February 4, 2010

Recycling a Makita as a Boat Drill: Part 1

A cordless drill is a must tool for the boatowner. No shorepower cord needed. I fit them with paint mixers, use them for making repairs, installing accessories, attach sanding disks, polishing pads....it's my most used power tool. But my while my trusty 14-year old 12-volt Makita still works like a champ, batteries for this veteran are now hard to come by. Sure I can get them on EBAY, or I could repack the cells. But since I have a couple other drills, I decided to make a boat-specific drill instead. Since this model is 12-volts, all I had to do was make a wiring harness to connect to my boats DC power supply. Here's how I did it, in about an hour, using scavenged parts from the nooks and crannies of my shop. Step 1: I stripped both ends of a 12-foot length of ANCOR MARINE 16-gauge duplex boat cable. Duplex has both the (+) and (-) tin-plated conductors already wrapped in a jacket. Its my preffered wire for any boat work because of the tin-plated corrosion resistance-- and its rated fire-resistant to 105 F. I crimped -on spade connectors that mated to the battery contact plates inside the drill on one end of the cable; on the other end, I wired a Marinco SeaLink 12-v plug. I like these Sea Link plugs as they are locking, have an LED on indicator, and are O-ring sealed. I have used them for over a decade and they work great--in fact this one here is scavenged from an old spotlight on which I replaced the cheapo factory plug. The light finally died after 8 years of use. It lived on three boats, but the Sea Link plug is still like new. So I cut it off, chucked in a coffee can of spare parts about a year ago, where it resided( preserved in sawdust) and re-used it here. In Part 2, I'll show you how to wire this plug. Click Here for PART 2

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