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  1. #1
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    Default Laser alignment for the Drill Mill

    I read of this modification for the drill mill somewhere?
    As anyone who has milled on a drill mill will tell you, as soon as you move the head vertically you have to get out the test indicator and realign the head horizontally with the job/crossfeed table.
    Its a real pain.
    The laser lines up with a line drawn vertically on a cupboard 4 meters away.

    Laser $23.95 from Jaycar.
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    I've become a tool of my tools.

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  3. #2
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    Default

    Neat Idea ." Neat " did I say that ? I mean Great Idea.

    I bought lazer pointer last week for a similar purpose but discovered the light is off center to the body of the pointer .
    I basically wanted to mount it the chuck and use it for centering the work piece oto the chuck.

    Is the jaycar one a centered lazer?

    My mill has a dovetailed column , but I know what your talking about with circular columns.

    Kev
    "Outside of a dog a book is man's best friend ,inside a dog it's too dark to read"
    Groucho Marx

  4. #3
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    Default Lazer pointer

    Woodlee the lazer I used is off center.
    There seems to be a lot of crappy lazers for sale. (E-pay)
    I'm glad I tried before I brought, but I didn't notice it is not centered
    It makes no difference in this application unless the pointer is rotated which moves the red spot in a 400mm arc at 4 meters.
    I put a couple extra rubber O rings in the body to ensure it would not move.
    In fact is easier to rotate the pointer rather than move the line during the initial alignment.
    The only drawback I have found when using this model is the switch cannot be locked on. But I will find a fix for that.

    Poloris
    I've become a tool of my tools.

  5. #4
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    Default

    The one I have you can change the red dot to a line or an arrow I guess that's why its off center.Same deal with the switch as well.
    I'll keep looking until I find one that has a centered beam.

    Kev.
    "Outside of a dog a book is man's best friend ,inside a dog it's too dark to read"
    Groucho Marx

  6. #5
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  7. #6
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    Default

    Probably , but I was thinking of a single beam/dot ,mount the doover in the drill chuck ,and center on the center pop mark, remove and replace with drill .

    But this maybe better.

    Kev.
    "Outside of a dog a book is man's best friend ,inside a dog it's too dark to read"
    Groucho Marx

  8. #7
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    Default re aliging mill, simpler and more accurate method

    you have made it all too complicated.. an simple method is below

    a simple method is to use a mirror and a target mask with one of those laser centre finders... (If you dont have a laser edge finder, read my double mirror method below it, but it only works if your mill has a hole though the spindle, as used by a draw bar or such)

    place the mirror on the milling cross feed table, put a target mask, with minute hole to allow the laser beem though over laser edge of the edge finder, so that the laser beam just come though.

    then try shoot the beam down on to the mirror on the bed, and aim it back up to the original edge finder laser hole...

    the advantage of this method, is that since any alignment movement of the angle head is doubled (the re mirror reflection) you can get it to within in optical alignment accuracy or thousands of an arc.

    NOTE> ALways wear those special laser protection glasses, when using laser. if a red laser, then the glasses should have a green lens. etc.. dont worry the dot is so bright you will see the faint illuminated dot even though that..

    (this is a modification of the old photographers trick of using two mirrors, one with a hole in it. to align enlargers...)

    Double mirror method. (one of the Mirrors must has a small hole, either drilled in it if it is a plastic mirror or scratched though the silvered backing if a glass mirror)

    again place the plain mirror on the bed, and put the hole of the second mirror over the draw bar hole.. next look though the hole, and start the alignment. when aligned you should see aligned concentric reflections of the hole you are looking though and the front face of the mills "hole" where you put the mill bits, etc...

    Regards, Andy

  9. #8
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    Default re aliging mill, simpler

    Yep that sounds really accurate and I suspect there will be plenty that will find a use for the two mirror method.
    But I don't think the mirrors would be practical for my application that is when the crossfeed table has a job clamped to it (Photo) and a collet chuck in the quill.
    I only use the lazer to correct the horizontal swing that is the result of moving the milling head up or down the round column.
    I will often leave a 123 block clamped and aligned to the table to butt a job against or use with a test indicator once the laser has got me close to the ballpark.
    Drills mills are pretty basic machines.
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  10. #9
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    Default re mirror aligning

    I did not say the mirror had to be big, indeed small mirror tiles would do, but it is essential, (and I forgot to add to my previous story) that the top mirror with the hole on it, must be placed on an absoluitly perfectly true running hole.

    to prove this, simply hand turn the spindle with the mirror lying there, and any eccentric movement of the image viewed through the hole will show up, and show the the mirror is not laying on a perfectly flat draw bar hole...

    If you want to make a modification of this simply mount a mirror with a hole to the front of a morse taper bay with a hole completely though it... again proving it is perfectly flat by the above method.

    I would say the above method could have a mill aligned before you could have even set up any other method.
    when trying any of the above methods, just remember that glass mirrors are the flattest, and always make sure there is nothing, not even dust caught under them (doh.....)

    Simply & quick.. (just like me...hahaah)
    Regards, Andy

  11. #10
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    Default Laser

    Woodlee

    I bought a laser at Tandy last weekend that has the lense in the centre. Cost $32. They had the other cheaper one with the offset lense too but after reading the above post I went for the more expensive one. Am yet to make up a bracket to fit to mill. It has a small gold button to turn light on/off. Solved that by pushing a piece of hose over the button to keep it on. Hope this helps you.

    DD

  12. #11
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    Default

    Thanks Dingo , will keep that in mind.

    Kev.
    "Outside of a dog a book is man's best friend ,inside a dog it's too dark to read"
    Groucho Marx

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