Just a random thought, but I was thinking about a CNC’s ability to carve a hole with any bit smaller that hole, and how often in my past woodworking I didn’t have the right sized drill bit for a hole I needed. So I was thinking that a potential use of my X-Carve might be one off holes in existing stock. I started to wonder whether or not anyone has tried putting 2 line lasers so that one could jog the machine so that the center of the bit would line up with a center point on the stock. Possibly even mounting one line laser on the carriage on one Y axis (shining in the X direction) and another behind the X carriage shining in the Y direction, that way both would be a accurate despite stock thickness.
i’m pretty sure peolpe have done it. I have 1 laserpointer mounted on my Z-carriage myself. It is not super accurate, bc as Jk pointed out the laser point is not super fine, but it works for a lot of applications pretty well.
Mine doesn’t point at the cutter mark. Its just randomly placed on the carriage, but as long as i can reproduce the X-Y placement I still maintain relatively accurate zeroing.
I used a cheap laser that is used as a cat toy. Just taped it to the spindle assembly. Found the spot was too big for best locating (I used a 0.7mm pencil for my “X”). Took the laser apart and replaced the target mask with a small piece of vinyl tape which I had pierced with a hot needle to make a smaller hole that works great for relocating and homing.
What would be nice and easy would be a fine dot laser housed in a 1/4" shank that could be chucked up in the spindle. Change the laser out after zeroing x and y, set z zero with the bit in and go. Might be nice if the laser shank had a reduced section of 1/8" so it would work with both collets.
True that. Once the offsets are known a couple of quick jogs and your on. Much less fiddley. Getting the laser parallel to the spindle might be a bit fussy tho, and if not right on any increase in the z will have a multiplying effect on the error.
I have used a drillpress with crosshairs, I don’t recall how fine the lines were, but I don’t think they could have been reliably accurate to less than 1/16".
Dang, didn’t know anybody else did this. Mine looks incredibly similar to @AllenMassey’s. One thing I would change about my design is that I have a recess cut in, where the three bolts are on the spindle mount. This results in the laser being flimsier and therefor less accurate than I would like. Then in UGS, I have a macro set up with the required X and Y off-set. Another thing I have been doing is a test carve in to a waste board and then aligning from there and seems to be pretty accurate.
I was going to make a touch probe but this idea looks much easier.
I just have to find a local supplier of these cross lasers as importing one may be a problem if they are considered to be laser pointers. (Laser pointers over 1mw are a banned import into Australia)
You could still make a touch probe for the Z axis. As far as the laser goes, you could find a local supplier of a normal laser. The part that makes it a cross is the lens, so I’m sure you could have that imported and attach it to the laser that you can purchase.