How to make a go cart out of wood

Written by bianca bumpres
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How to make a go cart out of wood
Wooden go-karts set the stage for modern go-karts. (three kartings image by Xavier MARCHANT from

Go-karts have always been a popular pastime for children and adults alike. Making a go-kart is an ideal father and son weekend project. When constructing a wooden go-kart it is important to have experience with woodworking, carpentry or work with someone who does. Go-karts come in a variety of shapes and sizes. They can also be built to reach your desired speed, even going up to 20 miles per hour.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • 2 Steering bolts
  • 1 ½-inch screw
  • Paint or varnish
  • 4 Electrician's metal saddles
  • 2 Eye Screws
  • Rope
  • 3 ½-inch-by-1 ½ inch axle wood ¾ inches thick
  • 2 fixed axles with wheels
  • Seat Material
  • Saw
  • Sander
  • Wood clamps

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  1. 1

    Cut the wood for your cart's middle piece and axles. The middle piece should be 3ft. 9 in. and the axles should be 17 inches.

  2. 2

    Sand wood to smooth out roughly cut edges.

  3. 3

    Paint or varnish wood and allow time for drying.

  4. 4

    Connect axle to short piece of wood. Place two or three electrician saddles on the axle. Secure axle with a 1 ½-inch screw.

  5. 5

    Connect long wood piece on ends to the axles. There must be some overhang on each side. Secure piece with wooden clamp.

  6. 6

    Place the steering bolts in go cart. Allow nuts to bolts to only be partially threaded so the bolts may turn.

  7. 7

    Tie rope to ends of the front axle. Ensure the tie is a bowline knot for the ends. See resources for instructions on tying a bowline knot. Feet should be set on the steering bar for these plans. The rope is held securely to manoeuvre easily.

  8. 8

    Add seats with material of choice.

Tips and warnings

  • Metal saddles are saddle shaped supports that fit the contour of the object resting on it.
  • More saddles may need to be used based on the size of the go cart.
  • The steering bolt should be in the middle in the rear and front to prevent the go cart from pivoting.
  • Some examples of seat material include upholstery tacks, vinyl or foam. Carpet stores may have material to cover seats.
  • Make sure the go cart has enough room for feet.
  • Wear protective clothing when operating the go cart.
  • Ensure the go cart does not go too fast for personal preference.
  • Drive on level ground.

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