In progress… I’m still working on adding links and photos to this post
So, you bought a laser! Now what do you need to maintain it and clean your machine?
My essentials for cleaning and maintaining my laser cutter are listed below. This post contains some affiliate links. If you purchase something through one of my links, I may receive a small commission for those sales.
White Lithium Grease
For your X and Y axis rails, you will need a tube of some kind of machine oil grease. Once a week I will wipe down the rails of the old grease that has gotten all gross with soot and dust. I wipe it off with some shop rags and then apply new grease. Move your laser head along the rails to help spread the grease and wipe away any excess that might glob up.
Lucas Oil 10533 White Lithium Grease - 8 Ounce Squeeze Tube, 2 Pack
by Buyers Lair
99% Isopropyl Alcohol
For cleaning off your lens and mirrors you will want to use 99% alcohol. This ensures you don’t leave a film from any other cleaning products and you do not use anything abrasive that might scratch your lens or mirrors. I clean my lens and mirrors weekly, or as needed if I have been running it a lot and there is a lot of dust in the machine.
I use cotton swabs to wipe the mirror and lens with the alcohol. I have a pretty dusty garage, so I buy individually wrapped swabs so they don’t get all dirty or collect dust that could scratch my mirrors.
Microfiber Cleaning Cloths and Shop Towels / Rags
I have a stack of microfiber cleaning cloths and old t-shirt rags I use to clean the outside of my machine. Keeping my machine clean on the inside and outside is important to avoid creating any fire risks. You are burning wood, so if you have an excessive amount of saw dust you are creating an environment which could easily catch fire. Make sure to wipe down the outside of you machine, the inside walls, your fan inside, underneath your honeycomb bed and the outside of you tube as well, removing as much excessive dust as you are able to avoid fire risks.
I have this little handheld vacuum I use the suck up any extra little bits left on my honeycomb and also use it to help clean up extra dust inside my machine as well. Eventually, I would like to get a small shop vac with a long hose so I can reach the back of machine under the honeycomb a little easier.
Now, you may be thinking of blowing things off with an air compressor or air dusters but I do not like this for the inside of my machine. The reason being, I do not want any bits to hit my mirrors and scratch them. The mirrors and lens are the essential components of your laser and it’s functionality depends on having clean aligned mirrors and a clean lens. I may blow extra dust off the outside of my machine with the air compressor, but I do not recommend doing so on the inside of the machine.