Deathtrap joins the collection

I finally got some pictures of my son’s derby car for his Bear den entry.

Deathtrap closed
Deathtrap open with dearly departed gummy skeleton

This year we built a casket on wheels.  Both parts of the lid are hinged and it carries a ‘Gummy’ skeleton as a rider. Obviously he had adult help on this design.  The main parts were cut out on the CNC router.  But you might be surprised how much he did himself:

  • Sanding (They say sanding builds character )
  • soldering the rails together with the torch (close supervision)
  • Staining and sealing
  • polishing axles.
  • Shaping, sanding, lubing wheels.
  • Testing weight.

The final assembly and alignment we worked on together.

Ross also enjoyed correcting adults who referred to this as a coffin.

It’s fun to see the boys progress from doing very little as tigers to doing almost everything as Webelos.   Our shelves are really filling up with some cool cars and ‘Deathtrap’ joins a distinctive collection.

Pictures of the other cars after the jump.

Black Hole.

Black Hole was the first car that Alex (oldest son) and I made.  Cut on a bandsaw and shaped by hand.  It had a stretched wheel base.  This car was wicked fast and I still don’t know why.  We’ve never been able to match its speed since.


Sting was also cut on a Bandsaw.  After it started to take shape, Alex had the brilliant idea that it ‘looked like a bee’ .  That was when we had the idea to paint in black and yellow stripes and add a stinger.

The Wave

Alex sketched the profile on graph paper.  The idea emerged from that first drawing.  Adding a Lego surfer was a late idea that made the whole concept work.  The surfboard was made from a scrap of balsa and shaped by hand.

We first painted it blue and then lightly spattered white ‘foam’ with a rattle can of spray paint.

Redline 2

By the time Redline2 rolled around, Alex was doing almost everything.  I only cut the rough block on the bandsaw.  I think he did an awesome job.


This was Ross’ Tiger year car.  A fairly straightforward design, we put a lot of effort into optimizing speed. Ross made lots of decisions about design, paint, and learned that sanding is hard work.

skateboard bottom

The skateboard was entirely Ross’ idea.  It was shaped on the CNC router and features a sandpaper top and a custom paintjob on the bottom.  The biggest challenge was getting it heavy enough  The weight is buried in the trucks.

1 thought on “Deathtrap joins the collection

  1. I got here via Jamis at 37signals. Very cool Pinewood Derby cars. I love them all.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *