CNC plasma cutter build

C-Bag

Ned Ludd's bro
H-M Supporter Gold Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2017
Messages
2,890
Just make sure you let the water evaporate off and don't dump it down the drain. You wastewater district will detect the heavy metals and come a-knockin'. You should be able to sell the remaining slag with your scrap all in one barrel.
Well, there goes another reason I’m just going to keep having my stuff done by a laser company. My stuff is 1/8” mild steel that is more or less a basket. All the structure is 1/8x1/8 so lots of cuts and lots of scrap. When I worked everything out I think it would have saved me $$. But when I had one of my units done on a local machine which was exactly the kind of machine I was thinking about buying it did not come out good. Plus if you’ve ever used plasma it does a wonderful job but there is a lot kerf to figure into your engineering and a lot of slag. I used a plasma freehand for over a decade in my work as a fabricator. So for my kind of one off manual fab I love my little Hypertherm 35. But in the long run for me a CNC table was not going to save me anything.

I don’t mean to throw a damper on your project David. YMMV.
 

DavidR8

Soaking up knowledge!
H-M Platinum Supporter
Joined
Oct 16, 2019
Messages
4,470
Well, there goes another reason I’m just going to keep having my stuff done by a laser company. My stuff is 1/8” mild steel that is more or less a basket. All the structure is 1/8x1/8 so lots of cuts and lots of scrap. When I worked everything out I think it would have saved me $$. But when I had one of my units done on a local machine which was exactly the kind of machine I was thinking about buying it did not come out good. Plus if you’ve ever used plasma it does a wonderful job but there is a lot kerf to figure into your engineering and a lot of slag. I used a plasma freehand for over a decade in my work as a fabricator. So for my kind of one off manual fab I love my little Hypertherm 35. But in the long run for me a CNC table was not going to save me anything.

I don’t mean to throw a damper on your project David. YMMV.
I totally understand and no damper caught ;)
To be completely honest this is a bit of a lark as my partner wants some yard art made that I cannot freehand. So it's the usual case of building/buying a tool to make something. She is ever more convinced that I have a shop to make stuff....for the shop :D
Every so often I'll turn out something that redeems the silly money pit that it is. Though its contribution to my mental health is priceless :D
 
Last edited:

Cadillac

Registered
Registered
Joined
Mar 12, 2018
Messages
1,663
My good friend has a 5x10 plasma table with a water table. He just cleaned his table was eleven 5 gallon buckets of slag and small cuts. Scrap yard takes it all. The thc is controlled by resistance between the torch tip and the material. You program that parameter and it’s suppose to follow it. My friend doesn’t use for a lot of stuff. He gets around it somehow. Great machine makes a killing at craft fairs and through his website. Luckily for me he’s more than willing to do my favors. Tolerances are not bad maybe .030, taper edge sometimes seems to cut better .250 and thicker. Gotta get the machinist tolerances out of the head because it doesn’t do that.
 

vtcnc

Admin
Staff member
H-M Supporter - Commercial Member
Joined
Jun 29, 2014
Messages
2,351
Well, there goes another reason I’m just going to keep having my stuff done by a laser company. My stuff is 1/8” mild steel that is more or less a basket. All the structure is 1/8x1/8 so lots of cuts and lots of scrap. When I worked everything out I think it would have saved me $$. But when I had one of my units done on a local machine which was exactly the kind of machine I was thinking about buying it did not come out good. Plus if you’ve ever used plasma it does a wonderful job but there is a lot kerf to figure into your engineering and a lot of slag. I used a plasma freehand for over a decade in my work as a fabricator. So for my kind of one off manual fab I love my little Hypertherm 35. But in the long run for me a CNC table was not going to save me anything.

I don’t mean to throw a damper on your project David. YMMV.

Yes laser is the right solution for that type of geometry. Depending on thickness, there are some pretty sweet CNC punch tooling out there that loves that kind of geometry and makes short work of it. You just need to know a shop that does precision punching so they know how to not warp your basket weave when pressing.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

f350ca

H-M Supporter - Silver Member
H-M Supporter - Silver Member
Joined
Dec 15, 2018
Messages
422
I built a 4 x 4 unit with a water table, the water makes a huge difference, but you still get smoke/dust in the air, just not nearly as much. I made my own V ways, rollers even cut the racks on the shaper, that was a slow task. Bought the electronics as a package from I think it was called Candcnc in Texas. I uses the arc voltage from the plasma unit to adjust the torch height. Getting the height correct makes a big difference in the dross left on the back side.
The table opens up a whole world of brackets and braces that would be a pain to cut by hand. I've even cut roller chain sprockets for slow speed applications that worked perfect.
IMG_2113.jpg

IMG_2180.jpg

Greg
 

DavidR8

Soaking up knowledge!
H-M Platinum Supporter
Joined
Oct 16, 2019
Messages
4,470
Amazing that those were cut by plasma.
Are you running SheetCAM?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

f350ca

H-M Supporter - Silver Member
H-M Supporter - Silver Member
Joined
Dec 15, 2018
Messages
422
I'll have to check the shop computer Dave, will get back to you.

Greg
 

C-Bag

Ned Ludd's bro
H-M Supporter Gold Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2017
Messages
2,890
Every so often I'll turn out something that redeems the silly money pit that it is. Though its contribution to my mental health is priceless :D
^^^This! My SO understands this and is actually jealous as I do have fun making. I’ve made several things around here but the one you have to go through and see constantly is the front gate arbor. It replaced a rickety wooden one and is solid. It has some of my early prototypes built into it as design features, but my favorite is a foot release which really comes in handy when we’re bringing in groceries. You can’t just go down to HomeDepot and buy one.
 

Attachments

  • 5794EDF9-04BC-451C-A5D8-4633068C785F.jpeg
    5794EDF9-04BC-451C-A5D8-4633068C785F.jpeg
    2.4 MB · Views: 43
  • 45422361-C93C-4CDB-B048-9979D7BE7CB7.jpeg
    45422361-C93C-4CDB-B048-9979D7BE7CB7.jpeg
    2.6 MB · Views: 41

DavidR8

Soaking up knowledge!
H-M Platinum Supporter
Joined
Oct 16, 2019
Messages
4,470
McMasterCarr amazes me.
I decided to order the spec'ed v-rails.
Shipping label created Mar 22 9:48 pm.
On vehicle for delivery Mar 23 8:16 am.
That includes time for customs clearance.
 
Last edited:

DavidR8

Soaking up knowledge!
H-M Platinum Supporter
Joined
Oct 16, 2019
Messages
4,470
I mocked up the rails tonight because well I'm like a kid on Christmas Eve. :D
I realized that I couldn't use the other rails because they are about a 1/16" thick so the end of the motor shaft and pinion gear would have been rubbing on the plate holding the rails. The new rails are 1/4" thick which is necessary for there to be sufficient clearance.
 
It can take up to an hour for ads to appear on the page. See our code implementation guide for more details. If you already have Auto ad code on your pages there's no need to replace it with this code
Top
AdBlock Detected

We get it, advertisements are annoying!

Sure, ad-blocking software does a great job at blocking ads, but it also blocks useful features of our website. For the best site experience please disable your AdBlocker.

I've Disabled AdBlock