It's getting to be that time of year where we start working on our Pinewood Derby cars for our Cub Scouts.
However, after all the work in building and racing your car, how do you plan to display your mean machine? Some people I know just store them in the cardboard box the kit came in.. how boring. Others may spend some bucks on a fancy plastic box... how unoriginal.
Well. when my oldest son started in Scouts, one of the parents wanted the kids to build trophy stands, good idea, but a very poor execution. Too many screws and nails, and they wobbled. So the next year, I offered to come up with a trophy stand kit. This is it.
I wanted it to look like a trophy, and be reminiscent of the Pinewood Derby track. Also, it had to be easy to put together, and inexpensive to produce. This kit fits the bill. No screws, no nails. Easy to glue and paint. Lastly, I just made 36 kits for $22.50 in supplies. Thats $0.625 per kit.
Here's what you need:
Pine boards 1"X4"(16 inches per kit)
Poplar Dowel 1/2" diameter (4inches per kit)
Router in Router Table
Router Bits (3/4" straight, and some sort of fancy edge)
Drill Bit - 1/2" (forstner or spade)
Let's get started!
Step 1: Cut Your Boards
Each kit needs an 8" base and an 8" 'track'.
Start cutting your wood into 8" pieces. I used a miter saw with a clamp set at 8" so it could cut quickly and accurately.
You can use any saw you want, as long as you can cut the wood into 8" lengths.
Step 2: Route the Base
I always thought that trophies should have a fancy base. So get out your router, and your fancy bits, and route the edges of all of the bases.
Step 3: Route the 'Tracks'
Now it is time to route the 'tracks' into the top piece of wood.
This is how I set my router table.
(1) I used a 3/4" straight bit.
(2) I set the depth of the cut at about 1/8"
(3) I set the fence at about 5/8' from the center of the bit. Which will put the cut about 1/4" from the edge of the wood.
(4) After the initial 1/8" depth cut, I did a second cut at 1/4"
Step 4: Drill the Base
Next, we need to drill a hole in the base to hold the dowel.
As we are using a 1/2" dowel, we need use a 1/2" drill bit.
I used my drill press so I knew all my holes would be at 90degrees. If you don't have a drill press, you can use a drill that has a built in level. I actually did that before I got my drill press, and it worked fine. Just make sure you drill at the center of the wood.
Also, I used some guides to create a jig on my drill press. Basically, I set the jig to center on the first base, and from then on, I just slid the wood into the jig and it was centered.
Do not drill all the way through the wood. As far as bits, I used a 1/2" spade. I would recommend the forstner, but I don't a set, yet (you listening Santa?)
Step 5: Drill the 'Track'
Now for the really tricky part, drilling the dowel hole in the 'track'.
In order to get that 'trophy' look, we need to set the track at an angle on the dowel. Doing this on the drill press makes this alot easier, but i have done it free hand with a hand held drill.
On the drill press, I set the table to 25 degrees. Next, I adjusted the alignment of the jig to ensure the bit hits the center of the wood. Lastly, I adjusted the depth of the cut to ensure I wouldn't drill all the way through the wood.
Remember to dill the BOTTOM of the track piece.
Step 6: Cut the Dowels.
Each stand needs a 4" piece of 1/2" dowel.
I used my band saw. I set my fence at a 4" depth and just kept cutting dowels.
You can cut this however you please, jig saw, table saw, miter saw, or circular saw.
Step 7: Assemble!
This is really tough.....
Insert the dowel in the base
Place the 'track' on dowel.
For permanent assembly, glue the dowel in place. You can use wood glue or a hot glue from a glue gun. Also, we usually have the kids sand and paint.