Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Father Son Billy Carting

Billy carting is a great activity for young and old. It is especially associated with father and sons.Dads introducing their sons (and sometimes themselves) about construction techniques. And the best part is you can enjoy the fruit of your labour when you go down hills!

The basic tools that are used to build a Billy Cart are:

  1. Hammer
  2. Drill/Screwdriver
  3. Spanners
  4. Handsaw
  5. Rulers
  6. Pencils
These are the most basic of carpentry skills and they are easily done by everyone. And with some common sense they can be done under supervision by a child when set up properly. This might include drilling a pilot hole for a nail and screw to go in so it goes in easy and doesn't go in on the side.

Learning to put a Billy Cart together is quite easy, you can see more information here about Billy Carts. But half the fun is coming up with your own designs so get creative, get all the pieces you can, scrounge around and ask the family and neighbours for some left over renovation materials, and put them together in your mind.

Some ideas to think about before you put your Billy Cart together are:
  1. What will you sit on? Just a piece of timber or a plastic moulded seat that you have borrowed?
  2. Does it need a push handle?
  3. How will you attach the wheels to the Billy Cart?
These are just some questions to think about because these can be sticky points in the building process.

The average time you should allow for building a standard Billy Cart is about 1 day, once you have all the materials together. Building takes time, and it can take more time if you are using a handsaw over a circular saw for example. 

Having experience with building and construction will dramatically lessen this time needed.

Billy Carts don't have to be the traditional plywood cart, they can be made out of many things like trolleys, hand trucks, wheelbarrows, and even bath tubs (with wheels attached of course). These materials force builders like you and me to get creative and come up with many different ways of getting a pilot, wheels and a steering system on there.

Recently having themed and crazy Billy Carts which are not about winning but drawing attention have come into fashion. This is due to races like the Red Bull Billy Cart races where there is a lot of time spent on presentation. So much so that the carts sometimes break before they get to the bottom of the hill.

Billy Carting is so much fun, all of it, from finding the materials to building and then to racing. And it all is a bonding experience so Billy Carting is a great way for father and son (or just child and adult) to get together and complete something, achieve a goal and have an experience together, and have a story to go into the future.

With this in mind, good luck in the garage and on the hill.

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