How to Build a Go Cart Frame

The first consideration when building a go cart, is what materials will be used to build the frame, and how the frame will be built. For a safe, sturdy go cart, care must be taken in the welding of the frame as this is the base of every go cart. Advanced welding skills are most appropriate for this task, but those with a little experience may attempt the project under the watch of someone more experienced. If you are a beginner, hire the help of a professional welder to make the go cart frame for you.

Materials

  • Angle iron
  • Filler material

Tools

  • Chalk
  • Tape measure
  • Welding tool
  • Tube notcher
  • Harbour freight pipe bender
  • Chop saw

Instructions

Building a frame with tubing

  1. Sit on the floor in the area where you will be constructing the go cart; imagine that you are in the go cart and chalk in the measurements that are comfortable for the movement of your legs. The frame should have a width of 1/3 to 2/3 the size of the frame at the wheel base, to fit a passenger and a driver. The wider the wheel base the more stable the go cart and the least likely it is to tip over.
  2. Using a chop saw, cut the metal tubing and lay out the frame.
  3. With a tubing notcher, weld round tubing to round tubing; the round tubing is where your feet will be wedged accurately to the tubing, so the pieces are affixed securely together. This process is called fishmouthing.
  4. Saw a piece of round tubing flat, and weld it to a square piece of tubing. Alternatively, you may heat the end of the round tubing piece and hammer it flat before affixing it to the square tubing.
  5. Install a roll bar in the front and over the riders’ heads to minimise injury in case of an accident; use round tubing for the installation. The frame and seating arrangement should be customised from 2 inches off the ground to ensure a solid centre of gravity; this will prevent or minimise the likeliness of the go cart flipping over.

Building a frame with angle iron

  1. Angle iron can be used as the only material in the frame, or it can be used on the parts of the frame that need to be bent into angles. Follow step 1 in the previous section to create the basis of your frame.
  2. Saw away one side of the angle iron, heat and then bend as required.
  3. After you’ve achieved the required shape through heating and shaping, weld the pieces together appropriately. Reinforce the frame with the addition of filler material.
  4. Decorate the frame with bends using Harbour Freight pipe bender.

Tips and warnings

  • A chop saw is the most suitable tool for the cutting required in this project. However, if you do not have one a good alternative is a circle saw or hack saw.
  • If you’re using a hack saw, buy a new blade before using it.
  • Weld with care if you’re not an experienced welder. Wear protective gears and consult an experienced welder if you’re unsure.
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