Building a spoiler for a Pinewood Derby car

Thousands of families build a Pinewood Derby car every year.  Hopefully this post helps another family who want to put a spoiler on their car!

Step 1. It’s easiest to line up all the hole if you simply put the “cut-out” part on top of your actual car.  Here I measured a spoiler of about 3/4″-1″ wide to sit on the back of the car.  I left plenty of room for 1/4″ holes.

Both halves of the car wood kit. The “car” part is painted.

Step 2. I used painters tape to hold the wood together while I drilled.  This keeps the wood from moving but is easily removed without marks/residue when drilling is done.

Taping the wood in place

Step 3. I drilled my 1/4″ holes in graduated steps.  Each step I set the depth using painters tape on my drill.  You want to set at least 1/4″ of depth into the car, and it’s easiest (alignment-wise) to go straight through the top of the spoiler.

Drilling pilot holes and using painters tape to set the depth

Step 4. I cut my 1/4″ dowel to size and tested my holes.  They are a bit snug but fit nicely.

Testing the hole with 1/4″ dowel

Step 5.  When the holes are good, mark the location of the cut.

Preparing to cut spoiler

Step 6. The cut is simple, just take it easy that you don’t break the very small piece of wood.

The spoiler base cut

Step 7.  The nice part about cutting through the top of the spoiler is that it is easy to install the support rods at the right height.  Level them off and add some paint!

Set the dowels level and add some paint

Step 8. Add wood glue to the holes and gently work the spoiler rods down into the car body.  Add the wheels and you are done!

Finished product!

Whether or not you add a spoiler to your Pinewood Derby car, I hope you have a great race!