[Kartbuilding] Child kart.

Stephen Burke sburke at burkesys.com
Tue May 26 23:37:00 IST 2009

Hi Louis-Charles,

Thanks very much for the two photos. Well done in getting this far. I 
especially like how you done the steering, in getting the various 
components with threaded ends!

I like the design a lot. The front end looks well. Two quick questions:
1. The straight metal strip on the top of the main middle chassis member, 
where the steering column is. Is this to prevent a split in the timber?
2. For the angle iron for the "drop-arm" controlling the side to side 
movement of the track rod. How does it seem strength-wise?

I commend you on your objective not to use welding :-) I too had that 
objective for quite a while when I started. It involved lots of box-iron, 
flat steel, drilling and bolts.

The brakes will be an interesting exercise. I'm sure you have something in 
mind. I'd see two main options. 1 would be to have a piece of timber 
mounted in a lever fashion which would push in against the rear tyre. You 
could perhaps work it so that a lever would operate and push something 
which would move in against both tyres together. Something similar to what 
is done on a pedal-go-kart. You could try and get a cable operated disc 
brake from a bycycle ( 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bicycle_brake_systems#Disc_brakes ). This 
would work well as you could attach a brake lever to the steering 

As for the clutch, I have a few ideas there too. They depend mainly on the 
engine you have, and whether it might have a small centrifugal clutch 
built-in already. My method would involve going down the drive belt route, 
and having a 3rd pulley wheel operated on a lever which would move in 
against the belt, thus tensioning it and transferring the drive.

If you could send on any more photos I would be most grateful. When I 
started making wooden karts, I was quite young, and had no camera. Little 
did I realise how popular making wooden karts is by people all around the 
How did you manage to get the rear axle fitted and working?
It would be great also to find out where you got your parts, from a local 
DIY store etc? and how much time/money this took.

Anyways, best of luck with it. Let us know how it goes.


On Mon, 25 May 2009, Louis-Charles Bourassa wrote:

> Hi Stephen,
>   Here is a picture of our kart.  As you can see it's steel in progress.
> We had a great time with the steering ;-)  Our objective is to not use
> welding.  Steel on target ;-)
> Next to come :
> - Clutch
> - Brakes
> Hummm.... lot of fun to come....
> I'll keep you post ;-)
> Louis-Charles
> On Mon, May 4, 2009 at 1:55 PM, Stephen Burke wrote:
>> Hi Louis-Charles,
>> Yes, you will be able to reduce the speed of the kart using that lawnmower
>> engine. You'll need a small pulley wheel to go onto the engine shaft. You'll
>> need a very large pulley (5 times bigger than the one on the engine) on the
>> rear axle. You can connect the two using a belt (v-belt pulley). There won't
>> be any shifting/gears. It'll be a direct connection from the engine to the
>> rear wheels. Once you start the engine the kart will take off. (You can add
>> a third pulley wheel after the kart is made, and you can use this 3rd pulley
>> wheel to act as a clutch).
>> Best of luck,
>> -steve
>> On Thu, 30 Apr 2009, Louis-Charles Bourassa wrote:
>>  Hi Stephen,
>>> Thanks for your quick response.  I found this engine for the kart.
>>> Will i be able to reduce the speed even if there is no shift ?
>>> Thanks in avance for your time !
>>> Louis-Charles.
>>> On Tue, Apr 28, 2009 at 3:02 PM, Stephen Burke wrote:
>>>  Hi Louis-Charles,
>>>> Yes, you can put a small motor/engine on the wooden kart. The basic
>>>> wooden
>>>> kart will be the same.
>>>> On your motor/engine the drive shaft may be horizontal based. Therefore
>>>> things would be easier, just connect up the two pulley wheels using a V
>>>> belt
>>>> (see image at bottom of:
>>>> http://www.kartbuilding.net/woodenkart/chassis_explained.htm )
>>>> Its safer and easier to use pulley wheels and drive belts. You can get
>>>> these from an old car (or a car service garage). Chains are noisy and
>>>> come
>>>> off a lot.
>>>> If you have any other questions, just drop me an email. If you get the
>>>> kart
>>>> made, feel free to foward on a photo for the kartbuilding.net/gallery
>>>> It will be a great fun activity for yourself and your son.
>>>> Best of luck,
>>>> -steve
>>>> On Tue, 28 Apr 2009, Louis-Charles Bourassa wrote:
>>>> Hi,
>>>>>  First of all, the site http://www.kartbuilding.net is really nice !
>>>>> Second, excuse my english... ;-)  Third, i want to construct a kart and
>>>>> i
>>>>> don't know anything about engine.  My objective is to learn how it works
>>>>> and
>>>>> take quality time with my 7 years old boy.  Since he's 7, i want him to
>>>>> participate and that's why i'm focussing on a wood kart.  Did the kart
>>>>> design here
>>>>> http://www.kartbuilding.net/woodenkart/chassis_explained.htmcan
>>>>> be run with an old 49cc motor ( small pocket bike one ) ?  I don't want
>>>>> the
>>>>> kart to go very fast but i want it to be functionnal....  Using a 49cc
>>>>> pocket bike, i think i could use all the peaces ( chain, engine, breaks,
>>>>> shift.... ) to construct the kart.
>>>>> Thanks in avance for your time...
>>>>> Louis-Charles.

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