Introduction: PCB Drill Press Using Salvaged Door Hinges

After creating a PCB, I wanted to drill the holes without fear of breaking the fragile drill bits. This drill press consists of four door hinges and some lengths of wood. Attaching the drill to the drill press proved to be the biggest challenge!

I take no credit for the design - I am simply posting the information for others to share.

Note that the drill pivots slightly as it lowers, but this should not be a problem for thin material (such as PCB's).

And a big thank you to Ken for the original idea

Step 1: Gather Materials

The frame consists of
- base
- back support
- two arms
- front piece
- four hinges

The wood I chose was from an Ikea shelf system, approx 18mm (3/4") thick, and 90mm (3 1/2") wide. I had several candidates for the wood, but chose this because it was slightly wider than the hinges, and also sturdy.

I guessed the sizes, making the base longer than the arms. Approximate sizes are:
base - 450mm (18")
back - 270mm (10 1/2")
arms - 310mm (12")
front - 90mm (3 1/2")

Step 2: Basic Frame

I screwed the back to the base, although nails should provide sufficient support.

Simply connect the hinges to create the frame in the images.

Be careful to ensure there is a gap where the arms & back meet to ensure the arms can move freely.

Step 3: Mount Drill

This proved to be a minor hassle. I initially identified a P-clip with a butterfly screw, but was unsure of how steady it would be once drilled and mounted. In the end, I chose a clip that is used to hold kitchen kickboards in place!

Nicely finished off with some garden wire to hold the drill.

The drill does wobble because of the way the plastic clip works. Some glue should see to that.

Step 4: Next Steps

I couldn't find a spring strong enough to act as a return mechanism, and I don't have any bungee cord either! Something to get when the opportunity arises. Howver, in practise, I did not find it a problem.

I did find shadows made locating the drill points difficult, which was easily overcome by adding a reading lamp to the base.

I would like to adapt the press to support a foot switch to allow two handed operation of the material.

Overall, a big success. All the parts came from salvage in my garage, and I still have the original drill bit in one piece!

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