Hey, i no nothing about making burning lasers and i would like to no how!
But my enquire today is is an normal xbox diode good enough to burn things as i have one of them spare and do not have a 16x dvd burner cheers.
Good luck. Reading is the key to learning this stuff. After you read up a bit, feel free to ask the folks here to help fill in any blanks for you. They'll be glad to help, but usually only after you try to educate yourself first..
EDIT: To answer your question, I don't believe that an ordinary xbox diode will put out much more than 5mW, which is nowhere near enough to burn. You need an LG DVD burner, or you can buy just the sled/diode from either the group buy or buy,sell,trade sections of the forum.
like ElektroFreak said, people are happy to help if you know what you are doing (kinda), noobs who join and ask, "How do i makez a burning lazer to burn my sist0r?" aren't very popular around here lol...so after you read those start to get an idea of what you want in a laser...
1)How many mW?
2)What wavelength? (color)
3)What style do you want? (in a flashlight? side button? tail clicky? fit in your pocket? labby?)
Answer those and people will be able to recommend a build for you...