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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I only had one aggravation with my benchtop Wen drill press. The depth stop post had a knurled nut you had to spin up and down a fine threaded post to set the depth. Slow enough that I could feel my blood pressure rise whenever I had to use it.
This is a push button collar I made from some HDPE (high density plastic) scraps I had. Both the body and the button were cut on my CNC. With care and some simplifying you could also make this using a drill press for all the holes and scroll saw to cut out the body.
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I've written up a How-To on my blog: Making a Push Button Depth Stop for my Wen Drill Press
This is it installed on my drill press post. Sanity restored. A section of threads presses against the threaded post to keep it in place. Press the button in and the collar can slide up and down the post easily.
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks DesertRatTom. I already have a set of bit collars. As most of the drilling I do is not a production run they have lived in a drawer next to my Nova Voyager DVR press. I sad life I suspect just waiting to be remembered and used. I'm often drilling holes to drop cross dowels in or furniture construction bolts through. Both use metric bits or something with a 64th fraction to get close to the metric size needed. The cross dowels need to be sunk to a precise depth. If I cut the part on my CNC then the CNC takes care of that precision. If I'm using one of my drill presses the Voyager can be programmed to stop the bit at the programmed depth, although its precision is limited to imperial fractions that don't always match the needed metric depth. I've added a digital readout (Igaging) along with the the plastic stop collar to my little Wen. That combination has the potential for the precision I'm after, but I need to firm up the DRO's attachment some. It flexes a bit right now. Some triangulation-ishing to lock the geometry is forming in my mind and will be applied when a full idea.
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Thanks for that tip.
I may purchase some HDPE rod to make spacers......
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I've now made an aluminum version of that depth stop. Had to sacrifice the first try so I could learn the weaknesses of my old Probotix CNC when it tries to cut aluminum. Lessons I learned included: Full width passes, even tiny steps down, deflect the bit. Ramping down should be avoided if possible. Clamping the part down securely is critical lest the bit will do its best to move the part. Final outcome before I cleaned up the sides and filed a small chamfer on the sharp corners.
I've written up a longer tale with more photos on my blog: Adventure Cutting Aluminum with my CNC.

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Second try came close to making me forget about making one from Brass. The experience certainly pointed out the weaknesses of my CNC. Deflection of the Z axis thanks to twisting of the gantry beam left scars on every toolpath, some worse than others. Despite that I pushed through, and with some post CNC filing and sanding have the body of the depth stop collar done. I used the button I made for the HDPE version to verify it works. The scars are hidden on the back side in the attached photo. For now Brass is banished from my CNC room. One broken bit sacrificed to the endeavor. While a router bit can cut through brass and aluminum, it clearly demands that the material be very securely held, and that the CNC cutting it be beefy and rigid and be without deflection in every direction. Not for my aging Probotix Meteor CNC. My CNC took advantage of every opportunity it had to damage the part it was cutting. The one good thing I got from the experience was a working push button depth stop for my Wen benchtop drill press.
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