Building your own go-kart can be a exciting and rewarding project. Besides making for an enjoyable hobby, from scratch kart construction can also save you money, when you consider the comparable cost of purchasing a fully assembled go-kart. But any complex project requires detailed plans---and fortunately for you, easy-to-follow instructions for building go-karts abound online.
A great place to find directions when you're trying to build your own kart is DIYGoKarts.com. The site has many excellent tips, and while it does walk you through every step of the process, it provides you with many ideas and suggestions for ways to make your new go-kart your own. There are in-depth discussions of different types of parts and their relative merits, and recommendations for sources from which to purchase the parts. Different engine possibilities are covered, as are maintenance and decor. If all that isn't enough, there are also instructions for three different styles of minibikes, and even a mini chopper!
If you want more detailed instructions and technical support, you might want to consider purchasing go-kart plans from EasyKarts.com. A small enthusiast-owned company, Easy Karts sells plans for seven different go-karts and even a home-made ATV at very inexpensive prices. Customers are given access to the plans online, so there is no need to download files or wait for the plans to be shipped to you. The instructions are all advertised as being easy to follow, but for those who feel they can't do it on their own, every set of plans comes with free e-mail and live telephone support.
At KartBuilding.net you can find a great deal of information and plans for numerous types of go-karts, mainly in PDF format. There are plans for racing karts, off-road karts, simple wooden karts (either unpowered or driven by lawnmower engines), and even an article from a 1962 issue of Modern Mechanix with directions for building a street-legal go-kart. The site contains a mailing list archive, galleries of photos, information about different types of engines, a speed calculator, and an extensive link list---more than enough for any beginning hobbyist!