Laser Cleaning Party Saturday 7/7/18 - Noon

New Laser tubes and optics rebuild parts are finally on their way from China. It will still be a few days before they arrive.
In preparation, the old mirrors have been removed from the Big Laser. The small laser is easier to disassemble.

Now it’s time to clean the machines to get ready for the rebuild. This activity will definitely speed up the rebuild.
If you use the Lasers or want to learn more about them, this is a good opportunity to get deep into the machines.

Join in on Saturday the 7th as we vacuum out dust and don rubber gloves to scrub the smoke out of the machine interiors.

No experience required.


Dave Velzy

Any idea how much time you think this will take Dave? I'd love to help. Im trying to arrange for a sitter for my kids tomorrow.

We will probably need 3 to 4 several hours of work to take apart, clean and reassemble the lasers. I don’t want to leave them in pieces.
Depending on how many people show up we may be able to clean up both lasers. Or reschedule to do the small one later one evening.

Stay as long as you are able. All efforts are appreciated.

Parts may arrive as early as Wednesday next week.

Could we get some reference pics of the great cleaning for the record books?

(Helps a lot with future maintenance)



Any particular time on saturday this will start? :slight_smile:

I’ll be in between 10-11am. Will have plenty of rubber gloves for everyone.

Heath Blandford
P: 513-259-5587

The original post is for noon. I'll be there before 11 am to get setup.
Come when you can, stay as long as you are able. There is plenty of cleaning to do.

I'll plan on coming in at 11am as well.

Sent from my BlackBerry 10 smartphone.
Original Message

Lol…didn’t read the title of the post apparently

Cool. I'll stay as long as I can.
Thanks for putting this together Dave.

It will be nice to know how to properly clean it in the future. We'll take pictures and documentation for the pm process Brad. Good idea.

If you’re thinking of bringing some in, it’s not strictly necessary. We have several boxes of nitrile gloves in various sizes up on the black tool shelves. I recently restocked.

  • Ry

I’d love to be there but I’m out of town.

Yes that is Space Mountain. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


Please unplug the laser before doing any internal work, and if you do fire things up be careful. There are some high voltages and even the tired laser tube can fry an eye. :sunglasses:




Why did you send pics of a new laser? Where is our old dirty one? :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


Thank You. The Big Laser is CLEAN.
Heath, Matt, Paul, Lorin all dug in to remove years of accumulated grime.
Great progress.
Thank you all for the great work.

But wait! There is more! The little laser needs the same treatment. The next laser cleaning party will probably be scheduled for an evening soon.

Dave Velzy

I'll see about doing some cleaning on the small laser while I'm there tonight.
Any news on the parts Dave?

Thursday is the estimate.

There are lots of things to be done to get the lasers refurbed. Anyone can help out, regardless of experience as we start upgrading the wiring, optics, etc. It’ll be a fun opportunity to get to know CO2 lasers intimately. Stay posted for an invitation for a laser building party…


The Parts shipment is now scheduled for Fedex delivery by 8 pm Thursday 7/12/18. (finally)

We should probably not clean or tear into the small laser until the big laser is on line. As of the day we moved the small laser into the Fab Annex, it was working.

There is a lot to do between now and the annual meeting. If all goes well, the big laser should be back on line sometime on the weekend of the 21st or 22nd.

Friday morning 7/13, I’ll bring the parts in and start work on the task list. Saturday morning 7/14 ~ 10:00 am I’ll be back working down the list.

All assistance is welcome. Let me know of your interests and time availability so that we can coordinate efforts.

Thanks, Dave

The get the big laser back on-line to do list:

  • old exhaust blower ducted to the lasers. strap, duct tape - Done

  • Ethernet drop in the Annex - Done

  • Set up the computer for the lasers.

  • Make and install a separate chassis ground wire for both lasers. Remove chassis paint on ground lug, add star washer, verify chassis ground.

  • Make longer 14Ga power cable for the big laser 220V connection. It’s rated at 220V 5A / 1000W

  • Hook up the Chiller. It has enough capacity for both lasers in series.

  • Fill Chiller with distilled water. Need 2 to 3 gallons. Dave

  • Add tank/closed bucket to hold water drained from tubes when loop is disconnected from the laser.

  • Hook up the air pump. Run only one laser at a time until second pump installed

At this point, possibly Sunday 7/14, the small laser can be brought on line with the old tube. Small laser optical overhaul will wait until the Big laser is on line.

Big Laser Optical Overhaul.

  • Check the electronics on the big laser to assure there are no GFI trips. Lorin

  • HV testing & calibration with load resistor. Adjust current <28mA on large laser, and <26mA on small. Lorin

  • Add current xformer (ferrite with 4-5 wraps of wire) to big laser. Lorin

  • Install big laser tube, mirrors and lens Lorin Dave

  • Align big laser Lorin Dave


  • Make sign for the chiller. Distilled water only - Chiller capacity is 6 liters, Plus Two Tubes and all the tubing.

  • Investigate ideal water conditioning for the chiller; surfactants and biocides + distilled water.

  • Order second air pump. For now with only one pump the lasers are in use one at a time.

  • Clean small laser

  • Add current ammeter to small laser

  • Add current xformer (ferrite with 4-5 wraps of wire) to sm laser.

  • Install small laser tube, mirror and lens

  • Align small laser

  • Add a “heads-up” traffic light signal to indicate normal and abnormal conditions. (Andon)

  • Create a central control loop. Assure chiller, water flow, air pump and exhaust fan are operational when either laser is under power.

  • Separate computers for each laser.