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Old 06-30-2011, 07:47 AM #1
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Default Teflon Tape / Alternatives

I ordered a laser kit this afternoon ; a Survival Laser 660nm 300mw. Already shipped, due to arrive this friday/1 july! (THANKS, Gary!!)

I've been advised that I might need teflon tape for the focusing system.

I am disabled with a heart condition, and I do not drive due to my cardiac medications. I can walk short / moderate distances (say, about 45 minutes) (but NOT in this 100+ degree heat we are having!)

SO... I more or less "live online" - something I have had to learn to do since my last round of heart surgeries (2005). I can't "run out to the local hardware store".

I order a lot of stuff from Walmart. It's cheap and usually convenient.

When searching the Walmart site for "Teflon Tape" we have this:
Walmart.com: Search Results for "teflon tape"

... 25 results; 24 different tapes, and a liquid thread sealant at the bottom of the page. (for some reason the liquid thread sealent is "non-drying", whatever that means).

Dumb newbie question: Will "any" of these do? Is there any PARTICULAR reason to choose one of them?

EDIT: About thickness... the first batch towards the top are "standard density", with no thickness listed. Then comes a batch that are all "3 mil". There are a couple that are "3.5 mil". And I think some do not really list density or thickness.

-----

And how about that liquid sealant?

-----

Unfortunately, express shipping for this is unavailable. If I ordered it today, the arrival estimate is between 8 july and 18 july (?? sheesh).

-----

Are there any alternatives to Teflon Tape? I did a few searches...

One person said they put a tiny amount of superglue on the threads. BUT that stuff crystalizes (?). Even a TINY amount of "superglue crystal dust" getting into the lens or the diode...
(and I don't have any superglue at present)

In a couple of searches, a couple of people (including jayrob, I think) mentioned that there are alternatives to teflon tape, but did not say what they were.

The other day, while reading old threads (for general laser knowledge), it SEEMS like I accidently ran across this issue - not really understanding it at time. Someone mentioned smearing "something" on the threads, as an alternative to teflon tape. I can't remember what it was, and I can't seem to find the thread.

-----

I'm aware of the cautions when using teflon tape... that it can fray, and pieces can get to the lens / diode. I see that as meaning use as LITTLE tape as necessary, screw the lens in and out a few times after applying the tape, and immediately remove any pieces that have frayed off. AND check it now and then.

Thanks



Last edited by JBTexas; 06-30-2011 at 08:06 AM.
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Old 06-30-2011, 08:37 AM #2
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Default Re: Teflon Tape / Alternatives

Teflon tape really isnt a bad thing to use but if you want to be completely safe you can get a strong spring that fits inside the aixiz module and use that
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Old 06-30-2011, 08:41 AM #3
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Default Re: Teflon Tape / Alternatives

Yes - that's an issue that came up - apparantly, with THIS laser and the lens used, there is no room for a spring when focused at ~ infinity; the lens is almost completely screwed into the housing.

MAYBE if there is "just very little room", I can fabricate a spring; I have enough electrical junk laying around. I would have to wait and see. But my impression is that there will be too little room to work with.
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Old 06-30-2011, 08:44 AM #4
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Default Re: Teflon Tape / Alternatives

Just wrap some teflon tightly around the higher parts of the threads and use the normal spring that comes with a Aixiz module... That gives you really smooth focusing and stops the lense getting bumped out of focus. Thats what I do with all my builds
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Old 06-30-2011, 08:45 AM #5
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Default Re: Teflon Tape / Alternatives

Okay, then - I guess "all" of these teflon tapes are pretty much equivalent? I will order some then.
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Old 06-30-2011, 09:43 AM #6
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Default Re: Teflon Tape / Alternatives

Pretty much

I got a roll like those localy for 2 dollars from a shop called Bunnings over here. Its like your Home Depot Try checking other places out instead of using 10 bucks +
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Old 06-30-2011, 12:40 PM #7
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Default Re: Teflon Tape / Alternatives

I had some of this one, in the past, for binocular lens threadings, and it was so thick that it can also be used as glue (almost ..... with over 16000 of viscosity at 40C, you can stick a sheet on the wall, and it will probably not fall for weeks ).

Unfortunately, i've finished it times ago, and apparently there's no more way for have it in "human" (means, not 200Kg industrial size cans ) quantities, here in Italy, at least not in my zone ..... maybe in the USA is still available at public stores, who know ?
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Old 06-30-2011, 12:56 PM #8
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Default Re: Teflon Tape / Alternatives

If you pm me your mailing address I will send you some free of charge.
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Old 06-30-2011, 03:22 PM #9
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Default Re: Teflon Tape / Alternatives

HIMNL9 / jeffrey; thanks

HIMNL; I searched my usual electronics dealers websites... there doesn't seem to be anything like that. A have a few links for electronics, amateur radio, etc., but I've never had a reason to establish a link with "general hardware". I see what you mean though, and I will search through some sites and establish a couple of hardware stores in my links.

jeffrey; thanks much; I've already sent for some (teflon tape) early this morning. They say the delivery date is expected to be monday 7/11 through tuesday 7/19. In my experience, *usually*, things get here FAR sooner that they "estimate" that they will. It depends on processing time. If they get right on it, it might be here next week. Or not. But at worst the laser will have a loose focus for a while. THANKS for your offer, but I don't want you to waste money on postage.

Now watch, in a week or so, someone will post some "secret" as an alternative that they just never bothered to mention before; "You have a cat, right? Take a little bit of cat litter, mix that with vegetable oil, toothpaste, and WD-40, and apply it to some paper masking tape. It makes homemade teflon tape, and it works better!"
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Old 06-30-2011, 03:57 PM #10
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Default Re: Teflon Tape / Alternatives

Quote:
Originally Posted by JBTexas View Post
Okay, then - I guess "all" of these teflon tapes are pretty much equivalent? I will order some then.
The only thing to watch out for is the width of the tape. Its obviously not very practical to use 1 inch wide tape on something as small ans an aixiz lens. I'd go for the quarter-inch stuff, though you can manage with half inch too.
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Old 06-30-2011, 04:09 PM #11
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Default Re: Teflon Tape / Alternatives

Once you get your focus set, IF you ARE NOT inclned to change it, put a little dab of 'Elmer's Glue' from a toothpick end, on the threads where they meet the module. If you DO have to re-focus, you can always scrape the dried Elmer's off with a straight pin. Work's for me.
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Old 06-30-2011, 05:32 PM #12
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Default Re: Teflon Tape / Alternatives

Thanks;

I ordered a roll of 1 inch x 250 inches early this morning... I have an X-Acto knife kit, plenty of blades to cut it with.

I actually thought about Elmers Glue earlier. I might try it tomorrow/monday when the laser arrives. I know that my 200mw green Gatlin can burn @ infinity... yes, I am inclined to take it out at night, get it focused to infinity, and then "fix" the lens. My priority is visibility over burning, anyway.

Now that teflon tape is on the way, I will probably do a SMALL wrapping on the threads, once it is where I want it.
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Old 06-30-2011, 06:54 PM #13
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Default Re: Teflon Tape / Alternatives

you have to wrap the threads before you focus the lense.
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Old 07-01-2011, 12:12 AM #14
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Default Re: Teflon Tape / Alternatives

123splat; hehehe ; yes, I know;

What I mean is, I will take the thing outside (WITHOUT teflon tape, at first) to determine where the infinity-focus point is first...

... and THEN I will wrap tape JUST on the part of the threads that I need to (for the infinite focus point).

That way, it won't be unnecessarily wrapped "all the way up and down the threads"; that might help prevent a lot of fraying / wear / peeling / dribble dribble dribble into the diode.

But I lack experience, and I am new at this. Maybe a little overcautious . Maybe fraying isn't that bad, and maybe I can pretty well wrap the entire threads-section. I will have to experiment.
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Old 07-01-2011, 12:38 PM #15
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Default Re: Teflon Tape / Alternatives

You can wrap the entire length of the thread, just don't overdo it. Depening on the spacing and tolerance, it usually takes 2 layers applied when slightly strechted out.

The idea with teflon tape is that the thread will actually deform it to a point where it fills any gaps, its pretty soft stuff.

In normal application you would use a few layers and put more torque when fastening the connection. That way you get a gas tight seal between two threaded parts - we use it for natural gas lines here all the time.
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Old 07-01-2011, 06:29 PM #16
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Default Re: Teflon Tape / Alternatives

Benm; Thanks; the laser arrived (works GREAT) and yes the focus is relatively loose.

Thinking about it then, since I intend to focus it to infinity and just leave it there; okay I will wrap most of the thread length, with 2 layers. WHEN the tape gets here.

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