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Wooden Go Kart? Answered

*Hopefully this is the correct category.....

Hello all! I am quite interested to start learning woodworking (already have some knowledge) And what better way to start that with a gas (or electric) go-kart :-P? I know fair amount of people who have built things out of wood, some younger than I am (14). And it seems like a very good skill to have. Plus, if I am good enough at it and I outgrow the go kart, Ca-CHING! I could sell it for profit (If it is in good enough condition still). I'm currently in 8th grade but I cannot take a woodworking class until 10th grade, So why not start? I was also wondering if the Ibles community could help? I could use some ideas, and I will need alot of info for the engine and frame.(If you can even find PEDAL CART info that would be awesome too). My plan is to have it done by mid summer (July 10 for me).

This may seem like too much for me, but I want to build one that, if it doesn't have an engine, one could easily add one (I realize I can not run a gas/lawnmower engine on its side) Please leave your thoughts below!!


Use screws if you do make one, but I would not build one because wood does not hold up very well under a lot of friction and vibration. I have thought of designs that use a lot of pre made materials but use wood for a basic frame, this method would be very low cost so if you have the money, I say do it!

1. The frame will be reinforced with a steel sheet and wood cross supports.

2. I don't own a welder, and I would not like to pay someone to do it if I made it will steel.

Its not going to be a totally complex design. That way if the wood starts to rot of brittle up, I can replace it.

OHHH Found a guide on Soap box racers.....


It depends on if you can salvage bike parts or get/make real go-kart parts.  You might want to check browse through MAKE magazine, they did have a feature on cordless drill powered carts.  You might want to start out with a power luge kart and work your way up.  And of course, you need to have a place where you can actually use your cart. Here in NYC they are illegal for street use and not allowed in the rest of the jungle.

Trash day is near, so I can salvage items then. It's legal here in hot California. People ride karts and bikes, and an officer who lives around here says its okay in a low traffic residential area. I really like your idea on a luge kart, never thought of that...

If you're building in wood, I'd start with a soap-box cart, thus delaying the inevitable heartache when your red-hot engine sets fire to your wooden chassis...

That's why you use an aluminum sheet as a barrier to the wood..... bolt the engine down. :P I was considering a soap box cart, and I've seen a few that have been converted to have an engine. That's probably what I might do, Start simple with a soapbox.

So you would need to wrap your wooden cart in tinfoil before you strap on that giant jam-jar jet engine on.