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Author Topic: Adding a laser  (Read 3895 times)

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Offline MbfVA

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Re: Adding a laser
« Reply #20 on: November 30, 2017, 03:27:03 AM »
My mill is a swing blade, and it is very hard to line up the blade for the first cut because of the way the mill is designed.   The machinery gets in the way.

Wondering if a rotating construction laser tactically positioned on a tripod beside the mill would be a workable solution?  Setworks mostly takes over once the first cut is done.

I am still hopng for a response on another thread as to whether not third party setworks can be adapted to swing blades like my Peterson.

 I am not a huge fan of the rather odd freely rotating dial that Peterson uses. I think I would prefer an actual lumber scale such as on most of the band mills, in the absence of electronics setworks.

 But even with setworks, it seems that first cut can also be challenging to line up on a band mill.

Offline Pabene

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Re: Adding a laser
« Reply #21 on: November 30, 2017, 04:11:38 AM »
I know a rotating laser would work good. Most of rotating lasers are "self leveling". That means you first have to level your mill. It is an easy task if you already have the laser. (The saw head has to travel the same way as the laser line.) The next to do is to make it easy to raise and lower the laser unit. I have a steel tube, mounted vertical to the wall, with a bracket for my laser. The bracket slides on the tube and hold the laser by friction. Some tripods has a pillar for the laser, as can be cranked up and down. Then you have to make a mark line outside the saw head in the same height as your blade.
Now you can adjust the log to best position for the first cut. The laser line is visible along the log and you can than lower the saw head so its mark also is on the laser line and cut.
If your mill has a swing blade it would be possible to have an other laser with a fix beam like such on edgers, to guide you for your vertical cut.

Offline MbfVA

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Re: Adding a laser
« Reply #22 on: November 30, 2017, 04:46:31 AM »
Thank you, well laid out procedure.

I am still fairly new with this machine, but I think that if I get the horizontal cut lined up & started correctly as to height, the vertical cut is pretty much set automatically when I come back in the "pull" direction.    I think that works backwards as well, that I could start with the blade vertical and thus also be right for the horizontal (push) cut.

I'm trying to get out to the mill at the farm this week, so I'll try out what you suggested.  I have a Leica rotating laser, which does both vertical and horizontal.  I could put white paper or a white board on the side of the saw  carriage for visibility with a mark for where the saw blade is.  I don't think I want to secure my laser target to the saw because of the vibration.

I have been mounting it on my Giotto photography tripod and it adjusts vertically.

I am up way too late here in the states, so I'm going to call it a night.

Offline Kbeitz

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Re: Adding a laser
« Reply #23 on: November 30, 2017, 08:42:44 AM »
For the people that's looking for a laser for a round blade saw....

You can buy a laser washer that goes under the nut that hold the
blade on. The laser turns on automatically when the blade spins.

Sample...

I have tried for an hour to get the hyper link thing to work...
I give up ...
Just type in (Bosch LS010 Miter Saw Laser Washer Guide) in Google
and you will see what I'm talking about.
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Offline MbfVA

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Re: Adding a laser
« Reply #24 on: December 02, 2017, 03:04:18 AM »
Won't work on my Peterson WPF, sorry to say (blade is held on by a ring of bolts around the arbor, not a single center bolt).   If I could put it on there, it would get in the way of most 10 inch cuts.  I ran it past another thread where Ianab gave me the bad news.  Thanks anyway for the suggestion; maybe it will work on another brand, depending on the arbor.

I haven't tried it yet, but I'm optimistic about the tripod mounted laser level.   I do anticipate it being tricky to pick a spot for the laser where it shines on all the right places and none of the wrong ones, such glinting off the stainless steel frame uprights.  One big advantage: it will not be vibrating on/with the saw.   I recall someone saying that is the major reason why the Wood-mizer laser level accessory is so expensive (almost $1,000!).  Personally, I'd nominate the orange paint ;).

Offline Josef

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Re: Adding a laser
« Reply #25 on: December 02, 2017, 10:05:34 PM »
The Apinex unit I added to my mill is the 50 mW 90 degree green laser, from my ordering receipt this is what I ordered from Apinex early 2015

GM-CW02L <50mW Compact green laser module with line generator US$ 125.00
AC110-220-DC3 110/220, power supply adaptor, 3V US$ 17.50
HS-12 Heat sink 12mm US$ 17.50
Sub Total   US$ 160.00
Shipping (United States Express)   US$ 24.95
TOTAL   US$ 184.95

I ordered a spare shortly after this order, and the one weak point in the unit is where they attach the leads on the back of the module. They are soldered to a very small pc board, and are made from wire I'd equate to frogs hair gauge. To remedy the weak point that became evident after only a few hours operating with the vibrations of a sawmill head I added a terminal board just behind the unit to support the wires where they're tagged to heavier wire to the power supply. You can see it in this pic.



I used the heat sink block as an "adjustable base" it has 5 threaded holes, one center and at each corner, I clamp it with the center and pitch it with jack screws at each corner to fine tune the alignment. In full disclosure I had the first module fail after 1 week, they replaced it free and it has worked flawlessly since, over two years. In this pic you can see how bright it is.



I also aligned it so the outside edge of the visible beam is only 2 inches outside the working side of the mill to prevent someone inadvertently looking directly into the beam. The mounting bracket is fabbed to bolt directly to the head frame, slung under the blade wheel guard to extend it forward so the laser is out front but protected by the cage welded to the bracket. It's fabbed from really heavy angle so it would take a pretty good hit to dislodge it. It does get dust in the mount occasionally, I just blow it out with air. I'm sold on it and would find operating without it a distinct disadvantage.

Joe

please note I modified the above post to correct the fan angle of the laser module to 90 degrees.
In my house I'm the boss, I know this because my wife said so, I only hope she doesn't change her mind!

New to me Timber Harvester that I'm learning to operate, been building a home built mill for a while, should be ready to make sawdust with it someday if I ever quit "modifying" the design.

Offline Pabene

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Re: Adding a laser
« Reply #26 on: December 03, 2017, 07:28:51 AM »
Josef, I like your instalation and the photos shows all very good. I started with a similar laser, without moving parts inside, because I think it will resist vibrations. Unforfunately it just had 45 wide beam so it could not reach over a long log. If the beam angle would been 60, in my case, it would been good for me to. ( To wide beam results in less light intensity). I have the mill inside and have a big door open in one end. In my case I can see the laser line most of the time. When the sun, one hour in the mornings, can hit the log through the open door, I cant see the laser line. So, to perform a test of the laser you are going to buy, on your own mill, is my advise to all.

Offline Kbeitz

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Re: Adding a laser
« Reply #27 on: December 03, 2017, 07:52:47 AM »
Look into rotating mirrors. You can take a small mirror and glue
it on the shaft of a small motor and point the laser at the mirror
and it will project a straight line. This way the laser does not need
to be so big and powerful but it will project a very powerful line.
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Offline MbfVA

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Re: Adding a laser
« Reply #28 on: December 03, 2017, 06:55:04 PM »
Josef, what kind of mill is yours on?  Band or swing blade?

Offline LeeB

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Re: Adding a laser
« Reply #29 on: December 04, 2017, 03:21:27 AM »
Look into rotating mirrors. You can take a small mirror and glue
it on the shaft of a small motor and point the laser at the mirror
and it will project a straight line. This way the laser does not need
to be so big and powerful but it will project a very powerful line.

More info please.
'98 LT40HDD/Lombardini, Case 580L, Cat D4C, JD 3032 tractor, JD 5410 tractor, Husky 346, 372 and 562XP's. Stihl MS180 and MS361, 1998 and 2006 3/4 Ton 5.9 Cummins 4x4's, 1989 Dodge D100 w/ 318, and a 1966 Chevy C60 w/ dump bed.

Offline Kbeitz

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Re: Adding a laser
« Reply #30 on: December 04, 2017, 07:51:56 AM »
One mirror makes a strait line.



Add more mirrors and it gets goofy...



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Offline LeeB

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Re: Adding a laser
« Reply #31 on: December 04, 2017, 08:13:10 AM »
Guess I'll have to wait until I get home to see what you are talking about. I can't view youtube over here at work. Blocked.
'98 LT40HDD/Lombardini, Case 580L, Cat D4C, JD 3032 tractor, JD 5410 tractor, Husky 346, 372 and 562XP's. Stihl MS180 and MS361, 1998 and 2006 3/4 Ton 5.9 Cummins 4x4's, 1989 Dodge D100 w/ 318, and a 1966 Chevy C60 w/ dump bed.

Offline petefrom bearswamp

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Re: Adding a laser
« Reply #32 on: December 04, 2017, 08:17:24 AM »
I second Peter Drouin's comment.
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Offline Josef

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Re: Adding a laser
« Reply #33 on: December 04, 2017, 09:27:27 AM »
MbfVA, the mill is a Timber Harvester band mill, but I would think it would work on any mill that has a frame mounting point on the head solid enough to keep the module stable, keep in mind that a laser strong enough to be easily visible in strong sunlight will probably also be able to do damage to the eyes anyone foolish to look directly into the laser. At 50 mW this module falls into that category.

Joe

In my house I'm the boss, I know this because my wife said so, I only hope she doesn't change her mind!

New to me Timber Harvester that I'm learning to operate, been building a home built mill for a while, should be ready to make sawdust with it someday if I ever quit "modifying" the design.

Offline Kbeitz

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Re: Adding a laser
« Reply #34 on: December 04, 2017, 01:41:27 PM »
MbfVA, the mill is a Timber Harvester band mill, but I would think it would work on any mill that has a frame mounting point on the head solid enough to keep the module stable, keep in mind that a laser strong enough to be easily visible in strong sunlight will probably also be able to do damage to the eyes anyone foolish to look directly into the laser. At 50 mW this module falls into that category.

Joe

Just 5mw will damage your eyes...
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Offline tawilson

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Re: Adding a laser
« Reply #35 on: March 19, 2018, 05:54:22 AM »

I am finding this pretty handy.
Tom
2017 LT40HDG35 WIDE
BMS250 and BMT250 sharpener/setter

Offline Ga Mtn Man

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Re: Adding a laser
« Reply #36 on: March 19, 2018, 09:30:26 AM »
Josef - Why did you choose the GM-CW02 laser over the BES532-L for $99?  Also, I noticed in the description for the mounting bracket BRH it states that "Laser diode modules are positive to the case...".  How did you get around that when mounting yours?
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Offline tawilson

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Re: Adding a laser
« Reply #37 on: March 19, 2018, 10:16:11 AM »
Josef - Why did you choose the GM-CW02 laser over the BES532-L for $99?  Also, I noticed in the description for the mounting bracket BRH it states that "Laser diode modules are positive to the case...".  How did you get around that when mounting yours?
.
That's a good question that I wish I had asked. I ordered the GM-CW02 and immediately broke a wire off while mounting it. They made it right and suggested I get the 20mW AGLL2 that I'm using in my pic above. I want a little more beam down the log so ordered the 50mW BES532-L this morning. 50mW plus the specs say the beam is consistent across the entire width.
As far as isolating,  I wrapped the mounting block with electrical tape and it worked. I will come up with something a little more trustworthy when I get the new one.
I also just ordered a time relay to make sure it's off when I'm handling the lumber
Tom
2017 LT40HDG35 WIDE
BMS250 and BMT250 sharpener/setter

Offline Josef

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Re: Adding a laser
« Reply #38 on: March 19, 2018, 04:14:20 PM »
Ga Mtn Man, I chose the GM-CW02 over the BES532-L for two reasons, first because of the wider fan angle, the 90 degree beam angle allows a "wider" beam width up closer to the module, a 60 degree beam angle restricts the width of the beam when the head is closer than 3 feet from the end of the log (I like to see the width of the opening cut on the end of the log). (Assuming it is aligned to illuminate over the length of the log). Second reason was the dia of the module, 12 mm vs 16 mm.

These two are the only green laser line generators Apinex has available in 50 mw. The green line generated by the 50mw is noticeably more robust than the 20mw units. Also the GM-CW02 unit has a projected beam "thickness" twice that of the BES532-L, 1.4mrad vs 0.6mrad making it appear "brighter" over the length of projection, again IMHO.

Positive to the case only means the module is clamped over its entire length. The BRH mounting bracket is probably not stable enough to withstand the vibrations of a saw head (IMHO) and the more stable heat sinks are all 12mm, too small for the BES532-L module.

In a previous thread I cautioned about the insufficient quality of the wire attachments of the GM-CW02, I used a terminal block a couple of inches behind the module to address the "movement" of the wires (which mimic frogs hair) after one of my modules had their leads break off in testing. Apinex did replace the unit.

The HS-12 heat sink is a comparatively substantial unit. It has 5 threaded mounting holes on the bottom, one at each corner and one in the middle. I use the four corner holes to "jack" the heat sink and angle it to align it, and then use the center hole to secure it to the base to clamp it down. I made my mounting base out of very heavy angle iron to minimize the effects of the vibration of the mill.

One caution I always bring up for anyone considering this mod is to be sure you align the laser so the fan angle never projects beyond the side of the mill that helpers work on, it only takes a moments intention on the part of a helper who mistakenly looks directly into a 50mw laser to potentially cause eye damage. Imagine how easy that would be with the saw head raised to saw that opening cut off the top of a log when it's closest to eye level of anyone standing within line with the laser beam.

All in all this was the most useful mod I made for my Timber Harvester mill. Quite a few hundred hours on it without problems, though I do realign it every spring, seem to shift about a quarter inch in a years time. I have it mounted outside of the head uprights so hitting something with it is "almost" impossible.

Joe
In my house I'm the boss, I know this because my wife said so, I only hope she doesn't change her mind!

New to me Timber Harvester that I'm learning to operate, been building a home built mill for a while, should be ready to make sawdust with it someday if I ever quit "modifying" the design.

Offline Josef

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Re: Adding a laser
« Reply #39 on: March 19, 2018, 05:19:38 PM »
After rereading the previous post I must apologize for sounding like a broken record about the danger of potential damage from a 50mw laser, I know you're all very responsible builders and operators and I know how much I dislike being nagged about the obvious. Sorry,

Joe
In my house I'm the boss, I know this because my wife said so, I only hope she doesn't change her mind!

New to me Timber Harvester that I'm learning to operate, been building a home built mill for a while, should be ready to make sawdust with it someday if I ever quit "modifying" the design.


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