Pinewood Derby Workshop

Our Pinewood Derby Workshop is for folks who don’t have to tools to build a car, or they have never built one before and they need guidance every step of the way.



A simple table with our book, some example cars, and photos. Here the boys can start to design their car.

Materials: Paper, pencils, sharpies.


This is where most of the time was spent in 2017. We had 2 scroll saws, which ended up with a number of broken blades and destroyed cars. Although the wood is very soft, the pinewood cars are a little thick for a scroll saw. Everyone should be shown ahead of time how to use the scroll saw for a car. Here's one big tip: GO SLOW.

One bench top or free standing band saw would be a big improvement, and would likely save time over 2 scroll saws. Unfortunately, our host Russ thought it would be too dangerous. You may want to see if we can get permission to bring one as an "adult only" tool. Maybe even using it with one experienced parent as the designated cutter.

Materials: Band saw?*, scroll saw*, multiple coping saws, chisels*, wood putty, large C clamps


Sanding went ok, but we could have used more sanding blocks for sure. A Spindle Sander would also make a great addition.

Materials: Spindle sander*, drill press w/ sander*, lots of sanding blocks

Polish axels

This is where some of the new boys and parents really need some insight on what to do, and why. This station would also be a good place to work on smoothing the wheels (within regulation). Make it clear to everyone: do not install wheels before painting.

Materials: Hand drills, drill press*, sand paper, metal file

Setup / Cleanup

I would have a group of parent volunteers arrive early to set up, and another group to help clean up.

Additional Materials: Small Shop Vac

*Material would be helpful, but you can build a car without them

Workshop over! Now it’s time for the boys to take their car home and paint.

One last thought. There are several tools that help you install the axels properly. If our early checkin works well we may want to make that in to a 2nd worksop where the boys can finish up their cars with any of the “after you paint” modifications in 2019.