DIY Power Scissor Jacks

Written by jan benschop
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There is an old trick RVers use to set up the stabilising scissor jacks at the corners of their trailers: Use a cordless power drill. The right kind of scissor jack has a square or hexagonal screw-shaft end that's turned with a socket wrench. The wrench has a socket welded onto the end that fits the jack shaft. You can start with a high-capacity mechanical jack that has a plain square or hex end, and adapt it to a high-torque cordless drill to make a power scissor jack.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • 4,000 to 8,000-pound scissors levelling jack
  • High-torque 14-volt to 24-volt cordless drill
  • Hex shaft to 1/4-inch square-drive adaptor
  • Socket wrench set
  • Alcohol
  • Lubricating oil

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  1. 1

    Try various 1/4-inch square drive sockets over the shaft end of the scissors jack. The best fit is snug, yet has enough play to facilitate sliding on and off the jack easily.

  2. 2

    Insert a square drive adaptor into the drive end of the socket you selected to fit the jack.

  3. 3

    Insert the hex end of the adaptor into the drill's chuck and tighten securely.

  4. 4

    Set the drill to its torque position. Its speed position will not have enough torque.

  5. 5

    Clean the threaded worm shaft on the jack with alcohol and then lubricate the shaft with high-quality light oil.

  6. 6

    Plug in the drill to a power outlet. Slip the socket with the drill attached over the drive nub at the end of the worm shaft. Set the drill to the forward position to raise the jack, or in the reverse position to lower the jack.

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