Lightweight low power electric drill

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Hi everyone
I'm a newbie to the forum in search of advice please.
I have twin grandsons aged almost 9 who like making things out of wood. They each have a toolkit including sharp saws which they use very safely - under supervision of course - but they have a problem drilling holes to put screws in. The hand drills I bought them weren't a success - even I didn't manage to drill holes with them - so I'm looking at upgrading to some sort of power tool for them - nothing too aggresive and small/lightweight enough for them to manage. There's a 3.6v battery-powered electric screwdriver that looks like a small electric drill on E-bay. It has a speed of 180 rpm and I've found some hex shank drill bits that would fit.
Please can anyone advise me whether this is likely to work? The boys would only be drilling bits of plywood or hardboard or offcuts of softwood and they only do diy for 30-40 minutes at a time. I don't have a lot of spare cash so I can't afford to get this wrong - especially as I have to buy 2 of everything - it's a twin thing!
Thank you for your help.
Lin
 
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Give us a link if you can, but that drill will probably ok for small holes, say up to 5mm diameter but it won't look at flat wood bits for example.....hexagonal drill bits are pretty expensive too.
I would have thought that a hand wheel brace drill would have been ok so long as the twist drill bits were sharp and of good quality.
Have you considered buying them a small bench mounted pillar drill which will come with a vice?
John :)
 
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my thoughts dont get any drills smaller than 3mm they are to easy to break
perhaps 4'5'6'8mm
lidl aldi do small drivers or drill drivers occasionally

i have a neighbour with 2 boys 5 and 8 on the autistic scale and very active as you would expect i have them round once or twice a week individually off course to make things
in general you will find you need to limit the use off any sharp tools to when you can give them full attention
safe tools kids like are rulers measuring tapes pencils small spirit levels small "g" clamps
http://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/items/?_n...=&LH_CAds=&clk_rvr_id=896168345507&rmvSB=true
instead off drill bits screws and nails give them wall plugs screwdriver bits [avoid flat bits]
in other words bits they can play with with no danger
plastic triangles semicircles from a geometry set to help them design the spaceship that will be a train a racing car then finish as a frog help to amuse them

if you have a workmate with adjustable jaws its invaluable to help them understand and clamp things
try and give them a little bag tray or box for there tools that keeps them all together
any way i have had a few bevvies so if this seems disjointed then dont panic if it makes complete sense its a mistake :D
 
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Thanks John

I'm not sure how to do a link but this is the Ebay item:
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/NEW-3-6V-...CHARGER-DIY-/252084608642?hash=item3ab169de82
There are hex shank drill bits on Ebay too.

I can't imagine the boys needing to drill bigger than 5mm holes - basically the holes will just be for putting screws in. They started off trying to nail everything together but of course the wood split so they've learned that screws are a better bet. I'm not sure why we all had problems with the hand drills altho the drill bits came from the pound shop so maybe they weren't good enough! I'll have a look at pillar drills but I think they may be too powerful. I'm trying to strike the right balance between giving the boys the chance to make things independently and keeping them safe.

Many thanks for your advice.
Lin
 
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£10.40 is not a bad price for a driver but would question the quality and charge time
if it goes flat with a say 3-5 hrs charge time how would that fit in with there regime :rolleyes:
yes off course you could put them on charge for say 2 hrs before use and hope thats enough but you wont know till its in use
 
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3.6v is too weak. An ineffectual tool that fails to dent the wood is no fun.

12v is less than I would use myself but I have never had to think about weight.

A newish sharp 6mm drill will make a satisfying hole in a piece of wood. However you really ought to get some kind of clamp to prevent it moving around. I expect they will break small sizes, and will blunt tge drills quickly. A blunt drill is no fun to use. Twist drills are less likely to cause injury than spade drills or those with a spear point. Drills from cheap shops and markets are often blunt.

BTW drilling a pilot hole for a nail makes it easier and reduces the risk of splitting.

Places like Aldi and Lidle often sell cheap tools that are quite good value and reasonable quality.

Two batteries mean that if you have two kids, they can take turns and each have a fresh, charged battery.
 
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If you are looking for twist drills, then consider HSS jobber drills from Screwfix.......made by Titan they are exceptional value.
I understand your concerns regarding the pillar drill, but drills snapping is largely avoided (I have had kids using full size pillar drills in yr7 all my working life).....I gear the speed down and leave the drive belt slack so everything slips if there's a jam. Something to consider, maybe later on.
I'm sure if the boys were able to drill somewhat bigger hoes - with assistance at first - their imagination would take off big time!
If they are into coping saws, check out Screwfix 20397 scroll saw.....oscillating coping saw blade and very safe.
Now.....how big is the piggy bank :eek:
John :)
 
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Hi All
Thank you so much for all the replies. The boys already have tool kits with saws, hammers, pliers, rulers, tape measures, clamps etc but geometry sets are a great idea so I'll pick up a couple next time I'm in the pound shop. I've just built them a height-appropriate work bench in their shed and I have in mind to get a couple of small workmate-type benches so they can get used to working safely on those. Spoilt boys? Not really - when I'm too old for diy they'll have all the skills to do it for me! Would be good if they'd share tools but they're so competitive neither would let the other have a turn - it's a twin thing! If they need to drill holes bigger than about 5mm, for the time being, we'll have to do it together with my electric drill (I hold it and they pull the trigger). Eventually they'll progress to a pillar drill but for now they just want something that looks like granny's drill. I've had a look online at the Screwfix jobber drill bits and they look like hex shank but I'll have to double check. Buying a pack of 5mm bits would be more sense than getting assorted sizes. I'm sure they'll break some but that's how they'll learn - and I've learned not to buy drill bits from the pound shop! Oscillating coping saw looks great but is way beyond my means at present so I'll have to start saving my pennies.
Thanks everyone
Lin
 
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make sure you put there name on everything and on drill bits and driver bits a dab off correction fluid on the end off the shank off one off the boys bits lets you know who they belong to but dont tell the boys in case they rub them off
you can leave a dot on anything in an area where it wont wear off you can also use pencil in similar areas with perhaps the first letter off there name that they know about but not the white dot :rolleyes:
 
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If you already have a workbench, think about a couple of carpenters vices fixed with coach bolts. I think it will be cheaper than mini-workmates and may last longer. Using coach bolts they can easily be taken off, or moved to another position. Carpenters vices as cheaper than engineers vices. Try to put them above the legs to take any weight or hammering.

Join your local Freegle and as well as people offering tools when they clear out their sheds, you can (usually after being a member for a while and giving away a few things yourself) publish a request.

There is a lot of demand for nice modern tools for cars and plumbing from other DIYers though.

P.s. looking at that ebay drill I seevthat with the inflated postage charge it comes to more than £10, so I would seriously look at the basic own-brand cordless drills.

Second hand cordless tools almost always turn out to be faulty or have batteries that will not hold a charge.
 
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Once again thank you to everyone who has replied and I've taken all your comments and suggestions on board. I've decided on the 3.6v electric screwdriver that's a similar shape to my drill as its small size and slow rpm make it less risky than letting them loose, even under supervision, with more power. Their Mom will have a fit but I've let them chop veggies with sharp knives (points ground off for safety) since they were 4 and use sharp saws (under close supervision) for the last year so she'll get over it. I don't think battery life will be a problem as they only diy for 30-40 minutes before they're off to do something else, so they probably won't drill more than half a dozen holes at a time. We'll drill any big holes together using my Aldi 18v for now. Screwfix had some hex shank HSS drills on cheap n cheerful today so I'll be collecting those tomorrow. They were such a bargain I could afford to get different sizes up to 6mm. They're designed to drill metal so should be sharp enough to drill wood and I always use metal drills because I can never find the damn wood drills when I need them. The smaller ones will get broken along the way but that's all part of learning how to do it right. Good suggestion to colour mark the drill bits - I do it with sticky dots on their Dinky toys but hadn't thought of it for tools. I'm also going to get the mini-workmate benches. The boys see me using mine rather than a bench vice and kids learn better from what they see than what you tell them. There's just space to hang them on the walls of the shed (the workmates not the boys!) and it looks like I'll be able to chop a bit off the legs to make them a better height for kids. I'll make sure the boys clamp everything to avoid accidents. Then they'll go over to their den and one or other will take a nose-dive out of a tree - but you can't wrap boys in cotton wool so you just have to use it to mop up the blood!
Thanks John for your kind comment about my efforts as a Granny - I never had one so I'm trying to be the sort of Gran I'd like to have had. They get a lot of computer-game time at their Mom's or Dad's so here I give them the chance to do real things that stretch their imagination and hopefully will teach them skills for life.
Many thanks again to everyone for your input.
Lin
 
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Xmas presses sorted until the next millennium, I guess!
Loads of toy making books around - I used to trawl the toy shops looking for inspiration when I was teaching.
John :)
 
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It was supposed to be Meccano sets for Christmas to develop some engineering skills. I got them last year but the boys weren't ready, so they had a big box of Lego instead which has been very well used to build all sorts. The boys will be so excited when they see what I've done with their shed, I think it will have to be drills and workmates for Christmas and the Meccano will have to wait until their birthday. Then I'll start saving for Easter. When their Mom was little all she wanted was to look pretty - so it's a breath of fresh air to have boys around who get mucky and build things! :mrgreen:
Lin
 
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Believe it Lin, they'll make you proud ( not trying to patronise here) but after 35 years as a design and tech teacher I can recognise the kids who have had a good start! They'll be streets ahead of their peers.
In a year or so, just check out some of the simple electronics projects from Maplins......I developed some of them for yr 7 kids and they may be of interest.
Meccano is brilliant - or I think it is - for understanding structures and mechanisms.....Lego and the technical variety likewise.
I must confess to being biased towards engineering, but it's done me no harm!
(I can't thank my gran for this, she showed no interest in me whatsoever :eek:)
John :)
 
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