East Texas Woodturners' Association

Laser Alignment Tool

by Paul A. Coppinger

Updated Oct11, 2003

For under $20, I built a laser alignment tool to help center your work on a vacuum chuck.  


Lasers are great tools but like any tool, there are inherent dangers.  Just as looking directly into the sun can damage the retina of your eye, looking directly into a laser beam (even on a low-power laser) can cause permanent damage to the back of the eye.  NEVER, NEVER look into a laser beam.  Rather, always look at a reflected beam; shine it onto a wall or your hand.


Apollo 1200 Laser Pointer  ($14.95 at Office Max)

1/2" Electrical conduit standoff clamp (Hardware store or Home Depot)

1/4-20 Wing nut (Hardware store or Home Depot)

3/4" diameter Rare-earth magnet (Lee Valley or Craft USA)


The Apollo 1200 Laser Pointer has a momentary off/on switch.  By placing the pointer into the conduit clamp with a wing nut on the 1/4-20 screw, such that the momentary off/on switch is positioned against the side of the clamp,  the wing nut will close the clamp and hold the switch in the "on" position to turn on the laser pointer.  The rare-earth magnet is epoxyed to the bottom of the conduit clamp to hold the unit to your lathe toolrest.

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