I got to spend the last few days with this little guy, Zachary, while his parents and sister were on vacation.
Ana White's website. you can find the full directions and printable templates here.
Here are the steps I took to make mine.
1"x4" scrap (7" or longer will be sufficient for the car or truck.)
Toy wheels (or make your own)
Dowel (size depends on your wheels)
4 Washers (size depends on your wheels)
Step 1: Draw your vehicle shape on the wood.
You can use the templates provided on Ana White's website or make your own.
Use a jigsaw to cut the outside of the vehicles out of the 1"x4" boards. I am not the greatest with the jigsaw so the cars I made are far from perfect, but Zach doesn't seem to mind.
Use a hole saw to drill a hole in the window space. Then use the jigsaw to finish the cuts.
If you are making your own wheels, use a hole saw to cut out the four wheels. I bought my wheels. They were just over $1 for 4 wheels. You can find them in the hobby section of your DIY store. Ask for the Pine Wood Derby supplies.
Step 5: Cut your dowels.
Cut your dowels to be long enough to go through both wheels and through the 1"x4" piece. Make the dowels slightly longer, because you will need to use a washer between the car and each wheel.
Step 6: Drill the holes for your wheels.
Make sure you drill the hole large enough to fit your dowels. Also, ensure sure that you drill the holes so that they are level with each other. I just eyeballed it when I made the car and the front wheels are lower than the back wheels.
These are going to be in little hands, so be sure that you sand all surfaces very well.
If there is any chance that these are going to end up in someone's mouth, be certain that you use a child-safe paint and that you seal it very well with mineral oil.
Use wood glue to attach one wheel to each dowel.
Step 10: Attach the wheels to the vehicle.
Put a washer on the dowel with the wheel. Push the dowel through the vehicle. Put another washer on the other side of the vehicle and glue the other wheel to the dowel.
Step 11: Enjoy!
I made a car and a truck. Ana White's website also has a template for a helicopter. You could easily modify the templates to make any vehicle. Some ideas are train cars, bus, fire truck, ambulance, police car, etc.
Zach loves his new car and truck and they are the perfect size for his little hands!