Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Beginings of a CO2 laser.

I couldn't resist anymore. I've started building a CO2 laser.
Is my new diffusion pump finished? No.
Is my new belljar thing finished? No.
Is my watercooled magnetron finished? No.

To start here is a picture of the laser as it stands today. I will go into construction details as I go along.
From the bottom up!
The base is MDF, to which I have bolted two pieces of Aluminium T-slot stuff I got out of a skip a few years ago.(3* m6 bolts on each side) It was part of an office partition. I unbolted the carpet covered wall sections and was away with the T-slot section!
I was going to use this stuff on the base of the CNC machine but I didn't really have enough, so I stacked it up in the corner!
In this picture there's a lot to see.
First, the brown stuff which the whole laser is mounted to is 'Tufnol' or paper reinforced Bakelite.
This is a very interesting material and the first time I had ever worked with it. It is dense, ridged, machinable and very electrically insulative and very old. Many electrical fittings are still made of it.

If memory serves me air breaks down at 3kv per MM(corrections welcome!)
So I tried to make sure I had at least 15mm between anything conductive near the electrode and T-slot.

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