Wooden Car Materials
Block of Wood (4 inches long, 2 inches wide)
Access to a scroll saw Access to a drill Sandpaper (80 grit to 180 grit)
Paint (can be either spray paint or a brush)
Dowel rod (Wooden)
Step 1: Cutting Out the Car Body
I began my project by cutting the body of my car out of a wooden block about 1.5 inches thick. The body is an important part of the construction because you need to attach the wheels to it to make it move. To create a car body, draw a side view of your car onto the piece of wood. The design of your car body is up to you, but remember the more detail you put into it the more difficult it will be to cut out with the scroll saw. Then all you have to do is cut on the line you've drawn with the scroll saw. Also, as a last note on this part, be extremely careful when cutting out the car body because the saw blade is sharp and dangerous so make sure you always have supervision from a friend or adult. Take your time and move the saw slowly so you get a nice cut out for the body of your car. Be sure to wear safety glasses when using saws and cutting wood.To get ideas for my car body I looked at instructables about pinewood derby cars. This helped me get a really good idea of how I wanted my project to look even before I started cutting.
Step 2: Sanding and Painting the Car Body
Making your car attractive is another important aspect of car construction. If you plan to race it, it will be more aerodynamic if it is smooth. Also, it is fun to get creative and give it some style. In this step you can use any sander you want (I prefer machine sanders because it goes much faster) and then sand your car to the point that you find satisfactory. Sanding is needed mainly for looks, but if you race it it will look better than if you didn't sand the car body. In this step I´d start at 80 grit sandpaper and slowly move to 100 than 180 grit, which is the finer so the car is smoother. Also in this step you will want to paint the car body because it will be easier to handle without the axles and wheels which have not been attached yet. You can brush on the paint or use a spray can. You can paint different colors if you want to show more style this part is pretty free roam.
Step 3: Making Your Wheels
In this step you have an option. You could either make the wheels out of scrap wood by cutting 4 circles out of wood or you can buy wheels from your local craft or hardware store. I actually did both. I cut 4 circles out of wood and sanded them until I was happy with their smoothness, but I quickly realized that the wheels would look nicer by purchasing them. To save money you could make them. The is an important step because a car is useless without wheels, it physically can't move or do its job. In order to make the wheels you need wood, a pencil, a protractor, a drill and a band saw. First, draw a circle on the wood with your pencil and protractor. Make sure this circle is to your liking of thickness. I’d recommend making each wheel about a quarter of an inch thick or thinner. Next carefully cut out the circle you have drawn with a band saw. Be incredibly careful in this step, wear safety glasses, and always make sure you have someone near you to help you if something goes wrong. Repeat that process 3 more times. Finally once you have all the wheels made, drill a hole in the middle of them with your drill. I’d recommend a smaller drill bit such as a ¼ bit. You want it small enough to fit into the wheel tightly and big enough for the axle to spin within the car body.
Step 4: Making Your Axels
Axles are very important to the car because they allow the wheels to be attached to the car and carry it while it is in motion. Without the axles the car would just lose its wheels and not move. To make these axles you're gonna need to buy a wooden rod about the circumference of the hole you cut into your wheel. First, before you do anything, check how big the hole is in your car. Mine was about a ¼ inch bit and this worked great because it was small enough to look nice, and big enough to have the axles fit tightly to it. Next, drill out this size of a hole where you want your wheels to be placed in the body of the car. Then put the dowel rod through the car body and attach your wheels on either end then glue them to the dowel rod. This is a very crucial step in making the car, only glue the axles to the wheels. Don't glue the axles to the car body because that will ruin your project because the axles than won't be able to spin and the car will not move.