How to Make a Fast CO2 Car Out of Wood

Written by tim raud
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How to Make a Fast CO2 Car Out of Wood
(Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

If you are building a CO2 car for speed, you will be concerned with very different features than if you were building it for looks. Building your CO2 car for speed means you need to think about weight and aerodynamics so the less you have, the faster your car will go. This is a guide to building a simple yet very effective racing CO2 car built out of wood.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Graph paper
  • Sand paper
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • Spray paint
  • 2 axles
  • 4 washers
  • 2 1/8 inch screw eyes
  • Basswood Block 5/8 x 2-3/4 x 12 inch
  • 2 rear wheels
  • 2 front wheels
  • Drinking straw
  • Band saw
  • Drill press
  • 5/8-inch wooden dowel

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  1. 1

    Draw a side view design sketch of your car on the graph paper. This sketch should be a 1:1 ratio of the size car you will be making. To make your car faster, the body of the car should be as thin as possible while still being able to drill a hole through the frame for the axles. The CO2 cartridge slot should be the only part of your car raised above the frame.

  2. 2

    Cut out the sketch and overlay it onto the basswood block. Tape the sketch onto the block and trace the outline of your sketch onto the block with a pencil. Make sure to mark where the axle holes go on your template.

  3. 3

    Drill the axle holes into the block using the drill press to ensure you get them straight. Axle holes for the rear and front wheels must be drilled straight and aligned with the car's frame. If they are not it could cause your car to veer to the left or right.

  4. 4

    Cut out the car's frame from the basswood block using a band saw. Once you have cut the shape of your car out of the basswood, smooth out the body of the car using sand paper.

  5. 5

    Insert the 5/8-inch dowel into the CO2 cartridge slot and paint the car with spray paint. The dowel will give you a better handle on the car to turn and rotate it. Paint it as many times as necessary to get it the colour you want, but know that the more paint layers, the heavier the car will be.

  6. 6

    Cut the drinking straw into two 1 5/8-inch pieces for the bearings. Insert one straw through the front and one through the rear axle hole, then insert one axle through each straw.

  7. 7

    Place a washer at the end of each axle and slide the wheels on. If the wheel does not stay in place on the axle add a drop of glue into the wheel and place it on the axle.

  8. 8

    Turn the car over and screw the 2 screw eyes into the bottom of the car, each about 3/4-inch to 1 1/2-inch away from the ends of the body. Make sure these are centred in the middle of the vehicle.

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