Jump to content

Electric drill for modelling


Recommended Posts

Hey all

 

I seem to have arthritis spreading throughout my body, and at times when modelling my hands start to ache.  Particularly when drilling stuff with a pin vice.  I have considered buying a Tamiya Electric Handy Drill kit, #74041, however it seems a bit limited due to the fact it only takes up to a 3mm bit, and reviewers say the collets don't take really small bits very well, plus it's battery powered so you can guarantee when you come to use it the batteries will be dead...

 

I have a Dremel 3000, but I know it's too fast, even on the slowest speed, to use for drilling plastics with small bits.

 

So, I'm wondering if there are any (relatively cheap) alternatives out there - advice/suggestions would be appreciated?

 

Thanks in advance.

Edited by RobL
Link to post
Share on other sites

I have one of these. I run it off a model train transformer for variable speed.

In fact it's my second one, I forget why the first one died.

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Mini-Electric-Drill-Grinding-Set-12V-DC-Grinder-Tool-for-Milling-Polishing-UK/324311943349?hash=item4b827f88b5:g:jWcAAOSwoAZfcacz

Link to post
Share on other sites

What Frank said. I do exactly the same. I have a Minicraft 12v drill with a collet, which will except up to about 5mm, and also down to .4mm. I run it through a model railway transformer so that I can vary the speed. So if you are happy with your present drill, but not it's speed, save yourself the trouble (and expense) of a new one, and pick up a controller. You might even be able to get one second hand.

 

John.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks guys.

 

I'm not sure using a speed controller with my Dremel would work, it has a standard UK 3 pin plug and cable on it and is 230v/130w.  My limited electrics knowledge tells me that it wouldn't be possible to convert it to 12v DC just by plugging it into a speed controller.

 

I have however just come across this video on youtube -

 

 

 

I think building one of those, and buying the 12v grinder tool bentwaters81tfw linked to would be my best route to go.  Should cost less than £30.  Might be even less because I have an old rotacraft "multitool" and that has a DC power brick I think, so I'm thinking that I might be able to use that.

 

My thinking is that I don't even need the wall plug the guy in that video uses, I can use the Rotacraft multitool DC power brick, buy a male/female pair of connectors, and connect the speed controller between the power brick and the multitool and use it that way...

 

Although I would like something with a variable size chuck, not a collet system.

Edited by RobL
Link to post
Share on other sites

Not for the unknowing to do; you can put a resistor into the 'live' side of the power input to reduce the speed.

Not enough really for plastic work though.

 

An alternative is to search out a mini-drill type thing in the 'beauty' or 'nails' section of £1 type shops. They are mini drills running off a single AA battery. They come with one or more small grinding bits. Meant for preparing ladies nails for glue and artwork. The 'jaws' for holding the bit is plastic so any pressure makes the bit stop.

I'm converting one to take a mini drill bit chuck and a resistor to get the motor speed well down.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have this Dremel unit. I've had it for at least 20 years now. After purchase, I soon added the flexi-shaft and the speed controller. 

I can slow it down to almost zero speed. Now, I haven't used it for really small drill bits yet, but I'm quite sure I have a collet that would work.

 

 

39335201234_580bd6f338_b.jpg

 

50783674418_dce14145fa_b.jpg

 

 

 

 

Chris

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...
Posted (edited)

Just want to report back on this...

 

I have purchased the parts to make the speed controller in the video above, and I can confirm it works as a speed controller for my Rotacraft RC18 "multitool" using it's own power brick.  I set the the Rotacraft tool's own power dial to max, and it spins up from 0 at a speed which seems slower than normal and I can turn it right down (which is what is needed), although I've yet to try it with a drill bit as I seem to have mislaid the collets for it.  I did try to fit the chuck I've got on my Dremel 3000, but it seems the thread on the Rotacraft tool isn't the same so the chuck wouldn't fit.

 

But if anyone wants a simple and cheap speed controller buy the stuff described in that video, mine cost under £15 buying the electrics from eBay sellers, and required no soldering.  The box was a fiver though and isn't a great fit (I had to sand out the hole for the switch a bit and the hole for the female jack doesn't grip the female jack I bought like the guy shows his does in the video) but it's doing it's job.

Edited by RobL
Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a dremel clone and a proxxon, but for really slow work, I use this:

 

https://www.ikea.com/us/en/p/fixa-screwdriver-drill-lithium-ion-00196101/

Link to post
Share on other sites

Small update on this...

 

I bought a new set of collets.  And a chuck (didn't know one existed for the Rotacraft RC-18 until I went searching), one of these - https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/EXPO-12800-MINI-3-JAW-CHUCK-FOR-EXPO-ROTACRAFT-MINICRAFT-DRILLS/312622694476?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2060353.m2749.l2649.

 

And the old Rotacraft RC-18 multitool now works as a slow speed drill, although I do have to have the speed controller turned up quite a bit otherwise the multitool bogs down.  But it worked nicely on a piece of 1mm styrene sheet I used just now to test it.

 

Real test will be if I can drill out some gun barrels on a model I've got in progress...


Really happy now, I can forgo using the pin vise.  Thanks guys for pointing me in the direction of a railway speed controller.

Edited by RobL
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

As @RobL above, chucks are a godsend for your Dremel or Dremel-alike.  You can shove all sorts of things in without worrying about collet size.  I've got one on both my wired and wireless Dremels, and I wouldn't be without them.  BTW, the Lithium Ion powered Dremels can go quite a bit slower than the mains powered ones.  I picked up a Lion one first, and have had to repair it once or twice, as the way the winding are put on makes them liable to snap over time.  I eventally learned that they're not brilliant for tougher jobs, but have the advantage of low speed.  When I saw a bargain wired one, I bought that as a tougher one, and that one had the same issue with the windings.  I fixed them by pulling a winding off and re-soldering it, but it's definitely a weak point of their designs.  It doesn't help that they're also one of the more expensive ones on the market.  Pull your socks up Dremel! <_<

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi

 

I have a yellow mains powered Rotocraft. It has variable speed control on the side of it but doesn't go down slow enough.

My solution was to buy a plug in dimmer swith and use that to control the drill speed.  Works fine. Just set the drill speed to full on and adjust with the dimmer. I'm sure it'll work on your mains unit, and if not return it to Amazon. I did read that you have a solution now, just thought it might help others reading this thread wanting a cheap ready to go solution..

 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Mercury-DMR-1WHT-Plugin-Dimmer-Switch/dp/B000LAU04K/ref=asc_df_B000LAU04K/?tag=googshopuk-21&linkCode=df0&hvadid=232061105168&hvpos=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=5670455385235266214&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9045703&hvtargid=pla-613402341592&psc=1&th=1&psc=1

 

Alan

Edited by alanmac
Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...