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The right laser for a specific purpose.

vpierceiii

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Hello all. I’m new here and I need a laser for a specific task. I live in the mountains and it’s very common here to burn piles of branches, leaves and pine needles. Especially during spring and fall clean ups. We typically pour a little diesel (not gasoline) on and then light it off. But I’m older now and have a very bad back and I’m tired of fumbling with matches and bending over to light the fire.
So I was thinking about buying a 3 watt Thor H2 and just pointing it at the burn pile from 6-8 feet away to light it.
Do you think that model of laser would meet my needs?
And does 445 nm give off much IR light?
I’ve tried to search this up but didn’t find the info I need. Thanks for any help and for putting up with another noob. :)
 
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Hap

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Hello,

I can answer one of your question! 445nm lasers are produced via diodes, so no IR light is produced in the process. :)

-Alex
 

Immo1282

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I'm not all too sure that a 3W laser would ignite diesel soaked wood/leaves etc. You'd have to hold it very steady (tripod steady) on a single point for some time to get enough heat to build up to ignite that. Diesel is hard to set alight without a naked flame as is - it's not a particularly flammable fuel, so requiring that you ignite it only from the heat in a surface hit by a laser - It's a tall ask.
 

RedCowboy

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Hello all. I’m new here and I need a laser for a specific task. I live in the mountains and it’s very common here to burn piles of branches, leaves and pine needles. Especially during spring and fall clean ups. We typically pour a little diesel (not gasoline) on and then light it off. But I’m older now and have a very bad back and I’m tired of fumbling with matches and bending over to light the fire.
So I was thinking about buying a 3 watt Thor H2 and just pointing it at the burn pile from 6-8 feet away to light it.
Do you think that model of laser would meet my needs?
And does 445 nm give off much IR light?
I’ve tried to search this up but didn’t find the info I need. Thanks for any help and for putting up with another noob. :)
It's a matter of how far away you want to be from the material and how tightly you could focus the energy, also you need a certain amount of wattage to sufficiently heat the material not just past flash point but in order to impart enough heat that a flame kernel could be self sustaining once you remove your energy beam and even then you would need kindling ( paper/cardboard/straw ) packed in among your larger material which would mean bending and working on your hands and knees, so the thor as you buy it is not going to do what you want, a better option would be the drip torch, link below.

p.s. Soaking your material with diesel or kerosene would make laser ignition more difficult as far as getting it started, once started it would aid in your task, so why not soak with diesel/kerosene as you say and toss a book of matches onto the material ? But better yet and safer would be using a drip torch.


See the source image


See the source image
 
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vpierceiii

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Thank you for your great answers. So to clarify. I usually only put a cup or two of diesel on the pile. I let it drip down so I can get ignition down deep in the pile. I usually have some dry pine needles that I could shoot the laser at. Since diesel doesn’t “whoosh” like gasoline I could stand close.
Also, I have to confess, the cool factor is involved too. Not just practicality. 🆒:)
Would a beam extender help out? Or perhaps the 3.5 watt from Jet Lasers?
Also moving up to a 4 watt wouldn’t bother me either. :sneaky:
 

paul1598419

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Some problems aren't meant to be solved by a laser. I believe yours is one of them.
 

Immo1282

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By all means get a laser for the cool factor - It's the reason I scramble to when I'm asked about mine - but regardless how powerful you want to go for - you're not going to get a satisfactory result from a laser pointer in your application.

Beam Expanders widen the beam, causing it to diverge less over distance. Unfortunately, this is next to useless for any applications involving burning/heating as for these purposes, you need to focus the laser to a point to concentrate the energy. This focusing is also why it's rather difficult to reccomend anything for your application - With a very tiny point, you have to hold the laser very still to reliably heat the same spot in the material.

Counter-intuitively, more power may not help your cause here - The higher powered diodes tend to have less ideal beam specifications, meaning divergence is worse and the dot shape is larger (will appear as a spread out rectangle rather than a round point).
 

Encap

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Hello all. I’m new here and I need a laser for a specific task. I live in the mountains and it’s very common here to burn piles of branches, leaves and pine needles. Especially during spring and fall clean ups. We typically pour a little diesel (not gasoline) on and then light it off. But I’m older now and have a very bad back and I’m tired of fumbling with matches and bending over to light the fire.
So I was thinking about buying a 3 watt Thor H2 and just pointing it at the burn pile from 6-8 feet away to light it.
Do you think that model of laser would meet my needs?
And does 445 nm give off much IR light?
I’ve tried to search this up but didn’t find the info I need. Thanks for any help and for putting up with another noob. :)
Is important for you to understand/know/recognize that a laser beam has no temperature - there is no inherent "temperature" to a laser beam. Heat is the random motion of matter particles (atomic or molecular particles).
A laser beam itself is not made of matter but of photons, which have no mass, thus a laser beam can have no temperature.
"Heat" is caused by a laser beams energy being absorbed by a materials surface and turning light energy into heat energy.
"Burning": depends upon the ability of the target to absorb and convert the light energy of whatever wavelength to heat.
 

vpierceiii

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Thank you for the explanations. I appreciate the education.
I think I will just use the burn pile lighting as an excuse to convince the warden (wife) that I need a laser. 😁
You guys aren’t the only teachers around.....24 yrs of marriage has taught me a few things too. Lol
Anyway thanks for the help. And hey, if I can defy the odds and start a fire with a laser, I’ll post my results for the entertainment factor. Cheers. 🍻
 

RedCowboy

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Thank you for the explanations. I appreciate the education.
I think I will just use the burn pile lighting as an excuse to convince the warden (wife) that I need a laser. 😁
You guys aren’t the only teachers around.....24 yrs of marriage has taught me a few things too. Lol
Anyway thanks for the help. And hey, if I can defy the odds and start a fire with a laser, I’ll post my results for the entertainment factor. Cheers. 🍻

You seriously think people here don't know how to ignite thin dry material ( kindling ) with their lasers ?

It's just not very popular to post burning results, it's old hat and most here are concerned with safety and promoting a safe image, you can go to youtube and watch that kind of stuff if you want.

As for a 3w thor with the beam expander you can ignite a brown paper bag at 2 meters and even 3 meters if you hold very still, but not very well or hardly at all at 6 meters, 5 meters is stretching it, however when/if you do make sure to be safe, protect your eyes and don't let harm come to anyone else.

I assume you know fire safety as you say this is a regular burning event for you.

No need to post any results here though because kids start enough fires with matches, we don't need to stir up any new trouble by glorifying something that can be fun when done safely but has risks when done by fools and there are a lot out there.

I have personally taken down all my burning videos for these reasons.

p.s. Don't be offended when I say Be safe, I don't want you to be offended, I want you to be safe. :)
 
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Lifetime17

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Hi,
Diesel has a very high flash point so basically all you need to light your fires is a stick match. Oh by the way didn't California just have some really bad forest fires that destroyed thousands of homes and properties ? Be safe always.. As Red showed these would help.
Rich:)63486
 

vpierceiii

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Thank you for that info. That is: specifically what the Thor 3w can do. Very helpful for me to gauge that lasers ability and applicability to my needs.
Yes, I certainly do know that you guys know how and what to ignite....however I am less familiar. The members who answered my question seemed sceptical that the Thor would do what I wanted, so I simply wanted to end the thread in a whimsical and thankful manner. I certainly didn’t mean to imply ignorance. As for YouTube, I don’t trust a lot of what I see anymore. When it comes to lasers that can cause damage, I much prefer to ask you guys. This forum and all of you have a great reputation. It is a well known fact that you all are the best resource for everything laser. And I have a lot of respect for your opinions.
As for burning being old hat....so is sex and fireworks. But I don’t see a lot of people bored with that either. Lol.:p Burning is cool (pardon the irony). But I take safety very seriously; as an electrician my life depends upon it. And I totally understand your desire to protect this hobby by portraying an image of safety. I’m new here though, so please be patient with me as I learn this sites culture and adapt to fit in.
Thanks again for your help.
 

vpierceiii

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As for the forest fires....oh boy, don’t get me started. LOL.
A large majority of the bad fires are started by illegal campfires poorly contained with no fire ring, faulty electrical equipment....private and municipal, lightning and sparks from cars and cigarettes. The severity of the fires is because the government stopped maintaining the forest and outlawed even responsible logging operations in many areas back in th 80s. The forestry departments own foresters and arborists warned about the consequences many times ( I personally know some of those professionals who warned them). But the government didn’t listen and now the forests are extremely overgrown. And it’s scary.
Private land owners such as myself keep our land cleared of brush and trim our trees up high. We have burn permits from CalFire and practice safe methods and employ common sense. Fire is a tool. And like any tool, people need to learn about it before using it.
Also I won’t be igniting the diesel itself. Only surrounding tinder. Then the open flame will ignite the diesel. As for matches....now that is old hat. Lol. A laser would be way more fun.
Once again, thank you for your responses. MUCH appreciated.
 

Immo1282

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One idea - if you set a few matches in the tinder then hit them with the laser, that'd work. I suggest if you are going to get a laser you get appropriate safety goggles if you ever use it indoors. Outdoors is relatively safe for eyes, as there's little in nature that's mirror reflective, but if you point indoors at any time you should be wearing proper laser safety goggles. Good ones can be found on SurvivalLaser.com under the brand "Eagle Pair"
 

vpierceiii

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Feb 19, 2019
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One idea - if you set a few matches in the tinder then hit them with the laser, that'd work. I suggest if you are going to get a laser you get appropriate safety goggles if you ever use it indoors. Outdoors is relatively safe for eyes, as there's little in nature that's mirror reflective, but if you point indoors at any time you should be wearing proper laser safety goggles. Good ones can be found on SurvivalLaser.com under the brand "Eagle Pair"
Yes. Totally agree about glasses. Actually I’m thinking about buying the PL-E Pro 3 watt from Jet Lasers. And I will get the goggles that come with it (around $30). From all the good things I’ve read about Jet Lasers and considering the price, I would think those are good goggles. Thoughts? Also I like that this laser has a keyed switch.
I’m an older dad and have little ones. So this will be a strictly OUTDOOR ONLY laser. 3 watts is just too risky inside for me. Also it will be kept in the gun safe. I really like the analogy of a loaded gun....with children, and even teenagers around, such a laser should be locked up. Children are subject to inexperience and teenagers are typically subject to mischief and sometimes outright idiocy IMHO.
 




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