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Thread: Laser pointer for hollow-form system

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Lake Burton, Northeast Georgia
    Posts
    110

    Laser pointer for hollow-form system

    My hollow-form system uses a laser pointer held by a frame that is linked to the cutter handle. This enables you to align it with the tip of the cutter (or out in front of it), and know about where it is cutting when it is out-of-sight inside the hollow vessel.

    The original laser is failing (intermittently bright, dim, off), and this is with new batteries. I don't know the history of this laser, because I acquired the hollow-form system in an estate sale (former club member passed away, widow is selling off shop equipment). But I expect it has had several years use, doing some high-vibration work, and has gotten shaken nearly to death. Gotta replace it.

    Has anyone used one of the laser pointers available, for example, from Amazon, for this purpose? They are essentially the same form factor (metal tube that contains the 2 AAA batteries, electrical contacts, the laser itself, and a switch). I think the cheapo laser pointer will fit the holder that now holds the old, failing laser pointer. Cost is about 1/6 of what the hollow-form system's website charges for a replacement laser pointer.

    Has anyone tried this?

  2. #2
    It may not be the laser. Check this thread - https://sawmillcreek.org/showthread....-Retrofit-quot

    And this one - https://sawmillcreek.org/showthread....er-replacement

    And this one - https://www.sawmillcreek.org/showthr...er-replacement

    And there is one where I hard wired mine with a transformer from a charging unit - canít locate the thread right now on my phone.

    Left click my name for homepage link.

  3. #3
    Now might be the time to look at upgrading it to a camera system. I changed from a laser pointer to a micro usb endoscope camera that plugs into my tablet. They are about the diameter of a pen. I just stick a piece of transparency paper on top of my screen and trace out the cutter and wall thickness measurements. When the cutter is in the hollow form i see the entire shape of the cutter on the screen and my wall thickness marks. Makes hollowing so much easier.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Roseville,Ca
    Posts
    383
    I changed to a camera set up after 10 years with a laser. So much better!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Tampa Bay area
    Posts
    291
    Here is the replacement I bought for my Monster hollowing setup. Was a drop in fit, wish I would have bought a spare or two as my link says they are currently unavailable.

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Ottawa, ON Canada
    Posts
    1,260
    I now use a camera system, too, but to answer your question, when I used a laser, I used the type you are referring to that use a couple of small batteries and look like a pen. They worked well.
    Grant
    Ottawa ON

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Lake Burton, Northeast Georgia
    Posts
    110
    Thanks to everyone who contributed their ideas.

    I think I'm going to try the cheapo laser pointers, while pondering the camera option as well. Has anyone used an Android smartphone as the monitor for a camera setup? Or is the screen too small?

  8. #8
    I started with a small screen like a back-up camera size but found it too small. I too would recommend the switch to a camera. I found an old monitor at our Thrift shop for a few $$$. If possible test the screen with a magnet. Why? Well I use a couple of powerful rare earth magnets to hold the transparent piece to the front of the monitor. This way I am able to reposition the cutter by moving the transparent piece rather than re tape every time I change cutters.
    Pete


    * It's better to be a lion for a day than a sheep for life - Sister Elizabeth Kenny *
    I think this equates nicely to wood turning as well . . . . .

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Ottawa, ON Canada
    Posts
    1,260
    For me, a smartphone screen would be too small. I bought a used 10" android tablet and it works very well.
    Grant
    Ottawa ON

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Haubstadt (Evansville), Indiana
    Posts
    1,150
    Well I would like to have a larger screen, but don't know how to make the connection between the camera and screen. My camera has RCA plugs on the end.
    When working I had more money than time. In retirement I have more time than money. Love the time, miss the money.

  11. #11
    My monitor is an older one and has the RCA plugs so I didn't have any issues.
    Pete


    * It's better to be a lion for a day than a sheep for life - Sister Elizabeth Kenny *
    I think this equates nicely to wood turning as well . . . . .

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Ottawa, ON Canada
    Posts
    1,260
    @William Rogers: What are you using for a screen now? I would bet that, if you have more than one RCA plug coming from your camera, only one (usually yellow) is for video. The other(s), maybe red and white, are for audio. If you want to use a screen with USB input, you can find an adapter to go from the RCA to USB. They are usually quite inexpensive. There are boxes that will take an RCA input and convert it to HDMI output, but all the ones that I have seen are very pricey.
    Grant
    Ottawa ON

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Haubstadt (Evansville), Indiana
    Posts
    1,150
    Grant, I'll start a different post regarding this.
    When working I had more money than time. In retirement I have more time than money. Love the time, miss the money.

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