rotary-tool-drill-press to Drill-Press conversion

Definitely a hack-job, but now I can drill-press holes up to and exceeding 1/2in!

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Using stuff in my collection, nothing purchased!

A few interesting techniques and whatnots learnt during this process:

Some bolts are self-tapping (!?)... Awesome. Look for cut-out flutes and a tapered-end.

Computer slot-covers are quite handy little strips of metal... They come in various materials, some more malleable than others, some aluminum, others with ridges for structural-purposes.

I needed to attach roller-wheels to the particle-board surface, as, otherwise, the drill could rotate with the rack(/pinion). The original rotary-tool mount had a bracket with an upright thing that prevented too much rotation (but quite a lot was still allowed). That upright thing had to be removed for this attachment.

Because only one bolt is used to hold the wheel-mount, and because the bracket lost some width due to wrapping around the rack, the bracket flexes a bit at the distant-side. So I added the upright "band", as seen here, for some added-support

Doing-so was interesting... I don't have a welder. So I set my soldering iron to its highest setting which was just enough to run a hefty bead on each edge. Wasn't sure what I was going to do to melt those two beads together, though. It was difficult to heat both materials with the bead separating them from their resting-position. Then it hit me... I wanted to "reflow" the solder-beads together, right? And how do most 1337 Haxorz reflow [PCBs]? In the oven!

Well, I don't want all those fumes lining my oven, and I just happen to have acquired a whole bunch of pots and pans, more than I could ever cook with. So I set it in a stainless-steel pot, didn't even bother trying to clamp 'em. Covered with a bit of aluminium-foile, and turned the stove-burner on high. A bit later there was quite a bit of smoke (definitely open the windows and use a fan for something like this!). A bit later the smoke had dissipated... about 20 minutes in I checked it and much to my surprise the thing aligned itself quite nicely and made a beautiful fillet.

Very cool technique for the future bag-o-tricks!

This particular bracket still flexes a little bit at the far-wheel, but it's certainly better and the rotation is on-par with the amount the rotary-tool setup had... It could probably be improved, still.

The bottom of the mount is attached to the "rack's" bolt via plain ol' L-bracket, where the original rotary-tool mount was bolted.

The top was a bit more difficult. I found an L-shaped bolt-clamp thing originally used to clamp a lamp to a desk-top. Did some bending so it'd grab the "rack". Actually tried two different bends before deciding a straight-up U is obviously the right choice. Well, it's almost a U.

The spacer is three pieces, a bolt and a nut, and the third plastic piece was from an old stroller I scrapped years ago. It's hard to describe at the moment... The bolt-head is just clamped against the surface (no drilling necessary), and the nut makes it adjustable to get everything as square as possible.

The right-angle drill-attachment had a wooden handle that was held in with a single bolt. I unscrewed the handle and used that bolt-point to attach it to the plywood. But it wasn't difficult to rotate the whole attachment around that bolt. But there's a flat surface. I used two pieces of steel(?) cut from a square-shaft originally used to drive the paper-feed grippers in an old dot-matrix printer. I also had a similar piece of aluminum, but didn't want it to flex too much.

I planned on using 6-32 bolts for fine-adjustment, but couldn't wrap my head around the necessity for cutting-fluid (and the expected mess)... and, suffice-to-say, I got the tap all the way through the first hole (but not fully-threaded) before the tap broke. Thankfully there was enough of the tap remaining to grab-hold of for removal.

So I went up a size and used vegetable-oil as cutting-fluid and, of course, it was a *much* smoother process. (In case you're like me, and need to know "why" before being convinced "that"... my theory is that the "cutting" fluid doesn't actually aid in *cutting* at all,...

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  • 1 × Rotary Tool "Drill-Press" stand Craftsman. Remove rotary-tool mount.
  • 1 × Right-Angle drill-attachment Whoo digity, lucky I had this in my collection. Has a shaft on one side to chuck in a drill, and its own (large) chuck 90degrees away. Had to file-down the shaft to fit my drill.
  • 1 × ~ 8inx4in Particle Board From an old shelf
  • 1 × Adjustable "L" bolt-clamp originally used to clamp a lamp to a desktop
  • 2 × Computer Slot-Covers Solderable material... not aluminium! Cut and bent.

View all 10 components

  • Making a tap, angle-brackets, and a screw-driven linear-axis.

    Eric Hertz12/11/2015 at 06:46 0 comments

    I needed a tap... didn't have the right size/threading...

    Inspired by the self-tapping bolts I found earlier, I tried to make one, myself... and it works, amazingly well, with aluminium, anyhow.

    (I tried a *much* smaller one, which worked great for about half the depth and, of course, broke off).

    I think this one's 10-32

    Here's the setup:

    The idea was to cut the flutes at an angle such that the lowest on the "tap" would cut first.. I don't know why, but this made sense to me. So I set up this jig aligned at a slight upwards angle (hard to see in the image). Also, attempted to align the cut so it would be sharper than 90-degrees. The dremmel is rotated into the bolt. The first cut was darn-near perfect as far as the <90-degree cutting-edge, but the next two came at different angles. Also, I think I got it backwards as far as lowest-cutting-edge-first. Despite that, it's worked great for many taps.

    With it chucked in the "drill press" I spun it for a bit to file a slight angle... The intent was to get the tip down to the "bottoms" of the threads, but not much deeper.

    It's hard to see, here, but somewhat apparent that my dremmel-jig didn't assure <90-degree cuts...

    And here's a tap that it did... This is a cutting of an old hard-disk case to be used as a right-angle bracket (another can be seen under the dremmel-jig)

    I tapped *8* of these dang holes with that single 10-32 bolt, in the thickest parts I could find on my "angle brackets"... I also tapped two plates to be used to move a linear-carriage along threaded-rod.

    I bloodied up my knuckles several times as the flat-head screwdriver slipped out of the screw-head, before I realized the ultimate solution was to slice two sides off the circular screw-head and use that in a crescent-wrench. Guess I didn't take a picture of that... but...

    Here's the "Much Smaller" one... I don't know its size, maybe 4-40?

    You can see the sliced-off sides, for using in a crescent-wrench, and the aluminum(?) ring (from a hard-disk) in which it broke...

    Here's the linear-system, and my "machine-shop." You can see the angle-brackets installed in the system.

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Stefan Lochbrunner wrote 11/27/2015 at 16:02 point

Nice! Makes me think of doing a drill-press to rotary-tool-drill-press conversion, just because. XD

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Eric Hertz wrote 11/27/2015 at 17:10 point


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