How to Put a CO2 Cartridge in a Pinewood Derby Car


A pinewood derby car is a small model car typically made out of balsa wood that is constructed and raced by kids throughout the North America. These are usually raced on a downhill slope, but other races allow for CO2-powered cars. The CO2 cartridge is inserted into the car, and when the cap is punctured with a nail or pin the force of the escaping gas will push the car forward. Putting a CO2 engine in a pinewood derby car is a fairly easy process but requires the use of a drill press, so adult supervisions is always recommended.

Things You'll Need

  • Ruler
  • Marker
  • Drill press
  • Hole drill bit, 3/4 inch
  • Rubber O-ring, 3/4 inch
  • Super glue
  • Measure the width and height of the rear plane of the pinewood derby car. Find the exact center of the rear plane by cutting both those measurements in half (for example, if the car's rear plane is 2 inches wide and 1 inch tall, the center will be 1/2 inch from the bottom and 1 inch from the side).

  • Mark the center of the rear plane of the car with a marker. This is where you will drill the hole for the CO2 cartridge.

  • Drill a hole through the center marker with the drill press. The hole should be about 2 inches deep and 3/4 nch across.

  • Attach the rubber O-ring around the lip of the hole with super glue adhesive. This rubber O-ring is not required, but will help keep the CO2 cartridge in place.

  • Shove the CO2 cartridge into the hole in the back of the pinewood derby car with the cap facing out. It should fit securely. If the cartridge is too large you can always use a larger drill bit to increase the size of the hole.

Related Searches


  • Photo Credit drill bit on black marble image by phizics from
Promoted By Zergnet


Related Searches

Check It Out

DIY Wood Transfer Christmas Ornaments

Is DIY in your DNA? Become part of our maker community.
Submit Your Work!