Simple Child's Traditional Ride-on.

This was a very simple and rewarding project to make and was completed in a weekend (with the exception of the painting).

The design was modified slightly to have 4 wheels instead of three and no turning was used to make the round parts.

A good project if you are new to woodworking or have just bought a bandsaw, or if you need a present for some one young.









The plans for this toy came form the free woodworking plans site at :, so they are reproduced here without infringement of copyright.

The single sheet was a little unclear but it had enough detail to enable the finished item to be made.

The plans detailed a three wheeled design, but this was modified to be four wheels, with 2 close-coupled wheels at the front. This was done to aid the strength of the front forks and to simplify the manufacture.

A length of 3/4" hardwood dowel was purchased for this project and two file handles were used to avoid the need for any wood turning of the handlebars.

Click for full plans









To start, the 3 sheet parts to make the chassis were cut from 3/4" plywood. This was a simple drawing and cutting exercise using the bandsaw and the sanding disc.









To form the angle on the top of the rear axle plate, the cut bracket was used to set the angle of the table on the disc sander. Then the top edge of the axle plate was sanded against the disc to form a matching angle.









The three parts were glued and screwed together as shown.

The actual position of the rear axle support plate was unimportant but care was taken to ensure it was square to the centreline of the chassis.

Al the edges were rounded off by hand, particularly the concave cuts where the rider's legs would be.









The front wheel support was cut from an old coffee table leg and drilled in one end with a flat bit, to take a 3/4" dowel.

The same drill was used to drill the axle hole at the other end of the part.

The dowel was cut over long and glued in place. The parts were then further secured by cross drilling and pushing in two 6mm dowels as shown below.

The front wheel support. The fork shape was not cut as the design was modified to have two front wheels.









The four wheels were drawn out on 3/4" plywood and cut on the band saw.

The centre hole was then drilled on the drill press.

The simple jig shown on the right was used against the sanding disc to true up the wheels. The jig was a scrap of wood with a short length of dowel glued in place. This was secured with a clamp onto the sanding disc table.









The rear axle was a 15" length of 3/4" dowel screwed into place along the lower edge of the rear axle plate.









The handlebars were made from another piece of coffee table leg drilled to take the pivot dowel.

Tapping a file handle

Handles being joined to Steering Arm

Two file handles were drilled and tapped M8 and then screwed through the top of the steering handle using a short length of M8 studding. 









With all the parts complete, they was assmebled together to check for a good fit.









Before final assembly the frame and wheels were painted with some left over enamel paints. 

The wheels were all secured by cross drilling the axles and pushing a piece of 6mm dowel through.

The axles and steering pivot were all greased with furniture wax and the upper steering arm was cross drilled and fitted with two dowels as well.


The finished ride-on



This vehicle was a great success. It was quite small but suitable for a child up to about the age of three. The zero trail on the steering made it quite twitchy to ride, but at low speeds it was OK. The bike was nice a light, so could be lifted and turned round easily by the rider.

For a higher milage design some better wheels could be fitted with rubber tyres..

Riding effort could also be reduced by adding washers to the wheel axles but it was decded to keep this project made entirely from wood.