Dave Collis New Paintings

An old Claremont Graduate University friend, David Collis has a show of new paintings at The Artful Space in Oro Valley Arizona. Check it out if you're down that way.

K40 Laser - Entry 6: Computer to Drive Laser

When purchasing this K40 laser cutter, it became apparent that I would need a computer to drive it since really don't have an extra laying around. We're more of a Mac family and the unit is PC only out of the box. There are some modifications to make one Mac friendly but they sounded too complicated for me at this time. After some research, it was apparent that it might actually be easier to set up an older machine. After weighing the pros and cons, I decided to look for a machine loaded with Windows 7. It appeared that this would most like be the most stable with some sketchy software shipping with it from China. Actually, Windows XP might have been even better, but I could not find one

K40 - Entry 5: Cheap Stock Mirrors

7 years of bad luck? A broken mirror., Rather heat-shattered mirror Lesson 2 in quality control, stock K40 units ship with notoriously cheap mirrors. This one cracked the first time I set the power up above 20%. I think I had it up around 60% as I was attempting one of my first real cuts. I heard a pop and thought it might be the tube. Fortunately it was just an inexpensive mirror. I got onto eBay and Amazon and after a little research, I found these from CNCOLETECH. There is much to be learned about mirrors for lasers! These are Si gold plated mirrors. My laser a a bit shy or 40 watts, so these are the ticket. You can see how much the K9 mirrors included with my unit are respected. Her

K40 Laser - Entry 4: Mirror Alignment

There are 3 mirrors each situated at approximately 45 degrees to one another that reflect the beam from the laser tube to the lens and the to the material to be cut or engraved. It is necessary to align or "focus" them. I had hope that my unit was aligned well enough to use right out of the box, as many are on delivery, but sadly I was disappointed and needed to learn to do it myself. Focusing involves putting a piece of masking tape or similar material onto the lens and doing a short test fire and see where the burn mark is. This is the rear mirror as seen through the hole that separates the tube from the rest of the unit. A series of set screws as seen above change the angle to the des

K40 Laser - Entry 3: Quality Control Part 1

Did I say quality control? I ran into my next nuance with the K40 - While trying to peel the paper protective tape on the window. I needed to remove the plexiglass from the 4 screw post that hold it into place. Well, it was drilled so off center that it cracked when trying to remove it. I temporarily superglued it back together until I could replace it. If cracking it was the bad news, the good news was when I contacted the seller they refunded me $20 for my trouble, and to top it off, TAP plastics in Bellevue GAVE me replacement acrylic. Sure it was just a piece of off cut from the remnants bin, but props to them! With that said, I added a boss piece of smoke gray tinted acrylic, replaci

November at Lynn Hanson Gallery

Mike Oday is the featured artist for November at Lynn Hanson Gallery in Pioneer Square. As you can see from the featured image, he creates whimsical work. Both paintings and ceramics. I still have a trio of works showing there as well.

K40 Laser - Entry 2: Unpacking

I have initially placed the laser on my cluttered painting/work table. This will have to do until I find/build a cart/table that will work better. It is close to a window for easy access for the exhaust plumbing. One reason for waiting so long to purchase one was the upgrade to digital controls. Older systems have a dial instead of the digital controller. I figured this might last longer. Here's everything packed inside. The exhaust fan on the top, the blue tubing on the left is for exhaust fumes as well. The small cardboard box has the water pump inside. The x-y axis arm is held in place to the infamous spring-loaded clamp/holder with pretty red ribbon. the lens holder mechanism is to th

K40 Laser - Entry 1: A New Direction

After some life changes recently it is time to get back to work on art. A laser cutter/engraver has been a valuable tool in the creating of my work. I purchased an infamous K40 laser on eBay a few weeks ago. Just unpacking it here. The good news is that is that it did arrive in good condition. Nothing broken or damaged. This laser cutter has been around for probably 8-10 years in one form or another. Early units had notoriously poor quality control, and we often damaged from poor packing considering at the time they were being shipped all of the way from China to your door step. I've been watching them for some time now, seeing the prices drop and the quality rise. A ton of informatio

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