During the Great Recession, Newport-based engineer Tim Moulton bought a computer-controlled wood-cutting machine from a downsizing business for no specific reason, other than it was a great deal and that someday it could become useful.
Last summer, his hunch came true and he discovered that use: go-karts.
By December, Moulton launched Flatworks LLC and is now using Baltic Birch Plywood to produce gas-powered "PlyFly Go-Karts."
The models are shipped as a kit and can be assembled in a day.
Moulton says wood makes for a great go-kart structure, which isn't the first resource people consider when thinking about engine-powered go-karts.
"I think the wooden go-kart is a whole other thing in people's minds, but when you sit in it and when you drive it, you realize what it is. It's a real go-kart. It's not a toy," Moulton said of models that start at $825.
Flatworks secured initial financing through crowdfunding and in March began offering its first two "PlyFly Go-Kart" models. •