Building A Pinewood Derby Car - Step-By-Step Instructions

A well-built derby car will slide down the track faster due to the car’s shape and weight.

Your Cub Scout will be proud to place his car on the track when he’s had a hand in making it and knowing it will fly when the starting gate is opened. Be sure to let him have a hand in the assembly, as this will instill even more pride in his final accomplishments.


Step 1:

Saw a block of pinewood to 5 inches long. Most car kits will come with a pre-cut block of wood. The dimensions should be 5 inches long, nearly 2 inches wide and 3/4 inch high.

Draw a line down the side of the wood block. Cut along the line using a handsaw. This will create a wedge when it's cut. The point will be the nose of the car.

Step 2:

Chisel out a hollow area in the underside of the piece of wood. Place the metal weights inside the hollow area. Chisel away at the area until the weights fit into the hollow area snugly. You can also learn how to get a professional cut by reading up on the function of a wood router.

Once a good fit is established, remove the weights and add glue to the area. Replace the weights.

Step 3:

Sand the entire body of the car until you achieve a smooth finish, keeping the angle of the body present.

Step 4:

Paint the car using either model car paints (1) or spray paint. This is easiest.

For a more detailed paint finish, including designs and various colors, use the model paints.

Step 5:

Add the wheels by placing the nail into the wheel base. If you are using a pinewood car kit, the wheels and nails will be included. If not, you may purchase these at any hobby store.

Push the nails into the pre-made slots on the bottom of the car. Use a hammer to force them in entirely if they will not move into place.

Gently glue the area of the nail and wood, paying special attention not to get any glue on the wheel itself.

Step 6:

Pour powdered graphite into the wheel base and spin the wheels. This will allow the wheels to spin more easily and help the car gain speed as it goes down the track.

Last Words

So there you have it: a well-built derby car (2) ready to provide hours upon hours of fun for kids and adults alike.

Any questions about this step-by-step guide? Leave a comment!

All About Finishing Oak Plywood

Once your oak furniture is built, it's time to move on to finishing.

Finishing makes oak look nice, improves its durability, and also protects it from spills, dust and other wear-and-tear processes.


There are many oak plywood finishing options available to you:

Green Finishes

Beeswax and linseed oil falls in this category. These are the most environment-friendly options available for finishing oak plywood.


Varnish is suitable for exterior and interior use. It is available as colored or transparent, preservative or decorative finish. Varnish protects the surface and accentuates its features.


Wood is soaked to give a preservative and/or decorative finish. It can be used along with varnish for extra durability.


Wax is recommended for interior use only. Both oil and water-based types are available. It is applied with cloth and needs multiple coats and maintenance.


Oil can be used for both interior and exterior surfaces. It must be applied on an unsealed surface and it's highly flammable.

Wood Preserver

A wood preserver is used for exterior surfaces; it protects the plywood from insect damage.

Procedure For Finishing Oak Plywood

First off, you need to choose which finishing material you're going to be using, and you should know how to use it.

If you're using varnish, then you don't need paint spray or anything else; you just need to apply with a brush. If you're using lacquer, then a paint booth at a specialized workshop is required because lacquer is sprayed and requires a dust-free surface.


Sanding is used to make surfaces smooth and to cover visible scars. After finishing with sanding, dust is removed with cloth and allowed to dry.

Then, a first coat is applied which works as a sanding sealer that heals the wood pores. After the first coat is dry, another round of sanding is done with 220-grit sandpaper, after which the surface is cleaned again with cloth. Take care to avoid over sanding.


After two round of sanding, your plywood is ready for lacquer or varnish. If, after varnishing, the surface isn't smooth enough, you might have to re-sand it with 320-grit sandpaper. Sanding between the varnish surface enhances adhesion.

Best of luck with your oak plywood finishing project!

What You Can Do With An Interesting Wood Router

A wood router usually does more than just cutting fancy edges. It can as well be used to whatcut flawless rabbets and dadoes or even perfect patterns, and you only are required to have the skills and know-how to go about it.

This guide will help you gain an understanding of the various uses of wood routers. You can read more about the interesting wood router uses.


Create a rounded edge.

If you would like to make a nightstand, table or bench that starts with a square edge, you can decide to round it using a router.

Many a time, rounded edges are usually more pleasing, and this might also turn out to be very useful if you have small kids and you would like to eliminate the sharp edges.

It is really easy to create rounded edges; you can learn after being shown only once.

Bevel a frame.

A wood router can come in handy if you would like to create a picture frame with a bevelled edge just out of some pieces of wood.

To start with, you can do an internet search on ‘making picture frames’. You can use the router to shape the outside or inside edges of the frame.

Make a sign.

Moreover, you can also make some beautiful signs using a router. Whatever sign it may be, all you require is a piece of wood and router.

For this, you can start by drawing the design on the piece of wood and any other instruments such as a square-end router, v-groove or round nose for hollowing out the lettering.

Make a cutting board.

You can easily use a wood route to easily make a cutting board using a rectangular piece of wood.

You should start by rounding edges of the board and then finish the piece by hollowing out a groove either one or two inches from any edge of the board all around.

The very best wood types for making cutting boards are walnut, cherry, maple and teak, which can last for long. Once you are done, you will be pleased with what you will have.

Make raised panel doors.

The raised panel doors are typically a great addition to bookshelves. The raised panel doors can also be used to replace the old cabinet doors.

This project may be a little more advanced but still, with some time as well as prior wood router experience, it's very possible.

For this project, you will require several router bits, door templates, and jigs. You can also do some research for more detailed instructions on how to go about it.

Routers can do tons of other stuff, and you only need to get yourself an interesting wood router and get started on any projects you may have in mind. What's amazing about this product is that it can deliver masterpiece works with ease, and you don't require a lot of experience to use it for the first time.