Archive | April, 2016

Tidying up cables for the laser

26 Apr


I’ve had the new laser cutter hooked up via various extension cables and plug boxes. Every time I turned the shed lights on, I had to listen to the sound of the laser’s exhaust fan and air pump, as it was too much trouble to hunt down the appropriate cables and unplug them when I wasn’t using the laser.

I decided to make it easier on myself by using a switched plug box – but then I needed to remember which switch turned on which device.

With a cad diagram sorted out, I grabbed a random chunk of white painted hardboard (I have no idea what it came off – probably some bit of demolished furniture). I covered the surface with masking tape.


Next step – burn all the mounting holes. There was some metal shelving near the laser, with holes at 50mm spacing, so I made holes for attaching the board using those. Also holes for zip ties, and for the plug board (which I’d hot glued small feet to).


Now, lightly engrave the text, along with some indicating lines. The sockets on the plug board weren’t evenly spaced, hence the odd angles.


The result, fresh our of the laser.


I peeled off the masking tape over the letters. It came off easily, but I should have been more careful to press the remaining tape back down. I’d wiped the board down with a damp rag before I applied the masking tape (it was very dusty) and the heat of the laser may have bubbled the remaining moisture.


Now an application of black spray paint.


After an hour, I peeled the remaining masking tape off. There’s a few blotches, especially near the bottom, but it’s certainly readable. The letters are about 50mm (2″) high.


The final result. A bit rough, but quite satisfactory for a first try, and it should do the job.