Wooden vehicle track plans

Detailed dimensions for the tracks for my wooden tank-thread vehicle

These plans are based on using 1970s style VW beetle wiper motors, which were just the right size gear head motor forthe job. If you want to build a similar vehicle, you should start by trying to find some suitable gear head motors. They should be DC motors and run somewhere between 30 and 90 RPM.

Click on any image for a larger view.

The tracked vehicle is based on using old VW beetle wiper motors (from the original beetle). These can unfortunately no longer be obtained. I don't know of a good gear head motor substitute. Wiper motors have about the right speed and torque, but few are as compact as the ones from a VW beetle. You will have to modify your design to work with whatever motors you can find, which is why I have not put overall dimensions on this plan.

Use a hard wood such as maple for the chains and sprockets.

The sprockets can be made out of solid hardwood, or 3/4" plywood. If you use plywood, I recommend the Baltic birch, which is made of very thin layers of birch throughout.

If you print this image to be exactly 16 cm wide, you can use it as a template for cutting out your sprockets.


You can use the Gear generator program to design sprockets like these.
If you want to experiment with different types of block chains and sprockets, you can try the chain and sprocket mode in my gear template generator progran. It's a program you have to buy (sorry, not free), but even the free eval version is quite useful for trying out different gear chain designs.

You can also download the SketchUp model for the tracks

See also Wooden tank thread vehicle