Build a Billy Cart

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There is a lot of building going on at Scitech at the moment with the opening of our new feature exhibition Ingenious.
All that hammering and gluing took us back to our childhood and we just couldn't resist the temptation to build a billy cart.

A billy cart (or gravity racer) is a fantastic way to start woodworking, designing and losing your skin on bitumen.

So let's build it!



Step 1: For Easy Reference

All the instructions including parts and cutting lists can be
printed out on this single A4 size .pdf

Step 2: Materials

The parts required for this Billy cart are:

Qty.4 X 3.5 x 4" pneumatic trolly wheels - take some of the bumps out of the road
Qty.1 X 1200 x 396 x12 mm Plywood BC boards
Qty.2 X 1200 x90 x 35 Pine beams
Qty.2 X Axle 'Adjustable Ambassador' 450-600mm 1/2in
Qty.4 X Mounting brackets (supplied with adjustable ambassador)
Qty.4 X Split pins
Qty.1 X Roll of clear vinyl tubing 16mm x 2 mm
Qty 1 X Zenith M10 75mm stainless steel cup-head bolt
Qty.2 X M10 Hex nutQty.3 X M10 Washers
Qty.1 X Roll10 mm Rope - partly for steering, mostly for dragging your cart up the hill
And as many 25 mm wood screws as you desire,we used around 20.

All should be available at your local hardware store.

Step 3: Tools

And the tools of course...

something to measure with
something to mark with
something to cut wood with
something to put screws in
something to drill holes with (+ an M10 drill bit)
something to tighten nuts with
bandages optional...



Step 4: What to Do

Here's Paul showing how easy it is to build

Step 5: Whats Next?

Workshop Contest

Finalist in the
Workshop Contest

2 People Made This Project!

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30 Discussions

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Solid sayen

2 months ago

thx for the info ill take this into account

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Muddy Knees

1 year ago

This looks brilliant and great to see anything encouraging kids to get outside and off the Xbox.

If anyone is struggling to find the parts they need or wants something a bit simpler please do have a look at our website (www.muddyknees.co.uk) where we sell complete Go Kart Kits which can be built in an afternoon. There are loads of pictures which are great for inspiration for your own karts too.

IMG_0058.jpg
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eddomak

3 years ago on Introduction

Fantastic and easy to make. I made 2 in a weekend. You will need a longer bolt than the suggested 75mm though, more like 90mm, as it needs to go through 35mm spine + 35mm crossbar + 3 washers + 2 nuts. Hope this saves someone an extra trip to the hardware store!

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hilldomain

3 years ago on Introduction

one thing I would do different as far as basic carpentry is concerned. I would not measure all the pieces at once then cut them all at once. You have to account for the saw blade width and by the end of the cuts it can add up 3mm each cut.

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nicholasc6

3 years ago on Introduction

Finally got around to building it today. Spent about $40 total
(already had plywood). The wheels were purchased for $6 each from Harbor
Freight. Axles (2) were solid steel rod purchased (and cut to about 23"
in length each) from ACE Hardware. Couldn't find the "Adjustable
Ambassador" anywhere, so purchased four collars that held wheels in
place. Converted everything to standard (from metric) but mine looks
almost identical to the one in your photo. Thanks for posting this!

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jktechwriter

4 years ago on Introduction

Finally got around to building ours today. Spent about $40 total (already had plywood). The wheels were purchased for $6 each from Harbor Freight. Axles (2) were solid steel rod purchased (and cut to about 23" in length each) from ACE Hardware. Couldn't find the "Adjustable Ambassador" anywhere, so purchased four collars that held wheels in place. Converted everything to standard (from metric) but mine looks almost identical to the one in your photo. Thanks for posting this!

2014-05-03 17.46.50.jpg
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DLeeC

4 years ago on Introduction

Hi, for those of you who have made one of these, approx. how much did it cost?

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ScitechWA

4 years ago on Introduction

Hi,
That would matter where you live!
But in Australia the local hardware stores sell them.
But all they are is a metal rod with some holes through the end to stop the wheels coming off.

Rod

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jktechwriter

4 years ago on Introduction

Has anyone gone shopping yet? Just curious if I can really find all of this at ACE Hardware or Home Depot or Lowes. The axle rods look like they might be tricky to find... wheels as well.

1 reply
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dontnojktechwriter

Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

The stores you mentioned have what your for. Just ask for 1/2" drill rod. It usually comes in 3' pieces.

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wbannister

4 years ago

Where can u buy the axle mounting brackets

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repetesmile

4 years ago on Introduction

Nice Plans – Suggestion: I highly recommend mounting a short 2x4” block underneath and about 1-1/2” +/- behind the center of the foot steering board to stop it from accidentally swinging too far and crushing a rider’s leg. (I made a motorized cart like this over 45 years ago. Needless to say, I am speaking from experience re: crushing a rider’s leg. Not a laughing matter!)

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robotmaker

4 years ago on Introduction

nice i remember building one when i was 15 it look about the same
that was 30 years ago and had so much fun with it

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Searomer

4 years ago

Down hill thunder, Great fun.