[Lab] laser progress

Darcy Whyte darcy at siteware.com
Sat Oct 30 16:29:48 EDT 2010

I just thought I'd give a report of what I've learned so far.

1) Guy's self made CNC machine is great for making parts. We are currently
working on the mounting brackets for the laser.

2) Apparently I can use my ordinary plastic safety goggles that I already
have for eye protection from reflected laser.

3) The laser beam isn't the only worry. It runs on about 25,000 Volts so
that's another safety consideration.

Monday morning I will do a run to Ogdensburg to get my water pump. I guess
I'll get some hoses so I can make sure my water circulation system is
running. (As many of you know, it's a water cooled laser). After
researching, I found out that if there is 3 gallons of water in the cooling
system, it will take 40m to get hot. So I may need a radiator for continuous
use. I'm thinking of making one out of coper tubing and passing the exhaust
fan through the tubing. Another idea is to change water but I don't want to
handle water when using the cutter.

I will be powering up the laser for the first time in a day or two.
Apparently the best way to test the laser is to set it manually to low power
and then place a block of wood a few feet away (without the
lens). Apparently if you press the trigger button on and off as fast as you
can the wood will burst with an instant flame and puff out a little smoke

I've verified that the lens and mirrors that I have obtained are free of
scratches and look good. I also have a mount for the final mirror and lens.
It has a cool little nozzle for pushing air downward towards the cutting
area. Apparently this is good to keep smoke and debris away from the lens. I
also heard that in some cases the right amount of air pressure will prevent
flaming for certain cutting speed/power combinations.
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