Drill Press Digital Read-Out (DRO)

Our latest project involves a neat idea that a couple of DIY enthusiasts recently put together involving the addition of a digital depth gauge, in the form of a set of digital callipers, to a pillar drill / drill press. Normally, inexpensive drill presses come with a crude mechanical depth stop, so adding a set of callipers to the drill provides a level of accuracy that is far better than the depth stop alone.

To make this drill press digital read-out or DRO, the digital callipers are installed on the head of the drill press through the use of a couple of DRO adaptors attached to the jaws of the measuring device. With one of the calliper jaws fixed in place, the other is free to move in unison with the upward and downward motion of the drill bit, thereby measuring the travel depth of the bit as it penetrates a workpiece. In the case of the original authors of this build, the DRO adaptors were made out of metal and were machined to fit. We liked the idea so much that we decided to make a similar build, but instead of repeating the same machining process, we thought it would be more useful to provide an alternative way of making the adaptors, namely through the use of 3D printing.

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Solderhood: Making a Fume Extractor Hood for Soldering

Soldering fume hood

When making stuff or doing DIY, one often needs to solder wires or other metals together. However, the act of soldering invariably produces fumes that are bad for our health, especially for those suffering from or are susceptible to asthma or another respiratory disorder (not to mention all the COVID-19 craziness!).

There are a number of ways to avoid the fumes produced from soldering but probably one of the best is to use a fume hood, which sucks away the offending air, trapping it, or just sending it to the outside. However, buying an off-the-shelf commercial fume hood, even the small ones that are specifically designed for soldering, is often prohibitive cost-wise.

So that is where this DIY soldering fume extractor hood build comes in.

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