How to Cut Out a Pinewood Derby Car | Simple 8 Steps Guide

How to Cut Out a Pinewood Derby Car

Pinewood Derby blocks can be cut with band saws. A jigsaw will suffice if you don’t have access to a band saw. In addition to being inexpensive, coping saws can cut complex shapes and curves. If you want to cut your Pinewood Derby car, a jigsaw is a suitable tool for the job.

Model racing with pinewood derby cars is a creative and fun experience. They allow the sculptor’s imagination to run wild because they are made from a rectangular piece of wood with spaces cut out for the wheel axles.

Since pine is a medium-hard wood, no specialized carving tools are needed. To make carving more accessible, a simple template can be drawn by hand and copied onto the woodblock.

How to Cut Out a Pinewood Derby Car

How to Cut Out a Pinewood Derby Car

Step 1

Attach a vise to the edge of a level workbench and tighten the clamps.

Step 2

Using a pencil, draw a rectangle of the exact dimensions as the woodblock on a piece of cardstock paper. To illustrate the basic car design, use the straight edge of a ruler to create diagonal lines for the windows. Remove the excess text.

Step 3

Cutting cardstock paper into a template is as simple as using a pair of scissors to make one then holding it on the wooden block with the fingers of your non-dominant hand. Outline the league with a pencil. Turn the template over so that the back is now facing you. Lift the template toward you. Trace the design on the second side of the woodblock by pressing the template onto it.

Step 4

If you place cloth towels between the jaws of the jaw, the woodblock will be protected from the metal of the jaw.

Step 5

To prevent the wood from warping the car’s shape, tighten the vise jaws, but not so tight as to compress the block. Cutting along the lines of the drawn pattern, I cut out the first outline of the car with a hacksaw.

Step 6

Cut out the fine details in the wood, such as the hood and trunk lines, window moldings, bumpers and grills, and any other fine body details, by attaching a cut-off wheel to a powered rotary tool and using it.

Step 7

This will help bring out more details and smooth any rough spots on the surface of your vehicle. Sandpaper can be used to level characters as part of the coarse sanding process.

Step 8

Use fine-grit sandpaper to finish sanding the car’s surface before painting and decorating.

Pine Wood Derby Car: Building Tips

How to Cut Out a Pinewood Derby Car

Bake your block.

This way, you’ll have more room to add extra weight toward the end. Remember that even a tenth of an ounce can make a difference. Bake it at 250 degrees Fahrenheit for about two hours.

Reach a maximum weight of 5 ounces.

It has been proven time and time again that adding a few more ounces to your weight makes a difference. You should distribute your weight about an inch in front of the rear axle. In general, the faster your car rolls, the closer your weight will be to the vehicle’s rear. To make your car more aerodynamic, use a drill and spade bit to lift your weight up and toward its base.

Don’t waste graphite (dry lubricant is usually acceptable). Coat the axles where the wheels come into contact with the axles—the car itself, where the wheels may contact the vehicle, and so on.

Polish & Sand the axles and wheels

You can use a small file to remove large ridges on the axles. We all know that the less friction, the faster a car is.

Check alignment.

You can modify your car to ride on rails instead of bumping back and forth on other cars’ bumpers. Another way to speed up is to ensure your vehicle’s proper alignment.

First level: drive your car on a level surface and check if it pulls in any direction. You can fix the axles with glue but keep the bond away from the wheels’ area to prevent them from rocking.

You’ll need to sand for a while.

By wrapping the sandpaper over another block of wood, you can get a better grip and minor unwanted sagging on your car. Wet sanding the vehicle after the first coat of paint is another option to up the ante (so primer, then paint, then damp sanding).

Use high-quality paint for this. You must know some of the most beautiful artwork on the internet.

Make sure you have all the lights on.

The addition of headlights, taillights, and underbody-mounted incandescent lights will look stunning at Pinewood Derby races, with black lights and glow-in-the-dark competitions on the horizon.

For a glossy finish, apply floor wax and gloss to the floor.

Before doing so, you’ll need to make sure all the coats of paint are dry (think a week). This final coat will improve the shine and aerodynamics of your vehicle.

Bottom line

Pinewood Derby cars are a creative and fun way to participate in model racing. Due to the medium hardness of pinewood, you won’t need special and heavy carving tools. To make carving more accessible, you must draw a simple template by hand and copy it onto the woodblock. 

How to build the Pinewood Derby car faster? Bake your block for two hours to remove excess moisture and provide more maneuvering areas to add additional weight.

Sand the entire car to highlight details and smooth the surface. The smoother the vehicle, the less friction it will generate and the faster you can cut the air. Use an axle pressing tool to make sure the axles are straight and glue the axles in place. Start with a decent primer and high-quality paint for the best coverage and results. Customize your Pinewood Derby car with decals, headlights, taillights, and glow-in-the-dark lights. Hope you have learned how to cut out a pinewood derby car.