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General Maintenance

With the crazy holiday season over with, I wanted to touch a little on Preventative Maintenance.  Now that we have ran the heck out of our lasers all season long, its time to nurse them back to health.  A little TLC if you will.  Like spring cleaning... but for your laser.  Make sure to go beyond cleaning the mirrors and lens.  This would be a deep cleaning type of scenario.  Some things to consider...

Cleaning The Laser Cabinet

1.  Wipe down the outside of the laser cabinet.  All sides, top and bottom.  I use Windex, you can use what you prefer.  Windex and a microfiber towel works well on the plexi-glass lids.

 

2.  Clean out the inside of the laser cabinet.  Lasers tend to accumulate a ton of smoke dust and debris inside the laser bed and cabinet.  I take a towel and Windex and wipe everything down.  Especially around the exhaust port.  Have you ever looked inside the exhaust port.... don't, it's nasty.  Changing out the exhaust hose might not be a bad idea once a year.  It accumulates a ton of buildup smoke dust on the walls of the exhaust tube.

 

3.  With the machine powered off, open the tube compartment and carefully dust off the tube and compartment with a dry rag or microfiber towel. Remove all dust from the tube and compartment as possible.

 

4.  Clean out of the little material/wood chips at the bottom of your laser bed or debris tray.  These will be from the smallet pieces falling through the honeycomb bed.  

5.  Change out the water in your chiller/water reservoir to fresh clean water.  Make sure to use distilled water. 

 

6.  Carefully wipe down components inside the laser cabinet to remove the dust.  This would be the rails, laser head, auto focus probe, etc.  I do this with a dry microfiber towel. 

 

7.  Grease the rails.  Everyone has a different choice on grease, so use what you prefer.  Remember, a little goes a long way.  Don't gob it up on the rails.  You will have a mess.

 

8.  After your cleaning party of dusting a wiping everything down, clean you mirrors and lens.  I do this last as there is a lot of dust being stirred up in the cleaning process. 

 

9.  Remember... these machines are like any other piece of equipment in your shop... IF YOU TAKE CARE OF IT, SHOW IT SOME LOVE, IT WILL TAKE CARE OF YOU! 

 

These are some tips that I use that works for me.  You don't NEED to do them, but Cam Edmonds, Brandt Workman, and myself recommend doing something along these lines.  I may be over the top on my cleaning regimen, but as we all have, I have spent a lot of money on the lasers in my shop, and any downtime will cost me more in lost production than the time it would take to do a little Preventative Maintenance every now and then.

 

FUN FACT... I am still on my original lens that came in my 60w machine for over 3 years now.  Maybe I am lucky, or maybe taking care of the machine has worked out. 

 

We have seen some pictures of some lasers, and its not pretty.  Makes sense why there might be issues.  No judging at all, just stating facts.  Clean your stuff... Help your laser help you!

 

Thanks for coming to my TED Talk today, and I wish everyone a HAPPY NEW YEAR.  Lets all kill it in 2022!

Chiller or Water Resevoir

1.  Change out the water in your chiller/water reservoir to fresh clean water. 

 

2.  With new water, make sure to use distilled water.  If it is currently cold in your neck of the woods, and gets below freezing, you can used a mixture of 50/50 distilled water and RV Antifreeze.  This will help prevent freezing if you space is not heated.  Make sure to use RV antifreeze, and not auto.  There is a difference.  

3.  

 

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