How to Build a Wood Box Car

Written by jose leiva
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How to Build a Wood Box Car
(John Howard/Lifesize/Getty Images)

A wooden boxcar, otherwise called a soapbox car, is a kind of Go-Kart that can be raced against other soapbox cars. The main difference between a wooden boxcar and a Go-Kart is that a soapbox doesn’t have an engine to power itself. Some soapbox cars do have pedals that allow the driver to propel the car, and even braking and steering mechanisms to allow them to stop or manoeuvre the car. These features are not necessarily standard in all wooden box cars. If you make a wooden boxcar without braking or steering mechanisms, then be careful where you race them.

Skill level:
Easy

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Things you need

  • Three 4-foot by 2-foot by ½-inch plywood planks
  • Three 2-foot by 2-foot by ½-inch plywood planks
  • Staple gun
  • Sandpaper
  • Spray paint
  • Four soapbox car tires with brackets
  • Drill

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Build a wood box frame using two plywood planks that measure 4 feet by 2 feet and two plywood planks that measure 2 feet by 2 feet. To attach the planks to each other, use a staple gun. The plywood planks should be no thicker than 1/2 inch.

  2. 2

    Attach another 4-foot by 2-foot plywood plank to the plywood frame to create a base for the frame. Attach this plank to the frame using the staple gun.

  3. 3

    Attach another 2- by 2-foot plywood plank to the plywood frame, on the side opposite the base. Use the staple gun to attach the pieces. You should now have a 4-foot by 2-foot by 2-foot box with a 2-foot by 2-foot opening on the top.

  4. 4

    Sand down each of the faces of the box using different grades of sandpaper until the wood is smooth, and then spray paint the box whatever colour you want your wooden boxcar to be.

  5. 5

    Attach soapbox racer wheels that have brackets attached to them to each corner of the plywood box. Use a drill to screw the brackets onto the box.

  6. 6

    Take your wooden boxcar to a place where there is a small-grade hill and hop into it. The car will race down the hill. This soapbox doesn’t have a braking system or steering mechanism, so make sure the hill doesn’t stop at an intersection or in front of a building.

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