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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
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    Helensburgh
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    Default Veritas Optical Centre Punch

    I bought one of these https://www.carbatec.com.au/marking-...l-centre-punch so I thought I might relate my experience with it. I had to lay out four 3mm holes to attach a backing plate onto a DRO slide read head for my router table and the screws had just about nil clearance for a tight fit. Using the Optical Centre Punch I got the holes drilled spot on first time which might be a first for me, highly recommended. It is one of those tools that I had hesitated to buy because I thought I would not use it but I suspect it will now get a lot of use.
    CHRIS

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Melbourne
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    One of those tools that you donít use every day !but your glad you have it when you to use it,

    Thank Chriss.

    Cheers Matt.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    blue mountains
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    Default

    Ok I just have to play devil's advocate here and ask how it's better than a regular center punch. Surely the important bit is the marking out. The punch itself looks to be a serious solid bit of metal although I suspect the weekend warriors will struggle to resharpen the tip and keep it centred. The whole thing looks to be very well made but is it really necessary.Regards
    John

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Little River
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    73
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    I have one and I find that it is now possible to put a hole exactly on the mark, instead of just very close to the mark.

    I use it whenever I have to do any critical layout.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
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    Helensburgh
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by orraloon View Post
    Ok I just have to play devil's advocate here and ask how it's better than a regular center punch. Surely the important bit is the marking out. The punch itself looks to be a serious solid bit of metal although I suspect the weekend warriors will struggle to resharpen the tip and keep it centred. The whole thing looks to be very well made but is it really necessary.Regards
    John
    My Brother in Law is a toolmaker by profession and he uses one, in fact he asked me to order two so he could have a spare.
    CHRIS

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Perth
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    23,069

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by orraloon View Post
    Ok I just have to play devil's advocate here and ask how it's better than a regular center punch. Surely the important bit is the marking out. The punch itself looks to be a serious solid bit of metal although I suspect the weekend warriors will struggle to resharpen the tip and keep it centred. The whole thing looks to be very well made but is it really necessary.Regards
    John
    When marking out crosses at the hole positions are using scratched into the workpieces and if the punch is sharp and the scratches are deep and clear enough, the punch tip can usually find the centre of the cross but this is not always the case. Also the punch has to be held dead vertically or it may create the "dot" away from the centre. The latter is not given much significance and probably results in more off centre holes than we might think.

    The other situation where the optical bit really helps is when positions of holes are transferred from one work piece to another by placing the pieces together and a scribe through the piece with the holes in it marks a circle on the other.
    Marking the exact centre of these circles is not always easy but the optical centre finder cross hairs or concentric circles makes this a lot more accurate.

    Marking the punched dot position accurately is one thing but then getting the drill bit to find the punched dot is another, especially if a large drill bit is being used.
    This is where a pilot hole made with a smaller drill bit is handy.
    If the drill bit is too small the tip can slide of centre into the dot so it the bit is then crooked and so will the resulting hole.
    An alternative to aid in better centring the drill bit is a centre finder like this. The sprung tip allows the workpiece to be moved under it until it nestles neatly into the dot.
    It's not so easy to do with large heavy pieces and one has to be careful that the work piece hold down mechanism employed does not move the workpiece while the hold down mechanism is tightened.
    Cfinder3.jpg

    I use a cross slide vice to hold most workpieces by when accurate drilling is needed I use this type of table as the piece can be tightened the the centre finder in place.
    DPtable3.jpg

    FWIW, Chris's post reminded me I have all the bits needed to make a basic optical punch - just got to find them .

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    blue mountains
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    Default

    Well going by the response perhaps it does have merit. It would hold the punch perfectly upright. In the end its the result that counts.
    Regards
    John

  9. #8
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    Jun 2005
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    Helensburgh
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    John, I debated whether it was needed or not for a long time and when I mentioned it to my Brother in Law about buying one he immediately put his hand up for one as well. I figured if he thought it was a good idea who am I to argue with his sort of background. The first job I used it on I got a perfect result drilling 3mm holes with no clearance and I was astounded to say the least.
    CHRIS

  10. #9
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    Helensburgh
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    Someone suggested it is useful to shine a torch into an optical centre finder/punch to make it easier to see when the ambient light is low and I found that yes it is. We were talking about this and this is what we came up with from the 3D printer, it is a small ring with an LED light embedded in the side, the LED came form Jaycar as did the battery carrier for the power. It was a bit hard to photograph clearly through the optic but I think you will get the idea. If anyone wants on let me know.

    IMG_2295.jpgIMG_2296.jpgIMG_2297.jpg
    CHRIS

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