Powertool Drag Races 2007

Geek Culture


Tools are meant to be abused, creatively. In Powertool Drag Races you take a powertool such as a drill, circular saw, or impact driver, and you add wheels (or not), then you race it down a wooden track. What could be simplier, or more fun? These off-center races have become a Bay Area geek subcult favorite, and this year founder Jim Mason will again be hosting a version of them at the Maker Faire. As Chris has mention, GeekDad will have both a table and a contingent of contributors at the Maker Faire (with kids!), so the Powertool Drag Races are additional reason to stop by. My kids and I have attended previous Races (shown here at their original location), although we have not yet entered a tool.

Jim MasonJim Mason

This is Jim with his own dual driver speedbot. Man, does this thing zip along!

In an announcement about this year’s Races, Jim writes:

Blown Big-Block Belt Sanders . . .

                     Nitro Burning Funny-Saws. . .

                                          Wheel Standin’ Weed Wackers…

it’s racing . . . racing . . . racing . . . saturday and sunday . . .
sunday . . . sunday

at the Maker Faire, May 19 and 20, San Mateo Fairgrounds.

we are going to run the races a little differently so that we can be more flexible with racers wandering off to see maker’s faire things. here’s what we’ve come up with. saturday is going to run on a time trial model. racers race at random, or race their friends, or grudge matches, or really in any manner they like…[snip]

we are also gong to add a power tool jumping event. essentially a curved ski jump ramp at the end of the track, with a tin trash can standing upright 30 or so feet away. the goal is exit the ramp at a speed appropriate to swoosh your tool into the trash can. winners get some prize. winners and losers both get lots of broken parts to contend with."


They are great fun, for geekdad and kids. Here is where to sign up if you are interested in actually entering a modified power tool.

And if you don’t live in the Bay Area, start your own!

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