Over the weekend, in an end-of-the-year cleaning frenzy to free up some much needed space, I stumbled upon my old stash of laser supplies. 30-ish years ago my father and I built a helium neon laser for a grade school science project (in the 70′s I was really into lasers and holograms). After about 60 minutes of trying to get everything back in working order I came to the conclusion it just wasn’t going to happen. And while it felt good to sling solder again, I ultimately had to come to grips with letting most of my stash go. What I couldn’t part with however were the Hughes Helium-Neon laser tubes that made this project possible. After thinking a bit about how to store these for another 30 years, I decided to go a different route. As a christmas present to myself, I built a simple stand to proudly display these tubes. And while most people that see them offer an odd glance or two, to me they are a reminder of a simple truth that often times the best way to understand something is simply to build it.