Tidying up cables for the laser

26 Apr

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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.

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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).

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

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The result, fresh our of the laser.

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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.

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Now an application of black spray paint.

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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.

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

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