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Thread: Low-cost Dremel Project for Pitboxs That Runs Off Your Power Supply

  1. #1
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    Low-cost Dremel Project for Pitboxs That Runs Off Your Power Supply

    Ok... So, nothing here is rocket science, but just in case anyone else finds the need for something like this, I figured I'd post what I've done...

    Last weekend, Jason Hooper was showing off his rotary tool that he ran off of his pit box power supply. I believe it was a tool made by Koford, and he'd just changed the wire on it to some orange TQ wire. I'd never thought about running a rotary tool off of the power supply, but thought this would be handy for traveling, especially abroad, having one less thing that needed to be plugged into AC.

    I found the Dremel 7000, a compact, alkaline battery powered Dremel, and sells for about $25 online (Amazon, Home Depot, etc). The unit is "6v", although that rating is based on the battery pack, not the capability of the device, although it functions quite well at 6v, but I've used it at up to 10v with no problems.

    The project is pretty simple. Fabricate some fake "Batteries" for the battery holder, wire the "ends" of the "batteries" out of the battery pack, and connect the other end to my power supply. In our case, we have the Third Eye power supply, which uses a single 3.5mm Mono plug, which makes it pretty simple to connect. If you have a supply with alligator clips, you could just put alligator clips on the ends and clip them together...

    Here are some pictures of what I did. I've added comments along the way. When completed, you'll have a nice, compact, easily stored rotary tool that is fully adjustable, speed wise, for less than $30. Hopefully someone else finds this useful!


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    Here's the tool next to a common block so you can get a size reference.

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    It's not a bad looking tool. I find it very comfortable in my hand.

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    Here's the battery pack, or holder. I've marked one of the "+" and one "-", in opposite corners. This makes the tool work with the power switch in either the "High" or "Low" position, although the speed will be the same.

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    Here, I took a "AA" battery and drew around the battery on some brass I had laying around. You'll need four of them. These will simulate the batteries. Cut them out and round them off. They don't have to be perfect, but they need to fit flush with the "Top" of the pack.

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    Here you can see two of the brass pieces installed. I used some glue from my "Hot Glue" gun to secure them. That should be sufficient. Notice I flattened the circles on sides that will adjoin other pieces to make sure they don't inadvertently touch.

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    Here's the plug I'll be using on the power supply end.

    (Continued)
    Last edited by MikeC; 06-13-2015 at 12:32 AM.
    Michael Colvin

  2. #2
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    Dremel Project (Continued)

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    I had a Dremel tool that no longer worked, so I used the power cable off of it. It's a bit fatter than would fit through this plug AND the strain relief, so I removed the strain relief. You could use basic lamp cord, or lead wire (TQ drag wire would work well and is really flexible.)

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    The Dremel wire I used is pretty flexible, durable and makes the finished project look like something Dremel might have actually made!

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    You need to drill a hole to pass the wires through. Make sure you place it so that it doesn't interfere with the "Clips" that hold the battery "cage" to the bottom piece.

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    Here you can see from the inside where I placed my hole. You could also run it out the bottom, if you wanted too, but running it out the side allows the tool to sit on end when you're done.

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    Since the wire/cable I used was so thick, I had to notch the battery "cage" a little. If you use lead wire, or some basic "lamp" cable, you shouldn't have to do this...
    Michael Colvin

  3. #3
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    Dremel Project (Continued)

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    Here's what the "finished" inside of the battery cage looks like. Notice the wiring diagonal from each other. Again, this is to make the tool's power switch work in either position. Make sure you use the same one's I've highlighted in silver in the picture. The power switch will "short" the other two when the switch is in the "High" position.

    (Side note: The power switch works by putting two "AA"'s in parallel in the "Low" position, and in series when in the "High" position. This is accomplished by "bridging" the "-" side on one side with the "+" side diagonally across from it. Study the switch from the underside in the various positions, and it's pretty easy to figure out...Or, just mark the "cage" like I did, and wire the brass pieces in those spots using the polarity marked on the "cage"...)

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    Here's what the top of the "Cage" looks like when done. It's necessary to have all four holes filled, since the power switch rotates "fingers" across the holes. Without anything in there, the fingers get caught and can bend...You can guess how I figured that out.

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    Put the cage back together and insert it into the tool. Here's the finished project. As you can see, with the wire/cable coming out of the side, the tool sits nicely on end, keeping your work area a little less cluttered, in theory.

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    A closer shot of the cable coming out of the battery pack. I may decide to put a rubber grommet here to keep the cable from wearing, but this cable is pretty thick with a nice outer covering, so it may not be needed... I'll watch it and see.

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    Here you can see the difference in length. I off-set it a little because the cable coming out of the "old" unit required additional space where it came out of the tool.

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    Here's the tool in our pit box drawer. I use to use the other half of this drawer to put the old tool in at an angle. As you can see, now I can get the tool, and attachments in half of the drawer.


    When you're done, you've got a Dremel tool that's speed is adjustable using the output of your power supply, making it very controllable, all for less than $30.

    That's it! Hope this helps someone else!
    Last edited by MikeC; 06-13-2015 at 12:37 AM.
    Michael Colvin

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    grove city ohio
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    Guys:
    Who said Slot Car Racers need to get a Life, this is a great idea.
    Thanks, Ron

  5. #5
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    Jul 2003
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    Canton,Ohio
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    Great article Mike,thanks for posting it. Bill
    Remember the lack of any credible evidence is proof the conspiracy is working!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
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    1,054
    or you could've got this instead: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Mini-12V-Ele...item1c52e475be



    i might have to get one & test it myself.
    Russ Toy
    I am team burrito and I approve this message.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
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    Citrus Heights, California
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    Ummm.... That thing looks just a bit "cheaper" than the Dremel... Plus, I forgot to add.... If you get another battery holder, you can still use the one I modified, as a cordless Dremel. Ha! Top that, Russ! :-)

    Besides, the one you posted takes too long to ship. I'm impatient!
    Michael Colvin

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
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    NorthWesterner now in Philippines
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    I have a couple of the older Dremel Mini's with dead batteries that I never could find replacement batteries for.

    This would be a great way to breath a second life into those, as well as all the benefits of using the power supply, that is already in the pits for grinding tires, breaking in motors, etc.

    I'd be interested to see if the one Russ found is any good - it may be a decent portable low-bucks alternative to a Dremel.

    I added what looks like the same one to the OWH Slot Car Shop - via Amazon... (in case anyone besides Russ might want to try one)

    http://slot-car-shop.com/slotcars/sl...c-rotary-tool/

    Thanks for taking the time to share your step-by-step DIY conversion project!
    I hope that other racers will enjoy converting their Mini Dremels as well!

    Paul K @ OWH
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
    Paul Kassens
    OWH Slot Car Talk "Mom"
    The Old Weird Herald
    email: paulk@oldweirdherald.com

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Citrus Heights, California
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    There are some versions of the mini-Dremel's that have "Sealed" packs. Those would work too, but would be a bit more work, opening the packs, discarding the batteries, and going from there. I looked at some of the newer ones, but it seemed like a waste to hack perfectly good battery packs apart, plus, they're all the same! The different RPM's were based solely on the voltage of the pack... So, I went with the cheaper one. They also sell this 7000 model as a pet nail groomer and a pumpkin carver, as well as some other things....
    Michael Colvin

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Home of the 2007 USRA Nats and a pretty fast King Track
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    There are "Racers" and there are "Talkers".....which one are you?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Canton,Ohio
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    I've used both and the dremel is the better piece by far than the harbor freight model.
    Remember the lack of any credible evidence is proof the conspiracy is working!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    colorado
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    62
    IIn the past I have replaced the worn out rechargeable batteries with regular over the counter AA or AAA I cant remeber the size I used but it will be obviuos once you open up the pack. A racer could go a step further and use rechargeable batteries .
    Regards Clyde-0-Mite

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Reno
    Posts
    155
    Don't over think it... go to your local slot car track and buy the Koford one. You might save $10.00 elsewhere but heck.... at least you will have a place and reason to use it!

    (just stirring the pot).

    Bert
    Asking all things relevant-

  14. #14
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    Apr 2012
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    Citrus Heights, California
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    I couldn't find it on Koford's site the other night, Jason.... I found one, but it was like $130...
    Michael Colvin

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    here
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    Those cheap Harbor Freight ones are junk, i've had a couple and they vibrate like crazy and the bits will rattle out. If you're going to replace batteries you have to use rechargeable ones or you'll be putting batteries in every few days. Like the option of using either the power supply or batteries! I just bought a new battery Dremel and it's way worth the 40 bucks or so , it's replacing one that lasted 17 years....

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