The Wii Derby Car

My son and I decided to do a “fun” car this year for his Cub Scout Pack’s Pinewood Derby, rather than a traditional-styled car. After brainstorming a few ideas, we settled on something that was already shaped like the provided block-o-pine and took a minimal amount of cutting: a Wii remote.

There actually wasn’t a whole lot of cutting involved; just a bit on the very front which was easily taken off with a coping saw. We used a Dremel and some sandpaper to round off the edges. The buttons on top are just some balsa wood that was cut out in various shapes and glued to the top with wood glue.

One extra feature that I suggested was to light up the Player One indicator:

Not pictured on the underside is a groove between the two axles that holds an AAA battery with a piece of balsa cut out to act as the battery cover. We drilled a hole all the way through for the mini 1.5v light. The wires are all hidden away under the battery. Luckily, with the wheels, the weight of the car was exactly 4 oz, so we didn’t have to do any modifying of the two 1/2 oz weights we picked up at the hobby store. I just carefully drilled the 3/8″ hole in the back over the top of the battery compartment, inserted the weights, and we painted over them to look a bit like the Wii nunchuck port.

I was going to paint the logo on the top, but decided that it would be a little to putzy, so I found a font that looks like the Wii typeface (Continuum Medium) and just printed it out, trimmed with an knife and glued it on.

It’s not very aerodynamic, so who knows how fast it will be. Unlike last year’s car where we just installed the wheels as they came, this time we wet-sanded the axles and polished them to a mirror finish, so hopefully we’ll get a little more speed that way. The race is Friday, so we’ll see…