How to Make a Push Go Kart

Written by justin baragona
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How to Make a Push Go Kart
A push go-kart does not have an engine. (karting in the rain 4 image by Xavier MARCHANT from

Soapbox derby racing is very popular with kids and families alike. Building a push go-kart at home can be a sharing experience for family members. Also, the push go-kart does not have to be solely for entering a race or other competition. It can be a fun vehicle for both children and parents to enjoy on a daily basis.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

Things you need

  • Wood plank, 3 inches by 4 inches by 4 feet
  • 8 wood planks, 1 inch by 4 inches by 2 feet
  • Wood plank, 1 inch by 4 inches by 18 inches
  • 8 wood planks, 1 inch by 4 inches by 8 inches
  • 2 wood planks, 3 inches by 4 inches by 20 inches
  • 2 wood planks, 1 inch by 4 inches by 20 inches
  • 2 24-inch round metal bars, 3/4 inch diameter
  • 4 spoked wheels
  • Washers
  • Wood glue
  • Screws
  • Electric power drill
  • Metal drilling bit
  • Split pins
  • Rope
  • Bolts
  • Nuts
  • Round nails, 2 inches and 5 inches
  • Wood chisel
  • Tape measure
  • Staple gun

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  1. 1

    Use the wood chisel to create grooves in the two wood planks that measure 3 inches by 4 inches by 20 inches. Do the same on the two wood planks that measure 1 inch by 4 inches by 20 inches. Grooves must match up when planks are brought together.

  2. 2

    Drill four small holes in each round metal bar using the drill and bit. There will be a hole at each end of the bar and two in the middle.

  3. 3

    Place the round metal bar into the groove of the thinner wood plank. Match up the thicker plank and drive round nails through the thinner plank and the middle holes of the metal bar to create the rear axle.

  4. 4

    Repeat the step above for the front axle. Drill a hole through the top of the wood all the way through the metal rod and the bottom of the 1 inch wood plank.

  5. 5

    Nail one end of the 4 foot long plank through the middle of the rear axle using a 5 inch round nail. Drill a hole into the other end that matches up with the hole in the front axle. Place a bolt through both holes and attach a nut on the other side.


  1. 1

    Screw ends of two wood planks that measure 1 inch by 4 inches by 2 feet to opposite ends of the wood plank that measures 1 inch by 4 inches by 18 inches. The result is a U-shape.

  2. 2

    Place two 8 inch long planks on top of both sides of the rear axle next to the plank that is nailed in. Screw both sets of planks into the top of the axle using the drill.

  3. 3

    Screw the ends of four 1 inch by 4 inch by 2 foot planks to the top of the rear axle. Two planks should be on each side of the 4 foot plank attached to the rear axle to create the seat.

  4. 4

    Attach with screws two 8-inch planks on either side of the remaining plank. Screw this structure to the bottom end of the seat.

  5. 5

    Glue the U-shaped structure to the back end of the seat. Reinforce this by screwing the structure to the seat.

    Wheels and Steering

  1. 1

    Slide the wheels and washers onto the ends of the metal bar protruding through the front and rear axles. Secure the wheels by sliding the split pins through the drilled holes.

  2. 2

    Tie the ends of the rope to each end of the front axle, creating a closed loop. Staple the tied ends of the rope to the front axle for additional support.

  3. 3

    Allow the go-kart to sit overnight prior to testing as the glue needs to dry.

Tips and warnings

  • Brakes are not included with this structure, so please use caution when going downhill.

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