The cold wind is blowing outside. The snow is accumulating around the windows. Pretty soon it will be difficult to walk out to the car, or even the garage. You are probably like most of us that don’t have a heated garage, so a project out in the garage is going to involve some frosty moments such as very cold tools, numb fingers and toes.
The idea of actually have a go at a winter project seems daunting…that is until you looked the project from another angle.
Imagine yourself in the warmth of your home, working on a project that will have its rewards for years to come. Addiitionally this project will get everyone who loves to work with their hands involved. It will build lasting memories for years to come. Imagine getting up in the morning, bringing a fresh donut and some coffee down into the basement while work on this project.
You maybe asking “What is this project you are talking about? There are lots of projects out there that cost an arm and a leg, I am not looking for a costly project, but fun cheap project!”
Well, I am glad you asked. The project I am talking about is sure to raise eyebrows in excitement, and turn heads when complete. It will get the grandpa and the grandkids all excited. In fact I guarantee it will get the grandkids wanting to come over a lot more! And this is not just for grandpas and grandkids, this is a building project of a kids dreams.
The great thing about this project is that all it takes is some good old fashioned wood tools, a few two by fours, a sheet of plywood, a few bolts and nuts, a couple of deck screws, some rope and some wheels. Oh….I might have given it away.
Alright you have waited long enough! It is a….no I can’t just tell you what it is right away….not until I tell you how easy it is to make.
First of all I made mine in a couple of weekends. To be honest I had mine done in less than 6 hours, in my basement.
I didn’t even really go to the hardware store, I used stuff that I found sitting around. The most complicated tool I used was a Jig Saw, something if you don’t have in your arsenal of wood tools, would be a fanstastic tool to have anyhow!
So what was the project?
A wood go kart.
You maybe thinking, “A wood go kart…okay that is something that I will be throwing away in about two months. If I wanted a go kart, I would just buy a real metal framed go kart. Wood is just too flimsy and not reliable.”
I used to think that too, until I made my first wood go kart. All I can say is “Wow!” It really was quite enjoyable to make, and it still gives me that goofey grin every time I get out on it. On the contrary it is not a flimsy piece of junk, but a durable go kart that will give a metal frame gokart a run for its money every time!
Costing under 100 dollars, the wood go kart is a great weekend project. The added bonus is that it can be made indoors. All the wood parts can be cut and assembled indoors. You can have literally the whole go kart pretty much assembled, painted and ready for a test run in a couple of weekends or less.
There are some things, however, to consider when building a wood go kart. Because, wood go karts can be really simple and unsafe when designed improperly. You may be thinking that the wood go kart I am talking about is a simple foot steered gokart.
Uh…no! It is much, much more than that.
There are several important design considerations that have gone into the wood go kart project that we are proposing:
1. - Unique Steering Stabilization System
2. - Center Of Gravity Accounted For
3. - Powerful Dependable Brake System
4. - Driver Retention Column
5. - Rock Solid Drive System
6. - Brake Pedal
7. - Throttle Pedal
1. Unique Steering Stabilization System
The Unique Steering Stabilization System is designed to keep the steering bogie system from collapsing like convention wagon style steering systems. Instead of hyper-extension in the corner, the whole go kart remains stable and able to negotiate corners with ease. Bottom line is the go kart handles very much like its metal counterparts.
The foot style steering system is very eratic and can become unstable where the front bogies can become lost in a harmonic motion of back and forth oscillations. This is very dangerous and difficult to deal with. Some go kart designers use ropes held in the drivers hands to control the steering, this too is difficult to keep in position and is susceptible to harmonic instability.
This go kart takes into account the ossicallation problem and attacks it from two interconnecting systems working in concert. Oscillations in the steering are not a problem as a result with this go kart design. This go kart handles like its metal counterparts turning corners with similar steering wheel movements.
2. Center Of Gravity Vital For Steering Control
Typical with wood go karts, the front end does not have enough weight to provide descent steering grab. In other words the front wheels will slip in a corner and the go kart will tend to go straight. Center of gravity is a big factor in go kart design. The Go Kart Guru Wood Go Kart takes Center of Gravity into account and places the driver and the front wheels in the optimum location for good steering response and excellent handling characteristics.
3. Powerful Reliable Brakes
One of the marks of safety for a go kart is stopping power. Most wood go karts do not have brakes, and if they do, the brake is actuated by a handle which does not have enough force to stop the go kart on a dime. In fact a hand brake is very primitive and insufficient from a braking standpoint. Additionally the hand brake typically only grabs one wheel which does not provide ample braking power.
And finally, the surface area of the braking surfaces is critical and typical metal-bar style brakes tend to over heat and wear out tires dramatically. The brakes system on this go kart will not wear out the tires.
Brake systems as well require enormous amounts of forces to create braking power. The system on Go Kart Guru Wood Go Kart accounts for the forces and requires only a foot pedal making it very similar to its cousins the metal framed go karts.
4. Safety Retention Column
Wood Go Karts typically do not have any safety retention devices built into them. When an accident does occur the driver will go flying, additionally there typically is no protection for the driver at all. On this go kart there is a center column section which is designed to retain the driver from flying off of the go kart.
This does not preclude good driving habits, and safety equipment such as ribtech vest gear, driving helmets, gloves and heavy clothing. However, it provides a measure of protection, unlike the typical wood go karts offer no measure of protection.
5. Rock Solid Drive System
Drive systems proposed for wood go karts range across the board. Some use a twisted belt drive others a chain drive. The twisted belt drive system that is proposed on these go karts will not work, because there is not enough ratio to the system. Additionally the design is not sound and will lead to premature belt failure and poor belt tracking. (IE, you will be fighting belt problems constantly, smoking belts and belts falling off.)
The chain drives are fine, however, most chain systems that are on the markert are designed for smaller tires and so the clutch will smoke and the go kart will not readily move.
The Go Kart Guru Wood Go Kart understands the dilema about selecting tractor components, or odd style components off of riding lawnmowers and uses innovative methods to circumvent these issues. I'll let you in on a secret, the wood go kart uses a belt drive and shows you how to develop a wood pulley so that you do not have to buy expensive components. All this is explained in great details in the wood go kart video and shows you step by step how to actually fabricate the drive system.
As you may have guessed belt drives are prone to belt burning. This particular go kart takes into account the drive system ratios and actually has minimal belt burning. As a result the go kart has phenomal acceleration and overall speed characteristics. It will give your typical metal frame go kart a run for its money.
6. & 7. Pedal Systems: Throttle and Brake
Wood go karts as we have already discussed have the feet being used up in the steering mechanism. This makes the throttle and braking precarious. The hands have to be taken off of the steering system to active either a throttle or a brake, making it difficult to manage. A go kart that has pedals that are conventional like on automobiles is more suited for go kart handling. This go kart design uses the typical foot pedal systems and makes it more realistic and comparable to metal frame style go karts.
To actually build a wood go kart it takes more than just slapping a couple of boards, bolts and screws together as you can see. What we are offering is a Wood Go Kart Building Project that is complete with printed materials, plans, and DVD Movie on how to build this winter wood go kart project.
There are over 100 pages worth of printed materials that show how to build a reliable wood go kart. The book is bound professionally, so you do not have to worry about getting some stapled together pamphlet. Additionally, there are about an hours worth of videos that show step by step how to build the wood go kart. Watch as the father and son team put together the wood go kart before your eyes in their basement!