Sunny-Side Up

Today was quite a good day for the go kart!  Originally, we were just going to attach the handlebars and call it a night, but as usual, we got more done than expected.  Which, I mean, I guess is a good thing…

After figuring out an optimal length for the handlebars, we had to get the tubing on the steering bar.  This process initially began as “mallet the tubing into your partner’s shins,” but gradually switched over to the wall when we found that it was a very snug fit.  Even then, we couldn’t get the tubing on the right side to fully reach the bar.  It definitely won’t move, but it is something cosmetic to consider fixing for later.

We tried so hard to make both sides flush...

We tried so hard to make both sides flush…

The left side of the bar (with the brake handle) needed some sort of handlebar stop.  There was a nice piece of black 1/2″ acrylic in the shop, which we repeatedly rastered on the laser cutter in the middle of the puck-shaped piece.  This piece fit tightly as well, but some epoxy didn’t hurt.

Beefy 1/2" acrylic

Beefy 1/2″ acrylic

And with that, the steering is all done!  Here are some pictures of the kart with everything in place:

Now for the braking–long story short, with the band brake on the right side like before, the wheel would thread on the brake, resulting in a locked wheel.  With only a little bit of trouble, we flipped the motor and back wheel and added a small mount to constrain the brake cable.

Mounted and secure

Mounted and secure

We could have called it a night here because we completed our milestone for the course (which is technically due on Wednesday), but at this point, we were sooooo close to getting a functional go kart that it didn’t seem too unreasonable to complete the drivetrain as well.  On paper, 2 feet of chain seemed like a lot, but when we tried to put it on the sprockets, it was UNBELIEVABLY close to not fitting.  It was insanely awesome.  Clamps actually work really well as a method for tensioning the chain…

For all your chain tensioning needs!

For all your chain tensioning needs!

Oh, as you can see from this picture, one of the bottom mounts for the motor kind of got in the way of the chain, so we just cut the rod and added a nut at the end.  It’s still really sturdy.  Now that we’ve got the drivetrain, it’s just a small step to get the kart running, right?  And with a sketchy banana plug setup (tons of sparks…) and a single battery, we were rolling!  Woooo!

Yeah, there’s more to the electrical system than this, but still–I’m super happy about the current progress.  Just as a note too, this is not necessarily how we will ultimately ride on the kart, but currently it is the most comfortable method because the cover doesn’t exist yet.

Then I went back to Simmons and made some eggs on toast.  It was really tasty.  I felt obligated to add that to my blog.  Because, you know, it’s about making stuff and all.




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