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Use of a laser to align work on a drill press

Scott47

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I would like to use a laser to position a work piece precisely under
the chuck of my drill press. If I were to mount the laser in the
chuck and turn it on, the laser beam would appear as a point on the
work piece that is exactly where the point of the drill would enter
when drilling.

The laser body would have to be cylindrical, not too wide (maybe 6 -
12 mm) and the beam would have to be exactly in the center of the body
for this to work.

Do you know if a laser device like this is on the market and for
a price of around $15?

Scott
 

HIMNL9

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Laser positioners are on the market, but if you buy an already-ready unit, they are usually crazily expensives .....

If i've understood correctly, you just need something that indicate you visually where the drill bit hit, and not a self-centering sensor, right ? ..... supposing that all your pieces are identicals (cause, if you change the distance, you also change the hitting point), a simple 5mW pointer, well focused, inside a piece of tube, with a protective glass at the end, can be enough, and you can build yourself it with few efforts, for a cost like that, but i doubt that you can find it already made.

An alternative, can be to find on street markets those spring-guns sold as toys (they shoot 6mm BB pellets), most of these ones have inside a low power laser sighting unit ..... it's ofcourse not professional, but you can use it for make some experiments, spending very few money, and seeing if your idea is good for that what you need or not ..... then if you see that it work, may considerate to buy or build something better .....

Just as idea .....
 
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I don't think you are going to find one for $15, however, here is a very nice one I have.
I love it, I use it more on my milling machine, then my drill press, however.
I found it's easier on a drill press, to just crank the bit down to the work's surface, then use the cross-slide to position it properly.

LittleMachineShop.com - Edge and Center Finder, Laser 3/8" Shank
I'm sure you could find one cheaper but I know Chris' products are top quality.
 
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The price is right for sure. As long as the beam exits the aperture perfectly straight.
I am sure in building this you could correct for the difference, but it would be a time consuming and tedious job.
I don't know how much precision the OP needs, but in my machine shop, anything over .001 out of tolerance, is unacceptable.

:thanks: 3zuli, for bringing another option to the table.(I sometimes forget other people do not need near the precision I require)

You could make a nice center indicator, for a lot less $$, using one of these, if .001 precision is not needed.
 

Cyparagon

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It only works with one distance with one laser:



A vertical mark can only be made with the intersection of two planes (think liquid sky) that is difficult to explain or draw.
 

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Alchemist

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Here's an idea... If you drill uses a chuck with a Morse taper you could machine a hole in the inside of the taper to insert the Deal Extreme module so that it fires out through the center of the chuck with the jaws open a bit.

You'll have to excuse my brain for misfiring a bit, but I had a vague idea about adding a section with some coils of very fine wire just above the module followed by a memory backup capacitor and then just glue a strong magnet somewhere inside the drill casing close to the chuck so it's magnetic field intersects the coils of wire inside the chuck shaft. The laser then becomes powered by the rotation of the drill so you don't have to worry about external wires and batteries.... Implementation might be a bit more complicated considering the shaft is all metal and magnetic fields might not penetrate to the coils, etc. Batteries might be easier, but the magnets would be really cool.
 
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Here's an idea... If you drill uses a chuck with a Morse taper you could machine a hole in the inside of the taper to insert the Deal Extreme module so that it fires out through the center of the chuck with the jaws open a bit.
A 1/2" Morse Taper Collet fits the Aixis perfectly.


You'll have to excuse my brain for misfiring a bit, but I had a vague idea about adding a section with some coils of very fine wire just above the module followed by a memory backup capacitor and then just glue a strong magnet somewhere inside the drill casing close to the chuck so it's magnetic field intersects the coils of wire inside the chuck shaft. The laser then becomes powered by the rotation of the drill so you don't have to worry about external wires and batteries.... Implementation might be a bit more complicated considering the shaft is all metal and magnetic fields might not penetrate to the coils, etc. Batteries might be easier, but the magnets would be really cool.
Great idea, but it wont work. You hit the nail right on the head when you stated too much metal in the way.
What would work is to install the magnets in a 5/8-3/4" ring around the top of the Aixis. Mount it on bearings. (It can not spin with the drill chuck) Then use a wire or clothes hanger going up to the drill's body,to stop the rotation of the ring.
Also, you will need a battery for storage and regulation. A spinning coil's Vf will be too unstable (ripple & Vf changes) to run the LD.driver.
In the end, the only purpose this device will serve, is a battery charger for the laser's batteries.


But keep thinking of these things, one day, one of them will work, and you'll make lots of $$$:thanks:
 
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Two line-drawing lasers at 90 degrees from each other, mounted onto the body of the drill, should give a nice cross at the right spot, no matter material height, and would be align-able easily. If you make one, such a contraption could be mounted onto the safety shield surrounding the chuck.

I call patent on that idea!

Edit: Post 900.
 

HIMNL9

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Two line-drawing lasers at 90 degrees from each other, mounted onto the body of the drill, should give a nice cross at the right spot, no matter material height, and would be align-able easily. If you make one, such a contraption could be mounted onto the safety shield surrounding the chuck.

I call patent on that idea!

Edit: Post 900.
Only if you place the lines perfectly perpendicular to the axis of the drill bit, otherwise the height of the material influence the positions ..... anyway, this is a good way for hobbyst works, but for precision works, are not enough, we've already tried something similar years ago.

BTW, our trial had the emitters placed diagonally, in report with the position of the operator, otherwise some reflection can cause problems, if this can give you a suggestion ..... and also, you need to focus the modules damn well ;)
 

Cyparagon

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Charlie explained what I said a little better. They're already in use, so I doubt your patent will go through :)
 
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Aw, shucks, that was my route to the millionaire club :( ;)

HIMNL9 is right, definitely makes more sense. You will probably want to align this carefully before using it for any (semi-)precise work if you decide to build it.
 

Scott47

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Thanks everyone for your suggestions... I've just been fighting off the flu
for the last few days so this has been my first chance to respond.

There is indeed a unit made expressly for the drill press that projects two
intersecting lines. It mounts on the column just under the motor head.

But I thought I could do better than the $40 price tag this unit brings
with it. I'm beginning to think that maybe it is a steal at that price!

Scott
 
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If it's a pre-set-up unit and pretty much ready to go, then there's certainly no harm in going for it at that price - you'll probably spend a similar amount, and much more time and effort to build a (probably) less accurate DIY system.
 

Cyparagon

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The line lasers are $8x2 so if you can build something to aim them and power them for the remaining $24... It's also fun to add to the things you can point to in your house and say "I made that!"
 




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