Introduction: The Simplest Drill Ever

About: I'm an enginnering student who loves to build stuff!

The goal of this project is to build a simple tool to easily make holes in plastic and thin wood quickly, plug 'n play style. I have drills, but I don't like the idea of having to switch the bits all the time just to make a small hole for a screw. There's also the option of using a soldering iron, but that forces us to clean the tip later. There had to be a better, less messy way.

After trying all sorts of stuff like heating nails, using shower resistances and graphite leads from mechanical pencils, I had the idea to make this, which worked perfectly! The tool is very easy to build, in fact it's almost obvious and sometimes I wonder how hadn't I thought of this before.

Step 1: Materials

Here's what you are going to need:

  • A small DC motor - maybe from an old RC car, toy or a hairdryer, which was the kind I used
  • A cable with two wires
  • Something to grind: a grinding wheel, a piece of sandpaper or a file all should work
  • A battery or a power supply for your motor voltage. The image shows a 7.2V lipo battery, that will give a pretty good torque for those toy motors
  • A connector to connect to your battery
  • A push-button or switch

Step 2: Power Cable and Push-button

Let's begin by soldering the power cable connector, if yours didn't come assembled.

Once it's done, solder the pushbutton to one the motor pins. If your motor comes with a pin tied to the armature, solder the pushbutton to the armature, so we'll have a more "ergonomic" and solid tool. I also tied the button pins together two by two to improve its current handling capacity.

Step 3: Finishing the Drill Assembly

Another very easy step. This time, just solder one of the cable wires to the pushbutton and the other to the remaining motor pin. Polarity doesn't really matter here as any direction of rotation will produce the same effect.

Step 4: Tool Sharpening

As a knife will have trouble cutting through your breakfast bread if it's not properly sharpened, so will our hole maker without a nice and pointy tip.

This is step is the one I consider the hardest, but it's still easy anyway. Do the following:

  1. Connect our drill to its PSU or battery and hold it with one hand
  2. With the other hand, hold the grinding tool of your choice, making a straight angle with the drill tip
  3. Grind the tip while pressing the button to keep it rotating, until you get something sharp like the tip from the last picture

This process will take some time, but it gives a pretty tip. By using another drill with a cutting or grinding wheel you get an enourmous speed up.

Step 5: Test Time

That's all it takes to build our hole maker. I think it doesn't even require an explanation about how to use, definitely the plug and play spirit we wanted to achieve.

The images show me testing it on clothespin and a plastic part of a CD drive. After a few seconds a hole big enough for a screw shows up.

I'll finish by quoting Da Vinci:

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication
Build a Tool Contest 2017

Participated in the
Build a Tool Contest 2017