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Thread: looking at a second machine for portable operations

  1. #1

    looking at a second machine for portable operations

    Guys/Gals,

    I'm looking for recommendations for a second Laser machine. I am looking for a machine that can be hauled around to events. I want to put it in the back of a car/van drive to a show, set up, run jobs, then transport back again, possible a few times a month. Does anyone haul their laser offsite regularly?
    If so what problems do you run into? weight? alignment problems? Is riding around in a car rough on the tube?
    What brand/model do you have?
    I'll also be looking for a portable air filter so I can run it inside.

    Thanks!
    Last edited by David Rust; 02-21-2014 at 9:21 PM. Reason: Diversity and Inclusion :)
    Epilog Helix 60w
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  2. #2
    Join Date
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    David,

    Since you already own an Epilog have you looked at the Epilog Zing or Mini? Those were nice and small and not heavy. I think the small zing and the 2 mini's are all well under 100lbs without a stand. And it would be consistent in operation to what you already have. Like the ULS and Trotec they are also metal tubes and should be pretty durable. Also low power draw and air cooled so you don't have to worry about a chiller in addition to the laser and filter.

    For a filter, do a search for Dan Hintz thread here about making his own filter. It was a nice simple design. Cheap. As portable as you want it to be. His initial design was nice, and folks as posters played with it they made some nice suggested improvements. Once you see it I think you will find some ways to do it that fit your need very nicely.

    I will let others talk about issues they have experienced hauling these things regularly. The main thought I would have is to have a nice rolling cart for it with fairly large pneumatic wheels so you can get it from the car to the event and back without fussing and bouncing it, and the cart would become your operating table on site. I used to take my big Jet 1642 lathe to events. I quickly learned the advantages of having an easy way to roll it that accommodated curbs and rough sidewalks and other obstacles. That sucker weighed 450 for the motor, legs and rail and was a serious challenge to use as a portable. (my wife helped me once and I immediately got approval to buy a travel lathe for this purpose!! Hehe!! <grin>)

    Dave
    900x600 80watt EFR Tube laser from Liaocheng Ray Fine Tech LTD. Also a 900x600 2.5kw spindle CNC from Ray Fine. And my main tool, a well used and loved Jet 1642 Woodlathe with an outboard toolrest that helps me work from 36 inch diameters down to reallllllly tiny stuff.

  3. #3
    I Definitely looked at those Dave Somers, I love Epilog however I am more interested in peoples experience using them as "portable" units... These things are expensive, I was hoping to get input on how they hold up to being moved around... before I start hauling one around in the back of my car...
    Epilog Helix 60w
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  4. #4
    Join Date
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    Altho I have no personal experience, I have talked to 2 guys at events both had epilogs that really looked beat up and abused and both were going full blast making stuff for customers. Both these guys say they do 10 to 12 events a year. One guy hauls his in a trailer he hauls behind his camper, the other one put it in his mobile home and set the laser up in a tent at these events. I think there both going to be here again in AZ next week at Winter Range 2014, which I will attend at least a couple days. I'll get the info and pas it on to you. Maybe you can call or email for specifics. They should be here by the 23 or 24th.
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  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Bert Kemp View Post
    Altho I have no personal experience, I have talked to 2 guys at events both had epilogs that really looked beat up and abused and both were going full blast making stuff for customers. Both these guys say they do 10 to 12 events a year. One guy hauls his in a trailer he hauls behind his camper, the other one put it in his mobile home and set the laser up in a tent at these events. I think there both going to be here again in AZ next week at Winter Range 2014, which I will attend at least a couple days. I'll get the info and pas it on to you. Maybe you can call or email for specifics. They should be here by the 23 or 24th.
    Thanks Bert! Looking forward to hearing what you find out.

    Dave
    Epilog Helix 60w
    Epilog Mini 18 30W
    Purex Xbase 200
    CorelDRAW X7
    Wood Carver

  6. #6
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    Dave,

    I've taken my Epilog Mini 45 watt to a few craft shows. It does draw a crowd :-) I place mine on a wooden box with casters so it can be moved around once I get it stacked. The box also doubles as storage. I use my regular dust collector/extractor. I ask the organizers to be placed near a door or window so I can extract the smoke and haven't had a problem with that type of arrangement. I do have a exhaust filter, but the filters are expensive and once I had someone in the booth next to me complain. I make sure I have my surge protector with me as it has saved my machine once from certain death (some places have questionable power).

    Scott
    Scott Woodson
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  7. #7
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Rust View Post
    Thanks Bert! Looking forward to hearing what you find out.

    Dave

    Dave its going to be end of next week before I can get to the range but I will check with them.
    If the Help and advice you received here was of any VALUE to you PLEASE! Become a Contributor
    Rabbit RL_XX_6040-60 watt Laser engraving/cutting machine
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    10" Miter Saw with slide
    10" Table Saw
    8" bench mount 5 speed Drill Press
    Dremel, 3x21 Belt Sander


  8. #8
    Join Date
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    Hi Dave,
    Well My trip I was planing for this week got canceled , so I rode down to Winter Range to see if the engraving guys were there. Only one came this year, he said the other guy didn't make enough to cover the cost.
    Any way the Guys name is Ernie Sullivan. This is what he does for a living full time on the road doing gun shows and shooting events all across the country.
    He's has an Epilog Helix 40 watt laser that he hauls around in a 30 or 40 ft trailer(i didn't ask about the trailer) With his camper. He told me he almost always has to align mirrors when he gets to his destination. He says he spends about 4k a year on maintenance for his laser. He overnights what ever he needs from epilog to where ever he is. He said he meets all his expenses but not much more.
    I thought about that. So the machine pays for Gas, food, event fee's, and machine maint. for him and his wife and he travels the country. Not bad I guess. He is retired so this is not really a job but more a paying hobby, but he loves it , he loves the epilog.
    Also he's looking for another laser used to have a s a back up in case this one goes down for any reason. He pays big bucks for event fee's and can't afford to be down at all. So if anyone knows of a good used epilog for sale let me know, or PM me and I'll give you his info.
    If the Help and advice you received here was of any VALUE to you PLEASE! Become a Contributor
    Rabbit RL_XX_6040-60 watt Laser engraving/cutting machine
    Lasercut 5.3
    CorelDraw X5

    10" Miter Saw with slide
    10" Table Saw
    8" bench mount 5 speed Drill Press
    Dremel, 3x21 Belt Sander


  9. #9
    Hey David, I take a couple of Full Spectrum Gen 5s with me to events. They're light and easy to take to a roadshow and set up in about 20 minutes. For the price, I'm not too worried about outdoor events, large crowds, or overnight stays.
    Last edited by Matt McCoy; 02-26-2014 at 2:39 PM.

  10. #10
    Thanks for the info Bert, good things to think about. I appreciate the follow up!
    Epilog Helix 60w
    Epilog Mini 18 30W
    Purex Xbase 200
    CorelDRAW X7
    Wood Carver

  11. #11
    Old thread revived.... looking for anyone willing to share info... specifically can you use vehicle power to run the laser and sir systems (would require some 'configuration' setup)? Or AC/generator required?
    Mike

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  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Mike vonBuelow View Post
    Old thread revived.... looking for anyone willing to share info... specifically can you use vehicle power to run the laser and sir systems (would require some 'configuration' setup)? Or AC/generator required?

    We have a customer that has a Rayjet 50 in the party bus for on the on-the-go engravings, they have a battery bank with a high output alt (i think). An engraver with a sealed tube would be the way to go, no chiller and but it has to have 110v operation. It depends, what's your price point?
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