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Lightning McQueenMy son started in Puggles this year. What is Puggles? from the picture I discern it is a platypus like creature, but I cannot be certain. What I do know is that it is the youngest age group of AWANA. AWANA is a international church ministry that teaches children of God, the Bible, and their need for the Savior Jesus Christ. Part of the AWANA ministry is a pinewood derby race each year that is similiar to the races that Cub Scouts have.

Being two and a half my son has limited wood working skills (although he did surprise me when a found a hammer, some nails, and a board he had managed to nail several finish nails securely into the board). So while I know he will be able to secure the wheels to the car i decided to give him a little help on the car’s design. I decided and he agreed that a Lightning McQueen car would be best. He is a huge fan of Disney’s Cars the Movie. So I figure this way  he will not only have a car on race day, but also one he will love to play with afterwards.

I had been given several pinewood derby kits from a former Cub Scouts parent so I was all set on wheels and axles, the only thing I needed was the body. I started with my son’s matchbox size Lightning McQueen and decided to use the wheel size difference to establish scale. Unfortunately, this resulted in a car that was too wide. So I switched to using the difference in width to establish the scale, this will result in wheels that are oversize, but I don’t think it will be very noticeable.

Pinewood Derby Car LayoutUsing that scale I began to lay out the car on a piece of pine 4×4 I had laying around (the wood that came with the car kit was too small, since it was designed to make an open wheel design). After marking out some measurements, I connected the dots as I sketched out Lightning.

From here I will saw out the rough shape and began to carve out the McQueen hidden in the wood.

Update: You can read more about this project in the following entries: Step 2, Step 3, and Step 4.