Introduction: DIY Column Drill UPGRADES!

About: I'm an Italian freelance structural engineer, graphic designer and photographer, now I'm teaching physics in Waldorf high-schools. I always investigate electronics, robotics and science in general, I'm a passi…

My DIY column drill, which has been unbelievably in the top ten chart of most viewed Instructables of that month, deserved a good upgrade, what do I say, let's not be stingy, Top Ten deserves at least three great upgrades!
So here they are: an addictional rail to easily shift up and down all the mechanism, a twin LED lamp to light better the working surface and, last but not least, an integrated automatic power switch connected to the teethbrush-lever! Does this lever type seem strange to you? read the first Instructable!

Step 1: Tools and B.o.m.

For these upgrades we don't need many components, other than the second macro photography rail and the cheap led light, only a few electrical pieces, a pair of wood little blocks (I exceeded them from the first project), an aluminium bar (I've luckily found one of the right lenght with already two holes), and two screws/bolts. Here is the complete list:
  • a second macro photography rail
  • a tactile switch (better with a metal lever) with a little screw
  • a shucko socket
  • a wall plug with wire
  • an aluminium bar abouth three inches lenght
  • a bolt with nut
  • a short bipolar wire for swich connection
  • some hot-shrinking tubes
  • and of course some tools, a welder, a welding support (maybe with a lens), hot glue (mine is black), a double elements glue, pliers, a screwdiver, etc.

Step 2: A New Rail

There is not too much to explain about how the new macro rail should be mounted. You see in first image the little locking knob, which you have to loose to shift the rail with the bigger knob. As always we find two little hex screws in the holes, which act as friction. You can tight them if the rail falls too fast when you loose the locking knob. I've shot two photos to show you upper and lower positions.

Step 3: The Spring Stand...

As I said my aluminium bar already had the holes, but maybe you've to drill these. Note that one has to be threaded screwed so that it links with the 1/4" screw of the macro rail. The other only has to receive the metal bolt, but you could screw it too. Distance between the holes should be about 2-3 inches.

Step 4: Mounted!

Mounting this new accessory let us change handy the tension of our spring. Indeed as you see in photos the upper screw of the rail is able to move in the slot up and down, so you have a (little) allowance, this should be greater if you choose to make the aluminium bar longer than mine.

Step 5: The Automatic Toothbrush Level Sensor and Power Actuator (alias the Switch From the Junk)

This is the tactile switch I had in my junk, it's perfect because is very compact, it has three pins and its specifications say 3A at 250V (so 750 watts, much more than our little drill). Of the three pins one is common, the second is normally open circuit (NO), and the third is normally closed circuit (NC), which is the one we care, because we want that, when the lever is in rest position and it pushes the switch, the circuit should remain open.
The screw should be the right size and thread to join the little holes in the rail. I had to enlarge a little one hole of the switch, which was too narrow for that screw. Beware to not brake the plastic box of the switch.
Put the switch in position and measure how much bend the lever so the nail touch it, then keep it out, bend it and cut and round the extremity with a file.

Step 6: The AC Plug...

To keep a separate circuit and not cut the wire of my drill, I decided to add to my stand a shuko socket at which connect the drill plug. Then I've used two wood blocks of the right size to glue this socket in the space between vertical wood column and rear rail. And I've cutted the three plugs of the socket to spare space.
You need some of heat-shrinking tubes to insulate the wires. I've then decided to envelop everythink in hot-glue, and so they're not essential but it's always better be cautious.

Step 7: The Power Circuit

Here you see how I connected the wires of my wall plug at the shuko socket, and how one of the wires goes onto the swith NC pins. Then I insulated everything with shrinking tubes. After checking the simple circuit works good, I've glued it on two wood blocks, with addiction of a thin wood shim, with double components glue.

Step 8: Glue It

This block of pieces has to be glued at bottom of the cubical wood part of the drill support. In this way the column drill can still easily be dismantled if you need to add something else ;-)
Here you see the mounted parts. The shuko socket fits exactly in the space, and on the other side the black glue element doesn't interfere with the toothbrush. The wire which goes to the switch is long enough to let the rail moving up and down.

Step 9: The Lamps...

This is a cheap twin LED lamp I've found specifically for this project. It's handy because the two arms can reach the side of the drill bit, and they have a push-switch each to turn them on. I've decide to keep the battery holder as is and lock it on the beck of the column with a nylon band.

Step 10: ...and the Light

You see that the leds light the drill bit from opposite sides and make the working zone really visible, also if ambience light is blocked from the drill itself. You can adjust the flexible arms to avoid interferences with the lever.

Step 11: Done!

I've kept the old aluminium bar at top of the column to link the power cable and keep it far from the drill bit. The thick wood board is useful as a cheap surface which you can change easily, and avoids you to drill the black painted base.
So this is my full-optional column drill, I think now I've a complete tool which will help me to drill all next boards. 
This time I show you a video too, forgive me for bad quality, maybe I could make a better one in future.

Let me know your impressions, sorry to have bothered you again with this drill! ;-)
Goodbye to next instructable!