Router Forums banner
1 - 20 of 20 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
230 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently acquired a used Powermatic 18" drill press with laser cross hairs. Only one of the lasers is functional. This is my first tool with a laser light and wondered if it is worthwhile to replace the defective laser; the cost would be $125 plus. Is the cross hair light something you find useful in real applications?

Thanks
 

·
Official Greeter
Joined
·
20,101 Posts
Must admit, I have never used a power tool with laser cross hairs.
My benchtop drill press works well without one....
 

·
Registered
Sr. mechanical engineer (HAVC / R)
Joined
·
53 Posts
Good day.
I have one on my drill press I use it some. if it ever fails I will not replace it. i got for one project it was worth it.
lots of odd spaced holes. fence helped some.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
230 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Good day.
I have one on my drill press I use it some. if it ever fails I will not replace it. i got for one project it was worth it.
lots of odd spaced holes. fence helped some.
My intuition agreed with your experience, but intuition is only as good as your prior experiences. Since I had no prior experiences with laser cross hairs, I wanted to reach out to those with experience. Thanks.
 

·
Registered
Sr. mechanical engineer (HAVC / R)
Joined
·
53 Posts
@bfblack

End up using it today so to drill a bunch of quick holes.

Use the fence to keep it straight line but being off my little bit wasn't a big deal but the laser did make it easier to hit the target fairly close.
I will admit as I've gotten older I need any more lights to work,
anything extra make it easier is generally it is worth it. this is the one I have.
Wixey Model WL133 Drill Press Laser.
also maybe I used more than I realize.
 

·
Registered
Sr. mechanical engineer (HAVC / R)
Joined
·
53 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
230 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
@bfblack
is the laser assembly out of alignment? based on the instructions in the book. left side and right pieces that can be bought separately. also since you said you bought it used, maybe during shipping it came unplugged.

View attachment 402486

from the powermatic manual. page 15
Thanks for the suggestion on seeing if it is disconnected. I was aware that the two lasers can be replaced independently. I identify with needing more light at this stage in life.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22,228 Posts
My DP has the laser crosshairs, and I don't use them a lot. But every once in awhile, they do make it easier to place the drill where I want it, and it does help me position the fence. So I'd probably replace it, definitely on a Powermatic tool.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
754 Posts
To align a laser, place a piece of material on the table. Set up a tiny drill bit to drill into the top surface. you don't need to drill completely through. Use the press to drill a small dimple into the material which should NOT be able to move at all. Now raise the chuck fully UP and mount the laser. Set up the single dot or the crosshairs to point to the direct center of that dot from a position off to one side of the chuck.

The laser will ONLY be accurate for THAT BIT in that chuck, drilling that material at that height. ANY change in the table height on the mast, or the height or position of the material etc., will cause the crosshairs to no longer be accurate. The triangle created by the laser is ONLY accurate for the current geometry of that triangle. I have found drill press lasers to be more of a PITA than actual help.

There is an alternative that perhaps no one thinks about. You can put a bore sight laser into a drill chuck. It will give you the precise spot where a press will drill a hole, despite the height of the table or the material on the table, because the bore sight laser is placed into the chuck to align the material. When the red dot is where you want it, remove the laser and install the bit. The hole will be exactly where the red dot was seen.

You may need to put the bore sight laser into a lathe to turn down the end of the simulated rifle cartridge because a drill chuck does not use that lip.

joe

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
230 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
To align a laser, place a piece of material on the table. Set up a tiny drill bit to drill into the top surface. you don't need to drill completely through. Use the press to drill a small dimple into the material which should NOT be able to move at all. Now raise the chuck fully UP and mount the laser. Set up the single dot or the crosshairs to point to the direct center of that dot from a position off to one side of the chuck.

The laser will ONLY be accurate for THAT BIT in that chuck, drilling that material at that height. ANY change in the table height on the mast, or the height or position of the material etc., will cause the crosshairs to no longer be accurate. The triangle created by the laser is ONLY accurate for the current geometry of that triangle. I have found drill press lasers to be more of a PITA than actual help.

There is an alternative that perhaps no one thinks about. You can put a bore sight laser into a drill chuck. It will give you the precise spot where a press will drill a hole, despite the height of the table or the material on the table, because the bore sight laser is placed into the chuck to align the material. When the red dot is where you want it, remove the laser and install the bit. The hole will be exactly where the red dot was seen.

You may need to put the bore sight laser into a lathe to turn down the end of the simulated rifle cartridge because a drill chuck does not use that lip.

joe

Interesting concept using a laser bore sight. I have a wood lathe for which i am not very proficient. Perhaps I could spin the simulated cartridge on the lathe and file or sand down the lip. It may be difficult to access the battery compartment once the lip is removed. Thanks for the suggestion.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
754 Posts
Interesting concept using a laser bore sight. I have a wood lathe for which i am not very proficient. Perhaps I could spin the simulated cartridge on the lathe and file or sand down the lip. It may be difficult to access the battery compartment once the lip is removed. Thanks for the suggestion.
Cut a small slot to use a dime to unscrew it.

Joe
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
To align a laser, place a piece of material on the table. Set up a tiny drill bit to drill into the top surface. you don't need to drill completely through. Use the press to drill a small dimple into the material which should NOT be able to move at all. Now raise the chuck fully UP and mount the laser. Set up the single dot or the crosshairs to point to the direct center of that dot from a position off to one side of the chuck.

The laser will ONLY be accurate for THAT BIT in that chuck, drilling that material at that height. ANY change in the table height on the mast, or the height or position of the material etc., will cause the crosshairs to no longer be accurate. The triangle created by the laser is ONLY accurate for the current geometry of that triangle. I have found drill press lasers to be more of a PITA than actual help.

There is an alternative that perhaps no one thinks about. You can put a bore sight laser into a drill chuck. It will give you the precise spot where a press will drill a hole, despite the height of the table or the material on the table, because the bore sight laser is placed into the chuck to align the material. When the red dot is where you want it, remove the laser and install the bit. The hole will be exactly where the red dot was seen.

You may need to put the bore sight laser into a lathe to turn down the end of the simulated rifle cartridge because a drill chuck does not use that lip.

joe

That's a great idea. I've had laser sights on my drill press foe years, but have never used them because of the difficulty in keeping them aligned. Thanks for the suggestion.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
53 Posts
I recently acquired a used Powermatic 18" drill press with laser cross hairs. Only one of the lasers is functional. This is my first tool with a laser light and wondered if it is worthwhile to replace the defective laser; the cost would be $125 plus. Is the cross hair light something you find useful in real applications?

Thanks
While I think it would be useful sometimes the accuracy of just letting a brad point drill bit touch the surface of the wood can get you to almost 1/00." That is accurate enough for me. Were I working with metal perhaps I would have a different opinion. By the way, I installed a cross feed vice on my drillpress so even with twist bit I can get close to the mark with ease. It was cheaper than $125 even with the extra table I had to make.
 

·
Official Greeter
Joined
·
20,101 Posts
G'day @gslatton , welcome to the forum...

Would you like to introduce yourself in the "Introductions" section, so we can understand a bit more about your router uses?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
I recently acquired a used Powermatic 18" drill press with laser cross hairs. Only one of the lasers is functional. This is my first tool with a laser light and wondered if it is worthwhile to replace the defective laser; the cost would be $125 plus. Is the cross hair light something you find useful in real applications?

Thanks
I've used a lot of Drill Presses, mainly the old vintage ones. You center punch where the Center of the hole goes and Drill. I would probably never use a Laser thing. But everyone has their own skills and wants. To me it would be a waste of Money. But check out the Laser some more it might just have a short in it, or go on Google and ask a question of what could be wrong with the Laser, someone I'm sure knows. And also research prices on Ebay and it might save you some money. Mr. and Mrs. Googe knows almost anything, all you have to do is ask them. Just my Opinion.
 

·
Premium Member
Frank
Joined
·
378 Posts
I have used a laser on my drill press for years. Obviously a brad point bit can do this job, but you must have good lights that focus on the point. I will admit I like gadgets. It is up to the user to determine if they drill enough holes to make this a worthwhile purchase.
 
1 - 20 of 20 Posts
Top