How to Install Axles & Wheels on a Pinewood Derby Car

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Things You'll Need

  • Wheels

  • Axles

  • Hammer

The Boy Scouts of America Pinewood Derby has become a very competitive sport. The cars are becoming faster and the tricks used to get them there are really very interesting. Axles and wheels are easy to install but have become a component that is starting to get a lot of attention. With standard wheels and axles the cars can be made to go fast, but with speed axles they can go a lot faster. Installing the axles and wheels is really very straightforward and should be done as the last part of assembly.


Step 1

Locate the slot cut into the bottom of the wooden block that you are building your car from. These slots are cut to the correct size for the axles to fit tightly into and are square to the block.

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Step 2

Turn the wooden block on its side. This is the easiest way to insert the axles into the block.


Step 3

Insert the axle through a wheel and insert the tip of the axle into the axle slot on the wooden block. Try to set the axle so that it sits against the base of the slot when you drive it in.

Step 4

Drive the axle nail slowly into the block with a small hammer. Be sure to keep the axle square to the car or it will not track correctly, slowing it down substantially.


Step 5

Push the axle in until the wheel has a small gap between it and the wooden body of the car. If the wheel still wobbles, drive it in a little further. Make sure the wheel does not rub the body. If it does, it is in too far.


Graphite-coated axles can be used to speed up the car. Slotted axles and oversize axles are also available, but check the rules of your league before installing them.


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