The laser cutter is now connected to the new vacuum pump! I’d still like to do some endurance testing on it to fully put it through it’s paces, and we need to finish the last leg of the vent pipes up in the loft, but otherwise you can use it to cut wood and such just as you did before. I wouldn’t suggest cutting any plastic just yet as the vent pipe is just discharging over the hallway by the bathrooms. There’s an instruction sheet on how to turn the vacuum pump on and off taped to the machine and my contact number if you run into problems.
In about 30 minutes after the Makerspace meeting on Tuesday, Ross, Jason and I made a Jacob’s Ladder from an old neon light transformer that I brought in, a couple pieces of wood, and some TIG welding aluminum filler rod.
With 110 Volts at its input, the transformer put out 9000 Volts! The arc formed across the gap, but it wasn’t actually a high enough voltage to make the arc ascend the ladder. When I hooked the transformer through a Variac and turned the knob to 130 Volts, the arc began to ascend the ladder – but only a few inches. The obvious solution was to add more voltage, so I hooked another Variac in series with the first, turning this one to 140 Vac. With the output of the transformer a bit under 12000 Volts, the arc ascended over 2 feet up the ladder. Check out the video below showing the arc’s interaction with wood.
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