billy cart, billy-cart, homemade carts, kart carts, billy cart derby, racing carts, construction carts, wooden carts, building billy carts, small carts, billy cart project, racing billy carts, wooden carts, making billy carts, soapbox carts, billy cart race, hill carts, track carts, billy cart plans, Australian billy carts.

Soap Box Racing

A good story on Californian soap box racers Here at HotRod magazine231239-1320721-thumbnail.jpg
Soap box racer

Posted on Wednesday, February 6, 2008 at 08:02AM by Registered CommenterMalcolm Lambe | CommentsPost a Comment

Billy Carts

billy cart steering-thumbnail.jpg
Ben Methhorst billy cart racing. Pic: Phillip Randall

Billy Carts

- I get quite a few people coming here every day looking for billy cart plans. My brother wrote about it in Off the Beaten Track but we never got around to drawing a plan of the billy carts we made as kids growing up in Australia in the Sixties.

This one on the top-left has some of the characteristics of those old billy carts. We built a wooden chassis with a seat and used old pram wheels. But the best thing about those old carts was that they had steering wheels and foot and hand-brakes. Most of the billy carts of the time were pretty crude affairs using old ball bearings as wheels, steered by rope and with no brakes. The kid across the road from us had a handy father who built a cart similar to this one. Instead of rope-steering it had a broom handle as a steering column - the rope went around it. I seem to recall they attached a piece of old towel first so the rope wouldn't slip. And I think the rope they used was window sash cord that you can buy in the Hardware Store. Having a steering wheel - made of plywood - was pretty innovative but this cart also had pedal-operated brakes. A rod or length of stiff wire ran from the foot-brake to a board across the wheels at the back. Pieces of old tyre were glued and nailed to the board. When you applied the brake you pulled the board down on the wheels. It worked really well. There was also a lever-style handbrake acting on one of the wheels that could be employed as well. We needed those brakes as we lived on Kananook Avenue, Bayview - a really steep hill in a suburb North of Sydney.
billy cart-thumbnail.jpg
billy cart plans
Here is a link to some pretty good plans and building advice for a basic billy-cart. You could possible add a steering column and brakes to that design. If I get a chance I'll try and get some details from these other guys about how they built theirs. Watch this space. RSS me by clicking on the Blue and White RSS button in the browser and/or read Subscribe to Wallyworld

billy cart steering-thumbnail.jpg
Racing Billycarts. Pic: David Edwards
Don't miss David Edwards' Billycart page

This photo was taken at the 10th Technopark Billycart Derby on Sunday 22 April 2007. David's fastest cart (so far) is in the foreground, and can be compared in size with his third speed machine in the background. The longer wheel base is immediately apparent. The new accessory - a digital watch incorporating a wind speed sensor, is mounted just in front of the steering wheel. With better front tyres and wheels, and aided by a 4 kph tail wind, David managed to reach 55 kph down the 18 m high 220 m long Technopark Hill on the day.

Here's Plans for a Sixties Billcart - pretty basic, but again, you should be able to add steering column and brakes to that one too. Billy Carts231239-1167787-thumbnail.jpg

Posted on Wednesday, October 10, 2007 at 12:53PM by Registered CommenterMalcolm Lambe | CommentsPost a Comment