How to drill axle holes in your Pinewood Derby car
Pro Body Jig
The Pro Body Jig is an adjustable tool designed to accurately create new axle holes and a lower center of gravity by using a hand drill on BSA and Pine-Car Kits. The required #44 drill bit is included. This tool is not recommended for use with slots.
1. Test fit the tool on the bottom of the block with the four "ears" positioned on the sides of the block. If the tool will not fit into the block, use coarse grit sandpaper to reduce the width of the block until the tool fits snuggly. If the tool is loose, the fit can be tightened by placing a piece of paper, folded as needed, between the left or right ears of the jig and the block.
2. Measure and mark the desired position of the new axle holes on one side of the block. Extend the mark from the bottom of the block to the top of the block using a square (or measure and mark near the bottom of the block and near the top of the block, and then join the line with a pencil and ruler). Holes for extended wheelbases are typically positioned 5/8" from the end of the block.
3. Adjust the Pro Body Jig so that the marks on the drill guides line up with the marks on the block. A 3/32 inch hex key is used for making adjustments. Clamp the jig in place with two clamps, one on each of the drilling guides.
4. Hold the block firmly, position the drill bit in the hole, and slowly drill 3/4" into the block.. Drill the remaining holes without releasing the clamps. If a raised whole is desired, drill only one of the front boles (either side) and proceed to step 5.
5.Transfer the line on the side of the block to the bottom of the block.
6. Position the tool on the side of the block that you want to drill the raised hole and align the index mark on one of the drilling guides with the line on the bottom of the block. Make sure that the third hole on the guide is positioned near the bottom of the block. Clamp the tool in place.
7. Drill the raised hole.
Pro Body Jig Video
Watch this video for more information on how to use the
Pro Body Jig to drill axle holes on your pinewood derby car.
Pro Body Jig Video Transcript
The Pro Body Jig is an adjustable version of our popular Pro Body Tool. This tool is designed with the advanced builder in mind. The holes in the drill guide are raised higher than they are in the Pro Body Tool, thus it's not usable with slots in a regular BSA block, yet will allow the builder, when building a car, to achieve his lowest ground clearance for maximum weight placement and performance.
The tool utilizes 2 specialized pro body tools on a hardened tool steel adjustable bar and the wheel base can be adjusted to the builders preferences by simply sliding it into the position he prefers, and locking the allen screws.
The end bored holes will also accomodate a raised front wheel for a 3 wheel alignment and ease in a rail rider setup.
When setting up your pinewood derby block for optimum performance, it is best to locate the rear wheels as close to the rear of the body as possible. We find 5/8 of an inch is an optimum setting. Mark this position first as your location for your rear wheels.
Next, depending on your rules, whether they require a short wheel base or a long wheel base, adjust the tool accordingly to your specifications. We find 4 3/8 of an inch for a short wheelbase and 5 11/16 inch for a long wheelbase are an optimum safe setup. We make this measurement from the index alignment mark on each tool using a ruler or scale. Once we've made this adjustment, we lock the tool with our 3/32 allen wrench.
Once we've marked 5/8 of an inch, use your carpenter square to create your reference line for tool alignment. Once your tool has been set, insert your block of wood into the Pro Body Jig. It should fit snugly if not it can be sanded on a flat surface with a piece of coarse sandpaper. Firmly pull the body block against one side of the tool so the block is referenced and clamp it into position.
At this point we're prepared to drill our axle holes. You can use a pin vice and do it by hand, or carefully use an electric or battery powered drill. Insert the drill into the hole, run slowly taking a couple taps to clear the wood from the flutes of the drill. Wipe the drill bit clean and drill the opposite side of the rear in the same fashion, inserting the tool, slowly running your drill taking several taps to ensure a straight accurate hole.
Next we move to the front wheels. For this demonstration I'd like to show the use of a pin vice. It is very easy to use, safe for the children and easy on your tools. Once we've drilled the 2 rears and the front dominant wheel, we are going to remove the tool from the clamp and prepare to drill the 4th hole for a raised wheel. I am going to simply transfer a line from our front wheel across my block of wood as my index mark for my raised wheel. Next I'm going to rotate my tool with my raised holes up and align my mark with the mark I've transferred across the bottom of the car. This process is not as critical since this is going to be our raised hole and not affect our alignment. I clamp the block into the tool and I'll now drill my raised hole.
And this completes your body block using the Pro Body Jig. This will ensure you will have a square foundation for your car and an accurate easy alignment for best performance.