Power-Tool Drag Racing
If you like power tools, and if you like drag racing... then you'll love power tool drag racing. The premise is simple: take a power tool and modify it into a drag-racing machine. You will, however, void the warranty. Makers, artists, hackers, and builders from around the globe have been doing this for six years (that we know of), creating locomotion with everything from belt sanders to fire extinguishers. That sander was made to smooth out the deck, but it dreams of speed.
In the neighboring lane, Heavy Metal Waste, a circular saw souped up with skateboard wheels and flaming antennas, had already rocketed past. Cheers of victory rang from the bleachers.
“Time waits for no one!” heckled the announcer. So Randy Lisbona, a 47-year-old air-conditioning engineer from Dallas, hauled his broken-down belt sander off the track to make way for the next heat.
“It’s a lot of zip ties, bailing wire, and clamps. It’s pretty lo-fi,” he said after a race in May at the Maker Faire, an annual summit of tinkerers and their inventions. But that’s what Mr. Servis likes about these races: “The ingenuity of it all, it’s kind of a MacGyver sort of thing, a lot of bubble gum and duct tape.”
That do-it-yourself spirit makes the races disarmingly accessible. You don’t need an engineering degree or a fat wallet to race power tools. All you need is a tool with a simple motor, along with a daredevil streak and a little spare time.