Cheap but usefull PCB drill from broken electronics

In my opinion our society is built upon wasting. Buy, use than throw away. Every year million tons of harmful trash is thrown away or in better cases recycled. But even when recycling the raw materials are reached out of them, the finished product is destroyed. Of course in industrial sizes this is the most efficient and only way of doing it.

As a student I can`t afford buying expensive tools for my hobby projects. For example, what about this post will tell, a small PCB drill which cost up to 15-25$ if bought from a store. So if it is possible I make my own tools. In this post I am going to talk about a small, inexpensive PCB drill with changeable drill bits. Building this thing cost me about $1,5 and half an hour. It can run from a 12V and 2 amps power supply.

Here is the parts list:

  1. 1 x small 12v dc motor taken from a broken hairdryer
  2. 1 x small switch from a dead microwave owen
  3. pair of cables left from an old ATX – yellow and black
  4. some solder
  5. zip ties
  6. insulating tape
  7. DC jack
  8. old battery charger that can output from x volts to 12v and around 2 amps

This is how it looks in action:

The momentary switch was taped around the motor and the wires soldered to the terminals, at the other and of the cable there is a jack which helps connecting the drill to the power supply. On the rod of the motor there is a mount in which are placed the drill bits. The only things I had to buy were the drill bit mounting and the small drill bits.

When the drill was finished the testing phase was the next. I made small holes in things laying around my table, including two of my fingers. I had 3 types of drill bits for wood, it worked best with the smallest which is around 1 mm wide. I tried it on several surfaces like wood, plastic and of course on a PCB. Of course, it went through on anything even on thin copper.

The drill draws around 0.3 amps without load at 12 v, and around 1.5-2 amps when drilling depending on the hardness of the surface.