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Lasers aren't as good as Austin Powers thought.

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Review by kshipp posted 2323 days ago 4590 views 0 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Lasers aren't as good as Austin Powers thought. Lasers aren't as good as Austin Powers thought. Lasers aren't as good as Austin Powers thought. Click the pictures to enlarge them

I got this laser drill attachment with my drill press that I reviewed here. I’m really happy with the drill press but this laser sight is quite useless.

Contrary to its name, it does not actually drill holes with a laser. Now that would be cool. This mounts on the column of the drill press and projects two laser lines which are supposed to cross at the exact point where the bit will touch the material to be drilled.

It is, in fact, possible to set up the laser to do this. The adjustment is done by loosening a ring on each lens and rotating the beam to intersect the drill. Then you loosen two small hex screws and further adjust the alignment. The trick is holding each of those adjustments steady while you tighten them again. So you do that for each side and the laser can be set up. It took me about 20 minutes to line the lasers up in this way.

It worked good and it was really whiz-bang looking until I moved the table. If you think about a projector the image changes when you move the projector or the wall. In this case we are moving the “wall” when we move the table up or down and it changes where the ‘X’ is.

The laser might be a handy feature if you had to bore many holes with the exact same setup but I still think its easier to just lower the quill and see where it will go.

This is $40 as an add-on accessory at the Sears website.

-- Kyle Shipp, http://battleshipp.blogspot.com




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kshipp

179 posts in 2362 days



10 comments so far

View Tom Adamski's profile

Tom Adamski

306 posts in 2354 days


#1 posted 2323 days ago

Thanks Kyle,
I was considering purchasing this. Thanks for the heads up. If you have to constantly adjust the lasers for different table sets, what’s the point?

Tom

-- Anybody can become a woodworker, but only a Craftsman can hide his mistakes.

View kshipp's profile

kshipp

179 posts in 2362 days


#2 posted 2323 days ago

I’m not sure what the point is either. I see that on their latest high-tech drill press lasers are mounted right above the chuck which would seem to eliminate this problem because of the sharper angle. That set-up isn’t avaliable as a stand-alone right now so I would hold off.

-- Kyle Shipp, http://battleshipp.blogspot.com

View Tom Adamski's profile

Tom Adamski

306 posts in 2354 days


#3 posted 2323 days ago

It would seem that unless the laser is projected inline with the bit itself, you will always have error… Thanks again for letting us know.

-- Anybody can become a woodworker, but only a Craftsman can hide his mistakes.

View PeteJacobsen's profile

PeteJacobsen

15 posts in 2341 days


#4 posted 2315 days ago

Hmmm. I would have thought it would work fine. If each laser line is in the same plane with the axis of the bit, the lines should cross on the table no matter how close or far away it is.

-- At war with my faults, at peace with my neighbors

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27251 posts in 2405 days


#5 posted 2314 days ago

Hi Kyle,

I agree with your comments. I have a Delta with the same laser. It works fine when you first adjust it but it just doesn’t seem to hold it adjustment. Moving the table or vibration from operating the tool itself seems to throw off the alignment so that to use it effectively it needs to be adjusted every time the drill press is put in use. This kind of defeats the purpose of it.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View Karson's profile

Karson

34842 posts in 2984 days


#6 posted 2314 days ago

Well mark one up for the engineers. DumA – 1. Useful – 0

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware karson_morrison@bigfoot.com †

View spaids's profile

spaids

699 posts in 2277 days


#7 posted 1646 days ago

Guys, If the laser “X” moved by either raising or lowering the table then either the laser attachment was never installed and aligned correctly or the drill itself has some strange problem. If you set if up so the left and right laser project a line that runs straight down your bit then moving the table will make no difference.

notice where the laser hits this forstner bit in this video

-- Wipe the blood stains from your blade before coming in.--

View DeLayne Peck's profile

DeLayne Peck

329 posts in 785 days


#8 posted 626 days ago

I had all of the negatives mentioned above until I moved the unit from the column to the collar above the chuck. Now it works perfectly, table up, down, all the time.

With alignment problems, use the rod provided, then a small dent or hole in some scrap. Tightening? Don’t start too loose. Snug it to the point you can just still adjust it. Set it, then give it a final tightening.

-- DJ Peck, Lincoln Nebraska. I think of my shop as Fritter City. I am the Mayor.

View oldnovice's profile

oldnovice

3517 posts in 1951 days


#9 posted 626 days ago

I really wonder about the accuracy claims! The laser lines are so wide, and wider at the cross hairs, how can that be any better than guides and stops for repetitive drilling?

When I want to drill holes with a Forstner bit I center punch the location lightly and set the bit point into the mark.

I know that lasers can be very accurate but not when it involves the human eye as the other end of the tool.
I worked with laser interferometers only a few years but these have accuracies 0.3 nm and target velocities 500 mm/s. Accuracies the human eye cannot even begin to perceive.

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

View 9FINGERTIM's profile

9FINGERTIM

54 posts in 524 days


#10 posted 506 days ago

My old drillpress doesent have a llaser, i tell where the drill hits the product by that hole that appears when i run the drill into the wood, works everytime and i never wake up at night and wonder if i left the laser turned on

-- TIM, FLORIDA

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