Free Templates to Create and Use at Your Workshops

Dan "Nitro Dan" Kipp

Over the past six years I've been drawing up and collecting templates during the off seasons to be used at my workshops. Recently I have re-drawn the vast majority of them (over 120 templates) and scanned them into electronic format (PDF files) so that I can easily pass them on to others for them to use and enjoy.

What Exactly Do You Have?

Currently I have 55 Side views (11 pages @ 5 per page) and 72 Wing/Top views (18 pages @ 4 per page). The files total about 18 MB (14 MB in zipped format). There are also blank page file pages in case you are suddenly inspired and want to draw your own template. The designs were made using rulers and circle templates. They are not overly detailed or difficult to create a car with. Just simple cool looking designs that anyone can use.

How Can I Download Them?

The files are available for download here

Files are zipped using WinZip, but can be opened with standard Windows operating systems.

What Do I Need To View Them?

Since the files are in PDF format, you'll need to download and install Adobe Reader to view the templates. Adobe Reader is free to download and use. You can get it at this link:

How Do I Print These To The Proper Scale?

The files are scanned at 300 DPI and will print at the correct size provided you set the Page Scaling to "None". To do this click on the Printer Icon when viewing the templates in Adobe Reader. A print window will open up. In this print window find the "Page Handling" area. Under that you will see a drop down box labeled "Page Scaling". By default this box will probably state "Fit to Printable Area". You need to change this setting to "None". After that click on the OK button at the bottom of the print window. The page should print out on your printer with the templates being 7 inches long.

How Do I Make The Printouts Into Templates?

Some people prefer to cut the templates out and tape them to the sides of their blocks and then cut the shape out of the block; however, when running a workshop, this method takes the template out of your lineup and no one else gets to use it unless you print another (not to mention it is a slow method). What you need is a faster and easier method for your racers to use.

First go get yourself a can of spray adhesive. 3M makes a good one called "Super 77" that can be found at any Loews or Home Depot hardware stores.

Next, get yourself some thin cardboard. I recycle my thin cardboard from empty cereal boxes and frozen pizza boxes. The perfect cardboard thickness that I've found to date is comic book and magazine backing boards that you can buy from your local comic book dealers.

Next, either cut out the rectangles that the templates are drawn in and glue that to the thin cardboard with the spray adhesive, or just glue the entire print out to the thin cardboard (if your cardboard piece is big enough). Be sure to spray the adhesive on the back of the printout so the drawing side is face up.

Next, check the flimsiness of your cardboard with the printout glue down. If it seems rather flimsy, glue a same size piece of paper to the backside of the cardboard to add a bit more thickness.

Now get a sharp pair of sissors and cut out the template. Wing Templates with open center areas can be cut out best with exacto razor blades. Wal Mart sells a nice blade holder that easily fits like a ring over your index finger, making for very easy manuevering of the blade when cutting. Once you've made all the templates you want, store them in a box until your next workshop, then simply spread them out on a table for your racers to look at.

How Do The Racers Use The Templates?

Side Templates are placed on the sides of the block and then traced with a pencil onto the block. Be sure that template is right side up on both sides of the block and that the front/back of the template tracings are not facing opposite directions on different sides of the block. Also be sure that the bottom of the block is matched up with the bottom of the template, and your axle slots/holes appear to be in the proper positions.

When using a Wing Template, choose which part of your block is being used as the bottom of the block (usually determined by whether or not you will be using the slots or drilling your own axle holes). Note that some of the Wing Templates have extended wheelbases, so be sure that is allowed by your rules before using a Wing Template with an extended wheelbase. Next look at the Wing Template and determine if their are any thin areas where you feel the car could easily snap or break at. If the design looks like it could easily break, consider adding a "strength builder" to the design (more on this in a minute). Next cut a 1/4" to 3/8" thick plank off the bottom of your block. At this point, if you felt that the design needs a strength builder, find your self a 1/8" thick piece of three ply hobby plywood and glue it down to the top of your plank (preferably with wood glue and squeezed in clamp). This can be found at just about any arts and crafts store, or it can be recycled from clementine boxes that you get during the winter months at your local grocery store (clementines are small oranges that are sweet and easy to peel). I usually prep a few planks with strength builders ahead a time, before the workshops, and then trade the planks with any racer that might pick a template needing a strength builder. Now trace the Wing Template on to the top of the plank and cut it out. Open center area on the templates are best cut out of the block using a scroll saw or coping saw (with a few starting holes from a hand drill or drill press).

If a racer wants, he can combine a Side Template with a Wing Template to get a very unique looking car. Just be sure to make the wheel bases match up between the two designs.

Is There Anything Else I Need To Know About These Templates?

They are free for anyone to use, whether you are running a workshop or not. I'll probably be updating them from time to time, and I'll try to let everyone know when that occurs. My thoughts on these were to setup a web site where people can download these templates or upload creations of their own. I don't know if that will ever come about, but we shall see. If anyone ever takes a picture of a car that was built with these templates, I'd love to see it. Also if anyone has their own template creations that they would like to convert to an electronic form and share with the world, I'd be more than happy to give you hand in adding them to this collection or posting them as your own collection.

Please address questions or concerns to me, the author,

Update: 8/31/2012 - email address change Original: 6/16/2011

Copyright © 2011 by Dan Kipp. All rights reserved.