Pinewood Derby Car Test Track

Average: 5 (1 vote)
Feb 07 2014 to Feb 14 2014
Percent complete: 
Finished project?: 
Completed Pinewood Derby car test track, no sensors installed yet
Work History: 

Quick design done in InkscapeAs I mentioned in the Arduino timer project page, I've built a track so that my son Liam can test his Pinewood derby cars. Despite how obnoxious that sounds, I really did just want to do this to support his 2nd grade science fair project.  The idea here was to take lumber I had on hand and build something that could serve as a testbed for installing an arduino-based millisecond timer. I drew up the design just because I had a couple pieces of 8' clear pine lumber sitting in the shop.

From start to finish on this one was only about a week. I'm under a deadline here. Liam's science expo is in four weeks.

Design Notes: 

Based entirely around a pair of 8' 1 by 3's I had on hand. The track run is hardboard, which is set into a shallow dado on each wall and the two end caps. The end caps are just some 1/2" birch plywood scraps, screwed into the sidewalls. I strengthened the horizontal strength of the track by using more 1/2" ply scraps underneath.

The whole thing is then set on a leg made out of 2x4 BORG lumber that I jointed. I sanded the edges to get rid of the splinter problem. Liam sanded the edges of the track. :-)

The whole thing is glued and screwed together.



Getting the hardboard to sit in the too-shallow dados was difficult. The dados were really only about 1/8" deep. I'd go 1/4" next time, especially since the hardboard has a tendency to curl along its length.

Project Files: