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Enlarging laser aperture.

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I'm considering enlarging the apertures on a couple of lasers. They are currently 1/8" or so in diameter; I'm thinking of using a drill press to enlarge them to 1/4" or 5/16".

The reason for this is that the lasers are slightly out of focus. The beam exits the aperture with a normal diameter, a couple of mm in diameter, usual single mode diode profile. However there is clearly a beam waist about 6 feet beyond the aperture. Beyond that, the beam diverges outward and at 30 feet of distance the spot is more than an inch in diameter. These are single mode diodes and it should be possible to focus them better than that.

If I could get the right tool in there, it would be no problem adjusting focus. The aperture is simply too small, the required tool won't fit, and tools that do fit cannot reach the adjusting screw.

Has anyone done this? I figure if I go very slowly it should be possible to get through the aperture without hitting the lens. Any stray metal shavings could be removed with compressed air.
 

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If you do it ... do it by hand drill or at a VERY SLOW speed.
That would be why I'd use a drill press, can easily control the bit RPM as well as the drilling rate. I don't really want to do it at all, but these lasers are focused wrong, and the adjusters are literally *right there* but my tools won't fit.

As an alternative, would any experienced members here be willing to take a crack at these? I can cover all shipping and would be OK with paying someone to see what they can do.

Actually, what I really need to do is start building my own units so that I can have control over things like how easy they are to work on. But, I haven't yet worked up the nerve to take that plunge.
 




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