Second scratchbuilt laser started in 2000 and abandoned in 2001, quite a bit more advanced than the first using a 10mm laser cut frame and 10mm perspex mounting blocks with machined aluminium mirrir mounts. Despite the over-engineering I was never happy with the results despite trying a few different resonator configurations.
I was called in to repair this laser about 4 years ago. The turbine had been connected with the phases reversed and had sucked oil from the vacuum pump into the resonator. The blue/black coating on the glassware is burnt oil. The resonator had to be stripped and cleaned, the optics were scrap and the turbine removed and cleaned.
My first CO2 laser built back in 1998-9. Using 22mm copper fittings and 22mm borosilicate glass epoxied with JB weld. It ran for about 3 hours of operating time before thermal stresses round the electrodes fractured the tube.
Pictures include damage to a Compuserve CD and 3mm glass.
Pulled this apart back in 2003 to post on alt.lasers
A simple linear ion laser PSU I built in 2002, based on the design at Sam’s laer FAQ.