A Dead Scooter Saves a Drill Press





Introduction: A Dead Scooter Saves a Drill Press

About: Was it you or I who stumbled first? It does not matter, the one of us who soonest finds the strength to rise must help the other. - Vera Nazarian, The Perpetual Calendar of Inspiration

My neighbor kicked two Razor E200 electric scooters to the curb some months back, so of course I took them home for salvage- he tends to throw away some good stuff. Turns out to be a smart move because the motor on my 1950 Duro drill press died, and this gave me the chance to add variable speed and reverse to my machine, a very easy modification that most anyone can do.

Step 1: The Goodies

After determining the scooters were beyond economical repair, I removed the electrical and drive systems from both. I now have a heavy duty pulse width modulated D.C. speed control, on/ off switch, thermal circuit breaker, and a nice 200 watt 24 volt d.c. motor set from each. Only one motor was of interest for this build, so the rest will be shelved for some future project.

Step 2: Fit It Up

The motor shaft is 8mm (.315) diameter, and the standard motor pulley arbor is 1/2” (12.7mm) diameter, so I turned an adapter on the lathe to join them together. Mounting was rather straightforward, using wood scraps to position the motor as needed for a straight inline drive to the main spindle lower pulley. Since the brushed motor is variable speed, I did not need to accommodate the upper grooves to obtain speed change. A simple linear power supply was fashioned from a salvaged transformer, rectifier, and filter capacitor, with no regulation needed.

Step 3: Power It Up

At top R.P.M. the voltage output is a very agreeable number for a 24 volt d.c. motor, and I like the option of simply swapping supply leads to reverse rotation since I have a bunch of left- handed drill bits I acquired real cheap, as not being the usual right- hand type. Final customization of the stand was to add a front panel on/ off switch controlling a dedicated receptacle outlet.

Step 4: Parting Thoughts

The motor, due to it's design, is not rated for continuous use, but if required I can add a cooling fan for prolonged operation, however most of my needs are only for a few simple, quick, and accurate holes in my projects. Like many drill press users, I have found my “sweet spot” for the most commonly used bit sizes, which are fairly small, thus I tend to use the top end of output rotation, but for the rare instance when a large diameter bit is called for, I simply clap on my H.F. variable A.C. speed control and throttle back to the R.P.M.'s that are most effective. In closing, the only cost was for the pulley, about $4.00, not a bad exchange for a better tool.



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    Used a MY1016/PWM driver/24V LED PSU to refurb a lathe. Actually a useful motor.

    What a great repair! I like using these motors and controllers for stuff too. if you want a little more grunt out of the motor try grabbing a pwm controller off amazon. I have used them in many of my builds and they work good.

    here is a link to a controller with 4 switchable pulse settings by flipping switches on the board. This vendor also is great i order from them a lot.

    As for the motor building heat. Let it get hot and it will handle it. I have run a 250w razor scooter motor for 10+ miles at full speed. It really should be fine but hot to the touch.

    1 reply

    I agree, a PWM controller is the device to use, and I was going to get one, but I ended up gifting the press to a woodworker who is financially strapped, but a keenly interested amateur. I still have another on hand though, so I'm ready for another convert project. Thanks too for the tip about the heat factor, I think we all worry about that maybe a bit too much.☺

    looking other instructable have good motor speed lcd gauge too, you can adjust speed right any size drill and control speed whit lcd screen, or lathe, carwing, drill, optical sensor, lcd and potentiometer adjust speed right, whit arduino .sensor,little code and ready :D

    1 reply

    Wow. I hate that I passed one of those on the curb a while back and didn't pick it up now! :/ Love it.

    Now that's a great tip, thanks for sharing.

    This is simply amazing! It's so cool to see people repurposing things like this. I'm currently working on a project involving an old rototiller engine. Thanks for spending the time time to share!

    2 replies

    What are you making with a tiller motor?

    Maybe a boat motor? Or maybe a go cart...Now I am thinking :D

    Really nice. You could wire in a DPDT switch to sort out the motor reversing. There's an ible for it or google it and gauge master show the wiring.

    1 reply

    This is true, I have a special switch on hand that does just that, so I'll wait and see how often I need to reverse and if enough, I'll add it to the circuitry.

    Thanks for your comment.

    Oh! that is a sweet instructable (as in wicked) - there are folks on here who do clever stuff with electronics and computers - - - - - but ya cannot beat a true "see it and make it work" project - - great! job.