Everybody would like a laser pointer that can burn through stuff. The problem is that lasers like this are very expensive. My prototype may or may not be able to achieve that but if you invested enough money into it, achieving brag-worthy lasers is definitely possible.
My laser amplifier prototype design can make lasers brighter and stronger and is certainly a fun project to build. Nobody can deny that amplifying a laser is amazingly cool. Plus with this type of project you can always invest more money and time in it to tweak out the glitches to make it better and better. Laser projects are very facinating and tend to spark new and better laser project ideas.
WARNING: I am not responsible for any damage caused by this device. Lasers can damage the eyes and possibly cause permanent blindness so always keeep laser away from face and wear proper eye protection.
Step 1: Gathering the Parts
You will need several parts and tools for this project.
PARTS: plywood, nails or screws, mirrors, metal or wood dowels, laser pointer, lasing medium(look it up online if you don't know what I'm talking about, crystal or glass mediums work best), a couple rubber bands, 4 brad nails, and a short string of white Christmas lights.
TOOLS: glass cutter, hot glue gun, drill, pliers, masking tape or stapler, pencil, saw, wood glue, and a ruler.
Step 2: Planning and Preparing
Cut a 6" by 1'6" piece of plywood and draw out a setup of the mirrors on the wood like shown above. Make sure there is at least 1.5" on either side of your drawing. Make holes big enough for your dowels to fit into where you marked out spots for the mirrors. Cut out 1" by 1" mirrors from your mirror using a glass cutter. Cut your dowels into 2" pieces. Use hot glue to attach a dowel to the center of each mirror, put each of these into the already drilled holes in your plywood.
Step 3: Mounting the Laser
In this device it is crucial to make sure the laser stays pointing in the same direction all the time. This requires an effective mount for the laser. To make this mount cut 2 small plywood blocks. The height should be able to hold the laser high enough up to the laser. The width should be about 1" wider than your laser. I can't really give exact measurements because of the size of your laser. Take these 2 blocks and cut a V shaped notch into the side that will support the laser. Put in 2 brad nails on either side of the V. You can secure the laser in the mount using rubber bands stretched across the brad nails. Put the laser in the mount and adjust it so it is facing straight towards the mirror setup. Secure the mount in place on the board using hot glue.
Step 4: Adding the Lights
You were probably wondering what the Christmas lights were for. These are very important to the function of this device. The lights spread light throughout the inside of the device. This causes the mirrors to reflect some of this light with the laser to amplify it. Also if you are using a lasing medium the medium will trap some light and add it to the laser when it passes through.
First you need to make the rest of the box. Cut 2 pieces of 3" by 12" plywood and 1 piece of 6" by 12" plywood. You may need to change the dimensions depending upon the circumstances. Just make sure there is at least 1.5" between the mirrors and the top piece of plywood. Put together these pieces with wood glue and screws or nails. Make sure the larger piece is resting on the 2 smaller pieces.
Now line the inside with Christmas lights as shown. Secure the wires with masking tape or staples. Secure each bulb to the wood using some hot glue.
Step 5: Attach the Lasing Medium
Undoubtedly the most important component is your lasing medium. If you are using a pyramid beveled piece of glass like me, you need to mount it at the end. Hot glue a dowel to the side of the glass. Position the glass at the optimal position, mark the spot where the dowel hits, and drill a new hole. Put the new dowel into the new hole and you have attached the pyramid bevel glass piece.
It is much different with installing real lasing medium. Cut small enough pieces of lasing medium to fit in between the path of 2 mirrors. Again, glue a dowel to the side of each piece, mark where the dowel lands, and drill new holes for each one. Place them in there new holes and you are almost done with this project.
Step 6: Finishing Touches
All that's really left is some odds and ends. Secure all your dowels with hot glue after adjusting their position. Use some rubber bands to secure the top piece with the Christmas lights you made before. Finally, turn on the Christmas lights and the laser. Now admire the work you've completed!