I have a Ridgid Drill Press with the newer style depth gauge (looks like a yoyo with a thumbscrew). Is there a way to retrofit it with the older style gauge with the threaded post and knurled nut?
With enough engineering and machine work, you can retrofit anything. The question that begs to be asked: "Is it worth it?"
First, why do you want to retrofit the depth gauge? Does the current one not work as advertised or is it a matter of "that's what I'm used to and that's what I like"?
Good question - I prefer the older style and think it is easier to set and more accurate.
Have you considered purchasing a set of collars that you attach directly to the dril bit to limit travel? Very accurate - no variation from hole to hole.
The built-in depth guages that come with consumer grade drill presses have a variety of accuracy problems because they flex as pressure is put on the press handle.
That will allow the depth of the drilled hole to vary considerably, depending on how hard you pull down on the lever.
Another problem is that the darn threaded donuts vibrate out of setting, allowing subsequent holes to be drilled deeper as you work through your project.
Somewhere I read to put an O-ring between the locking nuts to solve the 'self-adjusting' problem. So I did. On a project where I drilled over 1600 holes, I did not have any problems with the adjustment changing. Some of the runs were 400 holes to the same depth. When I first tried using the O-ring, though, I would mark the bit with tape or a grease pencil to give visual verification that my setting wasn't changing.
I would suspect that if one pulls the handle on the DP hard enough to flex the gauge mechanism (flimsy as it might be), that same person using stop collars mounted on the bit would leave nasty marks on the wood's surface as they varied the pull. <Not intended to aggravate anyone emoticon>
I apologize to the OP that I can't speak to a retro-fit, but perhaps marking the bit would help in assuring that the bit is not going too deep until he can find a suitable retrofit.
Hey, I like the o-ring suggestion. I'm gonna do that!
As to burn marks on the wood from the stop rings, I can hear the "squeek, squeek, squeek" as that happens, and so adjust my technique slightly so as to avoid said nasty burn marks.
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