Pinewood Derby Car Plaques

A Webelos Den and Dads Project

Pinewood Derby Car Plaques can be manufactured in numbers sufficient for awarding to every scout who enters a car into pack competition. Plaques, with cars mounted upon them, make a lasting display of the scouts work (and results). The plaques may be painted and silk-screened. Ribbons depicting race participation and design awards may be affixed to the plaques prior to awarding them.

Varying plaque colors from year to year provides the experienced Cub Scout with a colorful wall decoration and safe place to display his cars.


Material List (per plaque)
  1. Plate 7-3/16" X 7-3/16" (square) X 3/4" (cut from 1X8)
  2. Bracket 2-1/4" (wide) X 2" long (cut from 1/3 of a 1X8)
  3. Phillips head wood screws (2) 1-1/4" X #6
  4. Phillips head wood screws: (2) 3/4" X #6
  5. Decorative Nail
  6. Ribbon (assembled with decorative nail on race-day)
  7. 2" of 1/2" masking tape


Many of these operations may be performed by Webelos scouts if they have safety instruction and vigilant supervision. (Table saw and radial arm saw operations should be performed in advance by a responsible adult.) There should be NO loose clothing or long hair around power tools. T shirts are best. Confine hair. A convincing demonstration is to allow a loose piece of cloth to be captured and whipped into the running drill press. Give emphasis on how to hold the work pieces during operations and about maintaining balance... never lean into the machine!

The following operations are definitely adult jobs:

  1. Rip (with grain) 1 X 8 to 2-1/4" widths on table saw. (Check for fit in Fixture A.)
  2. Route four (4) long edges to 1/4" radius
  3. Cut to 4-1/8" lengths on table saw (2 brackets plus saw cut)
  4. Route remaining edges to 1/4" radius
  5. Clamp ten or so bracket blanks together. Use table saw to cut 1 1/8" depth slot on long side of blanks, 1" in from each end.
  6. Cut bracket blanks in half.
  7. Clamp ten or so bracket blanks together. Use table saw to cut 1" depth slot into unfinished end, 1 1/8" from side of bracket.
  8. Use drill press and fixture C with countersink to drill car mounting holes in bracket.

  1. Cut 1 X 8 into 7-3/16" squares on table saw (or radial arm saw)
  2. Route front edges of plate, end-grain first
  3. Sand end-grain on sanding disk in drill press
  4. Sand face with orbital sander; fine grain sandpaper (Tack 1/4" X 3/4" strips on work table top to hold plate.)
  5. Drill 3/16" hanging hole 1/2" deep on rear top corner of plate, about 1" from corner. Use drill press. Use fixtures A & B to locate hole. Tilt drill table about 10 degrees. Set depth control to prevent drilling through.

  1. Prime exposed faces of Plates and Brackets; Place to dry on drying rack
  2. Paint exposed faces of Plates and Brackets; Place to dry on drying rack
  3. Screen print face of plate. (or stencil, or hand-letter, etc.)

  1. Use fixtures A/B and 1/32" drill with drill press to drill 1/2" deep hole in right corner of front face of plate.
  2. Use fixtures A/B and countersink with drill press:
  3. Drop short screws into the bracket holes. Cover the underside of the holes with masking tape to keep them from getting lost.
  4. On race day, attach ribbon(s) to plaques according to what the scouts car has done. Some plaques may have two ribbons if a car raced and also placed in a design category. Use decorative nails on the right front corner of the plaque.

Back to Plaques Process improvement ideas are welcome.
Latest update: 9/18/2008 to replace malformed GIF files
Copyright 1991, 2008 © by Stan Pope. All rights reserved.