Holography Bench

3'x5'x 3 1/2" Concrete Table with 3'x6'x1/2" Steel Plate
Resting on 4 Innertubes
Cover is made from 3/4" MDF

Click on image to get a CAD file.
You will need a plug-in to view .dwf files. I use the auto desk one called
Whip. If you right click you can zoom to see the details. If you import this into your CAD software it retains all of the features of the original drawing.

An optical bench has to perform a variety of functions including:

Holding the optics in rigid alignment.
Holding the optics at a usable working height.
Isolating vibrations from the ground for the optics.

And optionally it can be the light and dust barrier from the environment. This is not the best method but because of space limitations it is the one I chose.

The table needs to be very stiff and it is also helpful for it to have dampening qualities. For the design considerations I used in my table and some information on working with concrete click here.

On top of my table I have a 3' x 6' x 1/2" steel plate. This is so I can use magnetic mounts.

The legs of my table are cinder block. I have tried a variety of constructions including having a layer of carpet between each brick, but now I just have one piece on the bottom and one piece on the top.

My isolation system is very low pressure inner tubes. I tried to connect them all together and have a single inflation point but since the center of gravity is higher than the tubes it was unstable when I had hoped it would be self leveling. I am using a 10" inner tube.

I found some inflators that are designed for bicyclists, they take a CO2 cartridge and allow you to inflate a bicycle tire without having to pump. I found I could disassemble them to get the fitting that attaches to a inner tube and put a piece of tubing on them. I then ran this tubing through the middle of the legs and out a hole I drilled in the top cinder block. I can now inflate the tubes without having to lift up the table. I would guess I have to inflate the tubes a little more often than if I just used the normal tube but the convenience is worth the effort. I place some small pieces of 2 x 4 on the legs next to the tubes when I am leaving the table for a few days so if the tube deflates the table does not rest on the valve.

The big thing I did was to make a cart to hold my spare optics and chemistry. This is designed to fit under my table and it is also designed to hold the weight of the table. When I want to rebuild the legs I simply let the table down onto the cart and roll it out of the way. When I am done I put the table in place and inflate the tubes. The top surface of the cart is where I set up my chemistry for developing. My whole holography setup takes up 6.5' x 3.5' of floor space.

Here is a drawing of the sheet layout for the cart. Click on the image to get a CAD file.



Please free to contact me at: colin@designerinlight.com
Copyright 2002 Colin Kaminski