First law of tinkering & battery pack query

Folks -
Okay, I have a DeWalt 12v Cordless drill that I've used/abused for nearly 5 years. Now, for no reason, one of the two battery packs won't take a charge. Being the proper Scottish thrifty type, I do recall someone posting that the guts of a cheap H.F. battery pack could be installed into a DeWalt (or other) battery pack shell. The H.F. battery pack was 10 bucks, so even if I can't do this, I won't be out much, and WILL find SOMETHING to do with those batteries.
So, the question...how the heck can I get the DeWalt battery pack apart, without "destroying the village in order to save it"? The H.F. pack is screwed together - way easy... the DW pack is either glued or thermally fused. Any ideas on the best way to get it apart so I can reuse it? I started with a razor knife on the seam, but it's a mite tougher than that. I do have a small dremel with trim, and that'll probably do it, but was wondering if'n y'all had any ideas. If there were a solvent that would dissolve the glue (if that's what seals it) it would be great if I didn't have to cut anything.
Okay, I *do* realize that my efforts may be a false economy. So be it... I may well end up getting a new DW since the price of a couple of batteries is within striking distance of a new driver set...
And the sidebar bonus... What do y'all think of the impact drill drivers? Worth it??
John Moorhead
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Try this link: http://groups.google.com/groups?hl=en&lr=&ie=UTF-8&c2coff=1&threadm?CAC02B.156DD7D1%40c3net.net&rnum &prev=/groups%3Fq%3Dbattery%2Bpack%2Breplace%26hl%3Den%26lr%3D%26ie%3DUTF-8%26c2coff%3D1%26start%3D10%26sa%3DN
You might also do some searches at google - web and groups. Good luck. Be careful. -- Igor
On Sun, 01 Aug 2004 18:52:00 GMT, "John Moorhead"

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One thing I learned about the HF. batteries. They really don't like the "fast" chargers. It'll kill them after about three cycles.
-Bruce

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Hi John, When they rebuilt mine they cut the pack open from the top (the part that is inserted into the drill) and glued it back together. Cheers, JG
John Moorhead wrote:

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5
posting
DeWalt
even
with
I
is
The "drill master " batteries don't hold a charge more than a couple of days...They are also rated at 1300 mah- a bunch less than the typical sub c cells(1800-2100 nicad now common, 3000 nimh also common). I used a soldering gun with a piece of heavier gauge coper wire pounded flat to make a hot knife to cut the case open . You can sorta control the heat on a soldering gun by triggering it off and on. The pvc or abs pipe cement seems to work as a glue on the makita 9.6 stick cases I've hacked or cut apart. There's several places to get good nicad or nimh cells in the apropriate size that will be twice as expensive but a lot better in the long run. batteryspace.com for one. Be aware that there are cells made for specific purposes- some for fast charge, some for fast discharge- some only for slow charge. I'm still using nicads because of the supposed advantage over nimhs in the # of cycles they can take before you have to "dispose" of them. I just retired a aa cell from '74 that was still usable albeit only about half it's original capacity but still working reliably in a single aa powered radio. Pat
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The trick is, of course, disassembling it. Try using a cheap chisel. It's probably either heat fused or solvent welded. You can probably put it back together with duct tape.
The batteries are easy: Digi-key sells cells that'll fit most anything you can think of from various OEM manufacturers, both with and without leads. I'm currently replacing the batteries on all my digital music equipment from the 1980s and 1990s.
How much is your time worth? You're paying someone else to do all this fussing for you. If you don't have the money, it's an easier choice :)
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John - Just a disclaimer here "up front" - my son is the co-owner/manager of a Batteries + franchise -
If you don't want to rebuild the pack yourself, look for a Batteries + store. They will rebuild almost any battery pack at a very reasonable price. Usually it's half or less than the cost of a replacement battery pack at Lowes, HD or alike. They also may have some rebuilt packs that will fit your drill in stock.
I think they have a limited warranty on it also. My son did my 9 volt Makita, and it works great!
Nick B

5
posting
DeWalt
even
with
I
is
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Sun, Aug 1, 2004, 6:52pm (EDT+4) snipped-for-privacy@splinter.sbcglobal.net (JohnMoorhead) whimpers: <snip> So, the question...how the heck can I get the DeWalt battery pack apart, without "destroying the village in order to save it"? <snip>
You think "you" go thru battery packs fast? Find a young kid, who's into R/C cars. Believe me, he'll know more about battery packs, and how to remake them, then any three people here, put together. The R/C battery packs aren't exactly cheap, and they'll discharge several, fast. They hate to wait for a recharge, so if they can't buy spare battery packs, they'll make their own - that are often better than the originals, and always cheaper. It's gonna really make you feel really dumb, when a 10 year old kid does something like that, faster, better, and probably cheaper, than you could ever hope to do. At 10 years old, my kids were making spare battery packs, for a total cost of about $7 each, because I couldn't afford $45-50 a pop for new battery packs.
JOAT The highway of fear is the road to defeat. - Bazooka Joe JERUSALEM RIDGE http://www.banjer.com/midi/jerridge.mid
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