Indestructable Tool Crank Handle Made From a Bicycle Crank Arm!




About: There once was a time when mankind possessed the skills necessary to make things, but alas, the spirit of using your hands has been somewhat lost. Tools are made of foil, the History channel isn't educationa...

Intro: Indestructable Tool Crank Handle Made From a Bicycle Crank Arm!

My favorite tool  probably has to be my drill press. It seems like any project I do involves the use of my drill press, but the joy of using it has been somewhat dampened by the fact that the vertical adjustment crank, being made of cheap plastic, broke quite easily.
I've been using this uncomfortable, hard to use crank for several years simply out of laziness., but I finally got an idea for a simple solution to fix it.

If you find this instructable useful, please vote for me in the indestructible contest! I really appreciate it!

Step 1: Find a Bike and Take It Apart!

I bought an old steel road bike a few years ago for 5 bucks. It has served me well, but I decided it was time to retire it due to the fact that new tubes and tires would cost more than the entire bike is worth.
But it is not going to waste. The first thing to be recycled is one of the crank arms. It fits almost perfectly onto the height adjustment shaft, It's made of nice tough steel, and it's shiny! Who could ask for more?

Step 2: Cut the Crank to Size!

I began by cutting the crank to be roughly the same length as the old plastic one. This stuff was stronger than I thought. I started with a hacksaw and got pretty much nowhere. It was no match for a grinder cutting wheel though. I smoothed it off and even used a wire brush to shine up the chrome a bit.

Step 3: Find a Handle!

I'm not really sure what this knob came off of, probably a roof rack or something. Anyway, I found it in my pile of hardware and I think it will do well.
I drilled an appropriate hole in the crank arm to accept this knob. When you drill through the hard metal, be sure to use a sharp bit, plenty of lubrication, and take it slow. Also, use a vise or other strong holding thing. Holding onto it by hand is a recipe for disaster. The drill press actually ripped it out of my vise and threw the crank arm across the room. Gave me quite a scare...

Step 4: Attach It!

What I did here was place a nylon washer between the nut and the arm so it spins a bit smoother. I also marked and cut the threaded rod down to size. A hacksaw was fine for this.
Remember to use loc-tite on the nut so that it doesn't come off when you spin the crank.

Step 5: Install It!

Finally, install the new crank arm onto the height adjustment shaft just like you would install it on a bike. I used the original hardware and all.
I'm very pleased with how this turned out. It doesn't look out of place and it is nice and sturdy. Quite comfortable and natural to use as well.
It stood up to being thrown by a drill press and I'm sure it will be able to last at least as long as the rest of the machine.



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    11 Discussions


    3 years ago on Introduction

    Hmmm. My Black & Decker Workmate has a missing crank handle. This may be a good solution for it. Now to go appropriate a neglected kid's bike from the neighbors yard for donor parts... moooohahahahahaha.


    4 years ago on Introduction

    Great repurposing idea. There is something really satisfying about using a tool (in this case the drill press) to fix itself. I will be able to utilize the free spinning knob part idea to fix the broken crank handle on one of my drill presses (arm is still good)... Thanks for posting. Check out my drill press table enlargement I posted a week ago for another drill press project. Regards, Baytownian...


    5 years ago on Step 5

    Great idea. I have the same problem with my drill press. It just broke 2 weeks ago & I've been reluctant to use it since it is so hard to crank with half of a handle. I will be making this. Thanks!

    1 reply

    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    A broken handle just ruins the experience, doesn't it? I'm glad you like it!


    5 years ago on Step 5

    Well done... I have a wind-up clothes line with a broken handle.... The mower man caught it on his pocket as he went past.... Stand aside---- pedal arriving..


    5 years ago on Introduction

    Gaaah! How did you break into my garage? That old plastic crank arm looks just like the Cranky McCrankerson plastic crank arm on my drill press - mine is broken in the same cranky crank place! Thank you for this 'Able, I will be fixing my drill press this weekend! I've got a few extra nylock nuts, and one is sure to fit the new crank handle.

    1 reply

    5 years ago on Introduction

    Top marks for -ah- "re-cycling". I need to make a similar crank for a "Smart Drive" based demo hand generator, but had never pondered adapating a bike pedal!