Mar 15 , 2019

How to Make a Pinewood Derby Car with Basic Tools

Below are the regulations most Pinewood Derbies follow, referred to as the “Rules in the Box.” It’s very important to follow these rules because if even one is broken, you’ll have a sad kid on your hands. Not all Pinewood Derbies are the same, so make sure to check with your local Scout District/Council rules to see if anything is different.

  1. Car Specifications: Width: 2-3/4”; Length: 7”; Weight: Maximum of 5 Ounces; Width between wheels: 1-3/4”
  2. The car must have been made during the current year (year in which derby is being held). Cannot use previous years’ cars.
  3. Wheel bearings, washers and bushings are prohibited.
  4. The car shall not ride on springs.
  5. Only official Cub Scout Grand Prix Pinewood Derby wheels and axles are permitted.
  6. Only dry lubricant is permitted.
  7. Details, such as steering wheel and driver are permissible as long as these details do not exceed the maximum length, width and weight specifications.
  8. The car must be free-wheeling, with no starting devices.
  9. Each car must pass inspection by the official inspection committee before it may compete.
  10. If, at registration, a car does not pass inspection, the owner will be informed of the reason for failure and will be given time within the official weigh-in time period to make the adjustment.
  11. After final approval, cars will not be re-inspected unless the car is damaged in handling or in a race.

If you want to make the ultimate Pinewood Derby car that is sure to win a few races, click here for the tricks and tips to a winning car.

Many of the add-ons/tools that you need for a quick Derby car can be purchased online. Click on the item below for a link to our favorite products:

Cut the profile

Pinewood Derby-01-1200

Before cutting, note that the axle notches aren’t equidistant from the ends of the block; the distance is further at the car’s front. Draw the car shape onto the block, connecting the side profile lines on the ends. Our car is a wedge that tapers from 5/16-in. to 1-in. Clamp the board and cut the shape with a hand saw. If your child wants to make a wavy shape, use a coping saw instead. Sand the car body up to 220-grit.

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