Learn to Build A Winner (Cont'd)

Woodshop 101

1. Tools and Materials



2. Order of Steps

  1. Select design; work out details on paper (see section 7).
  2. Adapt the steps below to your design.
  3. Prepare wheels (see section 3).
  4. Prepare axles (see section 4).
  5. Square-up the sides of the block.
  6. Draw profile of car on side of block and mark locations of axle holes.
  7. Drill holes for axles (ream top edge of slots if they must be used).
  8. Cut Car's profile.
  9. Draw Top view, including openings for weights, and cut top view.
  10. Shape and sand.
  11. Weigh body, axles, wheels and add weight to total 5 ounces.
  12. Shape lead slugs to fit and glue lead pieces to car body.
  13. Trim to weight limit; final sanding.
  14. Paint and decorate (keep body clean where hubs will touch).
  15. Install and align wheels (see section 5).
  16. Add graphite and work into wheels.

Complicated steps are discussed in other sections. In the following paragraphs, we will discuss some of the less complicated steps.

Square-up the sides of the block.

The sides of the block are the "reference edges" when the axle holes are drilled. They will lie flat on the drill press table. It is important that they be flat and square with the bottom of the block so that the axle holes will all be aligned perpendicular to the direction of motion.

[Fig 6. Squaring the block]

Figure 6. Lay the block on a clean, flat surface and check to see that is sits flat and does not rock. Then hold the try square firmly against the bottom of the block and slide the blade against the side. Check to see if light is visible under the blade.

Mark locations of axle holes.

If you are allowed to place your axles where you want them, mark the locations of the axles. Make sure that there will be at least 3/8" of clearance under your Car's body. How about raising one front axle hole 1/16"?

[Fig 7. Locate the holes]

Figure 7.

Drill holes for axles (ream top edge of slots if they must be used). Holes should be drilled to a depth of about 3/4". Before drilling, check the table of the drill press to assure that it is perpendicular to the drill! (The Try Square again.) Use a sharp drill and a drill guide and back out the drill frequently to clear the chips.

[Fig 8. Drilling the holes]

Cut Car's profile.

If the profile is straight, use a Carpenter's rip saw or a power table saw for this step... If a table saw is used, the Cubbie should watch from a safe distance and should wear eye protection. Be sure to cut on the "waste side" of the mark, and then use a block plane to remove the last few fractions of an inch.

Shape lead slugs to fit.

Lead is very malleable. It can be shaped with a hammer. Pounding on a piece of lead is very satisfying because you can see the results right away. If you have cut holes in your car body, lead can be shaped to fill those holes exactly.

[Fig 9. Lead]

Glue lead pieces to car body.

Lay a strip of waxed paper 3" x 9" on a flat surface, and lay the Car body on one end of the waxed paper. Arrange the lead so that you will know which piece to put in next.

Next, mix an ample supply of epoxy on a piece of waxed paper using a flat piece of wood about 1/2" wide. A good rule of thumb is to mix for 1 minute and apply the epoxy for 3 minutes. Any longer and the epoxy will start setting up. So, be prepared to move swiftly!

Smear epoxy into the openings of the Car including on the waxed paper, if it is a through hole. Dip the next piece of lead into the supply of epoxy and push it into place in the car. Continue until each piece of lead is in place. Try to avoid air bubbles. Finally, smear some epoxy on the top of the lead and fold the waxed paper over the top, and press everything into shape.

One caution is to avoid getting any epoxy in the area around the axle holes.

[Fig 10. Glueing]

Keep body clean where hubs will touch.

Avoid getting paint or epoxy around the axle holes. One trick is to put a strip of masking tape along the side to cover that area.

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Copyright 1995, 1997, 1999, 2002 © by Stan Pope. All rights reserved.