Ground up build

COB619

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Always wanted to build one but it never really worked out but now my kids are getting older and I think it’s time. I wanted a project to practice welding and make something fun. I don’t have a bender so it will be a pretty basic rectangle. Something simple with 4 wheels and eventually a harbor freight predator 212
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I ordered a seat and a kit off Amazon that had a complete rear axle with wheels, front spindles/wheels, and hydraulic brake caliper. The sprocket was for a weird size so I had to get one for a #35 chain. I thought the axle was 1” but it’s actually 7/8” oh well may upgrade later but for now I’m going to roll with it. Got a rack and pinion steering kit also with tie rods that I will have to shorten.
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I got 20’ of mild steel .095 1”x 2” square and 10’ of 1”x 1” square and started cutting and tacking in place. The 1”x 2” should be plenty strong and keep from bowing even with my big behind on it lol(2” vertical). Even found some cool perforated 16 gauge in their scrap pile for a floorboard.
 

madprofessor

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Very gratifying to see somebody starting a build the same way I did. Long sticks laid on the floor, ends run wild for start. Imaginary seat spot, test fit with legs to find cutoff length and crossbar points for long rails, etc. You must have some skills if you're doing it my way like that.
One thought for you............I forgot about the need for my really long travel A-arms to be out front completely clear of my feet, required the frame to get a bulwark head added, made it much longer.
Also got too excited about a really long travel swingarm with cantilevered suspension, made the swingarm a foot too long. Point of the story is my handbuilt kart ended up with an 8' wheelbase, 9' overall. Also weighs 520 lbs., way overbuilt with 1.5" square 11 gauge steel tube.
 

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ONE-EYE

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I'm so jealous of y'all. I wish I could find a deal on a welder and had the knowledge/skills to pull something off like this. I'd love to create a masterpiece.
 

FlyFrog

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I'm so jealous of y'all. I wish I could find a deal on a welder and had the knowledge/skills to pull something off like this. I'd love to create a masterpiece.
Dont need much knowledge i have built a mini bike or two and its not that hard to weld, its how i learned, go to harbor freight and pick up a welder for 78$ if they are still on sale
 

COB619

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If i was you i would make a solid floor, rocks will pop through and make holes over time, sticks will also break holes over time
That’s a really good point. My yard for some reason has like 2 inches of fine gravel everywhere. I was thinking it would just fall through it instead of collect in the frame lol. It’s pretty strong though I can’t really bend it easily and I jus tac welded it in but I may have to go that route..
Very gratifying to see somebody starting a build the same way I did. Long sticks laid on the floor, ends run wild for start. Imaginary seat spot, test fit with legs to find cutoff length and crossbar points for long rails, etc. You must have some skills if you're doing it my way like that.
One thought for you............I forgot about the need for my really long travel A-arms to be out front completely clear of my feet, required the frame to get a bulwark head added, made it much longer.
Also got too excited about a really long travel swingarm with cantilevered suspension, made the swingarm a foot too long. Point of the story is my handbuilt kart ended up with an 8' wheelbase, 9' overall. Also weighs 520 lbs., way overbuilt with 1.5" square 11 gauge steel tube.
Yea I hear that there’s been a lot of sitting and staring tryin to figure stuff out. That thing is a beast love the color! Not planning on suspension for this one just something I can cruise around on pretty tame roads to make sure my welds don’t fall apart. I would like to build something with suspension eventually
I'm so jealous of y'all. I wish I could find a deal on a welder and had the knowledge/skills to pull something off like this. I'd love to create a masterpiece.
You’d be surprised what you can learn on YouTube a lot of knowledge on there. I’m using a cheap 120v welder and watching a bunch of how-to videos. Good stuff
 

landuse

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Welcome to the forum! I look forward to seeing this build

Those tyres look suspiciously like Harbour Freight dolly wheels, which are a enormous No-No because they just fall apart in 5 seconds. Where did you get them from, and are hey gokart tires?
 

COB619

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Welcome to the forum! I look forward to seeing this build

Those tyres look suspiciously like Harbour Freight dolly wheels, which are a enormous No-No because they just fall apart in 5 seconds. Where did you get them from, and are hey gokart tires?
Hey thanks! They came from Amazon which was part of the axle kit. You can tell they are kinda cheap but the rims are one piece and seem pretty solid. Probably Chinese ATV grade
 

madprofessor

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Here's N.T.'s current version (Ironton) of the 120 volt inverter welder I got from them (Klutch), and it does all I need from a stick welder.............
Ironton ARC80 Stick Welder with TIG function — Inverter, 120 Volt, 20–80 Amp Output | Northern Tool
.............and no, I did not buy the $100 TIG setup for it, or the Argon bottle, or the regulator, or the flowmeter.
Ditto on YouTube, you can learn all you need to get started welding from searching how-to videos.
One BIG thing: Do not under any circumstances buy an old-fashioned common welding hood with a #10 shade glass to learn how to weld. An auto-darkening hood is the only way to go!...................
Ironton Variable-Shade Auto-Darkening Welding Helmet with Grind Mode — Black Flame | Northern Tool
 

TRACKER007

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I'm so jealous of y'all. I wish I could find a deal on a welder and had the knowledge/skills to pull something off like this. I'd love to create a masterpiece.
Don't be jealous,Man.I turned 71 yesterday,and I realize most of my knowledge/skill's started with Imagination.It's likely your imagination led you to this site.Do the right thing with your imagination,listen and learn and the rest will follow.
 

COB619

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So I don’t know what these spindles are supposed to be for but it was kind of a bear figuring out how to use them. The mounting or pivot points are 10 degrees offset when the wheel is standing upright. I got some 1” round bar with 1/4 inch wall which leaves a 1/2” inside diameter which is the same as the spindles I cut them to fit in the spindles and will weld them to the ends of the front cross member. A bolt will go through the whole deal to hold the spindles if that makes any sense lol.A40E0945-F9AB-489F-AF17-7E673466FEC2.jpeg
I actually tacked them on at 12 degrees to give it a slight negative camber when the wheels are pointed straight. When I turn the wheel full left or right, there would be maybe 1 degree of positive camber hopefully to even out tire wear. At least I think anyway..
I added a couple of 1” bars and the floor board/rear seat tabs and so far everything is lining up pretty good. Also added a few things to the front including a couple of 1” clamp collar things to hold the rack and pinion.FA56DA94-DB41-430B-80C3-BD6D71E44045.jpeg
 

ONE-EYE

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Don't be jealous,Man.I turned 71 yesterday,and I realize most of my knowledge/skill's started with Imagination.It's likely your imagination led you to this site.Do the right thing with your imagination,listen and learn and the rest will follow.
Yeah I try not to be. Just really wish I'd have learned sooner. Everybody kept telling me not to do it because since I only have one eye, if I accidentally flashed myself, I could end up completely blind. I did use a friend's once though and made some bolts for his motor for him. After I got done he said mine looked better than his and felt good since it was my first time. I'd really like to do a bigger project tho...or at least be able to fix what I'm pretty sure I'll end up breaking lol
 

Functional Artist

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Yeah I try not to be. Just really wish I'd have learned sooner. Everybody kept telling me not to do it because since I only have one eye, if I accidentally flashed myself, I could end up completely blind. I did use a friend's once though and made some bolts for his motor for him. After I got done he said mine looked better than his and felt good since it was my first time. I'd really like to do a bigger project tho...or at least be able to fix what I'm pretty sure I'll end up breaking lol
My daughter says "YOLO" (ya gotta try/do stuff 'cause ya only live once)
I say ya gotta make "smart decisions"
...then, we agree on, ya gotta try stuff but, be "smart" about it (use the proper protection) ;)

I'm a self taught welder :thumbsup:
...well, actually my wife picked up a couple of "how to" books, for me from the library

I got a cheap HF 90A wire welder
...& "BAM" started "fusin'" stuff together :2guns:
 

madprofessor

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I wanted a project to practice welding
To get a good start on becoming a decent welder, #1 be sure to get some rods that match the power output of your welder. Every package of rods states the range of power those rods will work with, 55-80 amps for example.
Then get some scrap pieces of flat metal that are different thicknesses. Lay 2 different thicknesses together and start welding. Find out what it takes to blow holes in one before the other, and how much less it takes to still be able to melt them together.
You'll quickly see how to melt the thick one first, and bump the rod back/forth to the thin one to get a shared puddle. Master that and you're a halfway decent welder already!
 

COB619

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To get a good start on becoming a decent welder, #1 be sure to get some rods that match the power output of your welder. Every package of rods states the range of power those rods will work with, 55-80 amps for example.
Then get some scrap pieces of flat metal that are different thicknesses. Lay 2 different thicknesses together and start welding. Find out what it takes to blow holes in one before the other, and how much less it takes to still be able to melt them together.
You'll quickly see how to melt the thick one first, and bump the rod back/forth to the thin one to get a shared puddle. Master that and you're a halfway decent welder already!
Yes sir that’s what I’ve been kinda doing just trying different things out with different scraps. Watching videos and learning about it only gets you so far I think trigger time and just doing it really gets things moving.
I feel like I’m getting better with MIG but every once in a while I manage to make a bird turd weld lol. Guys aren’t kidding when they say get as comfortable as you can I always butcher them when I’m in an awkward position or uncomfortable. 4914F670-6236-4F5F-8D9E-3427C14715A9.jpeg
I’m using anti-spatter spray which helps a ton but it does make the heat affected zone burnt looking.
Im welding the frame mostly with MIG but for the spindle mounts I set up flux core since it’s known to burn hotter and get more penetration in thick metals. Not the prettiest since I had to restart 3/4 of the way down but seems solid. My welder seems to like it better also for some reason. 704A2937-3C37-49D3-8BA6-08BB29CB0447.jpeg
now I gotta figure out how I’m going to mount the steering wheel, shorten the tie rods, and make some pedals.

CFC9431B-B82B-4263-8001-0E1AFF0A9FA9.jpeg
 

COB619

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Didn't realize you were welding MIG. Doing a good job with it too. Please say you're not just welding one side of those joints.
Na I’m going to be welding everything all the way around tryin to make it strong as possible. Need all the strength I can get I’m too big to rely on single welds lol 👍🏻
 
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