We've been building Monster Trucks in my middle-school wood shop for a number of years. This is a great project that challenges students to be able to follow a long and detailed set of instructions while learning some new techniques (like cutting tire treads on a table saw). It's also a great project that encourages creativity as the look of the finished truck is only limited by a student's imagination.
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Step 1: Building the Wheels
We start this project by building the wheels. 4 wheels, each made with 2 discs, equals 8 disks in total. They start out as rough cut discs which are then drilled and then disc sanded using a simple jig, so that each disc is exactly the same size.
Step 2: Building the Wheels
Once all the discs are round, we round over one edge using a router table then we cut the treads. This is done using the table saw and a simple jig. The jig, a modified mitre gauge with a dowel fixed to its front, allows the disc to be rotated incrementally while the treads are cut. The discs are then glued together with alternating tread patterns. To finish, they are drilled and routered.
Step 3: Building the Body
Once the wheels are made, we set out to building the body of the truck. Each body begins as a simple stack of built-up pine. We then add side profile pieces (allowing the box to be formed on the back), a front grill/bumper and a tailgate. When the body is built, we add in wheel hubs to support those massive tires!
Step 4: Accessorizing!
This is the fun part! This is where students get to be creative with what their finished monster truck will look like. As you can see, their finished products are pretty amazing.
Grand Prize in the
Wooden Toys Challenge 2016