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Author Topic: Down 'n Dirty Laser Locator  (Read 2820 times)

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Offline Sam

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Down 'n Dirty Laser Locator
« on: September 16, 2009, 07:44:47 PM »
So I was wanting to go make some parts in the shop today, and was dreading just getting everything indicated and zeroed in. So I finally decided to do something about it. I have a small camera. Its wireless, and I suppose I could make it work. Naaa...to much work involved making brackets, troubleshooting, and other stuff....and I'm just way to lazy. I have a laser pointer, but the beam is way to big. Probably over .25" (6+mm) in length and .07-.10" (2mm) in width. It's also very fuzzy. Not at all what anyone would want for locating anything other than a bullet into a target. Who am I trying to fool...it wasn't even good for that. It did make a wonderful cat toy, though, and making him spin in tight circles until he's so drunk he would fail a Kentucky DUI test, proved to be wholesome entertaininment for the entire family. I suppose I need a locating laser more than a drunk cat, so that settles that dilemma. I could order one with a better beam, but even then It would most likely be unacceptable to me. Besides, I wanted it now, not later. I had thought of solutions before, and determined that making a cap for the laser tube, and drilling a small hole in it would work just great. I don't have any bits that small here, so I need to hillbilly/MacGyver this thing somehow. I need something with a very small hole in it. I have one of those ink refill syringes. I could shoot the beam down that...Na, that's just crazy. How bout if I use the end of a ball point pen? Na, the opening is way to big. Then I discovered a mechanical pencil. Eureka! This had potential. So I dis-assembled the pencil (without any detailed drawings to guide me, I might add) put the pencil end up to the laser tube, and instantly knew I was on to something. I also noticed that if I offset the pencil from the center, I could dim the dot, allowing better focus for the eyes. MacGyver would surly be proud. So off to the shop I go.

Step 1.   Go to shop. It's raining, and the shop is 250' away. GRRRRRRR!!! >:(
Step 2.   Return to house to get the super glue...in the rain. >:( >:( >:(
Step 3.   Return to shop....in the rain.  >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:(
Step 4.   Glue pencil end on laser tube. Can't get that stupid MacGyver tune outta my head.  :-X
Step 5.   Dis-assemble my spindle bracket, drill and tap a 1/4-20 hole for the laser tube to screw into.
Step 6.   Screw laser into 1/4-20 hole.
Step 6.1  Run a 6mm tap through a 1/4-20 hole.  ;D  (like you haven't done it before!!)
Step 7.   Re-assemble everything and admire.

I have to admit, it works pretty darn good. I will have to make a solid attachment to take the place of the pencil one day, but for a quick, down and dirty locator, I couldn't be more pleased. So for anybody that doesn't like the size or crispness of their pointer....try shooting it through a small hole, and you might be nicely surprised. The beam on the tape looks to be about 3/64" (1.19mm). I think with a sharp eye, you could center that dot up nicely on a fine line or center point, if it's on the right surface. It's no replacement for an indicator of course, but it gets you in the neighborhood when "good enough" works just fine.
"CONFIDENCE: it's the feeling you experience before you fully understand the situation."
Re: Down 'n Dirty Laser Locator
« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2009, 09:17:52 PM »
Very neat Sam.
You are definitely a "Master of Improvisation".

Thanks for the grins,
Russ

Offline RICH

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Re: Down 'n Dirty Laser Locator
« Reply #2 on: September 16, 2009, 10:05:09 PM »
Nice Sam, that's what i like, a person who becomes creative on a rainy day.
Hmm......reminds me of our first child.  ???
RICH

Offline Tweakie.CNC

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Re: Down 'n Dirty Laser Locator
« Reply #3 on: September 17, 2009, 09:43:38 AM »
Hey Sam, you missed out all the important steps like:-

1a Open beer can.
2a Drink beer.
3a Get another can.
etc. etc.    ;D

Nice innovation though.

Tweakie.
Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.  Winston Churchill.

Offline Sam

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Re: Down 'n Dirty Laser Locator
« Reply #4 on: September 17, 2009, 01:28:41 PM »
I thought those were unspoken rules. Kind of like breathing or blinking.
Quote
reminds me of our first child
  ;D
"CONFIDENCE: it's the feeling you experience before you fully understand the situation."