Adding air assist to my Hi-tech 7W Pro laser

So I bit the bullet and got the air assist attachment from J-tech for my machine and a small ,very quiet aquarium pump. Now I’m looking to hook it up and I realize two things A/ the pump has two outlets but no valves to turn one off and B/ I’m left trying to figure out how to connect and disconnect the system when I switch back and forth between Makita trimmer and J-tech laser. I obviously don’t want it to be too much of a hassle. I saw one user who keeps his laser in a plywood shelf on the front of his trimmer and then just moved it down to the magnetic mount when it’s time to laser. Cool, but the shelf gets in the way of dust collection so that’s a no go. Any ideas?

Sorry fellow craftspeople, spell check is just determined to keep ‘correcting’ me. While it is indeed hi-tech, it’s made by J-tech.:nerd_face:

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With my very first laser i also had one of those “double barrel” air pumps. I made a little 3d printed doodad to hook the two together. Its just two little nubs and a tunnel through the middle to a larger final “nozzle”.

It worked… i guess. Or you can just buy push fittings off amazon. I bought a big boy aquarium pump later on that has a bunch of outlets on the regulator, and ran multiple outlets to each air assist hose and then multiple air assist hoses. I use that on a fiber laser when doing brass engraving.

Does it make a major difference over using a single “bore” of the regulator? Its quite hard to say. It feels like it blows a bit harder. No aquarium pump is really doing much more than pushing smoke out of the way, to be honest, so there is probably a pretty large capability gap between good air supply from a real compressor and the tiny bit from an aquarium pump. My hunch is even a little air is beneficial, but after that you need enough volume and pressure to try clear a kerf to see much more improvement.

Just to add if you look at those big metal fancy pumps from amazon that everyone recommends, I have several. The largest, which advertises being 120 watt, draws 44 watts for me with the regulator removed. The 58W version draws 38. I don’t think either can suck in nearly enough air and their performance is identical so far as i can tell.

If you want to try those fittings in the second picture, you can buy them off amazon. I use 6mm OD pneumatic push fittings, the “tailonz” brand is quite inexpensive and good enough for me.

For storage of your laser, i just remove the molex style connector to disconnect the laser, disconnect the air hose, and put it in a drawer.

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I really like your 3D printed 2 into 1 doodad but not having a printer I’ll just check out those pieces on Amazon you recommended. Do you use a quick connect/ disconnect piece on your hose or just pull it off the nipple?

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Duh, sorry,just looked at the second picture closer. :+1: