There are a large number of methods commercially used to bore a hole into the ground for the sake of extracting drinking water, and the all require big loud equipment. But what if you just want a small well? Do you really have to call in the big guns? [The Working Group on Development Techniques] is a student association at the University of Twente in the Netherlands who shows in the video below the break that some simple homemade fixtures and a powerful hand drill are quite enough to do the job!
Chief among these fixtures is a swiveling mechanism that serves to hold the drill and its weight, give control over the drill, and inject water into the pipe that the drill bit is attached to. Plans for the swivel are made available on [WOT]’s website. What looks to be a DIY drill bit uses commercially available diamond tips for hardness.
What makes the video remarkable is that it discusses every stage of drilling the bore hole, lining it with casing, and then making it suitable for pumping water from. The video also discusses the chemicals and methods involved in successfully drilling the hole, and gives an overview of the process that also applies to commercially drilled wells.
Naturally you’ll want to make sure your drill is corded so that you can drill for long periods, but also so that it doesn’t grow wings and fly away!
It’s almost hard to remember a time when the obvious answer to most questions about manufacturing wasn’t “Throw it on the CNC.” CNC machines have become so entrenched that the acronym has become a verb; few people would misunderstand a statement like “Let’s just CNC that.”
But before CNC machines became so ubiquitous, there were plenty of clever tricks for cutting material in a controlled fashion, as [Pask] shows us with this tool to machine wood for inlays. The tool is called a parser (or passer) drill, and is designed for use in conjunction with a steel template. [Pask]’s version seems pretty easy to make; a pair of mild steel bars are forged flat into spade shapes before having a cutting surface ground into them. The two halves of the drill are welded together and ground down to fit in the chuck of a hand drill, a modern nod to the fact that few people will want to use the traditional bow and breastplate that drove the original parser drills.
In use, a steel template that determines the shape of the inlay is affixed to the workpiece. The cutting edges of the bits are plunged into the template cutout to machine out the wood; the overhangs of the bits act as depth stop and guide. It only takes a few seconds to make a neat, CNC-free inlay. The video below shows the tool being made and in action.
It’s nice to see what can be accomplished without the need for fancy CNC machines. Not that we have anything against them, of course, but when the same results can be had with some scraps of steel and a little ingenuity, it’s pretty impressive. Looking for something between manual tools and CNC for woodworking? The pantorouter might be just your speed.
There’s a military adage that no plan survives first contact with the enemy. While we haven’t gone to war with Mars, at least not yet, it does seem to be a place where the best-laid scientific plans are tested in the extreme. And the apparent failure of Perseverance to retrieve its first Martian core sample is yet another example of just how hard it is to perform geotechnical operations on another planet.
To be sure, a lot about the first sampling operation went right, an especially notable feat in that the entire process is autonomous. And as we’ve previously detailed, the process is not simple, involving three separate robotic elements that have to coordinate their operations perfectly. Telemetry indicates that the percussive drill on the end of the 2.1 m robotic arm was able to use its hollow coring bit to drill into the rock of Jezero crater, and that the sample tube inside the coring bit was successfully twisted to break off the core sample.
But what was supposed to happen next — jamming of the small core sample inside the sample tube — appears not to have happened. This was assessed by handing the sample tube off to the Sample Handling Arm in the belly of Perseverance, where a small probe is used to see how much material was recovered — none, in this case. NASA/JPL engineers then began a search for the problem. Engineering cameras didn’t reveal the core sample on the Martian surface, meaning the sample handling robots didn’t drop it. The core sample wasn’t in the borehole either, which would have meant the camming mechanism designed to retain the core didn’t work. The borehole, though, looked suspicious — it appears not to be deep enough, as if the core sample crumbled to dust and packed into the bottom of the hole.
If this proves to be the cause of the failure, it will be yet another example of Martian regolith not behaving as expected. For InSight, this discovery was a death knell to a large part of its science program. Thankfully, Perseverance can pick up and move to better rock, which is exactly what it will be doing in September. They still have 42 unused sample tubes to go, so here’s to better luck next time.
There are several important decisions you make in your life: Coke or Pepsi; vi or emacs; PC or Mac. But, lately, you need to pick a battery ecosystem for your tools. DeWalt? Black & Decker? Or just cheapies from Harbor Freight? But what happens when your vendor of choice changes their batteries? That’s the situation [jleslie48] found when a DeWalt 14.4V battery died. All the new tools require 18V batteries, so buying an old battery for one tool didn’t make sense. Time to literally hack the old tool to accept the new battery.
Presumably, nothing in the drill will mind the higher voltage. It is all a matter of mechanics and nothing a Dremel tool won’t fix. Since the tool was old and the 18V batteries relatively new, [jleslie48] decided to limit modifications to the tool only leaving the batteries intact for use with the newer tools.
The only problem once you remove the pins and clips that interfere with the battery fit, it won’t actually stay on the drill. We might have turned to duct tape or zip ties, but bungee cord works, too, as you can see in the finished product.
Honestly, though, the bungee is good because you can stretch it to remove the battery for charging. We might have just cannibalized the drill for its motor, but next time you have a tool with no battery, it might be worth looking to see if you could modify the tool.
The build is very much of the “parts laying around the shop” genre. An old skateboard deck was fitted with nice rubber scooter wheels and a set of handlebars thanks to a series of 3D printed parts. Unfortunately, the first revision had problems with flex in the skateboard deck, which isn’t designed to take the full weight of an adult human standing on one leg. Another skateboard deck was pressed into service, reinforced with a metal pipe for added strength.
From there, [Alexandre] set about creating a front-wheel-drive system using a power drill, several shaft extensions, and a right-angle drive. Clamped to the handlebar tube, the drill’s trigger is controlled via a twist throttle linked up by a string.
It’s not the easiest scooter to ride, with a bit too much torque from a standing start and somewhat scary handling characteristics at times. However, we’re sure with some practice and some tweaks, [Alexandre] will have a useful ride on his hands. If you prefer something wilder, however, consider this walking scooter build. Video after the break.
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]!
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.