Introduction: Giant Cordless Power Drill - Prop

Picture of Giant Cordless Power Drill - Prop

When you have a tool, size matters. Here's how to build a giant cordless power drill.

This will be used as a prop for Caitlin's contractor/builder Halloween costume for this year (easy- hardhat/googles, toolbelt, and usual schoolclothes). Yes, she knows how to handle power tools safely. And with pic of her in costume from her school parade.

This instructable shows you that you can pretty much imagine anything and build it giant-sized for a kid. In additon to making swell props for your Halloween costume, these have potential utility for children to use in their classroom or for class plays.

So to add to our list of giant Twinkies, giant magnet and giant toothbrush, here is our giant cordless power drill instructable.

Step 1: Useless Stuff to Useful Stuff

Picture of Useless Stuff to Useful Stuff

This prop was made from stuff laying around the house. As usual, a trip to the recycling bin to find some materials to reuse.

You will need:
- some cardboard
- some plastic bottles in various shapes
- a piece of wood to use as a handle 1"x3" pine
- a wood dowel 3/8" diameter
- handheld fan
- a momentary push switch and wire to mod the handheld fan
- for decoration, various colors of duct tape, electrical tape, clear packaging tape
- aluminum duct tape, this stuff is great for adding the look of metal to any object.
- some screws for attaching parts
- some printed images of logos or warning labels to add realism to your project.

- basic tools to cut wood, cardboard and plastic

CAUTION: Scissors and utility knives are sharp. Know how to handle and properly use them safely. Cut plastic will leave sharp edges. Put tape over the cut edges for safety.

Step 2: Visualize Your Design

Picture of Visualize Your Design

Gather up parts that resemble parts of the cordless drill that we are going to make.

It helps to have a real cordless drill or picture of one to use as your model for the project.

I had a nice large juice container that was perfect for the body of the drill.

A vitamin bottle was perfect to add on the front as the keyless chuck.

I had to make the handle from a scrap piece of wood.

I had to make the "battery pack" from scratch.

Step 3: Mish Mash

Picture of Mish Mash

The vitamin bottle would do great as the chuck of the cordless drill.

Cut the bottom of the vitamin bottle to fit the cap of the larger juice bottle. The size of the hole also allowed me to push the vitamin bottle further down over a lip of the juice bottle.

The lip locked the vitamin bottle in place and allowed it to spin freely. I was hoping to use this design feature to mechanize the drill bit turning freely powered by something in the main body.

Step 4: Drill Bit

Picture of Drill Bit

Drill holes through the caps of the vitamin bottle and the large juice bottle to fit the diameter or your dowel.

Use polyurethane glue to glue the juice bottle cap to the hole in the bottom of the vitamin bottle.

Glue in the length of dowel that you will use as your "drill bit".
Eyeball the length of the drill bit so it is in proportion to your drill.

Round off the end of the dowel.

Use narrow strips of cardboard to wind around and glue to the dowel to simulate the twist of the drill bit. Bend the cardboard and shape your spiral so it makes it easier to glue.

Cover with aluminum tape for all the exposed metal-looking parts and use black duct tape for the rubber grip.

I glued the chuck permanently to the body when I found the fan motor was too underpowered to spin the drill bit assembly.

Step 5: Charge It Up...

Picture of Charge It Up...

Build the battery pack.

I had a chunk of styrofoam from the packaging of something that had a good blocky shape to use. Don't worry about gaps or odd shapes. It is easily shaped with a knife, rasp, file, or sandpaper.

Cut out a slot to fit the bottom of the handle.

Adjust the length of your handle and sketch out a handle curve in the wood to cut and shape later.

The battery pack will be skinned over with cardboard to give it its final shape. Just cut out cardboard to shape. You can cover each surface with a many smaller pieces of cardboard.

Laminate about three layers of cardboard with alternating directions of grain to give it strength.

Glue in a platform for the bottom of the handle. It will be also screwed in at that point.

Build up a box shape around the gaps if you have any over the styrofoam.

I also covered raw edges with a layer of cardboard that had been peeled from scrap pieces. It helps with getting a smooth edge when you cover it all with tape.

Step 6: Make It Spin...

Picture of Make It Spin...

Cut an H-shaped or I-shaped slit in the juice bottle used as the main body of the cordless drill.

Slip in the handle to see how it will fit together.

Draw a line to indicate the horizontal axis of your drill bit when the wood handle is centered and pushing on the top of the bottle.

I had one of these dollar-store summer breeze handheld fans laying around the house, I decided to use this to animate the drill by spinning the drill bit. It was a complete self-contained motor in a mount, battery compartment and switch.

I first separated the battery compartment from the fan mount. A quick slice with the hacksaw cut the pivoting studs on the plastic mounting arm so it could to slide over the 1"x3".

I cut a notch in the wood to fit the fan head squarely. The mount was screwed in at the bottom with a touch of polyurethane glue. It foams up a bit to fill gaps and fixed the motor head in place.

I then screwed and glued the battery compartment in place.

CAUTION: Polyurethane glue sticks to everything and is very hard to remove. You can wear gloves when working with it. Always work over newspaper or something disposable to catch the drips.

Needless to say, these fans are nothing more than cheap toys and don't have enough power to move a wooden dowel as I found out. I should have ripped out the drivetrain of a cheap R/C car to use for this. So plan B was to just leave the mechanical guts in and when you pressed the switch, the fan would give it a cool noise that the drill makes.

The last pic shows a reinforcing screw in the fan propeller that I was going to glue into the end of the dowel to drive it but it is obsolete.

I drilled a hole in the handle to friction fit the barrel of the momentary switch I would be adding.

Solder extention wires to the momentary switch. Solder into the circuit of the mounted fan. I cut one of the leads to the battery terminal and patched in my switch with another lead from the motor. Test to see if everything works.

Wrap the handle with electrical tape.

Step 7: NASCARize It

Picture of NASCARize It

Assemble everything. Insert the fan/switch handle assembly into the slot of the large juice bottle. Center it inside and attach with two screws with washers to the wood handle. Cover any exposed plastic and joints with tape.

Duct tape and aluminum tape can be stretched a bit to conform to the odd shapes. Cut a slit if you need to prevent the bunching up in corners and just tape over itself.

Pick your favorite tool manufacturer's colors to use when you pick the colors for the duct tape.

You can replicate a color scheme exactly and match parts that are the same color as the real cordless drill.

Instead of using any paint for this project, the entire drill is covered in various tapes. No need to wait for the paint to dry and if you miss a spot, just cover it up with more tape.

Print out logos that you want to use to add realism to the product.
Print out battery voltage and warning labels. Cover with clear packaging tape to apply the printed matter to the cordless drill.

So go and make something ~~big~~ Gigantic!


maxseech (author)2017-09-11

I am going to make this for my brother on Halloween.

caitlinsdad (author)maxseech2017-09-12

Fantastic! Post a pic, better yet, make an instructable out of the build for the contests.

pchoksatitgul (author)2014-01-02

Amazing!!! I luv all your invention, 6 mins to midnight.... I still look thru your inventions. Zzzzzzz

marioalv (author)2010-10-31

Here's my version.
I improved the design a little, by using a screw to attach the broomstick and both plastic bottles. I also used a wood piece nailed to both the "body" of the drill and drilled to the power source.

caitlinsdad (author)marioalv2010-11-01

Oooooo, Nice! How much run time do you get with that tupperware battery pack?

marioalv (author)caitlinsdad2010-11-01

It ran all night long, until the party was over :). Thanks for this amazing instructable!

watermelonhead (author)2008-10-31

man, caitlin is the luckiest girl in the world. :)

Thanks, she is spoiled good. I just want to show everyone to use their imagination to have fun. You can walk up and down every aisle in the toy store all day and not find one good toy today that uses your imagination. So I make stuff with things laying around the house, way better and much cheaper. You are lucky to be on this site which means something is fueling your imagination. It's a good thing.

flubs (author)caitlinsdad2010-04-01

 wat about legos

caitlinsdad (author)flubs2010-04-01

I'll amend that to say "what toy that she already has been given..." 

flubs (author)caitlinsdad2010-05-03

 make giant legos if u can

flubs (author)caitlinsdad2010-04-04

 o ya by da way she might like giant legos

GorillazMiko (author)2008-10-30

I take those Flinstone stupid medicine tablets. Are you Vietnamese?

caitlinsdad (author)GorillazMiko2008-10-30

No. American Born Chinese.

Plasmana (author)caitlinsdad2009-04-17

ABC... lol

matbh (author)Plasmana2009-08-31

as easy as 123....

halberdear (author)matbh2010-03-12

that's how easy love can be!

+5/5 stars

stunami (author)2008-11-01

I hate to post this here, but is anyone else having this problem? Every time I click on a picture or leave comment or similar, it always brings me to the top of the page! So annoying when viewing long instructables!

caitlinsdad (author)stunami2008-11-01

You could click the Report Bug in the About Us box way at the bottom of the page. Make sure you state the operating system(XP, MAC) you use and the type of browser(IE, firefox...) so that they can help you pinpoint a problem. Also, what resolution are you running your desktop, it may be the way your browser refreshes. Report the bug. Thanks.

=SMART= (author)2008-10-31

Sweet !, you should add a motor to the pill bottle area so it rotates !! :D

caitlinsdad (author)=SMART=2008-10-31

The fan motor I used was not powerful enough to spin the dowel drill bit that was collared in by the bottle caps. I guess the fan wasn't supposed to have high torque so you don't chop your fingers off even though it had fabric/foam blades.

But there is plenty of room for improvement.

=SMART= (author)caitlinsdad2008-10-31

oh yea i forgot the drill bit was wooden, maybe if it was replaced with Styrofoam or small pvc. Whatever, its still super awesome even if it doesn't move !!

Re-design (author)2008-10-31

Great mock up!

caitlinsdad (author)Re-design2008-10-31

We thought about a giant hammer but figured the kids would hit each other over the head with it. So we built something more dangerous, a cordless power drill.

knexfan9182 (author)2008-10-30

thats sweet i like the pill bottle keyless chuck

caitlinsdad (author)knexfan91822008-10-30

I think one of the powerdrink/Gatorade bottles might have worked as a chuck too.

knexfan9182 (author)caitlinsdad2008-10-30

Yeah it might but I think you would have some problems with scale.

caitlinsdad (author)knexfan91822008-10-30

...then scale up the body with a two-gallon jug of something. Bigger is better.

watsongr (author)caitlinsdad2008-10-30

That is so very.... very true.

CameronSS (author)2008-10-30

Some silver spray paint in place of the aluminum foil will give it a look that is more "polished steel" and less "chrome," and and eliminate the wrinkly texture of foil.

caitlinsdad (author)CameronSS2008-10-30

Unfortunately, most metal paints need a clear coat so it doesn't rub off. This aluminum duct sealing tape is great because it goes on fast, sticks to about everything, fairly cheap, and leaves a kid-friendly surface. Besides, no need to mess with paints if you don't have the time for it to dry. School Halloween parade is in the morning.

CameronSS (author)caitlinsdad2008-10-30

Plan ahead better next time. :-P Actually, almost all silver spray paints are very fast-drying. Unless you blast on a thick coating, it is usually dry to the touch within a minute. I understand the convenience of foil tape, though.

SuperCoPilot (author)2008-10-30


caitlinsdad (author)SuperCoPilot2008-10-30

It's Tool Time!

Rockerx (author)2008-10-30

Sigh, our school got rid of any type of dressing up for Halloween. Instead they have to dress up as a story book character. If they do they get extra recess on Monday. That's why my sister is staying home tomorrow. For me though we don't do anything for Halloween anyway. Oop, I'm off topic. Great looking prop! Gives me some ideas... :)

caitlinsdad (author)Rockerx2008-10-30

You can really make anything with cardboard and tape and maybe some scrap pieces of wood. All you need is imagination.

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