Tutorial: DIY Foot Pedal For PCB Drills

Here's a handy build doc from Giorgos Lazaridis to create a DIY foot pedal to drive a small hand drill. When it comes to delicate hand mills for PCBs, fussing with those annoying side-mounted switches/throttles that a lot of handheld rotary tools use forces contortions of the hand that can cause you to shift the drill off axis to skew a mill or break a bit. While foot pedals like these can be pickup up off-the-shelf or bundled with super premium rotary tools like Foredoms, a simple project like this might be all you need add the capability to existing rotary tools already in your toolbox. This is an older project shared recently by hackaday that caught our eye. From Lazaridis' build documentation:

...I make my own PCBs and i do a lot of drill-job. A medium size PCB may have more than 100 holes! Although i have a dremel and a horizontal drill base, i find it easier and much much faster to drill the holes with an old 12 V pen-style mini drill that i have since i was 16.
So, back from the dead, this drill will regain the place that it deserves... and that place is over the workbench. This drill had a rocker switch on top of it. To center the drill in a hole quickly, i used to turn off the drill, place the bit in the center of the hole, and then turn it on back again. With the turn-on and off, i had always success in centering the hole without damaging the copper nearby by accidentally touching the rotating drill on a wrong point. But this turn on and off procedure was done with my thumb, and it was rather uncomfortable. After some 50-60 holes, my thumb was already hurting....

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Matt Griffin
Matt Griffin


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