Drill Press Laser Pointer





Introduction: Drill Press Laser Pointer

What happens when you add a $40 Laser and $10 helping hands to a drill press?

After having to drill a bunch of circuit boards, i came to the conclusions that there had to be a better way to perform target practice. So i ordered a laser pointer and dug out an old broken set of helping hands. The helping hands were really helping this time.

Unfortunately i did not document this as i went, but thought i'd share it anyway. And since i had too much text for a slide show, i decided to go this way.

Update: I actually just looked at the receipt for the Laser pointer and stand corrected. I got 2 of them for $30 at ThinkGeek. I still have the second one laying around waiting to be mischievous.

Step 1: Dimming the Laser

The Laser point was a bit too big and bright for what i was trying to do, so i cut the housing, mended it with epoxy and reconnected it with a resistor. The end of the helping hands connect to the clip that was on the laser pen. The tie strap that sticks out is left slightly loose and is used to depress the switch by turning it a bit. The tie straps around it are pulled tight and are there to keep the switching strap in place.

Step 2: Aiming

Here's another angle showing the clip a little better.

Before drilling, the pointer needs to be aimed at where the drill bit will come down.
It needs to be calibrated so to speak.

Step 3: And Action

Now it is possible to quickly drill out circuit boards.

You can see another version of this and other stuff here.



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    you need to take 2 laser pointers and 2 laser line lenses (<$3 each) and place them at 90º from each other to draw crosshairs. Then it will be accurate at any depth.


    Well done that man. Excellent idea. Give that man a coconut.

    I have been looking at those lasers recently on my favorite online auction site for a different project, and at about $4 US a laser module with a line lens, all you have to do is hook the leads up to a 3.5v power source and you are off...

    Mount one in front of the drill, line front to back, and one on the left, beam going left to right, and you are good to go. I'm going to have to do this to my own drill press, as drilling out a recessed broken bolt is not easy when you have no idea where the bit is going!

    good instructible! For not having documented the process, somone could still build this if they wanted to. If you don't agree with me or you don't see the point, don't build it.

    Use TWO lasers from opposite sides and aim them at the drill point. Then, if you're drilling something of a different thickness, there'd be two dots, but you'd always know that the center is in the middle of those dots. This would be harder to implement with a miniature drill press like a Dremel; I get pretty good results using a bright desk lamp which casts a shadow from the drill bit on the PC board.


    nonono... Get yourself some cheap line laser modules. If you look around the internet there's places with free shipping that sell them for about $4 You put them at 90 degree angles to each other on the sides of the drill, and the intersection point will always be in the right spot. when you use something higher or lower the lines move. at one extreme it'll be more like a V. at the other extreme, it'll be an inverted V, but the intersection is always in the same spot.

    It would be beneficial if you could add the # of Ohms the resistor is. it looks like it is 100,000,000 ohm (+/- 5%) (Brown, Black, Violet, Gold) I'm guessing because the colors are a little hard to see Nice set up though and a great idea

    47 ohms ;) yellow violet and black

    Actually the other way around: yel, vio, blck or 47 Ohms. I would actually just grab what works. This is more of a trial and error thing as lasers vary. Your environment makes a difference too. In version 2 of this i'd use a pot as guitarman63mm pointed out.

    Cool, now someone has to make one with a laser scanner to the left and behind to make cross hairs an you would never have to recalibrate. I however don't even have a drill press. But who doesn't like lasers?

    Admittedly I've never drilled a circuit board, but... Unless I'm missing something, wouldn't it be better to: 1/put the laser pen into the drill chuck aiming it downwards 2/adjust the target material until the laser spot hits the right place 3/anchor the material to the base of the drill press 4/replace the laser pen with the bit and... 5/drill away! All this assumes, of course, that the laser pen is "true" when tightened into the chuck, that the chuck itself is "true", and likewise for the bit.