Introduction: 24 VDC Work Light for Drill Press

I obtained an old drill press, which I cleaned up and made useable again.

The original drill had a system for changing the speed off the spindle with belts. But this system is removed at some time and it was further used with a variable frequency drive (VFD). This system was powered with 3phase (3 x 400V +N) power. Since I only have 1-phase (1 x 230V) power in my garage I had to go with another solution. I got a VFD with a 1-phase input (1 x 230V) and a 3-phase output (3 x 230V) and I have changed the wiring of the motor. At first all controls were on a panel which was mounted on the wall. Later I added a control box on the drill press itself, so I could place it in another part of the garage and use it there.

Since all this work was done the drill was useable. But I still had one problem.

Step 1: The Problem

Sometimes it was hard to see something when using the drill press. So precision work was difficult, especially when using small drill bits.

One solution was to aim some light on the workpiece so it would be well lit. But this wasn't a real good solution for me. Since the light would get in the way. This solution can be seen on the picture with the blue clamp.

So another solution had to be found.

Step 2: The Solution

I ordered a LED flood light from ebay. Only problem here was, I could only find models which work on mains voltage (110 VAC or 230 VAC) or lights which work on 12 VDC.

Since I only had 24 VDC on the control panel on the drill press itself I had to find a solution to go from 2 VDC to 12 VDC. So I had to order some extra parts: a buck converter, which has a current rating of 3 amps, which is OK for a 10W LED flood light.

Some links, for people in the same situation:

10W LED flood light =>
Buck converter =>

I paid 4,55 USD for the LED light and 0,99 USD for the buck converter.

Another item I needed was some stand-off studs with screws for mounting the buck converter. I salvaged these from some old electronic boards, I didn't need anymore.

Step 3: Testing

When everything arrived I tested the LED light and the buck converter was tested with my homemade lab power supply. I first tested them separately to make sure they were working fine. Once I was sure there were no defects, I tested if my idea would work. It was also at this time I set the output off the buck converter to 12 VDC, I didn't touch this setting again later.

I hooked up the input of the buck converter with my lab power supply, which I had set at 24 VDC, 1A. On the other side of the buck converter (output), I connected the LED flood light. To know which current was flowing I added my multimeter in the circuit.

To know if I should add some additional cooling to the buck converter I left and returned half an hour later to check how hot the chip got. i could still easily touch with my hand, it was at max 40°C. So additional cooling isn't necessary in my opinion.

Step 4: Modding of the Flood Light

Since my idea worked I could get started on modding the LED flood light. First step was opening the device. Inside I found some small piece of circuitry, which makes it possible to operate the flood light on 12 VDC as well as 12 VAC. I decided to leave it in.

Next thing I had to do was to drill and tap holes to mount the stand-off studs to mount the buck converter inside of the flood light housing. Once this was done I cut the original wiring and soldered the new wiring in place. I added a new lead also, since the original was going to be way to short to use on my drill press.

All this done I could start to assembly everything back together. On the mirror around the square LED I added some electrical tape, so I can never touch the circuit board of the buck converter.

As a very last step I added a new label to the flood light stating that it now works at 24 VDC and consumes about 0,5 amps.

Step 5: Mounting the Light at the Drill Press

The last step was the easiest one. I mounted the light to the underside of the drill press head. And wired all in. I just added a switch at the back of my control panel since in the front there wasn't any place left.

With the LED light mounted it will be much easier to work withe the drill press. especially when I have to be very precise.

If anyone has a question or remark about what I have done in this instructable, please let me know and I'll try to help you.


DIY Hacks and How Tos (author)2017-05-15

Nice deisgn. I need one of these in my workshop.

About This Instructable




Bio: I'm a elektromechanic, who likes to create, build, repair various items, tools, etc. And I tought, why not share some of my projects with ... More »
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