First of all, let me say that dealing with LASERS is serious business. I have an old sign that was copied from a laser company ad that says; Dang!!! do not look into laser with remaining eye. A LASER, even a low power one, can blind you and you don’t get a second chance with blindness. Always wear eye protection with correctly tinted lenses when working with lasers.
That part over with, let’s get started.
I’m going to start with this post I did a while back describing the history of lasers and how they work.
Perhaps the best practical stuff I’ve been able to find so far is this site. It covers just about all the stuff a beginning maker needs to know about lasers. The depth covered and the completeness of the site make an excellent guide for those looking to play with lasers.
Here’s some other links.
SPIE is the international society for optics and photonics.
Here are the two most common free magazines for optics and lasers
I’m starting an optics vendor list. I will update and add to it as I find sites.
That’s it for now. I will keep this updated with new resources.
Some DIY laser cutter sites:
My general book list.
The Let’s Build Series.