Introduction: Homemade Wooden GoKart

Picture of Homemade Wooden GoKart

This is the perfect budget gokart for people who love speed and danger. I don't think anyone sells anything like this ,so it's pretty much one of a kind. I Installed a Briggs And Stratton 5HP engine on it. It has 10" tires that have a 300lb loading weight each. We got it up to 21mph. Pretty good for a hunk of pine. I have to admit, though, it is pretty cool. Diclaimer: it is very dangerous, especially without brakes. All in all, it cost me around $185. Here's a link to a video: I'VE GOT A NEW VIDEO:

Step 1: Frame

Picture of Frame

Essentially, it is made out of pine, which is light(ish). You want a main board stretching from front to back for support. The seat is up to you. It could be a plastic chair with the legs cut off. The engine mount should be sturdy

Step 2: Front

Picture of Front

Next, install the wooden front axle. I used u-bolts to clamp the metal axle (the wheels are attached to it) to the wood.

Step 3: Engine

Picture of Engine

I mounted the engine to the frame.

Step 4: Rear Wheels

Picture of Rear Wheels

Next, I went to Lowe's and got a 3/4" steel rod for my axle. I inserted bearings into wood and slid the axle through. Then, I put adjustable retaining rings on the inside of each bearing to keep the axle from slipping.

Step 5: Drive System

Picture of Drive System

I bought a sprocket and a Max Torque clutch and a #35 chain. The sprocket is actually bolted to the hub.

Step 6: Throttle and Steering

Picture of Throttle and Steering

I just installed a simple throttle handle directly connected to the throttle. The steering handle gives you better control than your feet do.


ckeith3 (author)2011-10-20

This is awfully unsafe. Something of this simple of a design, made out of wood, will not last long.

grahamgamer2447 (author)ckeith32017-04-26

What do you expect it is made of wood it is ment for fun not ¨Saftey¨

hunter13 (author)ckeith32011-11-01

Just rebuild it.

Avatar_I_Am (author)ckeith32011-10-29

Safe? We don't need no stinkin' safe!
Who cars if it doesn't last, it is cheap enpugh that if you wreck it, just re-build!
I hva enough scrap wood to make three or four... not enough spare engines, though.
Cool. I LIKE it!

Muddy Knees (author)2016-10-19

This looks fantastic - definitely a project for the future.

If anyone needs a bit of a helping hand then I run a small business making Wooden Go Kart Kits. Any of these could be used as a base to add an engine to. Please feel free to have a look at our website, We would always love to hear from you, even if you are not looking to buy a kit.

Thank you, Wulstan

Lmccoy1146 (author)2016-02-07

I think this is very cool one question how long did it take to build

kristianhardeman (author)2011-11-10

dit is cool ik ga er een maken

I don't what language you typed that in but I'm sure I'm not the only one wondering what exactly it is you said.

Yonatan24 (author)cheapasdirt2016-02-02

I don't know what language that is, But if you know English and have a bit of common sense, You can see that "dit is cool" sounds like "this is cool", And "maken" sounds like make.

If I have to guess it means something like: "That looks really cool, I want to make one too"...

at least whomever posted in their native language wasn't offensive to anyone, and no words were left out as in your brilliant remark "I don't what...." I believe the word would be "I don't KNOW what...." would have been read more accurately, had it been written accurately. No you are not the only one wondering what exactly is is that the person said. I did wonder, but looked it up, the same as you could have, instead of insulting someone with offensive remarks. What in the world would possess you to be such an ignorant fool by typing what you did? Has nothing to do with the subject, moron.

exex (author)canwedoityeswecan2015-04-27

so much for the nice comment policy...

he said, "this is cool I'm going to make".

parkmana (author)cheapasdirt2015-04-07

Dutch... I think.

arnoutdejans (author)cheapasdirt2011-12-01

He is from Belgium (as i do) or the Netherlands. He saids something like:
"Wow, how cool, gonna build one my own" ;)

curvy77 (author)2013-09-16

working on something similar, but with a different propulsion system. how did u arrange the steering and where did the brakes make contact? the wheel or axel?

HA10 (author)curvy772015-11-24

There are no brakes

Nate 1 (author)2015-07-01

How did you attach the wheels to the axle?

bobbyflay2019 (author)2015-04-21

Where can I buy one of those motors?

fuzz642 (author)2014-09-24

how did u get the bearing in the wood ?

coolcat54 (author)2014-05-18

I would like to make this, but with my electric mower's motor instead.

garsam (author)2014-03-07

could you tell me a full list of material needed pls tnx!!

oklipock (author)2012-12-18

i like the general design. ive been looking for an easy way to do the steering. how fast is it and what is the sum of costs?

hunter13 (author)oklipock2013-01-03

My gps says 21.4mph. As for cost, around $200

mstandring (author)2012-06-19

How much and where did you get the back two wheels? did you drill holes into the hub for sproket? or were there already holes in the hub when you purchased it?

juanp (author)2012-06-12

Where did you get the motor from?

hunter13 (author)2012-05-31

Please visit my new gokart here

ChewyCov (author)2012-02-24

Wow great guide! I remember a few years ago me and a friend were planning on making our own go kart (we were 15 at the time and stupid) and we would have killed for a guide like this! I'm hoping to give this a go in the summer!

ashwinlit (author)2012-01-08


hunter13 (author)ashwinlit2012-01-25

Under the first picture is a link.

Hippymike96 (author)2011-12-09

How much did the engine cost? Was that the bulk of the money? Any ideas on how to make brakes?

hunter13 (author)Hippymike962011-12-12

I got the engine at an auction for 60$. Perhaps bike brakes, spoon brakes, or something that clamps around the sprocket.

codydean (author)hunter132011-12-23

sweet i got an 18 hp briggs but its vertical shaft :/ ill figure something out.

davehart (author)codydean2012-01-07

slap a 5 speed Tecumseh transmission(found on most mtds) under it and connect your engine to it with a love joy coupling(can get them at some farm stores). That's what i did at least...

davehart (author)2011-12-02

My cousing and i made a go cart like this, except for it is ALOT bigger, no engine, but it has a suspension and brakes. Its realy heavy lugging up the hill but really fun! Oh ya, and i'm 14

hunter13 (author)davehart2011-12-05

That's amazing. I would advise you to add an engine in the back. It wouldn't take much!

davehart (author)hunter132011-12-09

Ive actually been thinking about putting one on it lately, a have a 5 speed lawnmower transmission that would bolt right up and an engine that i could mount on the bed.

hunter13 (author)davehart2011-12-12


davehart (author)hunter132011-12-21

Well, i got the engine and steering wheel on it. It doesnt have a clutch so it shifts like a rock. Still, really fun and fast. sorry about the bad pictures, it was at night.

hunter13 (author)davehart2011-12-22

Dude! That's a great gokart. Keep it up.

davehart (author)hunter132011-12-21

next photo

shdude666 (author)2011-12-21

how does the throttle work?

hunter13 (author)shdude6662011-12-22

The right handle moves a rod that goes directly to the throttle on the engine.

tonycabus (author)2011-10-20

Where's the brake?!?!?!

cheapasdirt (author)tonycabus2011-12-01

Your feet suffice I assume. I've stopped more than one speeding go cart using only my feet.

vov35 (author)tonycabus2011-10-20

haha, get it, you said brake...

no really, there is none.

hunter13 (author)2011-11-22

What I really should do is put an electric motor on it, a car battery, a solar panel, and perhaps a little something to control my speed:)

professorzed (author)2011-10-20

I think you could add 'spoon' brakes if you wanted. Well any kind of brakes really. Spoon brakes are pretty primitive.

Basically, a 'spoon brake' is like putting your foot on the wheel and applying pressure with the sole of your shoe until the wheel stops. Instead of your own foot/ boot though, you would be stepping on a pedal which would be pushing a big chunk of rubber against the wheel.

In your case, maybe a 2 x4 underneath and behind the seat which presses against the wheel when a foot pedal is pressed down. You'd have to screw on a chunk of rubber to the 2 x 4 such as an old car tire or something. Boot heels would work well as brakes too of course. I guess if you really wanted it to look 'Fred Flintstone'/ Little Rascals' you could just use the whole boot.

Try to put the brake pedal on the left side of the go-cart, since most people are intuitively familiar with this as the brake position from driving cars.

hunter13 (author)professorzed2011-11-17

Good point, I should put brakes on sometime.

hunter13 (author)professorzed2011-11-17

I partially shredded the soul of my left boot trying to stop it while going down the road.

voyageur10 (author)professorzed2011-11-15

My thoughts exactly! A set of spoon brakes and this thing would be top notch!

Awesome go-kart, thanks dude!

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