Instructables

Make a Cordless Drill

This Instructable will show you how I made and you too can make a cordless hand crank drill.

Q: "Why do I need a hand crank drill?"

A: I'm impatient. I often times find I need to drill only one or two holes. At those same times, I find that my cordless drill batteries are in need of a charge (they're old and don't hold a charge very well, I need to try Tim Anderson's zap trick). A hand crank drill is perfect! I don't need to wait on a battery to charge and I don't have to find my corded drill and an extension cord. I expect this drill to also be very durable. Water and dirt won't affect it much and I could probably drop it off of my house's roof without causing any damage (to the drill - INCOMING!). It is also lightweight. I could take it on a backpacking trip if I had a reason to do so.
 
Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up

Step 1: Go Shopping!

You will need to acquire some materials to make this hand crank cordless drill. You may as well go shopping now. If you waited until later, you wouldn't really get much accomplished between now and then. If you are like me, you'll end up going shopping again later for something you forgot.

Materials:
Keyless drill chuck - I scrounged one from dead cordless drill - a keyed one would work - one can buy replacement chucks if one so desires
3/8 inch OD steel rod - I purchased 4 feet of this
3/8-24 UNF (that's Fine thread) nut - I had one of these
3/8 inch ID Stop Collar - I purchased 2 of these
3/8 inch ID X 1-1/8 inch OD ball bearings - I purchased 2 of these
3/4 inch ID copper pipe X ~5 inches - I had this
1 inch X 3/4 inch copper pipe reducer - I purchased 2 of these

All in all, I probably spent about $20.00 US on supplies. I went shopping at my neighborhood ACE hardware store. They're great. Family owned since 1908, currently the 5th generation (2 currently work there). They treat me right. If I go in unsure of what I want or need, "shopping for ideas", they'll help me out. They seem to sell a lot more "ideas" than the "big box" boys. You can probably find the supplies at various other stores, but I'd recommend an actual hardware store over one of the "big box" home improvement warehouses. They're more likely to carry the bearings, stop collars and fine thread nut. But enough about that...

Tools:
Hacksaw
Metal File
Bench Grinder
3/8-24 UNF thread cutting die
Die Stock (the handle used to hold and turn the die)
Cutting Oil (Is this a tool or a material?)
Propane Plumber's Torch
Plumbing Solder and Flux (Is this a tool or a material?)
Whacking Tool (hammer)
1/4 inch Hex Key (allen wrench)
1/8 inch Hex Key (to tighten the stop collar lock screws)
Flat Blade Screwdriver
Bench Vise

I think that's it. It is probably possible to make this without some or most of those tools, but that's what I used. I already had everything but the 3/8-24 UNF threading die. Luckily I was able to borrow one of those from my employer. With permission! I returned it of course - I want to keep my job!

The picture shows some of the supplies - some of it already assembled . We'll get to that assembly in a few minutes.
shakeq794 months ago
You may also splice wall cords to the batteries with resistors in series that will bring the voltage down to what the batteries can take, while the second part of the splice can feed directly to the motor.
I love hand tools. We use these to drill holes in Phone Poles to hang hardware to hang cable on. My Boss proved that he could climb a pole drill a hole and hang the hardware before you could with a gas powered drill. Brace and Bit. Climb Pole, belt in, drill hole and hang hard ware. Gas Drill. Climb pole, belt in, pull gas drill up to you on a hand line, start gas drill, FUTZ with the choke to get it to run, drill hole, hang hardware. GREAT POST!
Yeah but how fast was your boss after drilling 10 holes? The answer to that question would depend on the driver of the ambulance that took him away of course! I've had bosses like that too. Come in, knock out one thing fast, then say why can't you do that all day long?
ve2vfd4 years ago
If you put a 3/8 or 1/2 square socket bit in the chuck, you can also use this as a fast driver for your socket set.
pfred2 ve2vfd3 years ago
Those are called speed wrenches. I've one. My pneumatic tools are speedier though.
It is ironic that most hardware stores have every kind of hand tool except the old fashion hand drill. That tool alone would save America a boatload of energy.
They're called braces and go for about $5 or less at flea markets. I've two. They're absolutely horrible to use! I much prefer to expend my energy controlling a job as opposed to propelling it. They sure make me appreciate my 18V cordless hammerdrill a lot more. Another fun old timer is called a breast drill for if you really like to lean into your work.

If you could travel back in time with a load of modern power tools the craftsmen of days gone by would cast their rough implements down in disgust and worship you as if you were a God!

I've heard tale told of one that had a belt sander which was called a power planer back then and cost about a year's wages. He'd take his home from work every day and keep it under his bed he slept in. If that gives you an inkling of the respect power tools garner from those who can look at it from the other side.
Your drill is still the best, but I finally made and instructable of mine. http://www.instructables.com/id/Pvc-Hand-drill/
PCDV0121.JPG
sharlston4 years ago
the steel rod could be replaced with a handle bar from a bmx bike they look exactly the same
Scott_Tx4 years ago
Nice, I've wanted one of these but never thought of making my own.
rimar20004 years ago
Good work. When I did military service (1967), I volunteered to build a number of hand drills like these to use in the bush. They left acceptable.
Pro

Get More Out of Instructables

Already have an Account?

close

PDF Downloads
As a Pro member, you will gain access to download any Instructable in the PDF format. You also have the ability to customize your PDF download.

Upgrade to Pro today!