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Thread: Combined Router and Laser Table

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    Default Combined Router and Laser Table

    A combined router and laser table is a project I see spoken of often, but I can't remember seeing one ever built. For those of you that have looked into it, what did you find? What challenges might someone face looking to build one?

    I am envisioning a 4'x8' table built from 80/20 with the long axis being X. The laser tube would ride on the gantry and the laser and spindle would either ride side-by-side on the same carriage or be placed on opposite sides of the gantry.

    Could we route the laser fumes similar to how we collect dust?

    If anyone has links to similar discussions, please share. I'm in the middle of a home renovation but I am contemplating this machine as my next "big" project.

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    How powerful a laser are you talking about? For one small enough to ride on the gantry, it's probably a non-issue: whatever dust collection you have on the spindle is gross overkill for the amount of fumes it will produce.



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    Quote Originally Posted by Lee DeRaud View Post
    How powerful a laser are you talking about? For one small enough to ride on the gantry, it's probably a non-issue: whatever dust collection you have on the spindle is gross overkill for the amount of fumes it will produce.
    Hobby-level laser in the 40-80w range is what I have in mind.



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    Mounting the laser tube to the gantry might be totally unnecessary. Now that I think about it, having the tube mounted in a standard position at the end of the table would keep it cleaner and safer. I was worried about the router being in the way, but keeping the laser and the spindle on opposite sides of the gantry could avoid that.

    Something else that just came to mind was the fact that the laser head sometimes needs to move very quickly. The added inertia of the spindle might be a problem here. Maybe a split, or dual carriage could be used. One that allows the spindle portion to detach so that the laser can move independently.



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    Quote Originally Posted by giz View Post
    Hobby-level laser in the 40-80w range is what I have in mind.
    Hmmm...I've got a 25W, the tube for that is about 6"x6"x18" and weighs about 15lbs. (None of that includes the outboard optics.) The size/weight doesn't scale linearly with power, but the ones you're talking about are indeed quite a bit larger than that.

    Note that the tubes in laser systems that size normally don't move: the motion system just throws around a few ounces of mirror at speeds measured in tens of inches per second. At typical CNC speeds your main problem will be cutting your power back far enough to do anything more useful than James Bond 'Goldfinger' reenactments.



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    One thing that will be a constant worry is keeping the reflective mirrors clean. They have to be absolutely spotless! It's hard enough with having a stand alone laser engraver let alone an optical path on the dust creator itself.

    [url]Http://www.glenspeymillworks.com[/url] *Techno LC4896 - 2.2Kw Water Cooled Spindle | *Moving Table Mill from an Omis 3 CMM, 500Lb granite base, Hitachi router, Mach3


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    I was kicking around the idea of building a large format laser.... But precision seems to be of a greater concern with a laser than it is for a router... which means higher cost... a 'lot' higher for a 4x8 or larger table...

    So for now, my plan is to rebuild my router table in heavy steel out in the shop.. then set about building a smaller format laser (2'x3' max) that will be kept in the rec room in the house... That will bring the cost of precision rails and what not back down to earth.... plus, I can then make a 'nice' furniture style cabinet on wheels to house it so that I won't have this 'piece of machinery' sitting in my rec room like I do now.... but rather a 'hutch'... B)


    Then I guess I can look into building a 3D printer... Haha... (DIY addict)

    [URL="http://www.cnczone.com/forums/cnc_wood_router_project_log/124543-mountaincrafts_router_plasma_build_thread.html"][U]4' x 8' CNC Wood Router Project[/U][/URL]
    [U][URL="http://www.cnczone.com/forums/woodworking/135576-home_made_drum_sander.html"]Home Made Drum Sander Project[/URL][/U]


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    Cleanliness - good point. I imagine covering up the optical equipment would prevent mist contamination when not in use. Would have to be good about cleaning up after routing though.

    Mountaincraft brings up antihero good point. iirc you are using cold rolled steel rails? Sounds like you would be concerned with the accuracy you're achieving. I do have size 25 linear rails in 10' length so I should be alright there, but most wont have those available.

    I haven't decided if I'm up to welding a frame or not. I have all of the equipment but not much experience. A combination of welded 2"x2" square tube and 3060 aluminum extrusion might be a good option.

    Sent from my PC36100 using Tapatalk 2



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