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  1. #1
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    Default Billy Cart - wheel and axle

    I've just made a 'rough' version of an old style Billy Cart for my sons. I got the 3/8" wheels and axle from Bunnies for about $40 (4 wheels, 2 axles). After about 4km test, they run rough with friction, scrape and are noisy.

    I'm looking for some ideas/suppliers to have a different system where I can use bearings, bigger wheels and hold the wheels in place somehow without using split pins. Seems that many of you in this subforum would eat this question for breakfast!

    Also, I used a bolt to pivot the steering with 2 washers in the middle and two nuts on the end (you know the idea). Any improvements to be made in this area?


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  3. #2
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    You're a top dad for making stuff like this. I'm sure your kids will love it.

    Steering seems fine. Just a question about the way the wheels are attached though. Do you have spring washers underneath those square nuts? Concerned they might loosen up and fall off from all the vibration over time.
    Ticking Wood - I hope to finish one wooden clock before I lose one finger - seems like a realistic goal.

    George

  4. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by bjsa06 View Post
    I've just made a 'rough' version of an old style Billy Cart for my sons. I got the 3/8" wheels and axle from Bunnies for about $40 (4 wheels, 2 axles). After about 4km test, they run rough with friction, scrape and are noisy.

    I'm looking for some ideas/suppliers to have a different system where I can use bearings, bigger wheels and hold the wheels in place somehow without using split pins. Seems that many of you in this subforum would eat this question for breakfast!

    Also, I used a bolt to pivot the steering with 2 washers in the middle and two nuts on the end (you know the idea). Any improvements to be made in this area?

    G'day "bjsa",
    Agree with "two40" on the steering, just make sure their are washers between every piece of timber; even an extra nylon washer if you want less friction.
    The double or lock nuts are good to ensure it doesn't come loose; maybe add some loctite thread lock to ensure that it all stays together.
    From the looks of it the wheels are plastic lawn mower style wheels which only have a bush; the bushed wheel is designed for low/low speeds.
    You could either scrounge up an old set of wheel with bearing for the 3/8" dia axle, again installing it with washers for running or buy a new set of wheel with bearings.
    The bigger the wheel the easier to go fast especially with roller bearings over plain ball bearing centres.
    Also add some grease to the axle as you re-assemble the wheels.
    That's my two bobs worth.
    cheers, crowie

    PS = Safety - encourage the kids to wear helmet, shoes, trousers, jacket & gloves once they start on hill top runs, please.
    Gravel rash hirt like all....

  5. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by two40 View Post
    Do you have spring washers underneath those square nuts? Concerned they might loosen up and fall off from all the vibration over time.
    thanks for the tip, there are no washers under these, will do! It seems as though the bolt holes on the bracket are too close to the axle. Once the nuts move out of square, they rub on the axle making noise & friction.

    On my next version....when I get some bearing wheels.....how do you stop the wheels from moving on the axle? Use a hex screwed bushing on each side of the wheel hub?

    ...and then, how does one attach the axle to the steering pivot timber without using one of those crude brackets (as in my photo above)

  6. #5
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    some more pics of the current billy cart






  7. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by bjsa06 View Post
    thanks for the tip, there are no washers under these, will do! It seems as though the bolt holes on the bracket are too close to the axle. Once the nuts move out of square, they rub on the axle making noise & friction.

    On my next version....when I get some bearing wheels.....how do you stop the wheels from moving on the axle? Use a hex screwed bushing on each side of the wheel hub?

    ...and then, how does one attach the axle to the steering pivot timber without using one of those crude brackets (as in my photo above)
    The brackets are fine just put 2 or 3 washes bewteen the backet & the wheel I the wheel & the split pin on the other side.
    You could reverse the bolt to have the bolts wide flat head adjacant to the alxe then recess the nut into the timber on the top side, along with some glue to keep it secure.
    Hope that makes sense.....cheers, crowie

  8. #7
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    I have bought bearing wheels from Bunnings before. It was a few years ago, so they may not have them now. Another idea i have seen used before would be wheelie bin wheels. Maybe contact the local council and see if they have old spares you could get? You use U-bolts then to hold the axles on.
    The other day I described to my daughter how to find something in the garage by saying "It's right near my big saw". A few minutes later she came back to ask: "Do you mean the black one, the green one, or the blue one?".

  9. #8
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    Look fellas, brings back a lot of memories....safety was the last thing on our minds..

    We built our own and from others failures (lots of skin lost) we improved our designs.

    Great stuff this thread....nowdays there are a lot more options.

    As a now dad (I lived through this era) I try and make it (the billy cart) as safe as possible.

    The driver on the other hand got no hope (kids will be kids)

    Now onto your stuff....Steering is fine (rope is what we used).

    Attaching the axle usually involved a heap of nails bent over/around the shaft.

    Yours is lovley. Just add grease (kids love it).

    To stop the head of any of the bolts pulling through use big washers top and bottom.

    To stop the steering fulcrum bolt bolt leaving the scene .. big washers and we used to bash the thread of the bolt so the nut couldn't come off. Nowdays use a nylon lock nut.
    Steve

    Live while you're alive and sleep when you're dead

  10. #9
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    Maybe you guys lived in places with little hills. I grew up in a very hilly Brisbane suburb in the 60-70's. I would avoid bearings in billy cart wheels under most circumstances.
    My memories are that the better wheels and tyres (and generally better constructed carts in general) were always more dangerous than the rough and ready kid-built ones.

    If you anticipate they'll be rolling down hills, make sure your kids can handle the basic model before you upgrade to a speedier version. And make sure their mates know what to do also.

    Different story if you live somewhere dead flat or rolling down a grassy backyard, then you need to do everything you can to reduce rolling resistance. Depending how big your kids are, the wheels and tyres off a "pavement" bike would work well on grass.

    Reading The Bleeder's post brought back memories too. It was years before I realised that a bent nail wasn't really a hardware fitting for pram axles. Also remembered how a surprise lockup in steering would happen on grass and even crush bare feet.
    Last edited by dabbler; 21st May 2012 at 03:27 PM. Reason: added comment

  11. #10
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    If you are going to be seeing it go down decent hills, then a good idea is also to fasten some blocks behind the steering system so it can't turn through too much angle. If kids are moving towards an obsticle, the instinct seems to be to pull hard on the rope. The resulting flip at full speed is usually worse than if they'd just plowed straight into whatever they were driving towards.
    The other day I described to my daughter how to find something in the garage by saying "It's right near my big saw". A few minutes later she came back to ask: "Do you mean the black one, the green one, or the blue one?".

  12. #11
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    I want one.

  13. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by dabbler View Post
    Maybe you guys lived in places with little hills. I grew up in a very hilly Brisbane suburb in the 60-70's. I would avoid bearings in billy cart wheels under most circumstances.
    My memories are that the better wheels and tyres (and generally better constructed carts in general) were always more dangerous than the rough and ready kid-built ones.

    If you anticipate they'll be rolling down hills, make sure your kids can handle the basic model before you upgrade to a speedier version. And make sure their mates know what to do also.

    Different story if you live somewhere dead flat or rolling down a grassy backyard, then you need to do everything you can to reduce rolling resistance. Depending how big your kids are, the wheels and tyres off a "pavement" bike would work well on grass.

    Reading The Bleeder's post brought back memories too. It was years before I realised that a bent nail wasn't really a hardware fitting for pram axles. Also remembered how a surprise lockup in steering would happen on grass and even crush bare feet.
    YEs I too grew up on Brisbanes northside but there were heaps fewer cars back then.
    I'd like to think I can make the billy cart experience a litttle safer than my days of nearly putting friends into hospital.....though we did survive.

  14. #13
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    as many of you are having a trip down memory lane.......here's a clip from this afternoon after school. Not much has changed.

    Keep your Billy Cart ideas coming in. Taking notes.




  15. #14
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    A few years ago my son told me he was "bored" as
    he and his mates had nothing to do.

    I told him of the days when I had a billycart and would
    spend hours riding down the bush tracks on it. I even
    had a trailer on it which I would load up with sticks,
    tie them on and bring home for the open fire.

    Even more fun was had reversing my billycart and trailer
    between various obstacles, e.g. gum trees which I am
    sure contributed to my ability nowadays to reverse my
    trailer with a load on at the local tip.

    By the way, I could not afford grease so used to raid
    Mum's cupboard and use dripping.

    Allan
    Life is short ... smile while you still have teeth.

  16. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by two40 View Post
    You're a top dad for making stuff like this. I'm sure your kids will love it.

    Steering seems fine. Just a question about the way the wheels are attached though. Do you have spring washers underneath those square nuts? Concerned they might loosen up and fall off from all the vibration over time.
    There is a technique for ensuring the nuts won't loosen up - just give them a whack with a hammer. It's called "peening over" where I come from, a technique for making rivets. Uses a ball peen hammer, sadly no longer available. Normal claw hammer will suffice in this case.

    You may want to use two hammers - hold one underheath on the head of the bolt while *gently tapping* the other side.

    The kids will have great fun with this billy cart. brings back memories.

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