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Hi there all metalsmith friends,

We hope you are enjoying the tail end of summer.

In response to the survey we sent out a while ago, one of the big bug bears was drilling.
And indeed drilling straight and accurate holes takes time to learn and even with all the years of experience I have, I still do not drill accurately all of the time.

This is because one has a tendency with hand control to put force in one direction to counteract the twist of the drill and this mostly causes the drill to not be held perpendicular to the piece being drilled.
And particularly with thin drills, one cannot force the drill into a new straighter path.

For a long time I have been on and off working on a project to solve this problem of drilling accurately easily, and do so every time.

A miniature drill press was what I was aiming for.

At first I was building prototypes that had their own motor in them.

That was OK, except then that would mean an extra power source to the bench and more electrical cables and complexity and expense and that didn't really sit easy with me.

Eventually I discarded the idea of the machine having it's own power source and scrapped that concept ( after some 12 prototypes were built).

I realized that the trick would be to use the existing flex shaft motor in situ and make a unit that acts as a rigid drilling platform.

Many more prototypes were built culminating in a design that meets all my criteria.

From loose flex shaft to drill press and back again in a few seconds.

I feel that I have reached my goal and greatly expanded the capabilities of your average flex shaft motor.
I have built a tool that fits on a bench station easily and interacts between many tasks and offers a real solution for drilling problems on the bench.

Your are the first that I share this news with. I'm so excited that I can finally introduce to you, the Drill-Str8 Mini Drill Press.

Drill-Str8 Mini Drill Press
Drill-Str8 Mini Drill Press

The Drill-Str8 is attached to your bench with a C-clamp or dovetail GRS® system nearby your flex shaft handpiece. The quick release handpiece clamp fits many different sizes handpieces and makes it super fast to alternate between the mini drill press and your other flex shaft tasks. Here is a schematic drawing of the concept using the dovetail system.

Schematic drawing of Drill-Str8 Mini Drill Press on Bench

With the Drill-Str8 you take drilling to a new level. The potential is immense. Drilling holes with a 0.70mm drill bit, drilling tubes, polishing on the bench, pre-forming wax, drilling beach glass and more.

As a test, I wanted to see how many holes I can drill with the Drill-Str8 using a 1mm drill to drill into 1mm silver plate. I was amazed! 3500 holes and counting! The drill bit is slightly worn but could comfortably drill further.

The website has more information on the Drill-Str8 Mini Drill Press.

This short 4 minute video demonstrates how the mini drill press works.

Anne and myself are having so much fun working on this project together. And finally we are able to share this news with you.

Please feel free to contact me at , if you have any questions.

My very best wishes to you,

Hans Meevis

Previous Metalsmith Newsletter Editions

- Design - The ins and outs of designing jewelry - Workbench - Efficient work flow and optimum tool arrangements in jewelers workshop
- Antique - Inspiration from antique designs, plique-à-jour enameling and workshop wisdom
- Circles - Design jewelry with circle motif such as decorative circle collet
- Nature - Flower, Owl, Dragonfly Brooches and Insect Casting
- Gems - Gem Carving and Making Halo Ring Tutorial
- Wallace Chan Exhibition and the making of a Celtic Style Ring
- Masonic Unfurling Ball Pendant and "Ring in a Ring" jewelry tutorial