Tuesday, June 19, 2012


I think, for the most part, we are done with the go-cart. Fini, as they say in other parts of the world. There are some small touch-up jobs that need to be done, but in terms of cutting and fastening, the big jobs are done, and I’m glad for that. I really enjoyed working with the kids on this, but it sure did take up some time. You start off thinking that you’ll only put in about an hour on the project, but that always balloons into 3-4 hours, and by the end of it, the day is over. Kind of a bummer when you’ve got so many things to do, but how can you deny your kids when they’re so enthusiastic about a project? I think being flexible as a parent is a huge asset because rigidly adhering to a schedule (or dogma, for that matter) can sometimes work against you, especially when it involves their interests.

Either way, we had beautiful weather, and there were only a few things left to do. First off, install the brakes, and then put in the steering blocks, which prevent the axle from turning too far. It sounded easy enough, but you often run into small complications that burn more time. For the brakes, we fastened the brake mounts on the underside of the frame, which required glue and screws, but one of the screws broke off at the head, so I had to replace the block. Luckily, we had spare pieces of hardwood. Once we had both mounts in place, we painted them, and set about making the brake handles.

This meant a trip to JM’s house to get some tire tread. He has an old motorcycle tire for the job, and it required cutting slabs off and mounting them to the brakes. I don’t know if you’ve ever tried to cut rubber off of a tire, but it ain’t easy. Trust me. We cut off what we needed and headed home, then screwed the rubber to the handles. After lunch, the paint was dry, so we attached the brakes, the screwed in the steering locks, and voila! Go-cart city.

The kids took the cart around the yard and had a blast, they love that thing. It’s nice because it really was their project. I stayed back and let them design it and decide how it was going to look. My main job was working the saw and drills, but they painted it and it’s their baby. I have to confess, it’s pretty cool.

I don’t know how far along the other teams are, but it’s nice to be finished, for a number of reasons, one of which is that I can focus on other real-man duties, like splitting wood and making Rice Crispy treats.

Until the next time, thanks for reading.

No comments: