PCB Drill Press

A couple of weeks ago I posted about the Inkjet/Toner Hybrid PCB printing method.  Now it’s time to drill the through holes, a job which I never find much fun – I guess that’s why I’ve put it off for a couple of weeks, that combined with the fact that I didn’t really have the right tools.  My big old clunky drill press really isn’t up to the task, it has far too much horizontal play and is nowhere near fast enough for 0.8mm drill bits.

I would have loved to pick up a Dremel 300, Dremel Drill press and Dremel mini-chuck.  Dremel make fantastic tools but all up it would’ve cost me over $200NZD which I really didn’t feel like spending just to drill some tiny holes.  I already had a pretty decent Makita power drill so I decided to see what I could knock up from junk I had in the garage.  Here’s what I came up with.

Materials Used

  • Various scraps of wood and MDF I had lying around the garage
  • Rack mount server rail (Cut in half) from an old Dell server – this provides the slide mechanism
  • A bunch of wood screws I had in my collection
  • Mini chuck (This was the only thing I had to purchase – TradeMe $17NZD inc P&P )
  • Short tension coil spring from a box of bit’n’pieces

Tools Used

  • Table saw
  • Hand saw
  • Hack saw
  • battery drill
  • Screw drivers
  • Google sketchup

That’s it! ~75 tiny holes later and no bent or broken drill bits! It’s nice and accurate but very loud!

Thanks for reading.

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15 Responses to PCB Drill Press

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  2. vacgeek September 6, 2018 at 8:40 am #

    What a great idea! Thank you so much for sharing us an important idea.

  3. Allen August 6, 2018 at 11:11 am #

    This is a great idea. I loved your idea. Thanks for the sharing great idea!

  4. Michael Foley July 27, 2018 at 7:51 pm #

    Amazing! Will definitely attempt something similar soon

  5. Nancy Brown March 10, 2018 at 10:35 pm #

    Makita is the best drill press in 2018

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    What’s up, its nice piece of writing concerning media print, we
    all be aware of media is a fantastic source of facts.

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  9. Jeff December 18, 2010 at 10:41 am #

    Rhys can you provide a url where the chuck can be purchased?

  10. Bruce Tremain December 11, 2010 at 7:21 am #

    Hi Rhys

    I was just looking for a drill press for drilling my pcb’s and bumped into your site accidentally. I have had a bit of a try with the inkjet printer onto pcb too with no luck.

    Reminds me of old Telecom bin days in Taupo.
    I didnt know you were still into this stuff too.

    Look me up if you want. I presume you have access to the email address that will come through with this blog entry.

  11. MC November 30, 2010 at 5:28 pm #

    Nice work – simple yet effective.
    Please wear safety glasses. those small bits spin off in any direction when they do go awry – and they’re sharp!

    • Rhys December 5, 2010 at 10:23 am #

      Hi. Thanks for coming by. And yes very good point about the glasses! 😮 Make sure you stop back again for more hacks, tips and projects 🙂


  12. Giorgos Lazaridis November 30, 2010 at 2:49 am #

    That is very interesting, simple and not expensive at all. A very useful tool for those wwho enjoy making their own PCBs (like me). I will feature it in pcbheaven.com today.


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