Drill Press Dust Collector & Laser Guide

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Introduction: Drill Press Dust Collector & Laser Guide

About: I am an all-around DIY enthusiast that combines skills from different fields like woodworking, electronics, 3D printing, and more to make all kinds of thoughtful projects.

In this instructable/video, I will be making a dust collection system and a laser guide to reduce the mess you get after the drilling and improve drilling accuracy. These accessories are pretty simple to make and they are very nice to have.

Provided Amazon links are affiliates.

Main Tools:

Main Components & Materials:

Other Things:

Double side tape, screws, bolts, nuts, washers, wing nuts, heat-shrink tube

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Step 1: Preview

Few preview shots of the project.

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Step 2: Making the Dust Collector

First, I cut all main pieces for the dust collector.

Step 3:

The gap between stacked pieces should be the same (or slightly narrower) as the diameter of the drill press pipe. It is unlikely that you will get it right just by stacking pieces, so we need to trim one piece with a router.

Step 4:

I marked the middle of each piece and used spade bits to get the right diameter holes. You can use forstner or hole saw bits. Use what you are most comfortable with. Sizes, of course, will depend on your shop vac hose adapter. In my case inside diameter was 25mm and outside 35mm.

Step 5:

I glued the pieces in three parts - middle, left and right. I am not gluing all parts together yet as I will need to drill and sand the middle part.

Step 6:

To make the hole into the middle part, at first, I tried using the same 35mm spade bit, but quickly gave up as the bit kept stucking while drilling. I tried avoiding drilling bigger holes on the drill press until I had this dust collector, as keeping everything clean is important for my tiny work corner.

For sanding inside a rotary tool like Dremel or similar, it will make this easy and quick.

Step 7:

Now we can finally glue all three parts together.

Step 8:

When I placed the collector on the drill press I glued additional support blocks. If your drill press doesn't disassemble easily secure the parts with few screws as we will need to take of this piece later.

Step 9:

Now at both ends, we need to drill holes for the long screw.

Step 10:

I tightened screw with a nut, and on the end I used a wing nut. Very simple and very effective.

The results are day and night! If you care about not making a mess, something like this is must to have!

Step 11: Making the Laser Guide

For the laser guide, first we need to make some sort of holders for the lasers. The most important thing here is that the laser had a snug fit to the 12mm hole. I used a spade bit, but if you have a 12mm forstner bit, you definitely want to use that.

Step 12:

Next, nothing really special, we just need two square blocks, drill pilot holes in each of them and then fix that laser holder on a square plywood block by drilling more pilot holes and adding a screw.

Step 13:

With two holders done, I made a base that will hold those two parts. Like the dust collector, it will go on the drill press post.

Step 14:

But before attaching the holders, now is the time to add all electronics and other parts. As at the top of my drill press post is a huge motor that is very close to the pipe, I just attached a zip tie instead of making a proper clamp as I made on the dust collector.

I fixed the power switch with a tiny part of plastic and the battery holder with thick double side tape and one screw in the middle.

Step 15:

To power this project you will need one lithium-ion 18650 battery and the TP4056 charging chip for it.

BE AWARE! There are protected and unprotected 18650 batteries:

  • if you use a protected battery, you can use the TP4056 chip (like I did)
  • if you use an unprotected battery, you MUST use the TP4056A chip (bigger chip)

Step 16:

We also will need few line lasers. When powered two of them consume only ~30mA! So even with a very low capacity 18650 battery, like 1000mAh, you will get ~30 hours of usage.

Step 17:

By rotating the end cap you can adjust the optic and it will give you a thin line. Too bad that the rotating optic is kinda loose. So to prevent it from rotating accidentally we need to stretch the spring.

Step 18:

To fix the lasers in place I used small screws. Remember that screw pushes the laser to hold it in place. So if the hole will be too loose you will have a bad time when adjusting the laser lines.

Step 19:

And now - soldering. This is very basic stuff:

  • The positive wire from the battery goes to the outside contact of the switch.
  • The positive wires from the lasers go to the middle contact of the switch.
  • All negative contacts are connected together.
  • The positive wire from the charging chip goes to the positive contact of the battery (which is on the outside of the switch).

And you are done with the soldering!

Step 20:

To charge it you use a standard 5V micro USB charger, or you can get that chip with a USB Type-C connector.

Finally, we need to secure the laser guide to the drill press and we are done with the build!

Step 21:

What's left is to align the lasers. I aligned them the hard way (1-5 picture), but there is a simple way. Basically, both laser line planes must go vertically through the center of the drill bit. In simple words, insert a very long bit into the chuck and adjust that the laser lines from both sides would be right in the middle of the bit (last image). Of course, you should use any perfectly straight and long rod or drill bit and not a pencil, it is only for demonstration purposes.

Step 22: END

When aligned, you will get really good results!

I hope this instructable/video was useful and informative.
If you liked it, you can support me by liking this Instructable / YouTube video and subscribe for more future content. Feel free to leave any questions about this build. Thank you, for reading/watching! Till next time! :)

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    19 Comments

    0
    kirrie
    kirrie

    1 year ago on Introduction

    Great project,I like the laser centering best for me ,as i make toy cars and trucks and the wheels are very important,centering has always been a time consuming part of the wheel making,this jig will be a big help.thanks for the video.

    0
    diyperspective
    diyperspective

    Reply 1 year ago

    Thank you, glad to help :)

    0
    farmerguido
    farmerguido

    1 year ago

    Seems to me, if you put a 450mm spade bit in the chuck and then ensured both lasers were running perfectly vertical down the centre of this long narrow shaft, you would have a quick way of calibrating for all heights without the trial and error....

    0
    diyperspective
    diyperspective

    Reply 1 year ago

    Thanks, that will reduce the trial and error process a lot.

    0
    jtreadgold
    jtreadgold

    1 year ago on Step 22

    The lasers need to be in line with the quill at 90° to the vertical axis, not at a diagonal. If you have to move the table up or down they won’t stay lined up.

    0
    BillH14
    BillH14

    Reply 1 year ago

    He shows that the lasers still cross at the center at different table heights. Notice that the lines cross each other with different leg lengths at different heights. I'm not sure how the geometry works, but it works for him.

    0
    mscaldwell888
    mscaldwell888

    Reply 1 year ago

    I think as long as the lines (actually the planes) the lasers create in the air (not on the work surface) are vertical (in line with) with respect to the drill post, the intersection of the two laser planes will be a vertical line and they will always cross at the same point on the work piece or table regardless of height/position as shown in the diagram. However, they will not make a 90 degree x unless they are far enough apart to cross each other at a 90 angle. but you don't need your 'crosshairs' to be 90 in order to see where the drill hits. If you rotate the laser to get 90 degrees on your table, the cross point will change as the height changes (again except when the lasers are far enough apart to cross at 90 under the drill point). I'm going for 'not' 90 degree cross hairs so I don't have lasers way out to the sides.

    0
    BillH14
    BillH14

    Reply 1 year ago

    I think the key is mounting the lasers at 45 degrees from the centerline of the drill press post, then the lasers cross at 90 degrees no matter what the height of the table is.

    0
    diyperspective
    diyperspective

    Reply 1 year ago

    "45 degrees from the centerline of the drill press post" would work, but then you will need quite a wide laser placement. In my case, that would be ~35cm and I used 8cm.
    When I adjusted the lasers, mostly mattered rotating the square inwards or outwards and rotating the laser inside its 12mm hole. I didn't use specific dimensions, those are completely random just to fit for my drill press.
    I will try to figure out the explanation of how to set up the lasers and update the adjustment step if I can.

    EDIT: I understand how you should adjust it, but I still have no idea how to explain it (GIF image). Please check STEP 21 for future updates.

    IMG_20200406_175536.jpgLaser adjustment.gif
    0
    PhilTilson
    PhilTilson

    Reply 1 year ago

    Yes they will! Check out the pictures in Step 21.

    0
    Steve365
    Steve365

    Reply 1 year ago

    I assume that is because the laser is aligned to the vertical plane, not shooting a horizontal beam?

    0
    48thRōnin
    48thRōnin

    1 year ago

    Any chance to get a cut list for the plywooood parts? Thanks!

    0
    diyperspective
    diyperspective

    Reply 1 year ago

    I just used scrap parts. But if you want, here are the dimensions. I will also include this picture in the instructable now.

    laser guide dimensions.jpg
    0
    socaltoolguy
    socaltoolguy

    1 year ago

    This is an excellent video and came just at the right time. I have been wanting to figure out a laser sight for my little drill press and yours will do nicely. Thanks.

    0
    diyperspective
    diyperspective

    Reply 1 year ago

    Thanks! It is a really nice accessory to have.

    0
    Ralphxyz
    Ralphxyz

    Question 1 year ago

    If the lasers are fixed and you lower or raise the table are they still aligned on the table?

    0
    diyperspective
    diyperspective

    Answer 1 year ago

    They are aligned to the center where the drill bit goes, no matter the height. It is all about the adjustment. For me, it took ~30 minutes to get them in the perfect position. It is quite a long trial and error route, but when it is done, oh my... it is so good!

    0
    PhilTilson
    PhilTilson

    Answer 1 year ago

    Yes. Check out the pictures in Step 21.

    0
    Fabian_HH
    Fabian_HH

    1 year ago

    Keep in mind, that most zip ties are not UV-stable and might break after a few month in sun light