Hack a Drill - Powerful Gearmotor!

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Introduction: Hack a Drill - Powerful Gearmotor!

In this Instructable I will show you how to get a powerful gearmotor from a cordless drill!

I found this cordless drill in the scrap bin at a second hand store. When I got home I discovered something odd (video...)

Step 1: Materials

  • Cordless drill for hacking!

Step 2: Tools

  • Philips head screwdriver

Step 3: Disassemble

Unscrew all the screws holding the two halves together. If it doesn't come apart, there might be some screws under the stickers or the grip pad.

Step 4: The Guts

Step 5: Removing the Chuck

Inside the chuck is a screw. This screw is threaded in reverse so that when you turn it to the right, it comes loose. This part might require some gentle persuasion. Don't throw away the screw, you'll need it when attaching stuff to the motor later.

Step 6: Removing the Clutch

The clutch is attached with two screws. It's spring loaded so be careful removing it. Also, removing the clutch will expose the ballbearings inside, hold the motor upright so they don't fall out.

Step 7: Fixing the Gear

Remove the ball bearings inside the clutch by turning it upside down. To fix the gears in the 'drill' setting we need to insert two set screws in the holes where the ball bearings where. Screw them in until you can turn the motor shaft without it slipping.

Step 8: That's It! We're Done!

Enjoy your gearmotor!

Step 9: Extra

We got a lot of parts for other projects!

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37 Comments

I've got a couple of these from thrift stores too. I'm holding off on the clutch disassembly though, I think it may be a handy feature after all. I plan on using one to drive the leadscrew on my lathe carriage, and an adjustable clutch could work as a simple travel limit if it hits a way bed stop fixture, normally you don't want to do that with the internal gears as it would strip them, but this should do the job.

Hi Hank,

What are you going to use to control the motor. I want to put a power feed on my mill drill.

Hi Moogie, I've been experimenting with switching power supplies, but most do not like the inductive load a motor throws out, I have some transformers so I think I'll cobb together a simple linear one, perhaps with pulse width modulation speed control.

I have trouble removing the chuck. I removed the screw (Thanks to your reverse thread tip). But I can't get the chuck of the shaft. Do I have to lock the shaft before removing the chuck and how should it be done? Is there another trick?

Here is one easy way. Start drill disassembly by removing chuck first. With screw removed, insert the short end of an L shaped 1/4 in. allen wrench into the chuck and tighten the chuck down on the wrench. Then smack the long end of the allen wrench with a hammer it should break loose. If after a couple of tries the chuck does not break loose hit the allen wrench in the opposite direction. Good luck.

Put the largest that fits, right-angle allen key (short end) into the chuck, tighten. Motor in vise or clamp, whack the long end of the key with a hammer hard a couple of times (anticlockwise). Took three good blows for me.

The chuck is threaded normally. If your put the gear in 'drill' you should be able to unscrew it. You could also try inserting a piece of metal with an angle in the chuck as a leverage.

I think these motors are good for wind generators too.