April 28, 2011

Power Tool Blog-A-Geddon: Volume One, Number One (Updated)


UPDATE: Two things....First, we didn't all conspire to use Milwaukee tools in our designs. We did that all independently of one another (and we actually all got a big kick out of it). It think it says a lot about how the three of us regard the Big Red Company.

The second thing is that Milwaukee saw the post and thought it was very cool (probably also liking the fact that we all used their tools in our designs). So they've decided to sponsor the contest by donating a brand new Milwaukee M12 3/8" Drill Driver (with Red Lithium batteries) to be the prize. With this new development, we're going to accept entries for another week, until Wednesday May 4th. A big thanks to our friends at Milwaukee for their generous donation.

Contrary to what you might think, we don't spend our days plotting the downfall of the other tool websites out there. In fact, we get along great with our compatriots in the tool writing sphere. We recently got to talking to a few of them (our homies at ProToolReviews and CopTool) and we decided it was time we all put our heads together on something. So here we are kicking off a soon-to-be ongoing series called the Power Tool Blog-A-Geddon. It's kind of like Thunderdome, but without weapons, Tina Turner, Master-Blaster, or the post-apocalyptic bondage clothing. In a way, it's actually nothing like Thunderdome. The Blog-A-Geddon basically includes two things, (of which only one is really of interest to you):

1) Our opinions.
2) Free stuff.

So here's the deal: a tool-related question is asked. We each come up with our own answers which are posted below. Then, you all get to either answer the question yourself or comment on our answers (in the comments section of this post). The best comment is going to win some tool that we've got kicking around the shop. We're not sure what yet, but it'll be something good, something in the $100+ range, like a nice laser level or a router, that kind of thing. We'll all pick a winner in a week (April 25th).

So the question is.....

What device, vehicle, object, etc would you like to see powered by a cordless drill and how would you do it?

And the answers are....

1. Jay Amstutz from CopTool:


When I heard the question I instantly remembered the vehicle that has taunted me as unbuildable when I was about 9 years old while playing with my Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle action figures. The toy was the "Cheapskate" fan driven skateboard powered by a small gasoline combustion motor. In a search on the interweb it appears there have been a few attempts at a propeller powered skateboard, one of which coincidentally came from a 9 year old (either much brighter than I was in the 4th grade, or his 30 something dad had the same toy I did).

Since we would need the most powerful drill motor available to achieve any real thrust I would probably use the new Milwaukee M28 Drill which has 750 in.lbs. of torque. With correct gearing there should be ample power to get the vehicle to decent speeds; the trick would be optimizing the fan blade size for the correct speed and torque. I like the idea of handheld throttle to control acceleration, ideally the machine would also have some sort of breaks controlled with the same handheld mechanism that maybe kicked in automatically if the rider fell off. In practice a simple foot peddle with plenty of rubber would be much more practical.

Our initial thought would be to get the blades from a 30" industrial fan but it's possible a 36" propeller from a belt driven fan might be required. We had looked at a Hougen 4:1 gear reducer for ½" drills (used in metal drilling) to get more torque to the fan however at a starting top speed of only 1500rpm the drill looks like it's much slower than 2500-3000rpm common in aircraft; then again we aren't trying to get air born. Using the gear housing backwards on the other hand, could work to speed it up but we would have to do some testing first.

I also like the idea of how wide the toy's base is; with the hopes of cracking 10mph a solid stable base would be very important. Using large Mountain Boarding pneumatic wheels, risers and trucks would be perfect suited and still allow for good turning at high and/or low speeds.

The front light, clearly essential for illuminating the sewers when you are a mutated adolescent reptile with a background in martial arts, could be powered by a second tool battery and some inner workings from an LED work light.

For the sake of actually being useful it would also be nice if the fan folded down onto the board for transport to events you might like to cruise around on your Fan Board. After writing all of this down now I am thinking we will actually have to build one, I mean if a 9 year old can do it.


Everett Snyder from ProToolReviews:


We've all seen the sissy little electric Razors and the recent Bosch Drill-powered Tricycle (for people who like to lay on their stomachs in a position that would make the most aggressively-stanced crotch-rocket look like a comfy Barcalounger)... but what about the Southern man? That's right, I'm talking about the NASCAR-watching, grits-eatin', fly fishin' redneck who works all day on the jobsite and spends his weekends getting his 'redneck' on out at the intercoastal. Yes, rather than rehash some stupid concept-drill-mobile that's been done over and over again, I've come up with a way to truly harness the power of a cordless drill efficiently and easily. And better yet... we can do it for real.

Ladies and gentlemen, may I introduce to you: the power drill speedboat. OK, "speed" boat may be a tad overkill, but why is it that all of my fishing buddies will spend over $600 on a trolling motor, mount and a deepcell battery? Why do that when you can accomplish far more torque - and way more satisfaction out of repurposing a tool you already carry around with you every day at work: the Milwaukee M28 Cordless Lithium-ion Right Angle Drill. With up to 1000 RPMs and almost 1100 in-lb of torque, this baby will drive a boat at speeds up to... well, we really have no idea, but with our proposed rig it's going to be faster than that crappy trolling motor that barely makes any noise and could double as one of those squeeze bottle fans you get at Sea World.

What we plan to do is take a 9-1/2" three-blade high performance (steep pitch) trolling motor prop and fasten it to an arbor. This would then be locked into the 1/2" chuck of a Milwaukee 48-06-2860 30-inch long 30 Degree Angle Drive Attachment which is then attached to our M28 Cordless Right Angle Drill. We would fab up a nifty mount that would use two large size hose clamps to attach it to the 30" long drill extension tube. Two c-clamps would hold the mount to the transom and allow for easy removal. This mount would allow us to not only steer the boat, but also control the tilt of the prop in the water just in case we get into some weeds or shallows. Being that this baby is running with almost 1100 in-lb of torque combined with our special prop, we expect our 12ft aluminum jon boat to be pretty quick out of the hole. Our top speed will only be limited by the maximum RPM of the drill. At the end of the day on the water, with a few quick turns of a few screws and clamps, the drill is ready to go back to work with you the next day.

Will it fly? Heck yeah, this baby will blow away everything else in the water... that's using a trolling motor... But regardless - the point is that we're using a drill to drive our boat. If that isn't totally cool then you need to spend some more time with the guys that drink a few cold ones and then say "hey, watch this" - you might just learn something.


Doug Mahoney from Tool Snob:


The device I'd like to see powered by a drill is a small jobsite microwave. If I walked on site with something like that, I'd be a superhero. Carpenters would be trying to get my autograph. Homeowners would be high-fiving me. The ladies would be loving it. Just think, no more cold coffee...no more cold pasta....cup of herbal tea on those nasty rainy afternoons. Simply put the food or beverage in, attach the drill to the motor drive nub that sticks out of the top of the unit, and hold the trigger for 30 seconds.

I'm well aware that a lot of jobs have their own on-site microwaves. But they're usually ancient machines that now leak powerful radiation all over anyone standing near them. Not to mention, have you ever seen the inside of a jobsite microwave? It usually looks like someone murdered Chef Boyardee with a dull hatchet. Really nasty. Mine would have a self-cleaning feature that gets engaged by sliding on an SDS-Plus adapter piece and attaching a rotary hammer to the motor drive.

As to how I would make something like this, the answer is simple. I would present the idea to Milwaukee Tools and let them run with it. Their combination of engineering eggheadery and their willingness to seemingly take any idea seriously would be all I'd need for the royalty checks to start pouring in. I've already contacted a few patent attorneys so that my idea is protected in the inevitable event that Milwaukee adapts it to their 12-volt line as well.

I've also already hired a few top-level designers who have put together the initial drawings (above).

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Posted by Doug Mahoney at April 28, 2011 7:30 PM
Recent Comments

Awesome post, what about combining one of the microwaves or toaster ovens with the drill for some type of supermachine?

Posted by: James Daryl at February 11, 2014 8:19 PM

Like a readers that has chased a catfish or two in the time, the drill powered trolling motor would save me lots of money and will be a really sneaky way that helped me to circumvent the Hewlett packard limitations on a few of the small ponds within Northern Kentucky and North western Ohio.

Posted by: Donald Simmons at January 6, 2014 1:12 AM

My vote would definitely go for the power screwdriver or the microwave. You are dead on that you would be the king of all contractors if you invented that.

Posted by: Adam A at August 12, 2013 11:33 PM

Toolboxsupplies offers excellent toolbox products supply service such as hand tools, power tools, power tool accessories, drill bits & holesaws and lots more.

Posted by: toolboxsupplies at June 2, 2011 7:51 AM

I would like to see a car jack or even a car lift powered by a cordless drill.

Actually I believe that's a brilliant idea!. I HATE getting down on my hands and knees trying to get a car jacked up using the generic car jack that the car manufacturer gives you. There's never been a situation where using one of these jacks is easy.

The last time I had to change a tire I had sand and glass embedded in my knees and hands. I was also dressed for a wedding. Had to stop at Kohls for new dress pants

Imagine using a cordless drill to lift your car.

I'm gonna work on my Kia's jack this weekend. I want to invent a long snake bit adapter so you can lift your car standing up using your drill

Posted by: georgie at April 22, 2011 11:02 PM

A powerful drill like that NEEDS to power a frozen margararita machine!!! Put a little ice in it, the proper proportions of the magic liquids, run that drill for a half minute or so, and enjoy the summer sunshine! Who wouldn't love that when they are driving screws or making hole with that drill motor!

Posted by: Rob at April 20, 2011 8:29 PM

Drill-powered, uhm, "fun-times toy," obviously. Variable speed drill a must.

Posted by: OJ at April 20, 2011 5:29 PM

2 words Pneumatic Plunger. I love the Kleer Drain plunger, but it works on CO2 cartridges. I would make a plunger with a compressed air chamber instead of a CO2 cartridge. The chamber would be filled with a crank air compressor which would be powered by a drill. Don't have to throw away spent CO2 cartridges after every blast. Unclogged toilet, monetary savings and better for the environment. Win, win win.

Posted by: Dennis at April 20, 2011 12:36 PM

I love tool blogs. I love tool blog frivolity even more. Good natured tool blog playground competition is best of all!

I think my vote has to go toward the trolling motor. As a reader who has chased a catfish or two in his time, the drill powered trolling motor would save me a lot of money and would be a really sneaky way to help me get around the HP restrictions on some of the small lakes here in Northern Kentucky and Southwestern Ohio. I know the guys at www.protoolreviews.com and it would not surprise me in the least if they've actually tried this one out. hahahaha Everett, when you have the prototype ready for field testing, I'm your man!

Posted by: Bryan Wright at April 20, 2011 12:17 PM

Drill-powered, wheelbarrow dumper. It would be MUCH lighter than the gas powered ones. All you need to do is get the right gear ratios and you'll have a nice slow dumper. The drill would go into a holster beside the handle for easy button pressing. I can see this being sold at Harbor-Freight for $99.99 and only working the first couple times but people would buy it! :)

Posted by: Tim S. at April 20, 2011 11:58 AM

Microwave FTW! That would simply be awesome. i can easily imagine being out camping and using that bad boy to make it even easier to lay under the stars! No smell of smoke or even overcooked beans...it would be perfect!

Posted by: DC at April 19, 2011 5:29 PM

You know someone will take the propeller and attempt to mix up some mud or paint.. suddenly, avant-garde plaster!

And I think Milwaukee will only build the microwave if you could drive over it with a truck and launch it with a trebuchet. Eventually it would merge with their battery charger radio, m12 camera, laser thermometers, and electric blanket coat. Some enterprising hacker would find a way to automatically microwave you a hot pocket when your m12 smart coat detects hunger. You know what that leads to? Terminators. Congratulations, Doug, you've started Milwaukee on the path to skynet.

Posted by: paul at April 19, 2011 10:15 AM

It's been a life long goal to win a "useless fantasy" category. Success!!! A more traditional scooter with gear drive powering the wheels would certainly be more practical and given the amount of power in 1 tool battery probably the perfect vehicle selection but certainly would not have gotten us any closer to winning the useless fantasy category. Also funny that we all 3 used Milwaukee Tools.

Posted by: Jay A at April 19, 2011 9:07 AM

Way to go guys! That's some serious competition!!! I'll let our readers know about this as well. I'd love to get in on the action as well!

Posted by: Todd @ Tool Box Buzz at April 19, 2011 6:54 AM

Milwaukee has already tapped heavily into the tradesman and DIY market where there is limited growth these days, but there's one profession they have neglected for far too long, the Pizza delivery Boy.

The days of cold pizza are over, I give you the M-12 Heated pizza bag.

Base on preexisting m-12 heating technology, my idea could be in the front seat of every beat up compact hyundai and datsun across country in less than 30 days.

Posted by: Kevin at April 18, 2011 6:37 PM

How about replacing the paddles on a Human Powered Aircraft with a couple of drills? It would be a Cordless Drill Powered Aircraft. That isn't really a sentence you get to use very often


Posted by: Gaspar at April 18, 2011 4:13 PM

I think it would be cool to have a stand-up scooter powered by a cordless drill. Now, I know what you're thinking. "Stand-up scooters are for little kids. I can't be seen riding one of those." But you're also thinking you'd really like to have one.

I bet you've even ridden your kid's scooter around a little when you thought no one was looking. Just think, plugging a Milwaukee M28 into a scooter solves your problem. No one's going to question your manhood if you have an M28 in your hand.

And honestly, do you really want to lay face down to get locomotive. Of course not. You want to do it standing up.

So you take a standard stand-up scooter design, make it larger and add fatter, rubber wheels and make the handle a crank shaft.

Now you can relive your childhood without getting laughed at.

Posted by: Ryan at April 18, 2011 2:19 PM

Clearly we're the only ones who took this seriously... I mean, after Doug dresses up in his lead suit to activate the microwave, and Jay gets back from the hospital stitching up the lacerations on his heels from the fan skateboard, we'll be left with our power drill speed boat... cruising the high seas and laughing all the way to our favorite fishing hole. Then, when we get back we'll cool ourselves with Jay's untended fan while we force Doug to fry our fish while we stand back from a safe distance.

Mwuhahahaha... hahahaha... hahaha.. ha... ahem. *cough.

Posted by: Everett Snyder at April 18, 2011 11:51 AM

Tom, we'll be rotating them around and probably doing them on a monthly basis to start. I plan on maintaining the current level of photoshopping throughout.

Posted by: Tool Snob at April 18, 2011 11:07 AM

The Skateboard wins the useless fantasy category, the trolling motor wins the actually feasible award, and the microwave wins for worst photoshop, but if it actually worked, most awesome.

As I actually try to think of ideas I can't come up with anything better though. So is the whole thing going to be hosted here, or are other volumes going to be at CopTool and ProToolReviews?

Posted by: Tom at April 18, 2011 10:46 AM
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