Old laser down on power

I used to use 75% at 35mm/sec for 1/8" hardboard, but this past weekend, I had to slow it down to 14mm/sec and make two passes to make sure it didn’t leave little sections not cut. Has anybody else noticed this?

(FWIW, I am aware of the fact that the bed is not flat so it doesn’t maintain focus over a large area. I solved that by building an aux bed that sits on the existing one and can be leveled and stays flat, so that isn’t the issue here.)


HMMM… I have heard several people saying this.

It’s extremely bad. It’s taking 75% speed 10 to cut through the 2.5mm MDF tonight.

Well, on one hand, I’m glad it wasn’t just me. OTOH, that sucks. A guy at work yesterday did say something about the mirrors being clean. I don’t know if I’ve ever really paid attention to them, but the kerf was clean and I would think if the mirrors were dirty, the scattering would cause the focus to be very poor. Maybe not, I don’t know.

I’ll take a look at the optics today, they may need to be cleaned or replaced. It’s also likely that the tube is degrading and should be replaced soon; it’s 3 years old and has seen quite a bit of use.

Just took a look at the laser. Aside from being dirty, the lens is in pretty bad shape and the mirrors are way out of alignment. Lens and mirrors need to be replaced and realigned.

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Would realignment of the mirrors make a significant improvement until they and the lens can be replaced?

The lens and mirrors have been replaced, and realigned. The alignment is still a bit off, but it should be fine for now. I’m hoping to check the laser power later this week.


That’s awesome! Thanks. I was expecting it to take longer if they had to be ordered or something.

Did you make any test cuts after replacing the lens and mirrors? I cut some more parts tonight, again from 1/8" tempered hardboard, and while far better than before, it’s still not good. I was able to cut at 75% and 15 mm/sec, but that’s still less than half what it used to do.

Edit: for some reason, I just now saw that you were planning to check the power later this week. Sorry.

I installed the new tube in the red laser earlier today, but I didn’t have time to get everything aligned. I plan to work on it tomorrow.


Thanks for doing that for us Christian! I look forward to seeing if that solves the issues … (I bet it does :slight_smile: )

@dom and I finished installing and aligning the new tube earlier this week. We did not test extensively, so if you use it let us know how it works for you.


Woo Hoo! Thanks guys! (I know everyone that wants to make Christmas presents on the lasers thank you too … even if they don’t say anything)

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Christian, thanks for getting the red laser back to its old self! I cut some parts last night and was able to do so at decent speeds again.