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Old 03-19-2012, 03:54 AM #17
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Default Re: CO2 Build

Well, I did the redesign, things seem to be a LOT better now and totally lined up properly :>

Still waiting on a couple parts before I can do the initial test run. For the initial test, I am going to use a gold mirror with a hole drilled in it and a ZnSe flat window, This is a LOT cheaper then using ZnSe output coupler so I figured it was a place to start. Also picked up some icecream salt to see if I could find any suitable pieces for use as a window.

I used a straight dowel this time to do the alignment of the glass tube and fittings that I used. The fine alignment should be a lot simpler now .... note to self, eyeballing something does not work for lasers The CD's were just there to help support the weight of the mirror mounting system, I used a small square to help as well as a small laser that I tossed together.



Few pics of the project so far










Thanks for lookiing

P.S. I am chomping at the bit to fire this up.... why is mail so slow


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Old 03-19-2012, 03:59 AM #18
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Default Re: CO2 Build

LOL I know how you feel - in my case for my projector the money isnt coming in quick enough, yet the bills are!
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Old 03-20-2012, 09:39 AM #19
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Default Re: CO2 Build

NaCl Window and and Mirror - DIY OC


Well, I decided to give this a try for the OC of the CO2 laser. A simple gold mirror with a hole in the middle and a salt window. The hole was easy, I simply put a glass drill bit into a battery powered drill, and with the bit running under a very small trickle of water in the sink, SLOWELY drilled the hole from the backside of the mirror. When I got through I carefully enlarged the hole to the desired size, about 2mm and then made sure to smooth out any rough edges with the bit. The key here is take your time and use water as a lubricant. ALSO, be sure to turn off any "hammer" action feature on the drill!



The whole process for this took about an hour,slow work, but I didnt want ANY tears in the surface of the gold side. I know the hole is slightly off center, but that is ok. The mirror has LOTS of room for positioning inside my mirror mounts.

The next step was to make the NaCl window. To do this I purchased a box of icecream salt and went through it pulling out any big peices that looked promising. Then, I selected the best of those and with a hobby knife, sliced along the crystal structure making a semi flat peice.

The next step was sanding it on each side with a very fine grit sandpaper, then polishing it by simply rubbing it on the smooth wooden surface of my workbench. I finished it off with a polish from a paper towel. To get the round shape so that it fit in my mount I used a standard metal file. Temporary mount is a simple grommet I had lying around. Helped me handle it and find it when I dropped it a few times :>

I plan to epoxy it to a metal washer later.

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Old 03-20-2012, 09:59 AM #20
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Default Re: CO2 Build

And here it is... mounted in two washers and some epoxy, after that sets, I will sand off any extra epoxy and then polish the lens


Last edited by ThunderSqueak; 03-20-2012 at 10:16 AM. Reason: moved image location
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Old 03-21-2012, 07:45 AM #21
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Default Re: CO2 Build

And after polishing the Lens. The epoxy has cured as well, when I shine
A laser through it I get very little beam scatter and there are no major imperfections to the naked eye .



Not perfect, but it will have to do for now

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Old 03-21-2012, 07:42 PM #22
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Default Re: CO2 Build

This really is an impressive project! Keep the updates coming!
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Old 03-25-2012, 10:31 AM #23
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Default Re: CO2 Build

The next phase of the project is about to begin

Current Status:
The laser tube is roughly aligned, mirrors and salt lens are installed.

Next Phase:
Track down the required supplemental equipment. This includes constructing the power supply, the control panel, and several other items such as a water pump and vacuum pump.

I have been considering several layouts for the power system. I think I am going to use something similar to this



I also need to design a simple gas mixing container... considering using a balloon for this with some pipes and valves. If it worked for other people, and is cheap to make, why reinvent the wheel?

Update: Recently acquired this.



Pawn shop find, but seems to work well... hopefully, well enough to use for this project I welcome it to the family :>

My home lab in case anyone was curious:


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Old 03-25-2012, 08:12 PM #24
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Default Re: CO2 Build

Today I was considering a gas exchange system, with an exhaust capture using 2 jars, some pvc, and water to keep it all sealed and seperate.

To begin, the gas jar is full of water and the exhaust jar only has water in the "bottom" of it. This is why I have a size difference in the jars, basically the exhaust jar water level will be even with the smaller gas jar. Another option would to simply place it higher than the gas jar but I have several sizes of jars.

Fill the gas jar with the proper gas ratios, marks could be placed on the jar to allow for different ratios. Be sure the valve at the top of the gas jar is closed during this. The pressure should push the water level down and into the exhaust jar.

The water level on the exhaust jar should rise during this process. The next step is to hook the exhaust jar to the pump exhaust and create a vacuum in the laser. The volume of air is super small inside the laser tube so this will create a tiny amount of pressure inside the system to create a plunger action to push the gases out of the gas jar. open the valve on the gas jar after it is hooked to the laser system.

As the laser does its thing, the exhaust gasses are vented into the exhaust jar pushing the water level lower, this will in turn push more of the other gas out of the gas jar in a closed loop system.

When done, close the valves, unhook the system and vent it outside in a safe place. Sure I could just run the exhaust hose out a window, but was just considering how to capture the gasses and also make calculating the mixture of various gases easier to calculate. That and I have some pickle jars and PVC fittings leftover from the laser build. Yes, pickles are a primary component and I went through many of them while I crafted the tube

If I color the water with some food coloring it will also be easy to see the remaining gas level. If I want to try different gases I could possibly change the liquid used in this accordingly, assuming the gas in question were to have a bad reaction with water.



Comments? Concerns? Please, speak up... sure I know it is silly but just an idea
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