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VERITAS Optical Centre Punch

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Review by LittleBlackDuck posted 12-30-2019 09:08 PM 4541 views 0 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch
VERITAS Optical Centre Punch VERITAS Optical Centre Punch VERITAS Optical Centre Punch Click the pictures to enlarge them

Boys and Girls,

I have quite a few dodgy items in my workshop as no-one has written a review prior to me purchasing… or I was too lazy to do a search!

As it’s not fair to review my own jigs, for your edification I thought I might take the time to review this Veritas offering that I received as a Christmas present and Santa wasn’t successful in reversing the inappropriate delivery.

Now most of my scribes and centre punches seem to have tolerances in the caliber of 1/16”+. If you don’t suffer a similar malpractice or don’t care about accuracy, go and read some other article.

My standard “centre punch” arsenal consisted of this spring loaded gadget (should do a separate review on this item),

that required two hands to operate and if you pull it off the mark, it’s AORR (All Over Red Rover)...
and this muscle builder

that requires the strength of a gorilla to operate when new and has a tendency to slip when “broken in” (should do a separate negative review of this).

The Veritas gizmo comes in a neat black box (Gallery happy-snap #1) and comprises of 3 parts (Gallery snap #3 and by the curtesy of this duck, duplicated here to save you scrolling up),
  1. Solid metal centre punch (90° V).
  2. Brass body shaped more like a chess prawn rather than a mobile crustacean. The base has a skid resistant rubber ring which elevated the brass unit off the timber and I assume permits entry of light to sight the cross-hair.
  3. Optical plastic sleeve with a “cross-hair” etched on one end.

First off you need to make a mark. I use and X which I have been practicing as my signature for the last 70 years… at least since my introduction to crayons.

Now don’t fret if you cannt recognise the X and say that’s a bloody plus sign. Education for creating an X is outside the scope of this review, however, once you have marked your spot, it’s now a case of how accurately you can indent the intersection to drill at the exact location.
And don’t anyone dare to say that’s a sideways picture...

You roughly place the brass body over the mark…

by that I don’t mean you slam it down on the work piece but exact alignment is not critical at this stage… and slide the plastic optical sleeve down the shaft

By moving your preferably open eye close to the knobby end of the plastic sleeve…

it will be obvious when you have the right focus and if your eye starts to bleed you moved too close… you will notice a very fine set of cross-hairs at the other end of the plastic sleeve. There is no need for any special lighting other than a dark workshop is not recommended. Now this cross hair would be about 1/10 the thickness of a pencil line so take some care in centering it. Please don’t look for an X if you only marked a dot (or a +). Unfortunately I could not focus the camera to take a picture so you’ll just have to trust me… ducks do not lie… they stand erect and only fly south when caught out.

With the cross-hair centered and firmly holding down the brass body (and please, try not to move it), withdraw the plastic sleeve with your free hand and slide the metal punch down the shaft,

using the same hand… continually holding the body firm in the same spot with the original hand.
Preferably have it handy rather than trying to grope for it, pick up a mallet, hammer or whatever is your favourite bashing implement and dexterously whack the punch with your chosen battering ram.

[Hint]
You should take a few practice blows in the same/similar material… preferably away from your X to gauge the size of the resultant indentation and adjust your voracity accordingly. Too big and your drill may not centre properly and too small will not be much better.

I whacked it hard… As is commonly whispered in the woodworking community, practice makes a nice hole in timber when resorting to the use of a force driven centre punch.

Pack your 3 pieces back in that neat black box before you start drilling as they have the propensity to roll into places that you will have an adversity of NOT reaching.

Drill away, however, I do recommend you use a drill press and an appropriate diameter drill bit so you can drill a perfect perpendicular hole in the exact spot you desire, otherwise you have just wasted the purchase of your Veritas punch and my time in writing this review.

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD




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LittleBlackDuck

6957 posts in 1878 days



15 comments so far

View mafe's profile

mafe

13109 posts in 4146 days


#1 posted 12-31-2019 01:08 AM

Looks amazing but also time consuming, but I can imagine with a wish for high precision, it must be amazing.
I use the brass thingy and love it, when I need to be exact I use the old fashion way.
Best thoughts,
Mads

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect.

View Paul Stoops's profile

Paul Stoops

358 posts in 3618 days


#2 posted 12-31-2019 03:52 AM

I have had one of these sets for many years. It has been a great help in accurately locating holes when precision is required. The light gathering and image enlarging properties of the plastic viewing lens is amazing, illuminating the surface of the part and the centered cross hairs very well. Many years ago I worked in a tooling shop and we used them regularly to accurately locate holes for drilling. We called them “bombsights” back in those days.

They may seem somewhat slow to use, but keep in mind that most accurate manual layout and hole locating is a process which requires patience. Unaided, accurate, locating of a center punch to a set of drawn or even scribed cross hair hole locations is usually somewhat of a best guess operation.

IMHO Santa did you a real favor with this gift! :-)

Paul

-- Paul, Auburn, WA

View splintergroup's profile

splintergroup

4997 posts in 2279 days


#3 posted 12-31-2019 03:32 PM

I bet you originally marked your locations with a pointy chunk of coal 8^)

Cool little gadget! Myself, I know I usually miss the mark by a solid 1/16” so I just mark my spot 1/16” off center and have at it.

Waiting to see the great docx you build for that black box!

View LittleBlackDuck's profile

LittleBlackDuck

6957 posts in 1878 days


#4 posted 12-31-2019 08:23 PM


I have had one of these sets for many years….
- Paul Stoops

Naughty boy PS.... If you wrote a review on this many years ago I would not have had to wait so long to bribe Santa.

You are right though… it’s hard to accurately describe the vision one sees when you line up the bombsight..


.... so I just mark my spot 1/16” off center and have at it….
- splintergroup

BTDT splinter... My problem was that I sometimes miss by as much as 1/8” so I decided to split the two and marked 3/32” away… unfortunately with that brainwave I missed both marks.
.... and to top it all off, I have to convert those bleeding fractions of inches to millimeters…

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

View Kelly's profile

Kelly

3498 posts in 4001 days


#5 posted 01-02-2020 06:53 AM

Cool. Knew nothing of these, until your review.

View LittleBlackDuck's profile

LittleBlackDuck

6957 posts in 1878 days


#6 posted 01-02-2020 08:44 AM


Cool. Knew nothing of these, until your review.
- Kelly

Great K’y... QED.. post not wasted!

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

View smitdog's profile

smitdog

469 posts in 3163 days


#7 posted 01-02-2020 04:25 PM

Chalk me up as another that just learned something new too. My head hurts….
I have the same spring loaded deal that you mentioned and have had decent results but I really like the accuracy it looks like you can achieve using this. It looks like it has a rubber ring on the bottom to stop it from slipping around as well. Thanks for the interesting review Duck.

-- Jarrett - Mount Vernon, Ohio

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LittleBlackDuck

6957 posts in 1878 days


#8 posted 01-02-2020 04:55 PM


.... It looks like it has a rubber ring on the bottom to stop it from slipping around…..
- smitdog

Thanks s’d’. It may have been a tad suruptitious of me to suggest that the ring lets in the light… Hell, it seals out the light!... But you are correct in stating that it stops it from slipping… unless you suffer the clumsies…

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

View pottz's profile

pottz

16286 posts in 2041 days


#9 posted 01-06-2020 08:09 PM

seems i missed this.well most the time you impress me with your gadgets but this is not one of em.i dont know what that do dad cost’s but it’s not something id spend a lot of money on or time fooling with.just never had the need for that much precision since i gave up making parts for nasa.have fun with it though.

-- working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

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LittleBlackDuck

6957 posts in 1878 days


#10 posted 01-06-2020 09:05 PM



....well most the time you impress me with your gadgets but this is not one of em….
- pottz

Was not meant to impress pottzy, but moreso educate on what’s available out there for shekel loaded idiots like me…

Have you heard the rumor that there were people out there that hadn’t heard of Abranet???

I have 3 different focal length prescription glasses… leave the house without the right one and I can’t even find the workshop, let alone my drill press let alone a piddly little X. Mucking about is a tad easier than climbing up 16 heavy concrete steps… though it’d be a tad easier to remember the glasses.

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

View pottz's profile

pottz

16286 posts in 2041 days


#11 posted 01-06-2020 10:54 PM


....well most the time you impress me with your gadgets but this is not one of em….
- pottz

Was not meant to impress pottzy, but moreso educate on what s available out there for shekel loaded idiots like me…

Have you heard the rumor that there were people out there that hadn t heard of Abranet???

I have 3 different focal length prescription glasses… leave the house without the right one and I can t even find the workshop, let alone my drill press let alone a piddly little X. Mucking about is a tad easier than climbing up 16 heavy concrete steps… though it d be a tad easier to remember the glasses.

- LittleBlackDuck


must be a sloth living in a cave that doesn’t know about abranet,cut off from civilization ?

-- working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

View JayT's profile

JayT

6419 posts in 3268 days


#12 posted 01-06-2020 11:00 PM

What’s Abranet?

Sorry, couldn’t resist.

Love the review, LBD, humor and information presented together well. The tool being reviewed looks interesting and I could see its value in certain situations. Probably not enough for me to justify the price at the present time, but good to know it exists if my project focus changes in the future.

-- https://www.jtplaneworks.com - In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is.

View LittleBlackDuck's profile

LittleBlackDuck

6957 posts in 1878 days


#13 posted 01-07-2020 02:29 AM


What s Abranet?
- JayT
Abranet is a tightly woven straight jacket, specifically designed to trap magicians that keep forgetting the cadabra.


.... good to know it exists if my project focus changes in the future.
- JayT

Twas the intention, and now the muchos can decide to buy one of these or some fancy high heeled workboots for themslves…

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

26089 posts in 4163 days


#14 posted 10-06-2020 08:39 PM

Very entertaining review. I just ran across this when looking at what way they package these center punches as I am about to make some boxes for min. Looking for ideas.

I read you part about the rubber ring on the bottom to let in light and I thought it might have some breaks in it because I thought light was needed at the bottom when I made mine. Thanks for the bottom shot..it is a complete seal and non skid ring. I was thinking I need some non skid surface on mine they are finished with Shellawax like the body. I will have to look into a self adhesive rubber washer and I feel it will let it hole position better when change from the clear plastic to the punch.

Nice review, Alex….Thanks…Cheers, Jim

PS..I have a lot of Abranet and used to use it on my 6” ROS but it would kink too much if I caught an edge. It cuts like hell , though!!

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View LittleBlackDuck's profile

LittleBlackDuck

6957 posts in 1878 days


#15 posted 10-06-2020 10:06 PM



... I read you part about the rubber ring on the bottom to let in light and I thought it might have some breaks in it because I thought light was needed at the bottom when I made mine. Thanks for the bottom shot..it is a complete seal and non skid ring. I was thinking I need some non skid surface on mine they are finished with Shellawax like the body. I will have to look into a self adhesive rubber washer and I feel it will let it hole position better when change from the clear plastic to the punch.
- Jim Jakosh

I believe you are 101% correct. No gaps and on hindsight it’s primary purpose is to stop it sliding on the work and it’s secondary purpose is to stop the work sliding under it…

That stupid comment was probably influenced by the 5th. glass of vino… until I saw your shop-made one, I would have thought that light transmission was by magic (without light entering from below).

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

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