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  • Laser questions?

    I am thinking of putting laser alignment on some of my home shop machines. I spotted this on ebay.

    http://cgi.ebay.com/650nm-5mW-Red-la...QQcmdZViewItem

    Can someone explain the 650NM is that the size of the laser line? Does that mean 650 nano meter is that real small? I would like to put one of these on my CNC router table and my hydraulic press. I just don't know how wide the line will be. The further the laser gets from the surface does the line increase in size I would think it would? I have heard the arguements about accuracy with line width. As my eyes get worse with age I can just see this being easier for me. I was thinking about one for the horizontal bandsaw also. For the price I could just see adding them too a couple tools around the shop.
    Thanks Mike
    Last edited by gundog; 05-24-2008, 06:48 PM.

  • #2
    I found part of the answer.

    650 Nanometers = 0.00002559055118110236 Inches

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    • #3
      It's the wavelength of the laser light emitted,
      Nick

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      • #4
        Originally posted by NickH
        It's the wavelength of the laser light emitted,
        Right, it just means that the light is red. The visible spectrum runs from 380 nanometers (violet) to 750 nanometers (red).

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        • #5
          Be aware that lasers have beam divergence - the beam spreads out as you get farther from the laser. Also, cheap lasers are poor at what is called "pointing accuracy" - the beam wanders around slightly in direction. This is only a problem is you expect very accurate readings. Cheap lasers are fine for woodworking, but you either need to use special techniques or better lasers for metalworking.

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          • #6
            Potentially a laser alignment system can easily beat any other type of system hands down. In practice it is a lot harder to realize the full potential of a laser measuring system. To start with the laser light itself is hard for the human eye to focus on well as it causes diffraction patterns within the eye. It's nothing harmful, it just makes it hard to actually see the central spot of light or to focus on a laser line. Laser light also interferes with itself because of it's coherent and monochromatic nature. When it strikes a surface it causes minute light and dark areas where the light either cancels or reenforces due to slight variations in the surface height and texture. This is what causes the sort of "grainy" look that a laser spot has.
            Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here

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            • #7
              How much would I need to spend on a better laser for reaching a distance of about 12" or less? I am looking for around .005" accuracy. I want to cast a beam not just a dot. My CNC router has a Z travel of 6". I bought a laser edge finder and it is real handy but it mounts in the collet and it requires removing the bit. Mounting some beam type lasers on the machine would make for faster setups. Where would I look for better lasers?
              Thanks Mike

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              • #8
                With .005 as a resolution, you can start at Sears....

                Look on my mill.. now about four years old?? I forget..
                http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ifhmh6-fMKw
                .
                Sears lasertrac?? was $39... now??? THE one for the drill press has two lasers, two waffle type diffuser lens.. runs off two AA batteries.. or in my case off a USB cable on the pc..
                I had to dissasemble mine, redo it with epoxy paste on a piece of aluminum that the quill would fit through.

                David
                Excuse me, I farted.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by gundog
                  I am thinking of putting laser alignment on some of my home shop machines. I spotted this on ebay.

                  http://cgi.ebay.com/650nm-5mW-Red-la...QQcmdZViewItem

                  Can someone explain the 650NM is that the size of the laser line? Does that mean 650 nano meter is that real small? I would like to put one of these on my CNC router table and my hydraulic press. I just don't know how wide the line will be. The further the laser gets from the surface does the line increase in size I would think it would? I have heard the arguements about accuracy with line width. As my eyes get worse with age I can just see this being easier for me. I was thinking about one for the horizontal bandsaw also. For the price I could just see adding them too a couple tools around the shop.
                  Thanks Mike
                  Mike
                  Get one of this :http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.5942

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Yeah, Cranc, I'll vouch for that.
                    I think it was Sir John who pointed em out.
                    I ordered 3 of the cross-hair lasers and the service was prompt.

                    I'm now awaiting arrival of a 200mW unit to do some CNC etching
                    Just got my head together
                    now my body's falling apart

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I have a good size order coming in from DealX. No problem with their service, they shipped as advertised but my order is stuck in Canada Customs waiting for somebody to pull their thumb out of their asp. It's been sittiing there for ten days now.

                      Cross hair laser isn't the best way though. On a mill use two line lasers to project a cross (one X and one Y) and it will always be on the centerline of the spindle regardless of the distance to the table.
                      Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here

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                      • #12
                        The price is right on the dealextreme but I would like one line units rather than the crosshair do they have those I did not see them listed?

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                        • #13
                          red line laser

                          Originally posted by gundog
                          The price is right on the dealextreme but I would like one line units rather than the crosshair do they have those I did not see them listed?
                          gundog.

                          red line laser no problem, here you go
                          http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.5928

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I think I went overboard I ordered 2 crosshair type and 5 straight line type. It will look like a high tech alarm system in the shop. If the tweakers break in they won't know what to think.
                            Mike

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                            • #15
                              I just received my order today which includes two of the line laser modules to install on my mill. They look very nice and focus to a very sharp line. I'm also happy with the rest of the order so far although I haven't tested everything yet. Incidentally, it all came through unopened and with no duties or even a handling charge. It will be interesting to see just how powerful the 1/2 watt IR emitters are that I ordered.
                              Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here

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