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