Introduction: Fast Toy Wood Car

Picture of Fast Toy Wood Car
Lots of my friends have kids and that means lots of birthdays. I wanted to have some custom present I could give and a toy car fit perfectly. I could make them pretty easily and there's lots of room to play with in terms of different designs. So I could draw cars and make kids happy? Right on. Win + win = yes.

Step 1: Design

Picture of Design

Each layer of wood that gets cut out for these cars needs to have the correct holes for the axles to go through. I also wanted to keep the entire car body inside of the wheels so that the wheels are what will likely make contact when they get run into a wall or other item.

The other considerations after that are the wheel size and the distance between them. With that template in place, it's car time! Here you can go nuts. You can make the car look realistic or abstract. It can have a front and back or be symmetrical. Here I'm going for abstract and symmetrical, but you can make your car any way you want.

The image here shows the layers of wood all stacked up over the wheels as well as all laid out for a cutting file.

Step 2: Cut and Assemble

Picture of Cut and Assemble

Cutting here was just a matter of dropping some plywood into a laser cutter and hitting a button, but they can also be made by hand with more time.

The parts needed for the rest of the car are a couple of 5/16" bolts, spacers, locknuts, and a set of wheels with bearings. The wheels here are luggage wheels with ABEC-1 bearings inside. Inline skate wheels also work although they'll be a little bit bigger.

The assembly here is pretty straightforward. Run the bolts through a wheel, a spacer, the car body, another spacer, another wheel, and a lock nut to cap it off.

After this the car is ready to roll. This is when you can see if the design is what you want. You can change a layer or two or maybe even do the whole thing over.

If you're ready to lock it down more, then you'll need some glue.

Step 3: Glue!

Picture of Glue!

Take the car body back apart and apply some Elmer's® Carpenter's® Wood Glue between the layers. Put it back together, clamp it for a while, and let it dry!

Now you have a toy car that's ready for a ton of abuse.

Step 4: Car

Picture of Car

Here are the results. It's a thin car that can go very, very fast. Little kids will have no problem moving it around and bigger kids will enjoy whipping it off of ramps to see what it can do.

There's also plenty of room for further customization. Stain or paint can liven it up as well as extra details such as names or stickers. Again, totally up to you. Make your own car what you want it to be!


luooove (author)2016-08-03

simple but interesting

LiamFisher12 (author)2016-01-21

I love it

T0BY (author)2016-01-06

Beautifully made!

braimb (author)2015-03-11

is this your video on make? otherwise, you just got ripped off...

fungus amungus (author)braimb2015-09-30

Whoa, only seeing this now. Not a rip off. I did an article for them a while ago. Looks like they made a video a couple years later.

omosad (author)2014-10-23

Fungs i have a question please . What i that car in the back in the video ?

dannygam (author)2014-07-21

what length are the bolts?!

omosad (author)2013-09-12

can u write for me your name on Facebook or Skype ? because i want to contact with u thx

omosad (author)2013-09-11

i bought the weals from the man who repairs the bags with weals :D

omosad (author)2013-09-05

i have a question please , can u measure for and say to me the length of each part before u stick the together ?? please reply me fast by today maximum ? thx u

fungus amungus (author)omosad2013-09-06

Not sure what dimension you're looking for. can you explain?

omosad (author)2013-09-05

@fungs amungus

bllwdcrvr (author)2013-01-08

I have found many of these wheels from discarded or slightly used "thrift stores" ,scrounge the local thrift stores in your should be able to come up with some similar wheels..

burnabybear (author)2012-12-16

Do you have a link were to buy wheels please

grunthos (author)2012-11-30

I don't know if these luggage wheels are the same, but a great resource for projects are skateboard and inline-skate wheels and bearings. Most of them use "608" bearings (608Z, 608S, etc) which have an 8mm inside diameter and 22mm outside diameter. This bearing size shows up in everything, such as wheels like this, appliance motors, power tools, and all kinds of other consumer products.

8mm is pretty much exactly 5/16 inch, so you can build things with either US or Metric bolts for a really good fit. (The two sizes are within 0.06 mm = 0.002 inches of each other.)

8mm is one of the magic sizes between US and Metric.
4mm = 5/32 inch
8mm = 5/16 inch
16mm = 5/8 inch

fungus amungus (author)grunthos2012-11-30

Exactly right. I've also made these cars with inline skate wheels. The only issue with those is that the inline skate wheels can be too big for a toy car. They really overwhelm it unless you're willing to scale the whole thing up.

Kiteman (author)2012-04-23

The glue is an unecessessary step - cut a bunch of silhouettes and give the pieces packaged together with a pair of small spanners as a gift for a Maker-in-the-making.

PACW (author)Kiteman2012-05-31

I like the way you think!

fungus amungus (author)Kiteman2012-04-23

You can do without, but it's not unnecessary. Gluing up the body makes the body itself much more stable as one piece as opposed to a bunch of pieces that can skew with a small bit of torque.

Kiteman (author)fungus amungus2012-04-23

But then you couldn't mix-and-match, could you?

Jayefuu (author)Kiteman2012-04-24

HA! Nice.

l8nite (author)Kiteman2012-04-23

I see where kiteman is headed, you could include several different center sections so the child could make new cars easily. A very neat idea especially if you have access to a laser cutter or band saw. For smaller kids and when you don't want the car to come apart, a little superglue on the locking nuts would be a plus

Kiteman (author)l8nite2012-04-23


Dream Dragon (author)2012-04-23

Pinewood Derby cars aren't so popular here in the UK (not sure why, seems like a good idea to me) but I have to ask where you get those wheels are they skate wheels or something?

Right, I should've include that in the text. These are like inline skate wheels. They're actually luggage wheels so they're a bit smaller. The key is in the bearings, which are ABEC-1 bearings.

Jayefuu (author)Dream Dragon2012-04-24

They look like inline skate wheels.

David_n_Redena (author)2012-04-24

The video says roller blade wheels. That, I suspect, is the key to "fast". Depending on where you live you can find used in-lines for next to nothing at garage sale or used items store.

joen (author)2012-04-24

Kind of reminds me of a "TRON" racer.


About This Instructable




Bio: I like to make things for the internets. I also sell a pretty cool calendar at You'll like it.
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