best way to drill the Pinewood Derby axle holes

Derby Monkey 4 - Pinewood Derby Axles Leave a Comment

Question: I don’t know the best way to go about drilling the Pinewood derby axle grooves. I’m thinking I will take a ruler and pencil to make the grooves, and then just keep tapping along the pencil lines with a small drill bit. Or, maybe I could take it to Home Depot to have them cut them with a router/lathe or something.
I’m thinking the drill bit just tapping along the pencil line should be fine though.
If you don’t think the drill method is good and should do something else please let me know. And/or if you have any Pinewood Derby tools on your site to do this please let me know and maybe I would order them as well.

Answer: Most folks cut the axle slots with a table saw.  However, the blade has to be very thin and adjusted so that it won’t cut very deep.  You can usually get a straight and square groove doing it that way.
Drilling holes is still much better as long as you can drill them straight, perpindicular to the body and parallel with each other.  If you have a good drill press you can drill your holes while the body is still in block form.  If the block is square to begin with… your holes should be pretty good.
They make several specialy tools to help you drill perefect axle holes.  These tools range in price from $12 to $85.  The $12 Pro Body Tool works very well.  You can see it at  It also comes with the perfect size drill bit for BSA axles.  You can use this with a hand drill or drill press.  You can even use a hand held pin vise (twist drill).


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *