World Book day fun

So my sons harry potter mad and wanted to dress as harry potter for world book day, long of the short we had lost his harry potter glasses.

So being the creative type and someone who loves to recycle designs I found an old harry potter prop I had designed for photos and decided to make some wooden prop glasses.

my original design

I then made the first pair of glasses up by removing the outer cut line and then using a square and weld tool I added some more girth to opposite end of the glasses offset the outer edge by 3mm and then notched it using the vector path edit tool to add 2 reference points and then converted notch to a path. then matched the outer edge of the glasses and made 10 x 100 mm rectangle as I had done a ruff measure of my son’s head. to the top edge, I used a circle tool to make a circle in the top edge of the rectangle then off set it inward by 10 mm to make the downward curve for behind the ear I then added a 10mm square to add some length circle to round off the bottom of the arms using path editor joined all 4 parts together and removed all bits I didn’t need. thin I did an offset inwards and set it to fill. then did a 3 x 5mm rectangle and placed in to cut path and i used the convert to path tool and inserted it in to the path. time for the first cut of the design. forgot to capture the screen of the original design doh.

it worked but was loose as can be on my son so went back in a remixed it a little by shrinking size by 20mm on the arms and smoothing all sharp edges I also made a bridge by using path editor and adding a curve in the middle top and bottom.

design all done.

back to cutting now fits perfectly one happy boy who had it on all day,

A nice quick one. love the joy of making my boy happy.

Adding 50L Air compressor to Ultimate air assist.

As my compressor is arriving today i have been clearing space to place it and have pre bought airline and compression fittings.

I will be splitting the compressor so it will run air tools as well as feeding my lasers air assist.

the compressor will be on its own power source .

50 mm gap all around wow it only just fit in the corner of the workshop.

the word of like a glove springs to mind well she is in and a beast, loud but like any compressor will fill it when I tomorrow and run shut off valve a second regulator with a water trap to solenoid to air assist.

tomorrow’s operation

A nice early start thanks to 3 years old today will fill the compressor with air and get the airline run so I can test the system out later. fills up in about 5 mins but is a tad noisy time will tell might need to look for something quiet in the future but for now, it’s fine.

right have run my airline in temporary to test it as ordering some more connectors to wire it the way I want it to work as will have dual lines in one for the standard pump and one for the compressor as its a noisy beast will not be able to run it at night.

tested it and it’s not working right I have a type B valve and need a type A speed restrictor valve. so have been kindly sent an inline valve to install to correct this so hoping tomorrow to get it running. thanks to the air assist group for help.

part received will be fitting later tonight with some more mods. as doing more than one project at a time.

I am also ordering the other bits I need so I can switch between the machine air pump and compressor.

all bits are now here going to test and document it

So 50L compressor with the regulator set at higher psi than needed to water trap regulator set to 25 psi then to Y spitter one feed compressed air other feed to aquarium pump single exit to the solenoid will use laser air switch to disable pump motor when not in use. I also have a on/off valve to turn off the compressed air when not in use.

In fact i have to run 2 on/off valves as when running one the electric pump hose popped off so will open one and shut the other when not in use.

I have now mounded the solenoid to the laser machine. I might also mount the regulator to the machine but for the moment I have wall mounted it.

bulkhead connectors installed to y splitter just need to cut and splice input line.

Have also removed the L connector from the laser head and replaced it with a straight connector after watching videos about it restricting airflow.

air asset is very good does burn thought air quite quick but nice clean cuts.

Now that I have tested all my connections and system works. I am going to hardwire the system so going to drill 2 x 14 mm holes for the bulkhead compression fittings so I can run the compressed air and the pump air have their own inputs and quickly disconnect the system in the future if I need to. I might upgrade the electric pump at a later date.

Do love a nice neat install.

I still need to add a laser air-assist override switch as the last project I couldn’t get it working right. Now I have a standard on-off switch I will mount it on the front of the machine that is after I test it works lol.

Right all done do love a nice easy quick project well under a week to complete due to the wait for parts.

Summery is compressed air worth it

starting to come together.

Wow yes, clean cuts and a dream so superior to pump air to use. now just need to figure out how the quieten or sound deaden my noisy compressor by 30 or 40db as can clearly hear it from outside the workshop when running.

Next Project:

Lightburn Camera clone install worth it or not?

Adding mA meter on 50 Watt Chinese Co2 laser and controls

My machine has had one since I got it as I didn’t want to cut my laser metal work i designed a box for it to sit on top of the machine.

time to move in to a more permanent location so bye bye yellow sticker

I am now going to embed it in the metalwork of the machine with some other switches and water temp digital meter.

The Design:

I know the width of the area I am going to install this panel so in light burn I have the assets from the box I made and have imported them to the 200mm wide box. I know the dimmer switch diameter I have cloned the other switches I have coming as don’t know diameter I have a feeling they will be the same. as 16mm switches are common in automotive switches. 12v voltage 5v voltage is being used on these can be any 12v switch.

my template the small holes are for center punch metal
not enough space for the mA guage and temp gauge as want to add some labels for what they are.

I have slightly changed the original design after the first fit the gauge was too close to temperature gauge so spread it out a little more.

Test fit of all the components got to label them as well so i don’t get confused when i thread them though the machine. so time to brake up my box and remove components will test fit to template.

all fits fine.

Installing the hardware:

Time to start hole punching and drilling will do small hole first before enlarging them to appropriate sizes the mA I have a 40mm hole drill I will use. Also have scored the Rectangle for the temp gauge. will cut this out with Dremel.

I figured out when you buy a hole cutter off amazon even though it says metal cutting there not always telling the truth as blunted my 51mm hole cutter in the first 2 mins of cutting had to go to a local DIY shop to get a new one. but al cut and fitted now. just the buttons to wire and then I will then will do some cable management as gong to hardwire the air assist.

The wiring:

Thermomitor Guage:

I will use 5v form the laser power supply to power the the temperature gauge as its not used on my machine.

the ground and the +5v power the temperature gauge

I have extended the wiring as comes with 10cm of cable so have soldered and heat shrunk the connection so won’t short on anything then connect directly to the laser power supply as shown below. have hidden the wiring back in the cable tidy track

5v power output from laser power supply for temperature gauge.

the other 2 cables from the unit I have made extension leads up and extended to the water bucket and output tube.

The Dimmer switch:

in an earlier project, I installed led light tape in my machine with an external power supply and a wireless dimmer switch. it’s ok but don’t always have my phone on me to control it. When I was looking at buttons I found this dimmer switch connects to 5.5 x 2.1 connector male and female is the power in and the male goes to the led chain. As the laser does not have a 12v power supply I had a think and remembered i brought 6 x bucks convertors for a project that never happed so going to look at my parts draw as this is perfect for my needs.

What is a buck converter? well, it’s a small PCB that allows you to put 24v in one end and then adjust the output voltage with a screwdriver.

Bucks convertor

so will take the 24v from the 24v power supply through the bucks convertor which I will adjust with a multimeter to 12v this will connect with a male 5.5 x 2.1 connector which will go to the power input of the dimmer switch. i will next attach the female connector to the led wiring. lighting will only work when the laser is on.

mA meter wiring:

Wiring up the mA meter. to do this you need to find the wire coming off the low voltage end of the tube will be a thinner wire in my case was a black wire I traced it back to the power supply. I then disconnected it from the power supply and ran it to the first pin of the mA meter or the + side of the meter I then ran a wire from the other pin back to the power supply put the wire back where I had removed it. this is usually connector L on the low voltage side of the power supply. I then powered on the machine and did a test pulse and worked.

if you meter goes backward you have the wires the wrong way around,

Wiring up my illuminated buttons:

these are a 4 pin set up I run 24v in series so will power the LEDs

Now to wire up the switches, I will run a positive and ground wire from the 24v power supply. power will go in on the + then the – will come out and link to the + on the other switch then out of the – back to the power supply. as shown below in the diagram.

Switch 1 Gantry led lights:

one wire in one out wires out of the switch as illustrated below. ground will run separately to the bucks convertor this will be fed from 24v the turned down to 12v output. i might add a dimmer switch internaly if too bright.

Right switch wired now to wire up the led tap 2 solder joints later +&- then to feed the wire through the small bit of cable chain on the laser gantry then the back and forward cable chain back to wiring loom then to run it across the machine to the bucks connector I will then run the ground back to the laser power supply and the positive up to the switch and back to laser power supply 24v output.

So to start as i don’t know how much wire i am going to use i am going to work backwards i am going to solder a jst connector to led tape and to the wiring i will then thread the wire throught the machine. i have used 3m of thin gauge wire for this as have a lot of it. will cut off access cable later.

Now the wires have made it back into the control box area, I will install the bucks convertor here turn it to 12v so set ready for use. going to wire from laser PSU to bucks then feed the positive side up through the switch and back to the led positive wiring.

right all done will now test it works.

Switch2 aim assist marker on/off:

all soldiered and heat shrunk

The same principle as above but with wires taken from the 5v on the 24v supply see diagram above. i have taken the positive feed from the power supply up to switch then back to the laser marker wiring.

Now to tidy up the wiring got a load of these double-sided sticky pad wire holders from Maplin before they when bankrupt so cable ties and snips let the wire tidy commence.

all nice and tidy

Label the buttons as like to keep things tidy. Jobs is done, time to put the wire covers back on then it’s on to the next project as doing 4 projects back to back to make up for the last few months of absence.


  • 2 x bucks converters.
  • 5m of wire Red and Black live and negative.
  • 12/24v led switches.
  • Touch dimmer switch.
  • 1 x male 5.5 x 2.1 power connector screw type
  • 1 x female 5.5 x 2.1 power connector screw type.
  • 60cm 12v LED tape

Still got to add the air assist override switch but been having issues with this hence why I added a gantry light instead but this will happen after 3 days of messing I abandoned it as the led switch does not like it was causing the relay and solenoid not to close after was requried. got to dig through my parts draw and see if I can find an on/off switch to try this with will add a post once I have figured it out.

Video of it all in action:

Next Project:

Adding a 50L compressor to the air assist inline so can dual run both electric at night and the compressed air during the day. This will require some airline plumbing and re-jigging to fit it in the workshop.

Installing Cloudray ultimate air assist

There are a few videos about this but i thought i would do my own guide as some of them are a little vague.

I brought the kit off cloudray through their AliExpress store. in the kit, you get everything you need to install the kit. there are no instructions included in the kit but on the cloudray website, there is a circuit diagram. As not everyone understands circit diagrams this guide it to walk you thought how to install the kit.

circuit diagram off the net

What’s in the kit?

the complete kit.

Wiring the mains power relay:

going to start by mounting the Power relay. disconnect all power from the machine as this is the mains voltage. Now on my 50w whole panel is removable with 4 hex screws making this quite easy to do. the air pump is powered on by the bottom plug I will be replacing these in the future but for now, unwire the bottom plug negative and place it top left side of relay wire clamp. I then have taken some 13amp mains cable and cut a length of it will use only negtive wire out it. negative wire from oppersit of negtive to the plug socket as negtive as pictured below. I then drilled 2 holes to mount the relay through the bottom of the machine and bolted it to the machine. now on to the low voltage end of the relay through pin bottome pins with red tap you will need to place a diode between these 2pins a pictured below then place the 2 wires these will go back to the connector block in a bit. I have labeled the 2 wires so I can identify them later.

Wiring the switch:

Now to wire the switch you will need to wire 2 pins together for ground connector’s on one side of the switch then on the opposite side of the switch you need to solder 2 wires one for controller board status and one for wind connections. you then need to drill and mount the switch. see below.

Wiring and setting up the pneumatic solenoid valve:

the metal block has A R and P initials stamped you will need to place the following connectors in the collaborating letters.

This is what you will end up with when assembled

you will then need to remove the top screw from the solenoid and remove the lid with 2 plastic tabs remove and wire Positive and negative wirings a diode will need to be placed in-between with the line towards the positive terminal. then screw back together.

now put plug back together.

You will then need to split the air assist pipework to go through the solenoid. As I haven’t decided where I am going to place it yet I ordered some extra pipework as I think I will run it into the electronics box. but will decide on that later.

i have temporarily placed it in the void under the laser bed I will be mounting it externally once I add the compressor.

Wiring up 6 pin connector block:

this might differ if using different types of Ruida controllers. mine had some wires in 24v+ and ground wire might move them later to next port on the board might also trace them to see if where they go.

  • pin 1 = ground swich ground
  • pin 2 = out2 not used
  • pin 3 = out1 not used
  • pin 4 = status +switch & A1 from power relay.
  • pin 5 = wind +switch & negtive solinod .
  • pin 6 = 24v+ A2 relay & postive connection solinod.

pin 1 place the ground side of the switch then pin 4 then place one of the wires from the other side of the switch and connection A1 from the low voltage side of the power relay this is the connection further away from the diode line shown below.

pin 5 place the other wire from switch and negative wire from solenoid in this pin

pin 6 place positive side of relay and positive low voltage side of relay A2,

wiring done.

Time to test it works:

Power on all working. first going to test manual override turn switch off air pump comes on. Nothing dam it. checked the wiring still nothing. decided to short the switch out and override came to life, It’s a good job I am replacing it with nice 24v switch.

So over to light burn quickly drew 2 lines and put them on 2 layers did 1 with air assist enabled.

turned off air assist on the black line red line it was enabled.

I then ran the program and works perfectly will do a video at a later date showing it all in action.

Next project:

Adding mA meter to the metalwork of the laser and adding some buttons and temperature gauge and some cable management. as looks like a big mess of wringing in my junction in my control box.

Making standoffs for honeycomb bed.

This is one of them projects i have been meaning to do for some time.

I know that my honeycomb bed is ruffly 8mm in diameter in each hole. So using light burn I made 3 x 8mm circles and 1 x 12mm circle. cut them out of 3mm acrylic i had kicking around from the laser alignment project.

the design.

Looked in box of M3 bolts had a load of 30 x M3 hex bolts in my box and some square nuts.

to assemble

put 2 of the 8mm circles on the bolt, then put the 12 mm circle on the bolt and finally add the last 8mm circle tigten down with square nut.

perfect for projects that need to be stood of the bed and stops micro fractures in acrylic.

Next Project:

Installing the Cloudray ultimate air assist

Better Chinese Co2 Laser Cutter Crosshair.

The problem.

the 50watt Co2 laser cutter is a great machine but does need modifications to make it great. the aiming led diode is as more of a line than a dot and with no focus its not adjustable. I was one of the laser Facebook groups. were a saw a post on modifying laser pointer to form a crosshair. so I asked for a copy of the designs. and started on this journey.

So I have removed the current diode that interestingly was not soldered. so I will be swapping leases I have added a jst female connector to the led wiring. I will also be adding a switch so can turn it on and off. I have soldered the male end to the lasers.

the 2 designs i tried first of all

theses will be placed at 90 degrees to the tube in an acrylic holder then aligned under the nozzle. the reason for the jst connector is I can then swap it over to each tube lens.

wanted line lasers damit.

tested last night and figured out they had sent the wrong pointers so crosshairs. (note to self, test things before soldering them) not worried will use for some other projects i have in my list of things to make or design.

I decided to hedge my bets and try 2 laser cut designs first one did not work with the line lasers fingers crossed on the second one. have changed the measurements slightly on the design to make it a tighter fit will test fit this design later don’t line up might be thickness I going to do some more testing and do one more design as well to see if I can get it lined up.

Argh another bust time to look for 3d printed files.

As you can see it’s nowhere near dead center

right thingiverse design attempt number 3 and away it goes.

going down the 3d printed route as well.

Another non-working idea as designed for smaller led diode modules. so that again was for smaller diode laser dot it replicated standard hardware. after had metal and printed version, I inverted the 2 diode holders and lightbulb moment.

where i got my idea black is original hardware violet is a design for 6mm diode

So i made a sketch of the part and then modified it using some 3d modeling.

Right now to test it. out and see if it all fits will publish the files if so. wish me luck. little loose but concept works have changed the inner dimensions from 13mm to 12mm reprinted it now to test fit and tighten it all down if it works might re design the center as well.

perfect now to make it square.

I have published the remix here you will also need 2 x of the centre the tube mounting off this design by billkaroly from Thingiverse available here. You will also need some 3mm bolts and nuts.

Next modification will be moving and permanently mounting mA meter temp gauge upgrade. adding some button for lighting, laser marker and ultimate air assist on / off.

Lens orientation on the 50w

Being on Facebook I was helping someone and was told my lens should be the other way up now I have tested this but still not 100% sure I am right.

the principle cuve should be up on laser well mine is down.

so I modified some ones cut test file and ran it in both orations

modified file.

The result I know I shouldn’t be down the cave and suffered afterwards but as you can see the orientation cut better with lens down power was set at 70% which is my laser max point. I then used the power scale function on light burn to run thought different power percentage. however i am yet to see if focal point has moved due to the lens being rotated. that will be my next test but need to get better.

not sure as looks like focal point has moved i might do a ramp test.

so next I am going to design or borrow a ramp test to see if the focal point has moved. with the lens being reversed as this intriguing me. as anyone who knows me knows my mind is always active.

Update 1

I have ordered a lens kit so now 38.1mm 50.8mm and 63.5 lenses with alignment tool from American Photonics should be he in the next week or so will do some testing with that when it comes. will review it properly so far am impressed with customer services it’s on the route from the USA to our small island. see how much import tax I have to pay.

update 2

currently designing a ramp test as want something i can do in 1 pass and replace the ramp after

my little quickly put together design v1

to be continued.

42 Drill and alan key Bits Storage shelf with added removal function

The problem

been buying quick release bits from wish and other suppliers just storing them in bags is not cutting it any more to time a made a storage tray for them all. was doing a tidy up in the cave last night came across more bits. put them in a draw. was lying in bed about to sleep when I had this design in my head last night waited till morning to put it into a design. the joys of dyslexia.

I had made a shelf for my retro pi NES box last night teaching my self new skills with tabs so i thought of what i had done and thought how to incorporate it with the design i was thinking of to make it a wall-mounted shelf.

So the principle for this is that all screwdriver hex bits are 1/4″ or for us, brits 6.35mm hex so on that principle i am going to do a test cut to make sure if i use the laser to cut that size it will fit if not will adjust its size.

first up lets design the tray going to be made up of 3 layers.

The first layer will be the baseboard and slider, Slider I hear you say what that for, all will be explained in the design. layer 2 and 3 will hold the bits.

Time to fire up my trusty Lightburn software to design and then cut it using a laser cutter.

Have made H counter leaver design for the wall if this does not hold the weight might go from tabs to another idea but cross that bridge when we come to it.

The first draft of the tool shelf with quick slide made the design up on the fly. for 4mm MDF

I will release the design once i have perfected it as with any project it might or might not be 100 per cent right the first time but let’s give it a go.

Time to test the hex size and then cut the full pattern, the joys of using light burn select the test part and then turn on cut selected graphics will only cut the one hexagon so i can make sure it fits.

Don’t forget to turn the option off after test cut.

Tested and yes i was right it was a little off and my thoughts of it being wrong were right so a little tweek. So now to test cut the design and make sure it all fits together before i glue it.

Wait I just thought of something to make it better!

Ok, i have decided to make 1 design change before the first cut to make the shelf more stable by adding second stabilization bar to stop any movement when taking the shelf in and out. the joys of having a dyslexic mind can figure out issues without even putting thigs down on paper.

Spot the 4 extra tabs in the design.
almost done.

So to assemble going to use 4 m3 screws and nuts to hold the 3 layers together will then mount to the wall using 2 X 4mm self tappers. going to glue using quick contact spray and glue.

Screws ready to put it together.
Screwfix special nice and cheap but great.
all glued right few issues but let mount it on the wall.

All glued let’s mount it and test it.

Not as tight as i want it. on the hex time to modify.

I am going to revamp the design slightly as a little too much play in the hexagons. and 2 back screws are binding so removed works fine so might just change base plate slightly to get it to work as well.

So back to the power of lightburn. Changed the dimensions by .300 in x and y to get a tighter fit. will test it tonight. I removed 2 back screws to stop it hitting the cross braces. I then took a few mm out of the back to stop it binding. will do cut of modified bits tonight and post findings later.

The fix changed the dimensions of the hex.

Will update this later once i have had time to cut modified bits. will then post the design.

did some more finessing of the design to make it much more usable have adjusted holes to make a tight fit and removed all bolts apart from m3 which are used for aligning the 2 hex panels during alignment and then glued boards in place.

the updated file works fine.
updated not bolts version just glued in place
all working fine.

Lightburn File download. please find a link to the file i have added information to the file that should be removed LINK

please enjoy and don’t sell my work.

Using Lightburn to make quick key rings for fun gifts on a 50w laser cutter.

Thought i would out a quick video for your entertainment as ran lots of these before Christmas as gifts for son’s nursery they are quick and easy to do.

Enjoy the video.

Heres how i did it in non-video format.

Step 1.

Open up Lightburn create and name in whatever font you like in my case have used army chalk font and my son’s name.

Step 2.

Using the offset toolset 3mm or bigger offset outwards with rounded selected.

Step 3.

Then i add the Ring for the keyring. this is done by adding a 4mm circle then adding 4mm offset as shown below.

Step 4.

Time to join them together place the rights and the outer edge together as shown below. select the outer edge of the keyring and outer circle then select the weld all shapes tool just below the offset tool.

Selected edges before the weld.
Selected edges now joined after weld.

Step 5.

To change the inner test to engrave path. in my case, I have the blue layer set for engraving. so, first of all, I select the text. then click on the blue layer to change it to fill layer.

Inner text selected before i then clicks on my blue layer to change it to a filled layer or engraved.
All ready to engrave and cut.

Step 6.

Settings in my case as i currently using 4mm Laserply that is a little unstable with glue blobs i currently cutting at 40% power 4mm/s and Engraving at 65% power and 350mm/s. now it’s ready to engrave and cut. This usually is around 2mins per keyring. can be done with an array of fonts i tend to do sheets at a time to make it cost-effective.

Step 7.

Wood prep work i tend to go over my laser ply boards with 400grit sandpaper on my orbital sander both sides before applying paper finishing tape. can see me smoothing it down int he video. now ready to cut.

Step 7.

Clean up and ringing of the key rings. i tend to peal all finishing tape and then light sand if needed i then grab my keyrings that have a solid ring with a split in it using snub nose pliers i insert it inside the ring and force apart i then place the ring through the wood and close using the pliers. bit hard to photo there is some over headshots of this in the video.

Finished items. from the video.

can use whatever font you like. to do this.

hope you enjoyed this project as much as i did. great gifts and work out under 50p each to make. did 100s of them over the Christmas and new year for friends and family.

I will be adding more videos

New projects got some fun idea coming up on the site already filmed the next video which i will post this evening. if time allows it as have been busy working on getting on of my rental property ready for new Tennent.

Have already filmed another video that one is more of an experiment to improve a project i saw over on a friends youtube channel.

So the next video is a how-to make quickly customizable keyrings for gifts using a laser cutter and lightburn software.

Followed by Resin pour using ink and glow in the dark powder if this works will lead on to a bigger project as thinking of doing some night lights for my boy using led fairy lights and some resin cast stars will be also making my own silicone mould to cast the stars.

Hoping to get my CNC machine working as well as want to do some cool stuff with that shortly.

got any ideas for a project and need some help drop me a line as always looking for ideas and would love to help some other bloggers or youtube channels.

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