michael mott

Micro Drill Press

32 posts in this topic

It has been a busy couple of week but I wanted to be able to drill small holes with very small drills in metal using the 3/32 shank and 1/8th shank drills.

After looking around at what is available I decided I would build my own.

 

It went through a number of iterations during the build

 

Capture2011.thumb.JPG.0aa6a8369c502be94f1b1a00a16a92ed.JPG

The first version had a round quill but i was not happy with it so went for a square one with a dovetail slide.

 

Capture2012.thumb.JPG.af9ebd9396425891c331efe3add4e0ff.JPG

The other thing i was not happy about was the mistake of putting the rack at the front, this created an issue of direction so added a second pinion, needless to say is was beginning to feel like a rabbit hole that was getting deeper.

 

This is the current state of the press the motor is a 9v dc one and seems to have enough Jam for the tiny drills.

 

Capture2042.thumb.JPG.ffec1423113d82f4993ddab7de9ee87b.JPG

 

Capture2043.thumb.JPG.863b2ad3ddbb20989fccc05d90abaa06.JPG

 

I have been drawing it up as a design build and making the changes as things change.

 

Michael

 

 

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Very nice Michael, and it does EXACTLY what you want it to do with precision (and a lot cheaper than buying one also I bet :))

 

cheers

 

Pat

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Very impressive, looks much better than anything I have seen commercially. I have been looking at the proxxon ones and they simply don't compare.

Regards Richard

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Hello Michael

 

I thought you might like more detail about my approach. Like you I didn't like the commercially available units.

 

The press was designed around my micro drill (now very old - at least 25 years).

 

DSC05016.thumb.JPG.2ee44b9d9cc37a9a754d9931797a2939.JPG

The base is the face plate off the lathe - rarely used with the lathe.

 

The main column is the central rising shaft from a broken camera tripod ( the legs are still waiting to be made into a 3rd hand ). If you look you will see the pinion gear which engages the rack. It was originally part of the hand lever which raised and lowered the rack.

 

The horizontal plates at the top and bottom of the rack are rigidly attached to the rack and they carry, and are rigidly attached to, the vertical bar which sits to the right of the rack. This forms a very rigid structure on to which the sliding frame which carries the drill sits.

 

DSC05017.thumb.JPG.bc58b6f4b11df56700ae26991cda2385.JPG

 

What is a bit odd about this arrangement is that the 3 armed handle for raising and lowering the drill actually goes up and down with the drill.

 

The photos are probably clearer than my explanation. 

 

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Interesting how the same problem can spin off many solutions. Not quite as elegant as yours but it works and appeals to my need for recycling.

 

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Until I had seen this thread I hadn't considered making my own but how easy to make without a milling machine etc?.

That looks good Keith.

Regards Richard

 

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Oh, Michael. You've been tinkering again! I had to smile, though.

 

I used to own a vintage Dumore sensitive drill press which I reconditioned. However, I never really used it, so sold it some years ago. Now, if it had been more like your design....

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Beautiful work as usual, Michael.  You never cease to amaze me.  I agree with Mark, you need to come out of Retirement and start a tool company.

 

 

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On 17.3.2017 at 0:23 AM, michael mott said:

It has been a busy couple of week but I wanted to be able to drill small holes with very small drills in metal using the 3/32 shank and 1/8th shank drills.

After looking around at what is available I decided I would build my own.

 

It went through a number of iterations during the build

 

Capture2011.thumb.JPG.0aa6a8369c502be94f1b1a00a16a92ed.JPG

The first version had a round quill but i was not happy with it so went for a square one with a dovetail slide.

 

Capture2012.thumb.JPG.af9ebd9396425891c331efe3add4e0ff.JPG

The other thing i was not happy about was the mistake of putting the rack at the front, this created an issue of direction so added a second pinion, needless to say is was beginning to feel like a rabbit hole that was getting deeper.

 

This is the current state of the press the motor is a 9v dc one and seems to have enough Jam for the tiny drills.

 

Capture2042.thumb.JPG.ffec1423113d82f4993ddab7de9ee87b.JPG

 

Capture2043.thumb.JPG.863b2ad3ddbb20989fccc05d90abaa06.JPG

 

I have been drawing it up as a design build and making the changes as things change.

 

Michael

 

 

Wow!

Michael now thats a fine tool, amazing how you are able to transfer your thoughts into smart toolery .....;)

Well done.

 

Nils

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Hello everyone, thanks for the warm and encouraging remarks. The funny thing is that when I left school I started a tool-making apprenticeship but did not finish it for a number of reasons, not least of which the apprentices in the place I worked used us to do repetitive production work which was outside of the purview of learning, but served the management.

 

So here I am 50+ years later making tools.

 

I am happy building a few tools at a time the problem solving aspect of it keeps my mind active, and because all my tools are manual (no CNC) I find the concentration on each task sort of meditative and peaceful.

I have been struggling with a rather nasty cold/flue bug this past two weeks so working has been hard to do, but I have to keep going.

 

I have finished that main aspects of the micro drill and here are a few quick pictures of it. All that is left to do is to ad a small cable to the power tabs on the motor.

I added a second leaf spring to the quill and it is much more responsive.

 

IMG_2083x1024.jpg.102f905eac4f47eb58708258bf0d707f.jpg

The bar laying in front is a simple screwdriver that was an afterthought while trying to tighten the thumbscrews next to the pillar, so I slotted all of screws as well.

The XY table was challenging to say the least. I had to make a T slot cutter in order to be able to clamp the vice or remove it and clamp work to the table.

The XY table is held in place with the front brass thumbscrews and the holes in the base of the drill are spaced at 1 inch intervals front to back.

 

IMG_2086x1024.jpg.32623a6f10b42a4ab7b771f074aec46c.jpg

There are things that will no doubt need some form of improvement, and I will find out about them as I use it. The trickiest part is being able to use the dial indicators instead of micrometer dials on the XY table.

 

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The front dial is attached to a 1/2 inch square bar that clamps to the base and is very adjustable, the rear dial less so.

 

IMG_2085x1024.jpg.2d449f0987760dd708f851eabc93ea0b.jpg

 

I will take some better pictures in the daylight tomorrow.

 

Michael

   

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Wonderful work Michael, I really like your machine tools and would like to steal a couple of ideas for my own machines too.

I have an Optimum BF20 Vario milling machine, which I am very satisfied, but one thing bothers me when using tiny milling cutters or drill bits: The chuck which should be the most accurate available for this machine, is not running completely true. I have used also small collets which run better, but are not always convenient when changing the drilling bit, because at the same time you have to change the collet too. So my question: Which chuck are you using with your micro drill press, and how accurately is it running?

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Thanks for the compliments Mark and  Aviaamator

Good morning Moxis.

I like the machine that you have.

Regarding the collets and chuck I generally find that collets are more accurate than 3 jaw chucks. The reason I built this small drill press was to overcome the issue that you describe.

I began with the premise that very small drills come with one of two basic Shank Diameters   this is using the imperial system which is common for me the 3mm and 2.35mm shanks are the metric equivalents.

 

IMG_8609x1024.jpg.6dc0cf0e6b98b5286e19bedeeb50894f.jpg

 

The quill shaft is turned from some 3/8 (10mm) drill rod or tool steel I used the 4 jaw chuck to ensure that the rod was concentric with the Lathe axis. the chuck end was threaded using the lathe cutting a 3/8 x 24 thread (common thread size for a lot of small drill chucks) then the end was drilled and reamed to 1/4 inch for about 1 inch to accept one of the two collets one being 3/32  and the other 1/8th

 

IMG_8604x1024.jpg.9846c24b843d1739b1323b287cd570d4.jpg

 

The collets are turned from some 1/4 inch drill rod and the cross slit with the slitting saw with a .010" blade width. I made the collet to function in the same way that a Dremel collet works by being trapped at a dead end with the closing collar pinching down the conical section. The angle of the cone is 15 degrees I relieved the bottom end of the collets in order to give a little more spring to them. The collets were hardened and tempered for springs.

 

IMG_8603x1024.jpg.186fa4a2f808abb685bfbab257ebb264.jpg

 

The closing collar is made from some brass hex stock and threaded with a bottoming tap then the hole through the nose end was drilled out to .154" (#25drill) and them reamed with a cone reamer that was made to the same angle as the collet.

 

 

 

IMG_8606x1024.jpg.848587397fac1e8363d07aae995965ef.jpg

IMG_8607x1024.jpg.601a4d02003560d082f0cf786eb3880b.jpg

 

I have the option of using the 3 jaw chuck but most likely will only be using the 2 collets.

 

I have been able to drill with the smallest drill in this set through brass without any difficulty and the drills run true.

as soon as I get the wiring harness finished i will be doing a lot more testing.

 

I hope this answers your question.

 

Michael

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Thanks Druxey, I did  quick test with the .05mm drill (.019") which is still pretty large as micro holes go but am pleased with the results in some .062" thick brass.

 

IMG_8610x1024.jpg.c7961289f2ee61775a42806aa7b8e58b.jpg

 

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4 holes spaced .040" apart now to finish the 1/8th collet so i can test the #78 drill bits.

 

Michael

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Is it really a drill press? :) Looks like a mill, if the bearings are good enough to handle some lateral forces?

And it is a damn nice mill! There is something charming in a hand-made tools (not DIY level, but this work-of-a-true-craftsman level). There is always some story behind it, one looks on that drill/mill and visualises a man with a glass of whiskey, sitting next to the fireplace and drafting the sketches of the machine :) Cheers!

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Bob thanks

6 minutes ago, Mike Y said:

Is it really a drill press? :) Looks like a mill, if the bearings are good enough to handle some lateral forces?

Mike yes it really is only a drill press, I would have done a few things differently if it were going to be a mill, now that you mention it maybe down the road I might make a small mill.

 

Jack thanks

 

I just finished the 1/8th collet and set to drilling with the #80 drill bit the smallest I have 2 holes .040" apart The first attempt i was a bit too aggressive with the feed down and broke the drill in the hole.... could have been a faulty bit........;);)

 

The second bit worked well and I was much more gentle with the feed.

 

IMG_8617x1024.jpg.7b2274a3f5fd5b6e300c440bde0fc4e5.jpg

 

The thing I like the most about this drill is that I can barely hear it. I probably wont be drilling too many #80 holes but it is good to know that the drill can handle it.

 

Michael

 

 

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Very nice Michael

 

Have you considered butchering some cheap digital callipers rather than using the dial gauges. I used to use dial gauges on the lathe longitudinal travel until I took the step of of bolting on a digital calliper. I wouldn't go back to a dial gauge now.

 

Sorry you are under the weather and hope you get well soon.

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1 minute ago, KeithAug said:

Have you considered butchering some cheap digital calipers rather than using the dial gauges.

Hi Keith I have one digital caliper and do not like it, I guess I am just an old analog guy, that said I do have three dial calipers fitted to my mill in the shop a cheap man's DRO

 

Of course I had to try the milling thing on it and immediately discovered that I do not have any means of locking the quill down nor do I have it set up to measure the depth. (I see another dial in the works)

I did at first made a swipe on the brass it worked but I did not want to go any further because of the aforementioned issue.

So a 1/4 inch scrap of Castello Boxwood was substituted...... I can see that I am going to have to make a couple of modifications to the quill control.

 

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This is encouraging because I had not thought about it as a mill drill, only a drill.

 

Michael

 

 

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Oh Keith, I love the digital age as well.... where would photography be if we were still using developer trays... and the camera technology is amazing. I just like seeing the whole day on the clock face, I can look at it and know that there is about enough of the day left to get this done . 6:35pm just doesn't convey the sense of the day to me, same with the dials.

 

Off to add a little tweak to the quill.

 

Michael 

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Michael I was taken aback by this latest work of yours. Working in wood is one thing but to have a given talent and skill to work in metal is something many of us do not have. Your designs, as well, are truly an inspiration. Appreciate your sharing this with all. You set a very high bar!!!!!

Joe

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Thanks Michael for a very comprehensive explanation about making your collet system. Your skills for metalwork are beyond mine, so I have to rely on the purchased equipment. I have a set of ER16 collets which are not used very much so far, but inspired about your writing, have to be considered seriously again. I think the key to resolve my problem is to use those drill bits with 1/4 " shanks, so that when changing the drill diameter, the shank of it and the collet remains unchanged. The smallest milling/drilling cutter I have is a 0,3 mm one, with which I have managed to drill a hole or two with very careful feeding of the quill, but breaking of the cutter has been very near due to the poor quality of the chuck.

Another story is the rotation speed of the machine, which in my case is also very limited, but would be the reason to adopt that high quality small dc motor, which rotates easily 50.000 or more rpm.

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This may not apply to your drill press, but then again it may, and for

a mill design even more so:

a limitation is throat depth - having more than you need is better than

not having enough.  Material cost, racking forces, and machine foot print

are practical restrictions, but I like to over engineer things.

 

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6 hours ago, Jaager said:

This may not apply to your drill press, but then again it may, and for

a mill design even more so:

a limitation is throat depth - having more than you need is better than

not having enough.  Material cost, racking forces, and machine foot print

are practical restrictions, but I like to over engineer things.

Jaager very true, but because i have a large mill drill that can do all that I need regarding the big stuff after all I used it to build this micro drill/mill.

 

I should have the quill adjusting control finished by the end of the day.

IMG_8621x1024.jpg.4d0844dfea6a4d6a95862e9f6c18dcd8.jpg

 

I copied the same mechanism that is used on my large mill pretty simple the toughest part was rooting through the gear scrap box to find a matching worm and gear.

 

IMG_8622x1024.jpg.c954ab3feb64e59b94bd825a8d01f2c4.jpg

 

IMG_8623x1024.jpg.1e2cff7f6040a69bdacec0ee7fb3ca0c.jpg

 

One minor irritation is that I followed the drawings I have been doing and the pivoting holder at the pillar end is a little too high because I had lowered the quill gear by .055" for some reason while doing that work but did not update the drawing so the shaft is not parallel to the horizontal when engaged. An easy enough fix it means having to cut the shaft of the pivot and shifting it by .055 vertically an re attaching it. so that the shaft is then offset from the centre. I had thought about turning a new one with the shaft offset, but cutting it off and resetting it is easier and since there is not a lot of strain on the part it makes sense rather than making a whole new piece.

 

Michael

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