Build Your Pinewood Derby Car

Build your Pinewood Derby car at Maker Nexus

Bring the whole den/pack/troop down and use our tools to construct your Pinewood Derby car. We provide all the tools necessary to cut, shape, and finish the car. The  following tools will be used during car construction. 

Bandsaw - Drill press  - Sanders - Design Templates - Tape Measure

All tool use is supervised by one of our trained instructors and Scouts are taught how to safely operate each tool. In addition, parents are required to be with their child during all class time at Maker Nexus. 


There are two types of car building sessions to choose from:

   Basic Session - a 1-hour session that will result in a shaped car ready for final sanding, weighting, painting, and assembly. This session will use templates for car design, a bandsaw to cut out the car, and sanding machines to do final shaping. Hand sanding for a smooth car is optional and will be done onsite if time allows, or scouts will be provided sandpaper to use at home. This session does not include weighing or axle/wheel preparation. 

   Complete Session - a 2-hour session that will result in a fully shaped, sanded, and paint-ready car. This session builds upon the Basic Session and includes weighing, using drill press to create weight pockets, adding weights, and doing final weight adjustments. This session also includes axle and wheel tuning. The car will be ready for painting, which will need to be done offsite, and final axle/wheel placement that needs to happen after painting.


At this time we are offering private build sessions session at $150/hour for up to 8 Scouts. You can reserve a one-hour Basic Session or a two-hour Complete Session for your troop (please see session descriptions above) We highly recommend the two-hour session in order to get cars to a paint-ready state. We also offer one-on-one sessions directly with a woodshop instructor at a rate of $80 per hour for up to 2 participants. Please email us to arrange for one of these private session.

Please note: there are no more scheduled public PWD build sessions for 2022, but you can still book private sessions as mentioned above:

There are some Scout Champ Camps in January that assist scouts in building their cars. Click on the Scout Post links below to find dates and locations.

You must bring your own Pinewood Derby car kit and desired weights (pennies work). You can purchase your car kits and weights online, or at one of the Scout Posts: 

  • Foster City Scout Service Center, 1150 Chess Drive, Foster City, (650) 358-0588

  • Palo Alto Scout Post1305 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto, (650) 327.5900

  • South Bay Scout Shop, 970 W Julian Street, San Jose, (408) 279-2086

  • Hayward Trading Post, 919 North Main Street, Salinas, (831) 287-2027

The Details

Please read all the rules and restrictions below and make sure all participants in your den/pack/troop are aware of these rules.

  • The fee entitles you to 1 or 2 hours of shop time to build 1 car. At the end of the your scheduled time you must leave the shop to make room for the next session. 

  • Please arrive 30 minutes before the scheduled time for registration and a safety briefing. We will start promptly at the scheduled time. Late comers will be turned away and must reschedule. Refunds are subject to our standard cancelation policy, as described in the signup process.

  • Please come to the session with a design already in mind. This will help in completing your car in the hour provided. (Need some ideas? Google search for pinewood derby images.)

  • Reservations are required.  People wishing to build their cars with an instructor one-on-one may arrange a private session for $80 per hour. Contact us to schedule this private session.


​Age related policies:

  • Proper supervision of our younger Scouts is critical and required.

    • For children under 12, we require one adult to come with each child.

    • For children 12 and over, we require one adult to come for every 2 children.

  • A bandsaw is used to cut the car body.

    • For children under 8, the parent or guardian will use the bandsaw.​

    • For children 8 and over, the child may use the bandsaw with close parental supervision.

  • ​Children under 6 may not attend the build sessions.

  • Parents should only arrive with children that are registered for the class.

Other important safety policies:

  • Scouts should not wear loose clothing that might get caught in the machines. No long sleeves, no neckerchiefs.

  • Closed toed shoes are required while in the shop area.

  • Long hair must be tied back or capped.

  • Safety glasses will be provided by Maker Nexus and must be worn at all times while in the shop.

  • Everyone in attendance must wear a face mask at all times

If you have any questions, contact us by email at