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Old 12-25-2010, 05:59 PM #1
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Default fist Co2 Laser (beginner questions)

Hi guys,

This is my first post here. I am a 16 year old boy from Germany. I have build many teslacoils and other high voltage projects, at the moment i am building a big drsstc, but i guess this doesn't fit here
However, i plan to build a Co2 laser as one of my first projects having to do with lasers. I had this idea before, but i was thinking that you need big gas bottles and vacuum equipment to make the gas flowing through the tube which isn't possible for me. But after realizing that there are some other typ of tubes which don't need flowing gas my mind changed
So, when searching on ebay for some Co2 laser tubes, i found this one here:
NEW 40W CO2 LASER TUBE CUTTING ENGRAVING WATER-COOLED - eBay (item 230362617006 end time Jan-22-11 00:01:15 PST)

What do you think about this tube? I know that this is no real high quality stuff, but will it work for a while?
And some other question: Do i really only have to connect it to flowing water and the fitting amount of high voltage to make this thing laser? This sounds too easy for me! xD

And what about safety? I don't feel like risk my vision. So, what goggles would you recommend? What OD value shall they have and does anyone know a shop where i can buy some fitting glasses for a good price?
I found this one here on the internet: Laser Glasses Polycarbonate - Filter EC2
Is OD7+ okay? Or would even 5+ be enough? Furtermore, 90$ sounds pretty expensive for me. Do you think that this is an acceptable price?

This are my questions by now^^

Best regards,

Philipp



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Old 12-25-2010, 07:49 PM #2
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Default Re: fist Co2 Laser (beginner questions)

No. Almost all safety glasses are polycarbonate and will be sufficient.
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Old 12-25-2010, 08:12 PM #3
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Default Re: fist Co2 Laser (beginner questions)

So, you mean i just need to go to my local hardware store and buy some normal protection goggles used for grinding, drilling and stuff, no special laser glasses?
I don't wanna risk that!
By the way, i found some cheaper safety goggles with od+6 for 39$. I think those will be my choice...
What about the other questions?

Best regards,

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Old 12-25-2010, 08:21 PM #4
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Default Re: fist Co2 Laser (beginner questions)

Well the thing about co2 lasers is that just about anything/everything stops the laser in its tracks. This is how you can etch/cut clear plastic with ease. Hell a thick set of safety glasses would work just fine.
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Old 12-26-2010, 12:04 AM #5
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Default Re: fist Co2 Laser (beginner questions)

Okay, i think you're right, but i am still going to use special safety glasses^^
What about my other questions?

Best regards,

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Old 12-26-2010, 12:39 AM #6
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Default Re: fist Co2 Laser (beginner questions)

Hallo und Willkommen auf LPF!

Kannst ja mal zuerst mal diese Threads hier lesen, vielleicht hilfts dir ja schonmal weiter:
60 watt co2 laser tube
Successful DIY CO2 laser, made from scratch!
60W CO2 Tube
Powering a CO2 tube with a NST?
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Last edited by anselm; 12-26-2010 at 12:45 AM.
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Old 12-26-2010, 03:15 AM #7
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Default Re: fist Co2 Laser (beginner questions)

Hello and welcome!

The tube you linked looks like a good deal to me. The seller seems to have a nice rep, plus they do provide you with the technical info you'll need for the tube.

40W for $120 is not bad.

(Rumor has it that there is a lack of DRSSTC threads in the "other" section)
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Old 12-26-2010, 05:00 AM #8
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Default Re: fist Co2 Laser (beginner questions)

I have one of these tubes and same seller, it was VERY well packed and the tube arrived intact and working. I can't speak for lifetime as I've only run it for less than an hour total. I am using mine for a laser cutter, you can find my thread in the Other section "My holiday project".
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Old 12-26-2010, 08:38 AM #9
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Default Re: fist Co2 Laser (beginner questions)

Thank you for your answers!

@anslem: Ja, ich denke das hilft sehr. Ich les mir das gleich mal durch.

@Meatball: Yes, that's what i thought. But what does your last sentence mean?
I understand the words, but not the sense. I guess it's cause you spoke in slang or something

@Things: Nice, i think you made me buy this tube when i have the money.
I will read your thread. What safety glasses did you use?

Best regards,

Philippp
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Old 12-26-2010, 02:57 PM #10
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Default Re: fist Co2 Laser (beginner questions)

There's no risk in using regular safety glasses because they block deep IR. I've done tests myself. It is not very polite to ask for advice and then discard it.
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Old 12-26-2010, 04:46 PM #11
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Default Re: fist Co2 Laser (beginner questions)

[QUOTE=Cyparagon;837489It is not very polite to ask for advice and then discard it.[/QUOTE]

I know and i believe you are right, but why should there be professional co2 laser safety glasses for 90$ when you also can buy some normal glasses for 5$?
I will use glasses which are made for this, no discussion.

I guess when you use normal safety goggles it will work in 98,5% of all cases. But why risk that when there are tested glasses for 30$ which are almost 100% safe?

Best regards,

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Old 12-26-2010, 06:44 PM #12
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Default Re: fist Co2 Laser (beginner questions)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Philipp View Post
why should there be professional co2 laser safety glasses for 90$ when you also can buy some normal glasses for 5$?
For the same reason these jack-offs can charge $40 for a colored bulb. For the same reason these jack-offs can charge $9,000 for a couple of laser pointers.
They're Fcking you.
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Old 12-26-2010, 11:37 PM #13
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Default Re: fist Co2 Laser (beginner questions)

The only difference in CO2 safety goggles will be whether they are made of glass or plastic. IMHO plastic is better at such high powers, as glass will usually crack instantly due to the localised heat spot, whereas plastic will take longer to burn through. There is no such thing as "professional CO2 safety goggles", just highly overpriced safety glasses.
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Old 12-28-2010, 07:20 AM #14
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Default Re: fist Co2 Laser (beginner questions)

The range of light visible by the human eye is from around 350nm to 700nm. The beam from a CO2 laser is around 10,000nm, so it is hardly light at all, more like a beam of heat. The lens of your eye cannot pass or focus it so there is no risk of retinal damage. Most any plain glass or plastic is opaque to this, which is why optics for use with CO2 lasers are made of exotic materials like ZnSe.

Get some decent fitting safety glasses and use common sense. Keep yourself out of the beam path and be careful what you point it at. Many metals will reflect it but most things absorb it very well.
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Old 12-29-2010, 12:47 AM #15
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Default Re: fist Co2 Laser (beginner questions)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyparagon View Post
For the same reason these jack-offs can charge $40 for a colored bulb. For the same reason these jack-offs can charge $9,000 for a couple of laser pointers.
They're Fcking you.
But its a 5mw 405 and a 5mw or so of 635. So I guess I can shine my 405 at my face and get rid of acne!
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Old 12-29-2010, 11:22 AM #16
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Default Re: fist Co2 Laser (beginner questions)

I understand the OP"s intent to protect his vision, which we applaud. We just don't want you to waste your money when something that is "well known" here is for your benefit. Like Cyparagon and others have stated, it does not act like "light". If the beam hits plastic, (thicker being better) it's not going to pass through. Just don't purchase any ZnSe laser goggles. Welcome to LPF
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