By continuing to use this site, you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more
Forum sponsored by:
Forum sponsored by Forum House Ad Zone

Optical centre punch.

All Topics | Latest Posts

Search for:  in Thread Title in  
Rik Shaw05/03/2014 14:15:56
1480 forum posts
398 photos

Old eyes and shaky mits mean I am having increasing difficulty in making accurately positioned centre pops.

I have seen various types of this sort of thing being advertised and I think one of these devices might make life a bit easier.


I'd be especially interested in recommendations from anyone who has had the chance to compare different makes.


JasonB05/03/2014 14:24:57
22604 forum posts
2643 photos
1 articles

I use the Veritas one on the odd occasion when I need some accurate manual marking out, the DRO has taken over a bit now

KWIL05/03/2014 14:55:50
3550 forum posts
70 photos

Check that the target does not wander around when you turn the plastic, I have seen them where the centre wanders about, in fact I sent one back.

The Merry Miller05/03/2014 15:02:40
484 forum posts
97 photos

Hi Rik,

I went for the "Dankroy" version not only because it was made in England but was a good online price also.

I have not compared it with any others, didn't have to as it was made in England wink 2

P.S. It also comes in a well made little hinged case.


Gone Away05/03/2014 15:47:56
829 forum posts
1 photos

I have a decent quality one of these .... best thing since sliced bread - wouldn't be without it.

I always use this like a microscope (that is, I put my eye up close to the magnifier) and it works well like that. I decided to buy a second one and chose the cheaper version that was available (not marked but likely Asian manufacture). This didn't seem to work at all.

The guy at the store said I was using it wrong, that I should stand back and look down through it from several inches or a foot away. He said that's how all these devices are used and that I was actually using even my good one incorrectly. While his method does seem to work, after a fashion, with his cheaper device, I don't find it particularly easy with either model and certainly not as good as my way with my good model. There is a much narrower field of view for one thing.

How do other people use these.

Edited By OMG on 05/03/2014 15:48:54

Oompa Lumpa05/03/2014 15:52:51
888 forum posts
36 photos

Hi Len, could you give me some indication of price for the Dankroy? I can't find a price anywhere online

I considered buying the Veritas offering but cannot bring myself to part with the required number of Beer Tokens.


The Merry Miller05/03/2014 16:16:54
484 forum posts
97 photos



I purchased mine, I think, off ebay a couple of years ago, I honestly can't remember the exact price. I think it may have been around £30.

Ebay have sold one recently for about £20, another went for about £40.

There has been discussions on this forum before, can I suggest you do a search, other forum members may have more pricing and location info.


P.S. if you go onto their website (link below) you can purchase direct from them, no doubt once you come down from the ceilingsmile o



Edited By The Merry Miller on 05/03/2014 16:21:28

Thor 🇳🇴05/03/2014 17:11:36
1608 forum posts
45 photos

Hi Rik and Graham,

why not make your own? Gadgetbuilder has a description of how to make one.


Edited By Thor on 05/03/2014 17:12:51

Gray6205/03/2014 17:15:48
1057 forum posts
16 photos

My son bought me one for my birthday a few years ago I think from axminster. I suffer from keratokonus which induces severe astigmatism. Having had one full cornea graft, my close vision is somewhat afflicted. Using one of these devices, I can pop a centre with reasonable accuracy.

frank brown05/03/2014 21:44:15
436 forum posts
5 photos

I have one (make unknown) which is only quite good. The real problem being illuminating the "target", as my one did not let any light to fall on the actual metal's surface.

Tip, for chain drilling, mark out on a piece of sellotape, your 1/8" drill diameter and stick in on under the lens, peel it off and move it about to get the clearance from the centre point. Now you can squint down the eyepiece and see how close to the line the hole is going to be, then use the punch. Move on to the next hole. This way you can centre dot each hole by guessemating it via the lens, the drilling then becomes easy.


Stovepipe05/03/2014 21:51:43
196 forum posts

Got mine from Chronos, quite useful. Make sure that you have decent lighting where you are using it, so you can see the place to make the punch mark. Also, like Frank said, piece of sellotape helps to keep it steady.


Roy M05/03/2014 23:08:06
104 forum posts
7 photos

I used this device when making air-frame jigs and lofts in the USA years ago. However, an improved method of drilling the holes is with the use of a bush bar. This is steel bar aprox 25mm x 12mm x 100mm long, a hole is Reamed in one end 12mm dia. Using the device (12mm dia),position the bush bar over the scribed lines and clamp to the work-piece. Use a drill bush to drill a pilot hole and follow up with the finished hole size using a second bush. Really accurate!

fizzy06/03/2014 00:18:36
1843 forum posts
120 photos

there are 4 on ebay uk at the moment

_Paul_06/03/2014 01:02:40
543 forum posts
31 photos

Made this a while ago works well

  • Lens/viewfinder 12mm acetal rod
  • Body scrapbinium
  • Punch scrapbinium with a masonry nail set in the end
  • O ring in base to stop slippage

Couple of hours work.


Metalhacker06/03/2014 17:14:29
79 forum posts

The Dankroy is excellent and is easy to use for those with c**p eyesight like me. I seem to remember plans for one of these in MEW no 1 or 2 all those years ago. Have a look in the archive! The article also detailed an optical centre finder for the mill. 2 at one blow!


Oompa Lumpa06/03/2014 17:46:13
888 forum posts
36 photos

I am definitely going to make one, the "how to" instructions in the link above are all I needed. The material I have.


Rik Shaw08/03/2014 14:20:38
1480 forum posts
398 photos

Just an update. I contacted DANKROY and have just received a message from Mr Terry Wallace the proprietor telling me is now retired and no longer makes his optical centre punch.


Neil Wyatt08/03/2014 17:16:08
18994 forum posts
734 photos
80 articles

Issue one of a magazine called 'Model Engineers' Workshop' had an article on making an optical centre punch and an optical centre finder. Apparently it went on to be quite successful.

Will Doggett covered making an optical centre punch in issue 191 as well.

Sounds like a good magazine, consider taking out a subscription


Metalhacker08/03/2014 18:13:18
79 forum posts

That sounds like an unabashed plug for the aforementioned magazine. You aren't about to become closely associated with it are you Neil?

As I mentioned above Issue 1 had it all. Picked up my first copy in a newsagent in a small town in West Australia. I have been a long way since and so has the mag. I wish you luck with it Neil and hope you can replicate the interest and diversity which enthused me all those years ago on a continent far far away!


Nobby08/03/2014 18:20:11
587 forum posts
113 photos

After dotting you still have to pick it up for drilling. ? in terms of a home workshop, on your mill / mill drill you could pick out the lines with a sticky pin running true. Got my flack jacket on ready for reply's

All Topics | Latest Posts

Please login to post a reply.

Magazine Locator

Want the latest issue of Model Engineer or Model Engineers' Workshop? Use our magazine locator links to find your nearest stockist!

Find Model Engineer & Model Engineers' Workshop

Latest Forum Posts
Support Our Partners
Eccentric July 5 2018
Rapid RC
Eccentric Engineering
Subscription Offer

Latest "For Sale" Ads
Latest "Wanted" Ads
Get In Touch!

Do you want to contact the Model Engineer and Model Engineers' Workshop team?

You can contact us by phone, mail or email about the magazines including becoming a contributor, submitting reader's letters or making queries about articles. You can also get in touch about this website, advertising or other general issues.

Click THIS LINK for full contact details.

For subscription issues please see THIS LINK.

Digital Back Issues

Social Media online

'Like' us on Facebook
Follow us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter
 Twitter Logo

Pin us on Pinterest