performance pro drill with makita battery

Adding new batteries to old power tools

One of mine and my daughter’s favourite YouTube channels is The Post Apocalyptic Inventor. On a recent episode he used a cheap adaptor to restore a load of old power tools to life with modern batteries from a different brand.

I’ve been sat on an old drill for ages, unwilling to throw it out because it was still perfectly good apart from its Ni-Cad batteries. So this seemed like a great idea to me, especially now I’m standardising on Makita so have a few of those batteries.

I ordered one of the adaptors for about £5 from AliExpress and it arrived a couple of weeks later. In between other jobs, I set to work.

First task was to look at how to wire it in to the drill. The adaptor comes with decent length tails for the positive and negative wires, so I could have taken the drill apart and soldered them directly in to there. However I figured it might be easier to take one of the old battery packs apart and use the connectors from that. This was pretty straightforward as the connectors in the battery pack had solder tabs and positive and negative were pretty obvious.

The adaptor tails originally came out of the back of the unit and I wanted them to come up through the middle, so I took the case apart, drilled a small hole with a step drill and re-routed them.

Then I stripped out the old Ni-Cad cells, trimmed the tails to the right length and soldered them on to the connector from the battery pack.

I trimmed the top section of the battery pack down until it was almost flat on the bottom, then assembled the whole lot, using super glue to hold the connector in place (it was originally held in place by the cells themselves), and JB Weld to bond the adaptor to the remains of the battery pack. Finally, the whole let was glued together with super glue.

It all progressed rather quickly so I forgot to take any photos along the way. But I’m very pleased with the end result.

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