Author Topic: How to build a cheap laser for a bartacker.  (Read 1571 times)

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Skunk Gear

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How to build a cheap laser for a bartacker.
« on: May 03, 2017, 07:00:57 AM »
Here's how I built a laser for my Brother KE430F bartacker machine. Great tip from StonePhotoGear and Gear Dynamics! It really speeds up the process of "aiming" the material in the work clamp.

The laser is held in a cooling block / movable clamp combination and connected to the machine on the eye-protection bar. It's a pretty rigid construction, it won't move by itself. It can easily handle the vibrations of the machine.
I don't know how long the laser light itself will hold, just had it for a couple of weeks. It doesn't get hot at all, so I hope it will stay with me :)

If you have a stable power supply, you might not even need the current driver. Not sure. I've read that lasers need a supersteady voltage and current.

I got all parts from ebay, except for a 5 volts wall power adapter, which I already had.
Make sure you get the crosshair laser lense. They also sell single lines, dots etc.

Total costs are something like 10-15 euros, depending on which power adapter you use. The assembly is really easy, 1 hour of work!


Here we go:

-Solder the output + and - of the power adapter to the input of the current driver. The current driver is really small so I opened up the power adapter housing and put it in there, wrapped in some duct tape.

-Solder the output + and - of the current driver to the laser + and -. You could also use a DC jack & plug.

-Test the laser. You can focus the laser beam by turning the end cap.

-Take the round baseplate of the laser mount.
-Screw the cooling block on the laser mount.
-Put the laser in the cooling block. I put some teflon tape over the laser focus, to make it tight.

-Drill and tap a hole AT THE RIGHT SPOT on the eye-protection bar of the bartacking machine. Make sure you tap with the size of thread of the laser mount. Or else connect with some more nuts. Check beforehand where to drill, the whole thing needs to be able to make the right angles etc. I wanted to laser to be right above the needle position or as much as possible, so I had to move the eye protection glass down one hole on the holding bar.

-My wall adapter had a convenient integrated on/off switch so i mounted it next to the on/off switch of the bartacker machine, under the table.

-Connect and tighten all parts, focus the laser and you're done!


Material Sourcing:

Tools needed:

-soldering iron and soldering lead
-some shrink tube or electrical tape
-some thin double electrical wire
-1/4" UNC 24 TPI (or 20 TPI??) thread tap

Parts from ebay: (I've put the descriptions and pics below, so the links don't expire)

-Aluminum Radiator Heatsink 22x27x46mm For 12mm Laser Module With Screws Silver
-Adjustable Red 5mW 650nm Cross Laser Module Focus Laser Head Industrial Grade
-650nm 532nm 780nm 808nm 980nm Laser Diode LD Drive Driver Current Adjustable
-360 Degree Clamp Base Stand Mount Holder For 12mm Laser Module Pointer Torch

You also need a 3-5 volts wall powered adapter.

Hope it helps!











Gear Dynamics

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Re: How to build a cheap laser for a bartacker.
« Reply #1 on: May 03, 2017, 09:48:35 AM »
I think you could skip all the mounting hardware, and use a heavy duty magnet.

gearmaker.org

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Re: How to build a cheap laser for a bartacker.
« Reply #2 on: May 03, 2017, 12:21:01 PM »
Thank you for sharing.

Skunk Gear

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Re: How to build a cheap laser for a bartacker.
« Reply #3 on: May 03, 2017, 01:56:47 PM »
I think a magnet won't work that well...maybe in a single setting, but I think you'll have a problem to get the angles exactly right. Also, you might need to adjust it on various settings, which is super easy with a mount.

Gear Dynamics

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Re: How to build a cheap laser for a bartacker.
« Reply #4 on: May 03, 2017, 02:29:57 PM »
Ah I see.