Homemade racing cars can provide you with hours of entertainment. Mouse trap cars are simple to make yet powerful cars that use the mechanical power of a mouse trap for power. One of the nice things about mouse trap cars is how adaptable they are, as parts can be swapped, and multiple household items can be used for each part.
CDs make one of the cheapest and easiest to use tires for a mouse trap car. The type of CD doesn't matter, and you can even use DVDs if you like. However, you should make sure you don't want to use the CD anymore. Cheap blank CDs are available at most retail stores. Some stores, like Walmart, will sell blank CDs for as cheaply as $5 for five. Simply fit your CD over the end of your axle and secure it tightly using a rubber band tied around each side of the wheel. Your axle should be small enough to fit inside the CD snugly. The tire has to turn with the axle, so it should fit as snuggly as possible.
Wood is an adaptable material that can be used in many day-to-day applications. It can be simple to make wooden wheels for your mousetrap car. You may be able to find prefabricated wooden wheels at a craft store. These wheels should be measured before buying to ensure that the axle and the wheel will fit together snugly; however, you can also use a lathe and a saw to craft wheels. Avoid lathing your wheels on any cracks in the wood and try to keep everything with the grain. This will avoid problematic structural integrity. The problem with wood wheels is that they can be a bit heavy. Cut holes in your wood to create spokes. These spokes will support the tire structurally while cutting a lot of the wood out of your tire, creating a lighter, faster tire.
Sometimes the simplest type of tire might be the best type. Model tires come in varying sizes and can be found cheaply at most craft and hobby stores. These tires take out the fun of doing it yourself, but they are an easy option if you don't want to take the time to craft your own tire. They are also designed for good traction and easy spinning on the axle. If you go the model tire route, you may have to design your car around the tires. Find an axle that fits through your tire instead of vice versa. It will be harder to modify your tire than it is to simply use a different axle. You can even combine tire types. For example, you can use model tires on the front and CDs in the back for a unique look.