Put A Hardened Edge On Mild Steel With Just A Drill Bit. Sort Of.

People have been working metal for so long that the list of tips and tricks is now nearly infinite. So it’s always a joy to pick up a new trick, especially one as simple as putting a hardened edge on mild steel using a drill bit as a filler rod.

This tip comes to us by way of [Jody], aka “The Weldmonger” on YouTube. Subscribing to his channel is a sure way to keep your welding ego in check; you may be good, but [Jody] is better, and he’s willing to share as much of his experience in video format as possible. For this tip, he starts with a cheap chipping hammer, the universal welder’s tool that helps remove the glass-like slag that forms during shielded-metal arc welding, or what’s commonly known as stick welding. The mild steel of the hammer makes it hard to keep an edge, so [Jody] pulled out his TIG welder and laid down a bead on the cutting edge using an old drill bit as a fill rod. The video below shows the process in all its simplicity.

The tool steel of the drill bit is far harder than the mild steel of the hammer, but still soft enough to take an edge, and the resulting tool is much improved. We’ve seen something similar to this before, when hard-facing filler rod was built up on the edge of a mild steel slug to make a cutter for internal weld seams. We liked that hack, but knowing the same thing can be done with something we’ve all likely got in abundance in the shop is a neat trick. Thanks, [Jody]!

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This DIY Drill Press Is Very Well Executed

Plenty of projects we see here could easily be purchased in some form or other. Robot arms, home automation, drones, and even some software can all be had with a quick internet search, to be sure. But there’s no fun in simply buying something when it can be built instead. The same goes for tools as well, and this homemade drill press from [ericinventor] shows that it’s not only possible to build your own tools rather than buy them, but often it’s cheaper as well.

This mini drill press has every feature we could think of needing in a tool like this. It uses off-the-shelf components including the motor and linear bearing carriage (which was actually salvaged from the Z-axis of a CNC machine). The chassis was built from stock aluminum and bolted together, making sure to keep everything square so that the drill press is as precise as possible. The movement is controlled from a set of 3D printed gears which are turned by hand.

The drill press is capable of drilling holes in most materials, including metal, and although small it would be great for precision work. [ericinventor] notes that it’s not necessary to use a separate motor, and that it’s possible to use this build with a Dremel tool if one is already available to you. Either way, it’s a handy tool to have around the shop, and with only a few modifications it might be usable as a mill as well.

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Roll Your Own – Toilet Paper

Toilet paper has become a hot button issue over the last month or so, and the pandemic prompted panic buying, and consequent shortages. Now there are adequate supplies, at least where this is being written, but sometimes one’s rolls aren’t the domestic items we’re all used to. This happened to [Ebenezer], who had some of the large size rolls suitable for toilet roll dispensers rather than a domestic bathroom. To solve this problem he made a makeshift toilet roll winder.

The adventures of small dogs aside, we all know that toilet rolls unroll themselves very easily indeed but are a significant pain to get back on the roll once they have done so. Rolling toilet paper must therefore be an exact science of velocity and tension, which he approached with a 3D printed shaft that mounts a toilet roll tube in a Ryobi drill. Getting the tension right was a bit tricky, but we’re extremely impressed with the result. Like him we’d have expected some side-to-side movement, but there was very little and a near perfect toilet roll was the result.

This is a simple hack, but one extremely well executed, and that it does something we might normally consider near-impossible is a bonus. Of course, should you wish to ration your toilet paper, you can always print it.

Printed It: Collet Drill Stop

You’d think that being quarantined in your home would be perfect for hackers and makers like us, as we all have a project or two that’s been sitting on the back burner because we didn’t have the time to tackle it. Unfortunately, some are finding that the problem now is actually getting the parts and tools needed to do the job. When there’s a bouncer and a line outside the Home Depot like it’s a nightclub on Saturday night, even the simplest of things can be difficult to source when making in the time of COVID.

Which is exactly the situation I found myself in recently when I needed to drill a bunch of holes to the same depth. The piece was too big to put in the drill press, and while I contemplated just wrapping the bit in some tape to serve as a makeshift stop, I wasn’t convinced it would be accurate or repeatable enough. It occurred to me that a set of drill stop collars would be easy enough to design and 3D print, but before I fired up OpenSCAD, I decided to see what was already available online.

Which is how I found the “Collet Drill Stop” from Adam Harrison. Rather than the traditional ring and setscrew arrangement, his design uses a printable collet that will clamp down on the bit at an arbitrary position without tools. So not only could I avoid a trip to the store by printing this design out, it looked like it would potentially be an upgrade over what I would have bought.

Of course, it’s wise not to take anything for granted when dealing with 3D printing. The only way I could be sure that Adam’s design would work for me was to commit it to plastic and try it out.

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Motorized Inline Skates Run On Makita Power

Inline skates can be fun, but like most wheeled contraptions, they’re even better when motorized. With just such a goal in mind, [The Real Life Guys] decided to whip up a set of powered skates, running on Makita power!

To get power to the ground, the third wheel on each skate is modified to have a sprocket attached. A Makita drill is then fitted to the skate, transferring power to the wheel through a 90-degree gearbox and a chain drive. The drill is controlled by removing the trigger from the shell and hooking it up with an extended cable.

It’s a lairy setup that probably takes serious practice to use effectively, but does allow for fancy tricks like differential steering if you really want to show off. It’s a great example of using a powerdrill as an all-inclusive motion setup, with the battery, motor and drivetrain already integrated in a neat, tidy package. It’s not the first time we’ve seen a powered set of ‘skates, either! Video after the break.

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Drill Thrice, Solder Once

If you design printed circuit boards, then you will have also redesigned printed circuit boards. Nobody gets it right the first time, every time. Sometimes you can solder a scrap of 30gauge wire, flip a component 180°, or make a TO-92 transistor do that little pirouette thing where the legs go every-which-way. If you angered the PCB deities, you may have to access a component pad far from an edge. [Nathan Seidle], the founder of Sparkfun, finds himself in this situation, but all hope is not lost.

Our first thought is to desolder everything, then take a hot iron and tiny wires to each pad. Of course, this opens up a lot of potential for damage to the chip, cold joints, and radio interference. Accessing the pin in vivo has risks, but they are calculated. The idea is to locate the pin, then systematically drill from the backside and expose the copper. [Nate] also discovers that alcohol will make the PCB transparent so you can peer at the underside to confirm you have found your mark.

In a real, “fight fire with fire” idea, you can rework with flex PCBs or push your PCB Fu to the next level and use PCBs as your enclosure.

Cordless Drill Sprouts Wings And Takes Flight

Brushless motors and lithium batteries were a revolution for remote control aircraft. No longer would nitro engines rule the roost, as flying became far cheaper and more accessible almost overnight. The same technology has also found its way into power tools, leading to [Peter Sripol] deciding to build a powerdrill into a flying aircraft in this video, embedded below.

An unmodified DeWalt drill is the heart of the build, serving as the propulsion unit of the craft. A servo is used to actuate the drill’s trigger to serve as the throttle. As power drills are geared down significantly compared to a typical hobby brushless motor, it was necessary to use a much larger prop than would be usual. This was custom machined out of wood with the help of [William Osman], and despite some mishaps, came out (mostly) in one piece. The airframe consists of foam wings with poplar spars, and an aluminium extrusion serves as the tail boom. A few 3D printed parts then tie everything together.

Despite the weight of the drill, the hacked-together craft is able to fly quite easily. The large wings and propeller help to make up for the shortcomings of the powertrain. Unfortunately, there wasn’t quite enough surplus lift to carry a payload of smartphones to capture in-flight footage, but overall the project could be considered a resounding success.

We’ve seen [Peter]’s work before, too – sometimes even putting himself in the pilots seat! Video after the break.

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