Cordless drill overhaul

drill_upgrade

[Alexander.m] shows us how to do a major overhaul on a cordless drill, replacing pretty much everything but the case. He needed some more power, but found the price tag of the bigger drills to be prohibitive. He opted for a more hacked together approach and used a  24 volt 1.4 hp hobby motor as a drive. He had to make a custom enclosure for the batteries too. The final result may not be the prettiest thing in the world, with that giant battery pack on the bottom, but it probably gets the job done pretty well and cost less than half of what a new one would have.

Comments

  1. Reece says:

    Yay fisrt post nice hack!

  2. J says:

    FIRST YAY

    oh…

    also, man… power drill that strong would be awesome.

  3. paul says:

    mean looking drill but not worth the effort. That thing would be really unbalanced and doesn’t have a strong side handle for the bigger outdoor drilling projects. An unbalanced drill will cause a lot of hand fatigue if you use it for any period of time. I don’t know who pays $300 for a single drill but I know you can get a really nice 18-24v drill for under $100 that has a side handle, charger, light, stud finder, quick chuck, 2 speeds, and the torque stop thing for screws.

    Cool project though.

  4. nick says:

    please someone tell that guy that photo booth has an option in the menus to auto-flip new pictures, so they’re not all mirrored.

    [remarkably good pictures from a computer webcam though]

  5. Joe says:

    Rock climbers hack battery pack on drills all the time when they’re putting up new bolted routes. They’ll pay over $500 for drills, then hack ‘em up so the barriers are external.

  6. andrew says:

    also, almost any consumer-quality drill you get for around $100 USD will control the speed of the motor with PWM. This guy’s hacked drill, however, merely changes the voltage by connecting the batteries in series or parallel. not only does that lower the torque at low speeds, but you only have two speeds to work with.

    like they say, don’t build what you can buy, you’ll always pay for it in the end.

  7. Jack says:

    @andrew “like they say, don’t build what you can buy”

    Um… it looks like you’re on the wrong website. This one is for people who enjoy hacking things, rather than simply buying ;)

  8. Chris says:

    You can get a halfway decent 18v drill at harbor freight for $15. Why waste time any money doing this? If your cordless is too weak for the job, get a corded drill.

  9. hmmm says:

    you people are missing the point he did it cause he could.besides i would rather trust what i build rather than what some company that only cares about the bottom line

  10. TheBlunderbuss says:

    I had the same drill and did the same thing when I was 5.
    Next!

  11. zamadatix says:

    the only hack posted today and it wasn’t even a good one :/

  12. Spencer says:

    I worked on the maintenance crew at a summer camp this this past year. Without a doubt, a good drill is worth every penny. I used one, without fail, every single day for 3 months. It is worthwhile to pony up for something that will be comfortable to use and durable, even if you’re just a homeowner.

  13. nubie says:

    This is awesome, I want to go the other way and make a tiny “screwdriver” drill with li-ion battery packs (I have a couple of the $12 cell phones from walmart to strip the batteries from, and now that I think of it I bought a black and decker screwdriver that I never use because of its pitiful performance with 4 AA NiMH)

    While I agree that you can get a “better” drill/screwdriver for the price, that isn’t what this is about. This is about learning engineering with a hands-on approach and getting exactly what you want at the price you want to pay.

    Face the fact that the exact features or format you need is probably not available (if you are as picky as me), and modifying is probably the best option.

    All this guy needs to do is move up to Li-Ion power (I suggest using commercially available battery packs though) and use epoxy and fiberglass for the external mod, then it will look great and weigh less. (I am not saying the bearings and gears will last, but for $30 you can get spares from a new drill when they do go.)

    This seems relevant: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=2294060756803022552

    Maybe Hackaday could contact Tim Hunkin and get an interview? That would be epic and cool.

  14. Max Power says:

    In this day and age, who needs to rebuild a hand power drill? Most models are cheap enough that the run-of-the-mill 18v cordless are very disposable!

  15. The best feature of my drill is the keyless chuck and adjustable torque setting. I also enjoy the fast charger and backup battery.

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