Introduction: Homemade Foot Pedal for PCB Drills

Picture of Homemade Foot Pedal for PCB Drills

This is a simple foot pedal switch to activate a small drill for making the holes on a pcb.
Most mini drills have a switch in their body activated by hand which is ok for most applications.
When drilling pcb though, the constant on-off needed for the holes to be drilled accurate and with minimum damage to the cooper this can became tiring to the hand, so the purpose of a foot activated switch emerges.  Although this is made with pcb drilling in mind it is not obligatory to have this only use, afterall is a foot activated switch waiting for you to find more uses for it.

Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials

The materials needed are common and easily obtained through local stores in cheap prices.
We had some spare acrylic glass so we used that but you can also use wood, aluminum or any other material you can find with ease and suits you.

To start you need a mini drill along with its power supply.
  A switch to activate the drill, one from guitar pedals would be perfect but anything else with a strong spring to hold the upper plate and give a feeling to your feet is ok.
Two plates of 10mm acrylic glass 21cm long and wide enough to feel comfortable with your foot size.
4 smaller pieces to make some casing for the switch and allow cables to pass through, dimensions here are not crucial, any spares or leftovers will do.
A couple of hinges to connect the 2 plates, some M3 screws to mount them and some longer M4 to mount the switch assembly to the plate.
If you go with acrylic glass for the switch assembly, some glue for it will give a better aesthetics instead of using screws but it's up to you.




Step 2: Pedal

Picture of Pedal

To assemble the pedal first allign the two hinges on the base plate approximatelly 30mm from the edge, this is done in order to have a more comfortable feel when placing your foot  on the pedal.
Mark  the hinge holes and drill the plate. It is better to use countersunk screws so that they don't limit the pedal movement.
After fixing the hinges in base plate, place the upper plate perpendicular to base and mark the hinge holes on it. Drill, screw and your pedal is done.

Step 3: Switch Casing

Picture of Switch Casing

The swicth casing is made from 4 small pieces.
One uppper plate for the switch to mount on it, a thicker one to house the switch and 2 smaller ones acting as spacers to allow cables pass through. The syringe is used to apply the acrylic glue to hold them together, the pieces can also be bolted but glueing gives a better opticall result.
Piece dimensions are determined form the switch you have so no need to be exact, just be sure the switch fits and cables can pass easily underneath.


Step 4: Put Them All Together

Picture of Put Them All Together

Time to assemble all parts to one.
First we make the electrical connections to the switch, cut the positive wire of the drill power supply and pass it through the switch, that's all.
Drill 2 holes in the switch casing and use them as template to mark the holes in the base plate of the pedal.
Drill the base plate holes and using screws long enough fix the switch casing to the plate.
Assembly finished.

Step 5: Finished Result

Picture of Finished Result

And here is the finished result, an easy to built, cheap foot acivated switch for a mini drill or whatever purpose you need it for.
The complete details and worklog can be found here in PCBheaven site.

Comments

gerardopenya (author)2010-05-29

Good work!!
tell me. It is not helpful to use one kind of spring or its enough with the switch?
You have to push twice to go On and Off?
Do you think that it is hard to do one which you can control the amount of power from the switch , so you can control the revolutions on your drill??


pcbheaven (author)gerardopenya2010-05-30

Hi,

It depends on the switch you use, if it is from a guitar pedal for example no need for extra sping, if switch sping is to soft you can add another one harder.
It is one push on one push off.
You can add a potensiometer to have a proportional speed control but it would be a bit more complex.

mikecraghead (author)pcbheaven2012-03-26

Re: variable-speed foot pedals, potentiometers and such: I have a volume pedal for a guitar with an odd spin on this (at least I found it odd when I busted it open for a repair): the variable resistor is just a photoreceptor and an LED: the pedal just moves a plastic rectangle up and down between the receptor and light, making it "see" less light and allow less signal. Allows for perfectly smooth transition from soft to loud, and the same idea would presumably work for controlling a variable-speed drill.

M

abadfart (author)2011-07-31

i have something like this on the vacuum that's hooked up to my table saw

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