Soapbox car (the kids in the workshop)

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Project by mafe posted 07-18-2010 02:01 AM 9113 views 8 times favorited 28 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Soapbox car
Some wonderful hours in the workshop

My girlfriends two boys are here for the vacance (they are French), so I had to come up with a project where we could all spend some time in my workshop…

It became the good old soapbox car that I choose to bring back to life, (since I found a old baby carriage so the wheels were there for free) – and it was a big sucess.

As you can see on the pictures I have a quite small workshop, but we build the car in pieces, and put it together outside the workshop (we were 3 kids and me in the workshop).
The little Noe had just found my old gunbelt (from my childhood), and my hat so he also had some John Wayne to do as you can see…
Especially the big boy Ruben of ten was there to the end, but also my daughter Mathilde 11 was really into the handsaw and accu machine (of course she was dressed to the project in a beautiful summer dress, and nice sandals…).

It was a project, where they managed to try and use saw, sandpaper, handplane, accudrill, and the big kids even the tablesaw, we had made som layout plans together the night before, and even had to study the dimesions of a human body, but all just very basic, since I wanted it to be possible to improvice, and for them to have a feeling of invention.

We spend app. 5 hours in total, so it was not too much for the concentration, and I must admit I enjoyed every moment to the full extend.

Press here at the soapbox car blog for more details.
Or here to se my pedalpowered version soapbox car Femø.

Hope it can be to some inspiration,


-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

28 comments so far

View Bluebear's profile


417 posts in 3438 days

#1 posted 07-18-2010 02:22 AM

glad to see there’s still kids enjoying the great outdoors :) fantastic soap box car mafe! great family project, looks like the kids enjoy it too! :D

-- -- It's only a mistake if you can't fix it.

View lew's profile


12883 posts in 4297 days

#2 posted 07-18-2010 02:35 AM


Aahh, does this bring back memories!! Our first one was made from an old door and re-purposed baby buggy wheels.

It sure is encouraging to know that imagination is still alive and kicking!!

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View RONWEN's profile


40 posts in 3765 days

#3 posted 07-18-2010 02:44 AM

That takes me way back—I was probably ~8 years old, my Dad that worked in a machine shop at the time made a pair of axles from 3/4” sq. stock, turned spindles on the ends & threaded the tips for nuts to retain the wheels. For the next several summers the “gang” used those axles to build down-hill cart after cart. After we built a couple of “designs” we came to the realization that the lighter the better because after each thrilling ride we had to drag it back up the hill by hand. The feeble attempts at brakes usually centered around a piece of wood made to rub against one of the wheels (or on the ground) which were salvaged from whatever we could find that was being thrown away in the neighborhood. We had more fun centered around those axles and those “carts” than you could have imagined.

-- RonWen

View littlecope's profile


3073 posts in 4044 days

#4 posted 07-18-2010 03:42 AM

Great Project and Story, my Friend…
We had a hill near my house growing up too… :)

-- Mike in Concord, NH---Unpleasant tasks are simply worthy challenges to improve skills.

View docholladay's profile


1287 posts in 3601 days

#5 posted 07-18-2010 04:29 AM

Cool. That brings back memories of a few of those that me and my friends built as kids. That was great fun. I’m sure he kids really had a lot of fun.

-- Hey, woodworking ain't brain surgery. Just do something and keep trying till you get it. Doc

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 4215 days

#6 posted 07-18-2010 04:43 AM

Thats so cute.

View swirt's profile


4330 posts in 3514 days

#7 posted 07-18-2010 04:49 AM

Great project. Looks like a lot of fun was had by all. Glad to see they let French kids carry sidearms in Denmark. ;)

-- Galootish log blog,

View ND2ELK's profile


13495 posts in 4316 days

#8 posted 07-18-2010 04:53 AM

Brings back fond memories when I was a kid. It looks like a good time was had by all! Doing things with the kids makes it extra special. Thanks for posting.

God Bless

-- Mc Bridge Cabinets, Iowa

View patron's profile


13658 posts in 3883 days

#9 posted 07-18-2010 05:14 AM

great fun here mafe .

good way to bond with all the kids .
now that you are settled with your own life ,

you should get to ride the car too !

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View Wolffarmer's profile


407 posts in 3780 days

#10 posted 07-18-2010 07:09 AM

That looks like more fun than a theme park. 2 thumbs up.


-- That was not wormy wood when I started working on it.

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3657 days

#11 posted 07-18-2010 10:18 AM

OOh those memories that just pop up Mads :—))
we used to have a stearingwheel and some heavy wooden brakes on ours
becourse we had a niice long road on a hill to drive down on (used that in the winther to skiing )
the local village people closed the road in the winther and in the schools summerhollydays
heart that the kids now a days do it with inliners and scateboards ( I gess kids don´t change that much :-) )
just so we kids cuold enjoy ourselfs great fun but I still wonder why I don´t remember
anyone get heart in those days it was realy wild what we did in those days

sorry I got carryd away :-)
those pictures are great Mads fantastic to see them enjoy both the time with you in the shop
and the playtime with the car and good to see Mathilde, Ruben and Noe come along
had they started to learn Danish or is it Mathilde who has to learn french :—)

thank´s for sharing this wonderfull moments with us Mads


View stefang's profile


16821 posts in 3876 days

#12 posted 07-18-2010 02:02 PM

The kids look like they love it Mads. As David said, a great way to bond with the kids and show them that they don’t have to rely on store bought stuff to have fun. I’m sure they won’t forget it.

It reminds me of a car my uncle who was a carpenter made for my cousin and her sister. A wondrous vehicle. Unfortunately the best I could come up with was a scooter made with a 2X4 with steel roller skates mounted for wheels and a wooden fruit box mounted vertically on the front with handles to hold on to.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View mtnwild's profile


3474 posts in 4069 days

#13 posted 07-18-2010 05:22 PM

Terrific! Making more than a car here. This is what it’s all about. Nice project, time well spent….............

-- mtnwild (Jack), It's not what you see, it's how you see it.

View antmjr's profile


262 posts in 3726 days

#14 posted 07-18-2010 05:28 PM

Beautiful project and wonderful kids, Mads, I’m sure they will remember that day as long as they live
But now you have to build a soapbox boat!

-- Antonio

View woody57's profile


650 posts in 3969 days

#15 posted 07-18-2010 05:35 PM

looks like great fun
like many of you, I also built and rode these as a boy

-- Emmett, from Georgia

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