Pinewood Derby Plaques

Each Cub Scout who brings his car to our Pack's Derby gets a plaque to mount his car on and a ribbon to put on the plaque next to the car. My family room wall has plaques dating to 1988. I recommend this project for one of your "crafty" parents!

plaque pix plaque pix

We still award "real trophies" for category 1st place. To me, the plaques and ribbons are more important trophies. And every Cub's efforts are rewarded with one!

The plaques are made from squares of 1X8 pine. A 2"X2.5" L-shaped bracket is mounted on the lower front of the plaque and is pre-drilled to accept two small wood screws for mounting the car. I usually ask for #3 Common. Check what the lumber yard has... all you need are tight knots and reasonably clean edges. There will be some bad spots, but I use the "bad parts" of the 1X8 to scavenge material for the brackets. There is less wasted wood with #2 Common, but the cost is about double.

The lettering is done using a silk screen with oil-based screen printing ink. The plaques are painted with "this year's color", using whatever glossy latex paint is available. (They will never forgive me for the year that I mixed some left over yellow with some left over blue and produced a "very nice" shade of pea-soup green.)

Drilling, assembling and screen printing is assisted by a variety of alignment jigs. The jigs that you make for this purpose depend on the tools you will be using them with. For drilling counter-sink holes, I use a drill press. The jig consists of three layers of 1X8 with a rectangular hole to position the bracket and strips to locate the plate. The jig slides against stops on a bar to locate the counter-sink drill for attaching the L-bracket. (The bar is the only part fixed to the drill press table.)

Sample procedures for Manufacturing Plaques

What Ron Morrison did!
Latest update: 2/12/97
Copyright 1997 © by Stan Pope. All rights reserved.