How to Make Fenders for a Pinewood Derby Car


Introduction to Pinewood Derby Cars

Pinewood Derby Cars are a popular activity for kids and adults alike. They are small, wooden cars that are raced down a track. The cars are typically made from a block of pine wood and can be customized in various ways. In this article, we will discuss how to make fenders for a Pinewood Derby Car. Fenders are an important part of the car as they help protect the wheels and add stability. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can create fenders for your car that not only look great but also improve its performance on the track.

Importance of Fenders

Fenders play a crucial role in the overall performance and safety of a Pinewood Derby car. They serve as protective barriers that shield the car’s wheels from debris and other potential hazards on the track. The importance of fenders cannot be overstated, especially when it comes to preventing damage to the car’s wheels and axles. Without fenders, the wheels are more susceptible to getting stuck or damaged, which can significantly impact the car’s speed and maneuverability. Additionally, fenders also add an aesthetic appeal to the car, giving it a sleek and professional look. Therefore, incorporating fenders into your Pinewood Derby car design is essential for both performance and visual appeal.

Materials and Tools Needed

To make fenders for a Pinewood Derby car, you will need a variety of materials and tools. These include wood blocks, sandpaper, a coping saw, a drill, paint, and brushes. The wood blocks will serve as the base for the fenders, while the sandpaper will be used to smooth out any rough edges. The coping saw and drill will be used to shape and cut the fenders to the desired size and shape. Once the fenders are cut, you can paint them in any color you like using the paint and brushes. By following these steps, you can create custom fenders for your Pinewood Derby car that will make it stand out on the race track.

Designing the Fenders

Determining the Car’s Dimensions

Determining the car’s dimensions is a crucial step in building a pinewood derby car. The dimensions of the car will determine its speed and performance on the track. To determine the car’s dimensions, you will need to consider factors such as the length, width, and height of the car. Additionally, you will need to take into account any specific regulations or guidelines set by the pinewood derby competition. By carefully measuring and planning the dimensions of your car, you can ensure that it meets the requirements and has the best chance of success in the race.

Sketching the Fender Design

After sketching the fender design, the next step in making fenders for a Pinewood Derby car is to transfer the design onto the block of wood. This can be done by carefully tracing the outline of the fender onto the wood using a pencil or marker. It is important to be precise and accurate during this step to ensure that the fenders fit perfectly onto the car. Once the design is transferred, it is time to start shaping the fenders by cutting along the traced lines using a coping saw or a jigsaw. This process requires patience and attention to detail to achieve the desired shape and smoothness of the fenders. Once the initial shaping is complete, the fenders can be further refined and sanded to achieve a seamless and polished look. Taking the time to properly sketch and transfer the fender design is crucial in creating well-crafted fenders that enhance the overall appearance and performance of the Pinewood Derby car.

Choosing the Right Fender Shape

Choosing the right fender shape is crucial when it comes to minimizing car crash impact. The fenders of a Pinewood Derby car play a significant role in absorbing and dispersing the force of impact during collisions. By selecting the appropriate fender shape, racers can enhance the car’s stability and reduce the risk of damage. When considering the fender shape, it is important to prioritize safety and opt for designs that provide optimal protection. By doing so, racers can ensure that their Pinewood Derby car is well-equipped to handle any potential crashes and minimize the impact on both the car and the driver.

Preparing the Materials

Selecting the Right Material

When it comes to selecting the right material for making fenders for a Pinewood Derby car, there are a few factors to consider. First and foremost, you want to choose a material that is lightweight yet sturdy enough to withstand the rigors of racing. Additionally, the material should be easy to shape and manipulate, allowing you to create the desired fender design. Finally, it’s important to select a material that is readily available and affordable. By considering these factors, you can ensure that your Pinewood Derby car fenders are both functional and visually appealing.

Cutting the Fender Material

In the process of making fenders for a Pinewood Derby car, one important step is cutting the fender material. This step involves carefully measuring and marking the material before using a saw or cutting tool to create the desired shape. It is crucial to ensure precise cuts to achieve the desired fit and look for the fenders. Additionally, it is recommended to use a drop coat technique when painting the fenders to achieve a smooth and even finish. The drop coat technique involves applying a light mist of paint followed by a heavier coat to create a glossy and professional-looking surface. By using this technique, the fenders will not only provide protection but also enhance the overall appearance of the Pinewood Derby car.

Sanding and Shaping the Fenders

After sanding and shaping the fenders, you will notice a significant improvement in the overall appearance of your Pinewood Derby car. The process of sanding helps to smooth out any rough edges and imperfections, while shaping allows you to create the desired contour and profile for the fenders. It is important to take your time and be patient during this step, as it can greatly impact the final result. By carefully sanding and shaping the fenders, you can ensure that they are symmetrical and seamlessly blend with the rest of the car’s design. Remember to use sandpaper with different grits to achieve the desired level of smoothness, and always wear protective eyewear and a mask to avoid inhaling any dust particles. With proper sanding and shaping techniques, your Pinewood Derby car will be ready to impress on race day!

Attaching the Fenders

Positioning the Fenders on the Car

Positioning the fenders on the car is a crucial step in the construction of a Pinewood Derby car. The fenders not only add a sleek and stylish look to the car, but they also serve the important function of protecting the wheels from damage during the race. To ensure optimal performance, it is important to carefully position the fenders in the correct location. The fenders should be aligned with the wheels and securely attached to the car body using adhesive or screws. Additionally, the fenders should be positioned in a way that allows for proper clearance between the wheels and the fenders. By following these steps, you can ensure that the fenders on your Pinewood Derby car are properly positioned and ready to enhance both the appearance and performance of your car.

Securing the Fenders with Glue

To secure the fenders onto the pinewood derby car, glue is the most effective method. Using a strong adhesive, such as wood glue or epoxy, apply a generous amount to the back of the fender and press it firmly against the car body. Make sure to align the fender properly before the glue sets. Allow the glue to dry completely before handling the car to ensure a secure attachment. This method will ensure that the fenders stay in place during the race and provide the necessary protection for the car’s wheels.

Reinforcing the Fender Attachment

To reinforce the fender attachment, you will need to use a strong adhesive or epoxy. Start by applying a thin layer of adhesive to the inside edge of the fender and press it firmly against the body of the car. Make sure to align the fender properly before applying pressure. Once the adhesive is dry, you can further strengthen the attachment by adding small screws or nails. This will provide additional support and prevent the fender from coming loose during the race. Remember to choose screws or nails that are appropriate for the materials you are working with. It is also a good idea to reinforce the attachment on both sides of the fender to ensure maximum durability. By reinforcing the fender attachment, you can ensure that your pinewood derby car will withstand the rigors of the race and maintain its sleek and aerodynamic design.

Testing and Adjusting

Checking the Fender Fit

When it comes to car care, one of the important aspects to consider is the fit of the fenders. Properly fitting fenders not only enhance the appearance of the car but also protect it from potential damage. Checking the fender fit is crucial to ensure that the fenders align correctly with the car’s body and provide adequate coverage. This step is particularly important for a Pinewood Derby car, as it can impact the car’s performance and aerodynamics. Additionally, proper fender fit can help reduce the costs associated with potential repairs or replacements. By ensuring that the fenders fit snugly and securely, car owners can minimize the risk of damage and save on maintenance expenses.

Making Adjustments if Necessary

When making adjustments to your Pinewood Derby car, it is important to consider a few key factors. First, check the brake fluid levels to ensure optimal performance. This will ensure that your car stops smoothly and efficiently. Additionally, it is crucial to monitor the temperature of the vehicle. A hot car can lead to various issues such as overheating and decreased performance. By keeping these factors in mind, you can make necessary adjustments to your car and ensure a successful race.

Ensuring Proper Wheel Clearance

When it comes to ensuring proper wheel clearance for your Pinewood Derby car, there are a few key factors to consider. First and foremost, you want to make sure that the fenders are positioned correctly to allow enough space for the wheels to rotate freely. This can be achieved by carefully measuring and cutting the fender openings to the appropriate size. Additionally, using the best car wax can help reduce friction between the wheels and the fenders, ensuring smooth movement and minimizing any potential drag. By taking these steps, you can ensure that your Pinewood Derby car has optimal wheel clearance, allowing it to perform at its best on race day.


Summary of the Fender Making Process

The fender making process for a Pinewood Derby car involves several steps. First, gather the necessary materials such as wood, sandpaper, and a saw. Next, measure and cut the wood to the desired shape and size for the fenders. Then, use sandpaper to smooth out any rough edges and create a polished finish. After that, attach the fenders to the car body using glue or screws. Finally, paint the fenders to match the rest of the car’s design. Overall, the process of making fenders for a Pinewood Derby car is a fun and creative way to enhance the car’s appearance and performance.

Importance of Fenders for Pinewood Derby Cars

Fenders play a crucial role in the performance and aesthetics of Pinewood Derby cars. These protective barriers are designed to shield the wheels from any debris or obstacles that may be encountered during the race. By preventing the wheels from coming into direct contact with the track or other objects, fenders help reduce friction and increase speed. Additionally, fenders add an element of style to the car, allowing racers to customize their vehicles and showcase their creativity. Overall, the importance of fenders in Pinewood Derby cars cannot be overstated, as they contribute to both the functionality and appearance of the car, ultimately enhancing the racing experience.

Final Tips and Recommendations

Final Tips and Recommendations

When preparing for a Pinewood Derby race, it’s important to consider the final touches that can make a big difference in the performance of your car. Here are some tips to ensure your car is race-ready:

1. Weight Placement: Pay close attention to where you place the weights on your car. Experiment with different positions to find the optimal balance for maximum speed.

2. Wheel Alignment: Proper wheel alignment is crucial for reducing friction and improving speed. Make sure all four wheels are aligned straight and have equal contact with the track.

3. Lubrication: Apply a high-quality lubricant to the axles and wheels to reduce friction. This will help your car glide smoothly and increase its speed.

4. Test Runs: Before the race, make sure to test your car on the track multiple times. This will allow you to identify any issues and make necessary adjustments.

By following these final tips and recommendations, you can increase your chances of success in the Pinewood Derby race.

October 4, 2023 3:32 am