My bedroom is my workshop. I have a limited set of tools. One tool that constantly got on my nerves is my drill machine for making holes in PCB’s. It’s a small hand drill that you have to move up and down to drive the drill bit. It requires loads of patience and strong, steady hands. What you get in the end are usually shabby holes.
I searched high and low for a cheap electric drill but couldn't find anything reliable. Most cheap ones that I found worked directly on a 230 V AC line and seemed dangerous. Then again, I felt this was an opportunity to build my own drilling machine. I had a 1000 RPM dc geared motor in stock. The only problem was I didn't know how to securely fit a drill bit to the motor shaft. I contemplated cutting off the chuck from my hand drill and attaching it to the motor. But that would totally destroy my beloved hand drill. After eons of head scratching and tinkering I came up with a brilliantly stupid solution.
Step 1: Hot Glue the Motor to the Drill Handle
I took off the end cap of the drill and hot glued the motor shaft into the handle. I left the spring inside the handle as it allows applying pressure without straining the motor too much.
Step 2: Push Button Switch to Control the Drill
I needed a switch to control the drill. I found an old push button switch and attached some wires to it. I attached a diode for polarity and back emf protection.
Step 3: Enclosure
I found a sweetener jar that was perfect for an enclosure. I made a hole and shoved the switch through it. Then I made another tiny hole beneath the jar for pushing the supply voltage wires through it. I pushed the green grounding wire and one end of the switch wire through the tiny hole. The other ends of the wires, I pulled out through the jars mouth.
Step 4: Solder the Motor
Next, I soldered the two wires (from the mouth end) to the motor.
Step 5: Attach the Motor to the Enclosure
To secure the motor to the enclosure I used my trusted hot glue.
Step 6: The Drill Is Ready
Ta da, I now have an electric PCB drill machine. It’s a bit wobbly, but it does have a ring at the chuck that can be held to make it more steady.
For testing I used a small 9 V battery. In a real usage, I'd prefer using a 9 V wall adapter.
Step 7: Test the Drill
It does work! See, I made two neat holes :-)