ReFab

2012 Power Tool Drag Racer

2012 Power Tool Drag Racer

You are looking at the official ReFab entry into Columbus Idea Foundry’s Power Tool Drag Race.  The race will be held Saturday Sept 29th at COSI as part of the Columbus Mini Maker Faire.  For more info on the race go to toolraces.com.

Our racer is built for speed and looking to take home the coveted prize of fastest racer this year.  Last year we won best design with our overly ambitious racer, The Scorpion.  The prizes include a ton of great tools from Bosch, so the stakes are high.

 

The latest entry started life as an el cheapo Harbor freight circular saw, which was immediately stripped of all its extraneous parts. Good thing I got the Extended Warranty! (just kidding, don’t ever buy that)

 

The next step was to design the chassis in autoCAD.  The shape winds up looking pretty organic, but it was really dictated by a few important elements learned from the 3 previous years of the PTDR event.

  • The best performers have all been based on circular saws so far.
  • Rollerblade wheels at all 4 corners to guide down the track.
  • 2 rollerblade wheels opposite the drive blade for stability.
  • The blade must be placed off-center to account for the shape of the motor.

I used the Idea Foundry’s Shopbot CNC router to cut the shape from 1/4″ aluminum sheet, which took about 45 minutes total.

Next I mounted the saw and cut away the top guard, because looks are clearly more important than safety.  Then, I mounted the wheels and secured the modified power cord, which is now shorter and has the pesky on/off switch removed.

Here is a video of a test run:

After some testing with and without weight added, it actually looks like the racer is too light!  So, modifications will include 3lbs of weight added to the front end for traction and stability.  So you in the pits!

Videos of machining the chassis from 1/4″ aluminum on the shopbot:

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