Go-kart racing is a favourite pastime for kids. It is a fun activity for birthday and neighbourhood parties. Building a go-kart is just as much fun as driving one. Parents and kids can build them together, turning the project into a bonding experience. Although only grown-ups should handle power tools, there are many safe ways in which kids can help in the construction. Under adult supervision, they can use crescent wrenches and hammers. They can also take measurements.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Safety goggles
- 2 pieces of lumber, 2-by-6 inches wide, 8-feet long
- Circular saw
- Power drill
- 3/8 inch dril bit
- Driving bit, Phillips head
- 3 bolts, 3/8 inch wide, 5 inches long
- 3 nuts for 3/8-inch bolts
- 4 washers, 3/8 inches
- 6 deck screws, 3-inches long
- 4 fixed-wheel casters, 4 inches
- 16 wood screws, 1 1/2 inch
- 2 C-hook screws
- Nylon rope, 6 feet
- 4 fence staples
Put on the safety goggles. Cut one of the 6-by-2s to a length of 48 inches. Place the 48 inch piece to the side. Cut two 20-inch pieces from the remainder. The 48-inch piece is the go-kart's chassis. The 20-inch pieces are the wheel mounts.
Cut the other 6-by-2 to a length of 24 inches. Draw a diagonal line across the width. Make a cut along this line so that you have a triangle measuring 6 inches by 24 inches by 24 5/8 inches. From the remaining length of 6-by-2, cut a piece 26 inches long.
Measure the angle between the triangle's 24 5/8 inch and 6 inch sides. Subtract that number from 180. Set the angle of your circular saw to the resulting number. Use the saw to angle off one of the ends. This piece is the go-kart's seat back.
Drill three holes along the centre of the chassis. Place the first hole at 3 inches, the second at 43 1/2 inches and the third at 46 1/2 inches. The first hole marks the front of the go-kart while the others mark its back.
Center the triangle at 42 inches, with the 6-inch side down, on the chassis. Fasten it with two deck screws.
Fasten the seat back to the chassis and triangular support with deck screws. Use two deck screws to fasten it to the chassis and two to secure it to the support.
Draw a line at 10 inches across each of the wheel mounts. Mark a point at 3 inches of that line on one wheel mount. Mark a point at 1 1/2 and 4 1/2 inches of the line on the other one. Drill completely through the lumber at these marks.
Line up the holes of the second wheel mount to the holes in the back. Slide a bolt through each hole and fasten them with the nuts. Slide a bolt through the hole in the front of the chassis. Slide two of the washers over the other end of the bolt. Slide the front wheel mount onto the bolt. Fasten the nut to the bolt.
Secure the casters to the bottom of the wheel mounts with 1 1/2-inch wood screws. Place them 1 inch from the wheel mount's ends. Loop each end of the nylon rope around the end of the wheel mount. Tie each loop into a knot. Secure each nylon loop to the wheel mount with two fence staples.
Tips and warnings
- Steer the go-kart by holding onto the nylon rope and pushing the front wheel mount with your feet.
- This particular model is not in adherence to BSA specifications. It cannot be used in official Boyscout push car racing activities.
- Only adults should handle power tools.
- Wear safety goggles, even if you are only watching someone else build the go-kart.
- Always wear a bicycle helmet, knee and elbow pads when driving the go-kart.
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