Shop update #21 (4-4-18) Pinewood Derby Car Building

Pinewood Derby race day is later this month so we had a little over a dozen Cub Scouts over to my house to work on their cars on Saturday.  We did a similar workshop last year and this one turned out even better.

I have 2 picnic tables on my back patio, a 4 ft adult size and a 4 ft kid size.  I printed up a bunch of templates for the cars and we put those on the big table with a bunch of pencils.  We setup a painting station on the smaller table.  This is the default painting station and has paint all over it already.

I also pulled out my bandsaw, my drill press, and my 1″ belt/5″ disc sander combo and set them up on my 8ft workbench on the side of the house.  I bought several sheets of 100 grit sandpaper and cut them down into 8 individual child size pieces.

We broke the process down into 8 steps.

Step 1: Draw your car’s profile on the printed template.  Side view and top view.  Cut out the template along the dotted lines.

Step 2: Bring your car and template to the workbench where we will tape the side view to the block of wood.  The child and parent will then watch me cut it out on the bandsaw.  If a top profile was made, we will then tape that to the top and cut it as well.  Once cut we will perform rough sanding together on the 1″ belt sander.

Step 3: Return to the 1st station and hand sand to your heart’s content.

Step 4: Paint the car using the supplied acrylic paints or have your parent ask me for some spray paint so that they can spray it for you.

Step 5: Play with the other kids while your paint dries.

Step 6: Hammer in the wheels with your parent’s help.

Step 7: Bring your car back to the workbench where we will weigh it.  We will then use the drill press to drill a hole in the bottom of the car to accept 1 1/4″ fender washers and a 1″ screw to get your car as close to 5 oz as possible.

Step 8: Take your car home and don’t play with it until after the race.

On Sunday, the Easter Bunny brought large foam gliders for my sons.  The younger asked me if we could make a landing strip for his that was painted black and yellow.



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