Instructables
Picture of Cheap precision drill stand
When I begun to etch my custom pcb I felt the need to improve circuit drill tecnique. I drilled my first circuits by free-hand with my Dremel, but despite it's very fast, it's subject to errors, and it's also dangerous, because the drill bit is very narrow and weak.
I've searched a column drill as the "Proxxon Bench Drill Press TBM 115" but it's a little too expensive. I've found also a vertical stand for Dremel alt 50€, but it was a model with a single metal column as rail, similar to the most you can see with a "drill stand" search, and it had a low precision in horizontal movement of the bit. In fact you felt the head moving of about a millimeter, which is a lot when your bit is so narrow. So I decided to build it by myself.
 
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I came at this solution after taking care at cost (if your DIY is very expensive it's better you buy it!), efforts (all my hardest project are still waiting to be completed), parts availability (if you have to wait shipment for each part of the design you'll forget for how you needed them, especially with Italian post service) and functionality.
The slide is a "macro rail" for photography which you can find on eBay at about 10$, but I already had a couple of them. The other parts you need, other than the drill, are only:
  • a strong spring (but also a big elastic is good)
  • some wood boards
  • some screws
  • a nail
  • 5 inch of a little aluminium cilindrical bar (as the ones of the TV antennas)
  • a wood base
  • and two inches of aluminium pipe (this also isn't so essential)
Oh yes, and also a nice gum-covered toothbrush! You need only the handle so you can use your own toothbrush - yes, it's time to change it! And yes! THIS is essential!
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crazypj6 months ago

Andrea, I finally finished off the one I was making. I need to drill some 0.35 ~ 0.80mm in 10mm brass bar so made it real 'heavy duty' Counterweight is to prevent increase feed pressure as drill advances into work - constant 'weight' of drill

http://www.instructables.com/id/Precision-high-speed-micro-drill-press-from-Useful/

andrea biffi (author)  crazypj6 months ago

Very well done!! Thanks for posting!

Fikjast Scott8 months ago

great idea and work.

Nice, simple and ingenuous :)

mje8 months ago

Very clever, and well executed. I'm going to make one for myself. Thanks!

crazypj11 months ago
I just like the idea of a counterweight system, you get constant force instead of increasing force as you drill deeper. Although the brass is only about 2~3mm thick, it's a machined 'tube' and has to be drilled through the full diameter of about 8mm
I also have to drill a few 0.35mm holes in other components maybe 3mm dia, the smaller drills break even easier if feed isn't constant
crazypj12 months ago
Dremel has enough torque, the drill bits are solid carbide and break way too easy trying to drill 'by hand' I ordered the Dremel copy off eBay as it is a lot cheaper than 'genuine'
I'm also thinking of making some 'improvements' to use a counterweight system instead of a spring for the return, I've made miniature pulley wheels for bicycle cables when they have to turn sharp angles (few weeks after I made some they were available ready made)
I think mine were better as I could make whatever angle I wanted instead of just 90 degree
andrea biffi (author)  crazypj12 months ago
Why pulleys? You don't need a constant force in this project, much better a spring with its linear force. The more you lower the drill, the higher the force is that contrast your move, in this way your bit will come out better.
crazypj12 months ago
Yep, I need some torque to drill 0.6mm holes in 2.5mm brass
I was wondering about problems centering, do you know the thread size on Dremel spindle?
I could probably make a new spindle and use a RC motor for easier mounting and higher torque
Maybe even use gears from RC car to lower rpm from 30,000 to 15~20,000? (or whatever they run at, haven't done any research yet)
andrea biffi (author)  crazypj12 months ago
I don' think you'll have torque problems to drill 0.6mm holes, the bit is so tiny that the resistance momentum is very low. Furthermore brass is not steel, you should drill it easy. Actually usually metal bits go slower... Have you already tried with a Dremel? I suggest you to buy it if you don't have it already. I've a Dremel too and it's very useful. I can't tell you about the spindle because I don't even know if you can detach it.. (see here and here)
andrea biffi (author)  andrea biffi12 months ago
maybe first link can give you some hints... I hope that
crazypj1 year ago
I looked at the Dremel 'drill press' but, as you point out, it has way too much 'wobble' for anything approaching precision work
After reading through, the macro slide looks like it has adjustable gib strip so any play looks like it can be adjusted out
andrea biffi (author)  crazypj12 months ago
Yes, macro rails have essentially no play if you adjust them, also because a bit of resistance is very good to avoid a fast movement up when you release the lever. I found that cheap dremel duplicates torque is good for my purposes, but the fact to not use Dremel spindle and bits makes you crazy in centering the bit!!
if your dremel comes with the flexible shaft (attachment 225), it may be used with a conventional (or handmade) press with a decently aligned shaft... but this is instructables... so it may be more adventurous to suggest to make your own high speed motor to attach to it (at least that would better maintain the speed you have set it to!). One alternative is to get a cheap or fake dremel and shell it. the bare motor chassis will allow the shaft to be aligned more accurately. if yours is old there may be some movement since you have likely used it pressing sideways.
crazypj12 months ago
I got a couple of the macro focus rails, they do have adjustments so can be made to move very accurately.
The cheap Dremel clones don't have anything like the same torque, I haven't found anything with high torque, high rpm and low weight (plus cheap) - yet
is that dremel or einhell bavaria 135?
the drill?
pfred21 year ago
Great job I like it. Really good use of that macro rail thing you have discovered.

I have to agree with what others have said about your zip tie attachments. Some other kind of removable clamp there would be an improvement. I would go for a hinged hose clamp kind of an arrangement.

http://www.pchemlabs.com/files/images/kf_hinge_clamp.jpg

That way I could attach, and remove the moto-tool easily. Although copying and adapting the hinged clamp design might be difficult to do without some heavier tools to make it. I still feel it would be perfect in use. Some plumbers tape, screws (I'd use carriage bolts I could lock into the tape holes), and wing nuts would do the job too.

http://www.mhparts.com/prodimages/P-1159-450.jpg

All you'd need to work with plumbers tape would be a pair of snips. Or maybe one of those moto-tool cut off discs that always blows up? Other people mentioned hose clamps and while I do love me some hose clamps I don't think they would be ideal for your application.

If I had made one of these drill presses myself I would have used a pipe and a flange as the machine column too. That way I could have made the head adjustable like they are on commercial drill presses. But I often get too carried away whenever I make anything.

The way you did it is nice too. You are up and running doing what you want to do easily.

This is why I won't be making one of these drill presses anytime too soon:

http://www.instructables.com/files/orig/FLY/MK39/GSUSNNOP/FLYMK39GSUSNNOP.jpg

I already have the real thing :)

http://www.instructables.com/id/GM-Arts-Overdrive-Pedal-Build/
andrea biffi (author)  pfred21 year ago
thanks Fred! great tips! I've added the second rail as you suggested, upgrades here :-)
Nicely done! i think I will build this for my shop.
zenbooter1 year ago
too much talk of the salami, just give me some fresh pane tuscono and new oil with some ripe tomatoe and basil.,,,otherwise this is great idea.
andrea biffi (author)  zenbooter1 year ago
:-)
REALLY ITS COOL. GOOD WORK. BUT AM PLANNING WITH MY BOSCH HEAVY DRILL. WILL BE BACK WITH IT.
ACSTP1 year ago
Nice job. Another tweak: A 1" through hole centered in base where Dremel comes down will prevent marring the stand. Then if you need more support, tape down a piece over it with 1/2" or no hole at all. just a thought.
andrea biffi (author)  ACSTP1 year ago
yes, I've to do that!
billgeo1 year ago
That "macro rail" thing is really versatile. I am currently using on in my steady-cam build...
andrea biffi (author)  billgeo1 year ago
right, it's very accurate and cheap
yellowcatt1 year ago
Great idea to use the macro rail
nickitzi1 year ago
I like this, only mod I would do is replace the zip ties with thumb screw hose clamps, Harbor Freight has them in variety packs, this would make install or removal easier .
uwezi1 year ago
Great idea! Thanks!!!
sekitori1 year ago
Nice. I've got a couple of rails to fix servers in a 19"rack - suppose that would work too..
ElZorro1 year ago
Great idea.
One more tweak I would make would be to install spacers behind the rail to the vertical support allowing more clearance from the bit to the vertical.
andrea biffi (author)  ElZorro1 year ago
you're right, it's a planned update ;-)
Great work,had same problem accuracy can be increased by attaching Cheap! digital vernier (ruler) to side of drill attached to stand, Setup easy, Bring drill down to touch work, hit zero button,take down to depth required.(Happy!) reset digital vernier to zero,Now instead of trying to read scale ,just look for all zero's. "HAVE -FUN!"
andrea biffi (author)  stephenfitton1 year ago
WOW! That's a great idea!! It should appear very technological!
peking1 year ago
Lock slide, over head pin router. Lots of accessories to come up with. Great fun.
andrea biffi (author)  peking1 year ago
That's right, having a mini-lathe should be very useful, also because I already have tons of accessoris for my Dremel. Thanks!
dougbyte1 year ago
sweet
peking1 year ago
Better yet, put a block at the top of the arm and lay the stand on it's back. Face plate assembly mounted to the press table, instant mini-lathe.
peking1 year ago
Using a high-ish quality hinge to maintain precision, pivot the slider arm, make slide lockable, add tail piece assembly flush mounting attachment system and you have a mini-lathe.
Fantastic Instructable, I have an idea to add to your stand, which I will try to describe and send photograph soon
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