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Thread: Ruby Laser build.

  1. #1
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    Default Ruby Laser build.

    Hello All,

    Well, I came across a ruby laser rod on ebay, 40 or so...
    So, what's one more project to the mix eh?

    Just arrived today, looks in pretty good shape.

    There are some minor chips around the edge, and some of the finest scratches one can see if they angle it just right...

    Probably will still lase I'm thinking, just not so efficient.

    The rod is 7mm x 70mm. 0.03%


    My current plan:

    Design a chamber up for this, copper or aluminium, I'll look at silver plating it, though may just use tin-foil for testing as other people have done successfully in the past.

    Use a camera Xenon flash-lamp and some large capacitors that I have around (450V, 1000's of uF)

    Mirrors.... ah.

    Problems:

    I'm not sure if the rod has AR coating, can't seem to see anything definitive from looking at it.
    I'm aware these are precision lapped to 200nm parallel on either side (generally)

    Are there services out there that re-lap and do AR coatings for anything less then a small fortune.

    I did come across a video recently of someone cutting brewster's angles onto a ruby rod:

    ... I'm curious about this, he hasn't shown anything about polishing the sides however.


    Any suggestions on getting something fun and working out of this?

  2. #2
    mixedgas's Avatar
    mixedgas is offline Creaky Old Award Winning Bastard Technologist
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    RE the Video.
    ~
    I'd send it out for commercial polishing long before I'd cut it in that plastic jig. Swiss Rocket Man probably has enough practice and measuring gear that he can get away with hand refiguring that. I'm not so sure most others could grind a rod as their first project. In my opinion, that blade was way too fast, compared to say a Buhler machine.
    ~
    I have a old acquaintance who used to hand polish one end at a time on surplus ruby rods while watching TV. By hand it would take him eight or more hours from raw sliced end to a reasonable finish, per end. He never did much more then test the parallelism with a hene and a jig. His fingers were rubbed raw by the process.
    ~
    There is lasing and there is lasing. If you want to ensure good mode power, the end figure must be quite good. You might get weak lasing otherwise.
    ~
    Most nations have a few lens-making businesses who can easily put on a flat optical finish by grinding.
    ~
    My former employer used this company for laser rod rework:

    http://www.scientificmaterials.com/c.../about-smc.php

    Their prices are not that bad, might be steep for a hobbyist, but compared to most other sources, were quite good.


    ~
    Steve
    Last edited by mixedgas; 06-26-2017 at 12:50.
    Qui habet Christos, habet Vitam!
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  3. #3
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mixedgas View Post
    RE the Video.
    ~
    I'd send it out for commercial polishing long before I'd cut it in that plastic jig. Swiss Rocket Man probably has enough practice and measuring gear that he can get away with hand refiguring that. I'm not so sure most others could grind a rod as their first project. In my opinion, that blade was way too fast, compared to say a Buhler machine.
    ~
    I have a old acquaintance who used to hand polish one end at a time on surplus ruby rods while watching TV. By hand it would take him eight or more hours from raw sliced end to a reasonable finish, per end. He never did much more then test the parallelism with a hene and a jig. His fingers were rubbed raw by the process.
    ~
    There is lasing and there is lasing. If you want to ensure good mode power, the end figure must be quite good. You might get weak lasing otherwise.
    ~
    Most nations have a few lens-making businesses who can easily put on a flat optical finish by grinding.
    ~
    My former employer used this company for laser rod rework:

    http://www.scientificmaterials.com/c.../about-smc.php

    Their prices are not that bad, might be steep for a hobbyist, but compared to most other sources, were quite good.


    ~
    Steve
    Thanks for the information, that's pretty interesting, I can imagine lapping it by hand... I don't think I have the patience for that. Never liked TV. Maybe when next season's House of Cards comes out.....

    I looked around for some commercial polishing companies / lens making companies however there don't seem to be ANY in the UK.... It seems to me the UK has even less industry left then I thought.. geez.

    I'm curious what assemblies are used in this kind of optics industry?
    I've been considering building a precision machining centre for some time now. (linear encoders, linear motors, granite construction from surface plate, air bearings or linear profiles)
    I think it mostly comes down to finding cheap surplus on ebay. A good spindle would be the hardest part to get really...

    Probably not realistic though, I've got enough projects on the run.

  4. #4
    mixedgas's Avatar
    mixedgas is offline Creaky Old Award Winning Bastard Technologist
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    RDT LTD, GlassPerfection LTD, ValleyDesign Ltd.. TechOptics.. Orion optics.. The list can grow..
    ~
    Your local lapidary club can do this, just don't expect the rod ends to be perfectly parallel.
    ~
    Steve
    Qui habet Christos, habet Vitam!
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by TCWilliamson View Post

    I'm curious what assemblies are used in this kind of optics industry?
    I've been considering building a precision machining centre for some time now. (linear encoders, linear motors, granite construction from surface plate, air bearings or linear profiles)
    I think it mostly comes down to finding cheap surplus on ebay. A good spindle would be the hardest part to get really...

    Probably not realistic though, I've got enough projects on the run.
    Chemical-Mechanical Planarization is frequently used. The machine usually looks like the offspring of a lapping wheel and an orbital sander. Not sure about ruby, but cerium oxide is your best friend for putting an optical finish on many types of glass.

  6. #6
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    If u use silver for mirrors expect 100 shots maybe

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