Pinewood Derby Car Designs

Building a Pinewood Derby car can be a fun and rewarding project. Using a template can help ensure your car is well-shaped and conforms to competition rules. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to build a Pinewood Derby car using a template:

Materials Needed:
  • Pinewood to make the wood block, wheels (or Pinewood kit)
  • Axles
  • Pinewood Derby car template you can download here
  • Coping saw or bandsaw
  • Sandpaper (various grits)
  • Drill with drill bits
  • Wood glue
  • Paint and brushes
  • Graphite powder (for lubrication)
  • Ruler and pencil
  • Scale (to weigh the car)
Steps to Build Your Pinewood Derby Car:

1. Choose and Prepare the Template: Select a car design template that suits your style and meets the specifications of your Derby rules. Print the template and cut it out.

2. Transfer the Template to the Wood Block: Lay the template over the block of wood that came with your kit. Make sure the grain of the wood runs lengthwise along the car body, as this provides better strength and durability. Trace the template onto the wood block with a pencil.

3. Cutting the Car Shape: Use a coping saw or bandsaw to carefully cut along the outline you traced from the template. Take your time to follow the lines as closely as possible for the best results. Sand the edges and surfaces to smooth out cuts and to shape the car as needed. Start with coarse sandpaper and progress to finer grits for a smooth finish. 

4. Drill Axle Holes:
Carefully mark the positions for the axle holes on the car body as indicated by the template. These should be perfectly parallel to ensure the car rolls straight.
Use a drill to make the axle holes. Be sure to keep the drill bit level and straight.

5. Install the Axles and Wheels:
Insert the axles into the holes you drilled. You might need to lightly sand the axles or lubricate them with graphite powder to ensure a snug fit.
Attach the wheels to the axles. Make sure they spin freely without wobbling.

6. Weight Your Car:
Most Pinewood Derby cars have a weight limit. Use a scale to weigh your car.
Add weights to achieve the maximum limit and adjust the car's balance. The weights can be placed towards the rear of the car to increase speed.

7. Sand and Paint the Car:
Finish sanding the car with fine-grit sandpaper.
Paint your car with your chosen colors and designs. Let the paint dry completely between coats.

8. Lubricate:
Once the paint is dry, apply graphite powder to the axles and wheels to reduce friction.

9. Test and Tune:
Test your car on a track if possible. Look for straight rolling and smooth operation.
Make any adjustments to the wheel alignment or weight distribution as needed.

10. Final Inspection:
Give your car a final inspection and touch-up any paint or details as necessary.

Building a Pinewood Derby car is a great project that combines creativity with engineering. 

Check below our Pinewood Derby Car Designs and Enjoy the process and the race!

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