I have two possibilities.
1) I bought a cheap rotary tool from Harbor freight (cost - about ten bucks on
sale, including a number of bits and extra chucks). It's a lot slower than a
Dremal and useful for small work.
2) I also have a pistol-grip electric screwdriver which I jury-rigged a chuck
for. I use this one for slow and precise drilling on models. Bought it at Lowe's
for around thirty bucks, although its primary use is still screwing in carpentry.
I opened up all of the flood holes in the deck of my 1/72 Revell Type
VII u-boat using a drill/pin vise and the back side of an X-Acto...
...I was also hopped up on prednisone and fighting hallucinations at the
The Minicraft Kit arrived today - actually ordered it yesterday on
EBay from a company called Rapid Electronics. Exceptional delivery
Unfortunately on setting up the drill I find that, although the advert
says 0-30,000 rpm range, the transformer coming with the kit works at
5,000 - 30,000rpm. The transformer number is 82012 but the product
specification details indicates that Transformer MB751 is the one
neede to give the lower speeds. I can find nothing for this on Google
I have e-mailed the Company to find out how I can achieve the
performance quoted in the advert.
Proxxon have a variable transformer for the Micromot range
(Transformer No. NG 2/E) I wonder whether the Maxicraft Tool will fit
this and whether that will go down to zero. The adverts don't give
that detail and the web site for Proxxon gives no contact info.
Anyone got any suggestions?
I've got the same drill but I run it off a generic variable supply. In
the old days we'd use the supply from a model railway, enough power for
what we need and good control at the low speed end.
You will find that the drill will slow down under load, but I know
exactly what you mean about it being too fast for plastic, as the
tendency is for the tool (drill, saw or cutter) to melt rather than cut
There's a listing for the MB751 here
Thanks for your response Alan.
The link doesn't appear in your message, can you post it again?
I await a response from the seller before deciding what to do. I am
wary of making adjustments to the tool ie rewiring the plug that goes
into the current transformer, until I see what they say.
I will probably keep the Kit no matter what the outcome as I have a
Dremel and a B&Q cheapo Rotary tool that I use for DIY. This Minicraft
looks and feels just right for modelling if I can get some alternative
transformer that does the job.
During my research I saw the Dremel Fortiflex which looks good but is
at a pricey £200+
Thanks, at least its an option, even if in USA.
The Proxxon transformer just raises that doubt doesn't it? The various
sellers don't cover the point about 0 speed. No doubt they would
simply say it depends on the drill that is attached but I don't want
to accumulate a series of kits and will seek a definitive answer
before buying. (Which is what I thought I had when buying from Rapid).
After Rapid reply I will follow up with Proxxon.
Thanks for your help.
Out of the other supplies that Rapid list, the more expensive Maxicraft
also only goes down to 3V so is unlikely to be any better than the small
It doesn't help, but I have an Aldi-special-offer drill (bought for my
son) that goes down to zero using just a dial on the drill body itself.
Never seen it advertised again though, and its branded Powercraft
which is Aldi's own-brand name.
I've looked at the tool and its handbook and discovered it's source was
Walter Werkzeuge. Further searching found this listing.
which is the same tool. It comes with an 18V power supply (a black
brick :) ) and some (pretty poor) tools. But I can tell you for certain
that the tool I bought from Aldi that looks exactly like this one goes
down to zero speed.
They would be dodging the issue if they say it depends on the drill,
we're talking about DC drills here and their speed is set by the power
supply - after all, that's what they are selling, a variable speed supply.
I would not trust the Proxxon to go down to 0V without checking its spec
sheet. It's much easier to make a 3V-18V supply than a 0V-18V one,
there needs to be good current regulation and better components to avoid
burning out your supply. As volts approach zero, current demand from a
simple resistive load goes towards infinity - which without current
regulation means the weakest component burns out first.
I've posted a link to the Walter tool above. Sorry I didn't look for
that one first - but I've used my Minicraft for years with a supply I
lashed up myself. It doesn't go to zero, but goes low enough that I can
cut without melting.
The same supply powers my low-melting-point soldering iron, which gets
used for soldering white metal components together, using the
appropriate solder and flux. It's a little 12V iron, so I can control
its temperature easily, quite important with white metal.
Rapid are a big company with a solid reputation - I've used them before
- so you should be able to return the Minicraft kit if it's in a fit state.
That seems to fit the bill. Quotes 0-20,000.
The only drawback seems to be collet rather than chuck but I believe
adapters are on the market to fit into a collet and convert. Thinking
here of using drills at 0.5mm/1.mm.
This didn't come up in my searches but thats not surprising as I used
Thanks once again.
I may well get this as well as keep the Minicraft as the outlay is not
My knowledge of electrics is pretty poor. I do however follow what you
I will probably keep the Minicraft and buy the Walter tool (see other
Any tips about getting an alternative transformer which would make the
Minicraft do what I want? No doubt I would need to change the plug
connecting to the transformer - small two-pin, or try and find an
I model braille armor and most of the time, my stable of several pin
vises will do all the drilling I need. However, occasionally I need a
motored device. I use a battery-operated pen-style electric
screwdriver that runs about 30-40rpm and is very good for carefully
drilling through plastic parts (like lightening holes in many road
wheels, etc). I got this at Fry's but have also seen it at MicroMark
and Lowes'. You will need a special chuck (they also sell) to
accomodate your bits but this slow-speed device (anything above 100rpm
is probably way too fast for plastic) works pretty well for me. The
screwdriver was 20 bucks and the chuck around 10. Good luck.
Thanks for this. I have returned the Minicraft and received a full
Following my searches I did indeed do what you suggested ie bought a
cheap chuck holder to fit in a screwdriver that I already had. I also
bought a selection of collets and a chuck converter for a small
I had already bought some minute drills so am able to do everything I
Because I can see the benefit of a variable drive of 0-20,000+ speed I
also went ahead and bought the electric rotary tool from Walter (as
suggested by Alan) this arrived and at less than half of the cost of
the Minicraft is a bargain. Also it had a selection of the small
Thanks to everyone.
If you're looking for small drill bits, try this - the next time you go in
for a dental appointment, hive on your dentist for any of his/her old bits
that are no longer considered usable. They are still plenty good for modeli
ng. The last time I did this, I was given a prescription bottle full of ass
orted types - free. They were clean, just having been run through the autoc
lave to sterilize them (they have to be so to be recycled) and she was glad
to get rid of them.
And I have enough to last me thne rest of my days.