Hand machined mechanical pencils

V1 pictures of construction










1) Overall layout of the laser. The grey tin box on the left is the NST. The red bucket is for cooling water. The grey tube is the laser itself.

2) Our £80-a-month cylinder of laser gas with attached regulator. Since it's 80% helium, you can breath it in and sound silly!

3) The laser alignment unit. Two cross-slides from two lathes are combined with an adjustable mirror mount and laser pointer. The beam can be moved up & down and tilted.

4) The two mirrors. The left one has a small hole in the middle and is the output coupler. It has a focal length of 10m. The right one is the rear reflector and is flat. Both were gold coated by UQG Optics for £105 total (!).

5) Lining up the rear end of the tube.

6) Lining up the output end of the tube.

7) The adjustment "device" for the mirror mount screws. There's a piece of heavy rubber tube underneath the blue tape to protect my hands from the metal. This is needed since the screws are at +10kV w.r.t. earth!

8) Mounting of the output coupler. Note Dexion angle bracket!

9) Mounting of rear reflector. Note another Dexion angle bracket!