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Laser Mounted on Mill Drill

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  • #16
    Never could get past the math for using a Laser to set the Head.

    Let's say it's 1' (one foot) from Spindle Center to the Column Center.
    So if the Laser beam is projected 20' feet across the room, a movement of 0.001" at the Spindle will cause a movement of 0.02" of the Laser spot.

    Not enough to be practical.

    The Laser would need very, very high quality optics to project a small enough spot to see the change.
    Then you get to walk back and forth to view the spot up close to set the Head, and me... I’d need a good Magnifier.
    Most Laser Pointer and Levels can have a rather large spot at that distance.

    Using a Mirror would return the beam back near to me, so that I can see the change while adjusting the Head.
    This would double the throw, but, would still only be only 0.04".
    Also the Mirror would have to be at least the length of the up/down movable distance of the head, must be very flat so as not to introduce any error, and solidly mounted.
    Someone mentioned that the Machine would have to be well mounted to the floor.

    Someone on this group should be able to come up with a simple Laser Interferometer that might overcome some of these problems.

    I saw somewhere where a person mounted a Dial Indicator on the Head that read off of a bar that was mounted on the machine Base.
    The bar had to be well mounted and precisely in alignment with the Column.
    This seemed like a simple yet precise way of keeping the Head Aligned.

    I have envisioned a project where using a heavy precision ground vertical bar, mounted on the base, with a good linear bearing mounted off the Head with a heavy arm, would keep the alignment.
    I’ve also envisioned using a heavy Ball Screw and Ball Nut in the same setup so I can CNC it.
    Yea, like that’s that going to happen any time soon!

    I have a round column and wish it wasn’t so. Even with carful planning, you sometimes need to adjust the height in the middle of a job. I think the best thing is where ever and when ever we see a round column Mill, just blow it up.

    Tom M.


    • #17
      Oatley Electronics have laser diode modules with brass collimator mount for $10 Oz.

      Usual disclaimer applies.
      Rgds, Lin.


      • #18

        I bought the stuff to setup a laser on my mill/drill, if it works there I will do one up for my knee mill.

        Many thanks for sharing that idea.



        • #19
          Gee guys, I just simply "pinned" my mill drill up/down gear rack to the round post with 3 1/4-20 flat head allen screws. When I tighten down the 2 pinch bolts to the column post I just make sure to pull the head tight to the rack, same direction everytime. The tool always ends up in the same spot.
          This laser thing has been re-discovered about every year for as long as I have been on here.
          Retired - Journeyman Refrigeration Pipefitter - Master Electrician


          • #20
            Gee George,

            Sorry if I peed in your corn flakes. Considering you've been here for about 2.5 years, I guess you've seen this twice, maybe three times then...according to your once a year rule. I was just trying to share an idea.
            Arbo & Thor (The Junkyard Dog)


            • #21
              But can it give you the price off the corn flakes box?
              I still am confused. The laser is not used for positioning of work, just hte head on the mill/drill? back into where it was?

              I worked on a scanning laser for about a week. MOunted onto a futaba servo driven by the SSCII servo board w/180deg swing resoulution. It was too coarse.

              More perfect was the shoot through the hollo spindle ideal. but hte dot was still about 1/8" diameter. Not a true laser w/collomating lens into a perfect 'dot I told myself.

              Ah'm all thumbs this morning. darned old fingers. I am going to stick to pipe fitting today in my shop. RUn some air lines.



              • #22
                QUOTE: The laser is not used for positioning of work, just hte head on the mill/drill? back into where it was?

                Arbo & Thor (The Junkyard Dog)


                • #23
                  With two lasers and servos, making a cross pattern in corelation w.spindle thou you could position work. Each strokes in axis.

                  That is how the Sears one works. It is made to fit up on a known spindle. Thiers.

                  Someone really sharp, could sell ones that did that to everything from a chinese mill-drill to a cnc like mine. There is a untapped market. I'd rather write a check than build my own.
                  My pup still chases the laser I bought for this .. the lil spot.. he looks so dissapointed when he pulls his paws back to see it not'captured there..

                  D: Brr... still cold... David 31deg an risin..


                  • #24
                    A old style plumb bob does the same function. tie it up high, put a pointer on the low side of the head and it can tell you if the head is still plumb too.

                    I am a old guy who still uses them for drops of conduit where it "must hit" a spot on a panel. Lots of young guys laugh, but I keep hitting the mark. Let'em laugh, I'll retire still hitting my mark.



                    • #25
                      I just believe in the KISS rule, while you guys are trying to line up your lazer dots, I'm milling / drilling. BTW the "pinning" idea came from HSM, not taking any credit.
                      Retired - Journeyman Refrigeration Pipefitter - Master Electrician