How to Build a Cub Scout Rocket Derby Car

Overview

Cub Scouts aren't limited to Pinewood Derby car races. There are also Raingutter Regatas (which involve boats) and Space Derbies (involving rocket cars). Space Derbies require a special track so the boys' rockets appear to be flying. This is a great way to spice up annual competitions and give scouts the opportunity to build a unique vehicle. So grab your Space Derby rocket kit and get ready to blast off.

Step 1

Carefully glue the two halves together. Allow to set for at least 15 minutes.

Step 2

Pick your design. Scouts can carve wood into traditional rocket shapes or go bold with jets, missiles or boats.

Step 3

Carve your design. The wood in these kits is soft, so scouts can use a potato peeler to carve if they wish.

Step 4

Carve a groove into the back end. This is to hold the back dowel into place.

Step 5

Sand. Smooth any rough edges to improve appearance and speed.

Step 6

Paint and decorate your rocket. Guide your scout only if he wants you to. This is where his creativity comes in, so it's okay if the finished product doesn't look perfect.

Step 7

Cut and attach the fins.

Step 8

Cut a groove for the hangar and firmly attach with plenty of glue. The rounded end points to the front and the hangar must not go into the interior of the rocket where the rubber bands go. Allow to dry several hours or overnight.

Step 9

Lubricate rubber bands with spray silicon or castor oil. Stretch rubber bands many times before loading into the rocket.

Step 10

Attach propeller assembly, back dowel and rubber bands. The rounded end of the propeller assembly should go into and touch the nose of the rocket.

Step 11

Prep the rubber bands by twisting the propeller first 20 times and letting go, then 40 times, then 60, 80, and finally 100. This reduces breakage and helps the propeller go faster. Do this with any replacement rubber bands.

Tips and Warnings

  • The end with the small hole is the rocket nose and should not be carved away. Do not glue the propeller assembly or back dowel onto the rocket. These are removed to load and re-load the rubber bands. The picture on the front of the kit does NOT show the correct way to attach the hanger.

Things You'll Need

  • Official BSA Space Derby rocket kit
  • Wood carving tools or potato peeler
  • Elmer's glue
  • Paint
  • Paintbrushes
  • Lubricant

References

  • Depot Dan: Space Derby
  • Scout Shop: Space Derby Kit
Keywords: space derby, scout derby, rocket car

About this Author

Corrine Lee has more than 15 years of writing experience in Web content, commercial writing and creative writing. She's written for eHow, Dynamic Insights and published in magazines such as "Dollar Stretcher." She graduated from college with a degree in English-writing and a determination to use it.

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