flush trim bit would allow me to quickly and consistently cut each car to shape.
I quickly realized that my brilliant plan had a couple of major flaws. It turns out that attaching the template to the block and running it around the flush trim bit took longer than just cutting the car to shape on the bandsaw and sanding the edges on the spindle sander. The flush trim bit also didn't play well with the soft pine blocks, so it actually made the process time consuming and dangerous. I guess the old adage, "keep it simple stupid", applied here.
So that's 2 down, but 98 to go..... well 96 if you count the 2 that exploded on my router table!