- Category: Laser Projects
Free Laser Mirrors
Front ( first ) surface mirrors are necessary when working with precision lasers. There is no absorption or refraction of the light when bounced off the face of the mirror.
While it is possible to buy these there are several often free sources you can tap into.
One is to go to your local pharmacy that processes film the old way. Many times people bring in disposable cameras which are tossed in the trash after the film is removed for developing. Those with certain types of view finders sometimes have small front surface mirrors. I obtained two from a wide angle disposable.
Another option is dead or obsolete hard disk drives. Take them apart and carefully extract the disks. See how shiny smooth they are !
Cover both side with masking tape to protect them. Sandwich them between two pieces of thin plywood either with c-clamps or perhaps make a jig with a bolt through the center hole if you are going to do a number of these.
Use a hole saw in a drill press. Choose size according to need. Drill through the plywood only, before you sandwich any disks because you don't want a hole in your finished mirror. The holes in the plywood will server to guide the hole saw with the center bit removed.
You can polish off the edges carefully and when you peal away the masking tape you will have a collection of pretty two-side front surface mirrors ready for use.
Try This: Take a pair of battery powered, stereo add-on speakers of the cheap version ( kind with two separate speaker housings ) that you plug into your MP3 player. Remove the grill faces and glue one of your new mirrors to center of each speaker cone. Arrange the two speakers at 90o angles and aim your laser so it bounces from one to the other then onto the wall. Crank up your bad-ass tunes!
You can also use a pair of stereo computer speakers for this...they are cheap but unless you want to keep a computer handy, get a pair that plug into ac outlet for power, or USB and a wall wart!