Each year the dilema around pinewood derby homes is how to cut out your car. If you’re lucky you know somone with a band saw. I finally broke down and bought a band saw this year — it’s amazing how inexpensive they are getting. Mine was under $70. But if you don’t have access to a band saw, here’s some ideas how to cut the car out. Kids, this is something you’ll want an adult’s help with.
You could always go with a hand saw, but you won’t get as good of results and it will take you a long time. The biggest problem is keeping your cut level so your car is symetrical. If you go this route, clamp the car to a workbench or c-clamp it to some scrap wood before you start to cut. This will make it easier to keep the car stable while you cut it.
You can also use the above clamping method but use a jigsaw instead of a hand saw. It’s a lot faster than a hand saw and the guide on the jig saw will help keep the cut level.
Use a power sander (like a belt sander) to sand off the unwanted surfaces of the car instead of cutting them off. This is easiest with simple car shapes, but with a little imagination you can do some great stuff. One boy in our pack created a model of the Titanic using a belt sander to shape the hull and attaching extra wood for the decks, superstructure, and smokestacks. It won best of show at the pack and district levels.
Look up woodworking in your yellow pages. There may be a local company that can cut out your car for a small fee.
Ask neighbors and co-workers if they have a saw. You never know who might have the right equipment to help out.