PVC Cooling Jacket for CO2 Laser


PVC Cooling Jacket for CO2 Laser

The adventure begins while I was walking around the local home depot looking at ideas on how to build the laser.  I was sort of making it up as I went. Mapping things out in my mind.  I wanted to keep the construction costs to a minimum and adapt things to work without having to order new or special components.  Keeping in mind that simply buying a laser tube these days is actually pretty cheap (ebay as of the time of this writing has them for about 300 dollars).

The Purpose of doing it myself lets me tweak it, and to experement. It gives me the freedom that I cannot really get if I simply buy a sealed tube from ebay or another website.

For the Cooling jacket, I chose PCV.  I did consider CPVC for its thermal characteristics but decided that a standard 2″ PVC would suffice.  Thinking back, I could have easily gone with a smaller diamater but this way I can possibly keep it cooler or at least give me a small cushion of time if the pump were to quit working to turn it off before it overheats.

The Window I put in it used a tube from an old aquarium vacuum that I had recently replaced, it was a larger 2″ one that fit perfectly inside the PVC

aquarium vacuum

The first step was to cut it to length, and then using my dremel I cut the window in the middle as shown in the photo.  I then drilled two 1″ holes.  One in the top, and one in the side.  The reason for this is to allow the water to flow through the pipe, if they were both in the top water wouldnt flow at all, and if they were both in the side, there would be no place for the air bubble that would form to escape.

I had aquired the 12mm glass tubing from the neon guy in town.  This turned out to be close to a half inch.  With the drill, I made two holes in the endcaps of the pipe.

The final step was to use the PVC primer and glue.  ONE NOTE, do this outside, the stuff stinks … and stains lenolium !!!!  (Don’t ask me how I know this -.-;; )

Sorry I dont have construction photos for this part of the build.  I didn’t think to take pictures of it as I went along until I was done assembling it.

assembled Water Cooling Jacket

I then coated all joints with JB weld.  The glass tubing is in it and I tossed on two gromets, one on each end to keep it in place and safe from being broken while I constructed the rest of it.  The grey clamps holding it are from the electrical department, for electrical conduit.   The hose clamps around it were there to apply a little pressure to the clear tube inside it while the epoxy cured.

I then went over the whole thing with a black PVC paint to cover up any imperfections such as purple staining.
Be sure you use a plastic PVC safe paint.

5 coats later, with a light sanding between each coat.  I simply suspended it while it dried overnight between coats.  I would have left it outside but it started snowing.
paint drying

This step is complete!


Copyright © Jessie Tank

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