Reanimate Old Battery Drill




I was in dire need for a battery powered drill, but my good one was at my local Makerspace and I could not be bothered to drive over there at 0100 in the morning.

I remembered that I had bought one some 15 years ago in a supermarket. After I dug up my basement looking for it, I found it in the store-room with a dead battery.

I will show now what I did to reanimate it, for fun and... fun. ;-)


Step 1: Take Apart the Battery

The battery pack was held together with 4 screws. After loosening them, it fell apart into three pieces:

  • old batteries (dump)
  • top cover with contacts (need new wires to go to the new battery)
  • lower case (needs holes for battery wires to go through)

Step 2: New Energy

I decided to use a lipo battery pack as my new power source. My drill originally had a 12V power source, so I needed a 3 cell LiPo pack.

I had an old Macbook battery with a broken cell sitting on my desk for ages, and took the occasion to finally rip it apart to build a new battery out of it.

This is quite easy, but I found no instructable detailing how its done.

So I made one! =)

Step 3: Build Top Case Connector

Easy step, find a matching battery cable, solder it to the contacts in the top case.

Maybe your drill is old enough that it doesn't matter, but watch out for polarity anyways!

I want to have the battery connector outside of the plastic case, thats why I left the cables that long.

Step 4: Lower Case

Now I had a problem. I needed to drill holes to get a working battery for my drill. The battery was empty (after sitting on my desk for month).

Adjustable desk power supply to the rescue!

I put 2x two holes next to each other, broke out and filed of the middle to have two long holes.

Step 5: Assembly

The battery fits nicely. The reason why I wanted to put the wiring on the outside is:

  1. I need a easy way to access the balancing port for charging and use of a lipo warner (recommended)
  2. I want to be able to disconnect the lipo from the contacts

Happy drilling! :-)



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    12 Discussions


    3 years ago

    Is it possible to use batteries from nokia phones 3,7v NiMh without the current protection circuit and still use the factory charger?

    1 reply

    Reply 2 years ago

    Not recommended, the phone controls the charging. There are little circuit boards inside that only provide a low voltage cuttoff. Not charging. I just used a nokia battery's innards to replace my psp battery's innards.


    2 years ago

    I used your lipo instructable to make rc car batteries and now this one to fix my craftsman c3 battery from old laptop batteries! Thanks.


    3 years ago on Introduction

    Take a look at a bunch of similar approaches

    Otaku Kani

    3 years ago

    I love the fact that you had a dire emergency needing a drill at one in the morning then left the battery on your workshop desk for a month. Sounds like most of my projects! lol.

    But seriously, I have concerns that others may follow your instructable and subject themselves to explosion or fire damage by charging a Li-Po battery with a non-regulated charger when they didn't understand the necessity or hazards involved, and I don't remember seeing any strong warning of the dangers of that fact.


    3 years ago on Step 5

    Great Idea, But those Batteries can be a pain,like charging them when the power goes out. Any good DIY Shop is incomplete unless you have a Good " BRACE & BITS SET," It's slow going, But it only uses HUMAN Power.


    3 years ago on Introduction

    Got a similar drill but instead of using an old mac book batt, al usean old laptop adaptor. I believe this will suffice


    Lucky you had screws holding the case together, most are welded now, making it much more difficult to reuse.

    1 reply

    Reply 3 years ago on Introduction

    Well, in my experience you can usually take out from LiPo what they give you (current wise), but you should imidiatly stop when the cell voltage reaches 2.8V (which is why I recommend the LiPo warner).

    I still wanted it to be cordless. =)