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Thread: Digital depth scale for drill press

  1. #1

    Digital depth scale for drill press

    OK folks. I need some help. Many people have asked about Wixey making a digital depth scale for drill presses and I think I have probably told everyone that we are going to make one someday. Well, we have just come up with a very slick simple idea but I am not sure it will be accurate enough. The device would be very repeatable but the absolute accuracy may only be 1/32". Maybe 1/64" but lets say 1/32" to be safe.

    My question is this: is this good enough and if not, what applications would you be doing where you would need to drill a hole and control the depth closer than 1/32" ?

    As always, thanks for your help!

  2. #2
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    Considering that every time you change bits the scale resets I don't know how you could get anymore accurate without a lot of fuss anyway.

    I would hazard a guess that repeatability would be more useful than raw accuracy anyway but I am at a loss as to what I would use a digital readout on a drill press.

    FWIW the angle gauge is one of the more useful additions I have every purchased.

    If a depth gauge is easy to set and reset than I would say 1/32 is likely fine.

    Joe
    Last edited by Joe Chritz; 03-29-2010 at 2:13 PM. Reason: spelling
    For best results, try not to do anything stupid.

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  3. #3

    Drill depth accuracy

    Hi Barry
    IMHO, 1/32" drill press accuracy, while working in wood, would be quite adequate. Seasonal wood variations in our neck of the woods can far exceed 1/32". Hope this is helpful.
    Regards
    Rick Cabot

  4. #4
    Would product stop the quill too, or the user uses present hardware for that?
    In wood, I agree + or - 1/64 hurts nearly nothng.

    I work in wood, metal & plastic. Often chamfers are called out.
    As such (plastic & metal) + or - 1/64 would be unacceptable for chamfers.
    On rare occasions you might bust a tap or puncture stock that was meant for blind holes.
    (Drills all day long)
    ************************************

  5. #5
    Absolutely. I've often thought how nice it would be to have that feature on a drill press.

    Certainly the depth stops on any drill press do not offer more than 1/32" accuracy. Likewise, measuring and putting a piece of tape on the drill bit would also be hard to get better than 1/32".

    I find that when I want that feature, it is often just for a quick and rough estimate. I don't want to take time to measure and put a piece of tape on the drill bit, and I don't want to take time to set the stop. I just want an idea of how far I'm into the wood, since I can't see the end of the bit.

    I'd buy it even if it was only good to 1/4"!

  6. #6
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    I use my DP for more than just wood working. I suppose most would also.
    If the planer DI could be made to read in reverse, I would mount one of those to the DP.

    My vote is 1/32" isn't accurate enough.
    Never, under any circumstances, combine a sleeping pill, and laxative on the same night.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by pat warner View Post
    Would product stop the quill too, or the user uses present hardware for that?
    In wood, I agree + or - 1/64 hurts nearly nothng.

    ************************************
    Pat;

    You would just use the readout to measure the depth but if you wanted to drill numerous holes at the same depth you would use the existing depth stop on your drill press.

  8. #8
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    I often use the depth stop, for example when drilling the 35mm hole for a hinge.

    I tend to measure the depth with a digital caliper if required, so I don't think I would use the feature on the drill press.

    Regards, Rod.

  9. #9
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    1/32" for wood is just fine. I'm trying to think of any problems, I have a Craftsman DP with digital depth and when I use it, I want to know where the table is, so I don't drill it or a blind hole like a mortise and depth there is not that critical to a 1/32". Even at that I use the drill stop and it will for sure stop me. Can't think of any critical operations. I think that's what you want and can design to.

  10. #10
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    I believe 1/32” is plenty accurate for a drill press. This is not a precision piece of equipment we are talking about. It was not designed to be repeatable in the z-axis to .03”. One look at the depth control will tell you that depth is not a major concern. This machine was designed to drill holes in material. It does this well. Anything else you ask it to do it will not do well. It is not a Bridgeport mill. A Bridgeport was designed to be accurate in all 3 axis to .001” or better depending on the operator and condition of the machine. If you are asking a drill press to be z-axis accurate to 0.015” or better, then you are asking to be disappointed.

    Although there is at least one person who disagrees with me:
    http://www.instructables.com/id/Accu...n-Drill-Press/

  11. #11
    Stop collar vs Wixey.

    For a digital readout I'm assuming that the result is rounded so when you say 1/32" accurate you mean 1/32 +/- 1/64. I think this is plenty accurate, but it is not that useful without integrating a 'depth-stop' like a stop collar. I use it on every cut that is not through. The last graduation on my stop collar is eigths but it is easy to get ~1/32 eyeballing between graduations.

    -Brian

  12. #12
    Check out Woodsmith #183 - Some fellow used a Wixey digital height guage mounted on a drill press - looks pretty slick too.

  13. Quote Originally Posted by Myk Rian View Post
    I use my DP for more than just wood working. I suppose most would also.
    If the planer DI could be made to read in reverse, I would mount one of those to the DP.

    My vote is 1/32" isn't accurate enough.
    For woodworking I would say it sure is. What do you do on your drill press that would require more accuracy than that? Machining applications? If so, and it works the way Barry says it does, but just reading the depth, not stopping the bit at the desired depth, then I challenge you to have a steady enough hand to control dimensions smaller than 1/32 manually. How do you currently control your depth operations on the drill press? If you say 1/32 isn't good enough then you must have an idea in mind that will require more accuracy and you must have done it before....


  14. #14
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    I love DROs and have 5 Wixeys in my shop but the DP is one place I have never felt the need for one. If I did though 1/32" would be fine for me in that application (for wood of course)

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brandon Weiss View Post
    For woodworking I would say it sure is. What do you do on your drill press that would require more accuracy than that? Machining applications? If so, and it works the way Barry says it does, but just reading the depth, not stopping the bit at the desired depth, then I challenge you to have a steady enough hand to control dimensions smaller than 1/32 manually. How do you currently control your depth operations on the drill press? If you say 1/32 isn't good enough then you must have an idea in mind that will require more accuracy and you must have done it before....
    Barry asked for opinions, and I gave mine. It doesn't matter HOW I use my DP, nor HOW I control the depth. I would like to see a bit more accuracy. That's all we were asked to comment on.

    If your purpose is to create an argument, then I shall ask a moderator to shut this thread down, thus defeating Barrys purpose for it.
    Never, under any circumstances, combine a sleeping pill, and laxative on the same night.

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