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Old 08-26-2010, 02:26 PM
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Vern2 Vern2 is offline
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Smile Build a single axes plasma table

I get an idea every 10 minutes. This just in ...

Would you think a 'Y' axes stepper motor installed on cutting table for cutoffs (straight cuts) would be a tool to have?

Here is a you tube vid of a guy getting use to his plasma cutter.

Suppliers would like you to run their machines at max all the time, no matter thickness of material your cutting. All of the variables in list below can be hard wired in to this little simple single axes plasma table.

Problems that may be eliminated:
1) drag speed constant (set it up one time, fast)
2) height constant (no need to drag)
3) always a stright cut (runs on a track)
4) always 90 degrees to surface if you have good consumable (cutting tip...)
5) maybe less dos (control heat better)
6) no skips
7) less heat to distort material being cut (always cuts fast)
8) drag angle always 15 degrees out the cut first (clean cut)
9) no expensive cnc to buy
10) make your own bar stock
11) no start stops when your dragging over rough (rusty) material. Keeping a constant height.
12) easy adjust cut handle clamp, holds torch tight. (helps all the above work)
13) easy start, stop ... take your finger off the button.
14) no programming, no m-code, no computer, no files

Last edited by Vern2; 08-26-2010 at 03:27 PM.
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Old 08-26-2010, 03:05 PM
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Why a stepper motor ?
Just use a gear motor.
The factory of the future will have only two employees, a man and a dog. The man will be there to feed the dog. The dog will be there to keep the man from touching the equipment. ~Warren G. Bennis
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Old 08-26-2010, 03:16 PM
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Have to control inches per mimute easy, maybe a DC geared motor.

Good idea. Rack and pinion comes to mind. Your on the team. Your in the founders group. I think thats a bigger cut $.

Last edited by Vern2; 08-26-2010 at 03:25 PM.
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Old 08-26-2010, 03:55 PM
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Default Single Axis Plasma Cutter

Sounds like a good Idea, Vern. If you go ahead with it, design it so that the second axis could be added later. A CNC cutter is an awesome thing to have!

BTW It's hard to know where to start with that video. The guy obviously had no instruction on the use of his HF machine. The WORST thing he did was wiggling the ground clamp while holding the cutter and pressing the trigger while touching the work surface.

Unlike Welders which usually only develop 25 volts or so across the leads, a plasma cutter has hundreds of volts. If while he was wiggling the ground lead, there came an instant when the lead was not in contact with the work, and he WAS - while pulling the trigger and holding the ground lead in his bare hand......

I'm afraid when I have a straight cut to do myself, I use a long fibreglass level as a straightedge and cut it by hand

Can't wait to see some pictures of your project!

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Old 08-26-2010, 08:55 PM
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Default The video

I was kind of chuckling remembering my first time using a plasma cutter while watching that video. I wasn't quite as bad as he was, but not that far away either. Then we get to the last scene and all i could think of was "that poor chisel!"
Chris in Maine
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Old 08-26-2010, 09:04 PM
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Rather than a single axis CNC, I think I'd be happier with a home brew pantograph tracer rig up.
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Old 08-26-2010, 09:17 PM
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Vern, that wheel has already been invented. The chances are good that you can pick up a good used oxy acetylene track cutting machine. They use a variable speed dc motor to keep the torch trundling along the track. Making a plasma torch mount would be easy.
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Old 08-26-2010, 09:26 PM
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wow that video was painful to watch.

"There are three kinds of men: The ones that learn by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence."
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Old 08-26-2010, 09:31 PM
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I could of cut the circle out faster with a hacksaw, he needed 4 minutes plus, with a plasma cutter. If it was a larger circle, say 48 inch, he would still be there.

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Old 08-26-2010, 11:09 PM
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Vern2 Vern2 is offline
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I have done some research on cnc tables and I bought a Hypertherm 30 two years ago. Tonight I have my cutting table put back together after tearing out a wooden 2x4 bench. I need to make some 1/4" bar stock for the surface grinder(blade) I have going on in another thread, and had the thought about something automatic. DrBob, you already know if your right on with your plasma gun, the cut looks like a mill cut. So being able to repeat your best cutting would be great.

I don't know about the second axes, just turn it sideways. Two axes would need a controler... So going back and forth between X and Y your using some kind of code. I don't want to go that way. Push a button get a perfect cut, that's what I want.

I have a bunch of ideas. You should see my plazma "T" squares. I have an 8" and 18". They would sell like hot cakes, if I had the time, but that's another product. I'm really holding off til the weather changes to get back on my machancal/electric solar lifts.

I was about that bad too. In my list of things I tried to think of all the things I did wrong. What would improve a beginner.

I'm going to have to look that one up. "pantograph tracer rig" But still seems like computer, controler, drivers, servos. I'm going for simple.

The people that like plasma tables, already have a plasma cutter and don't want the expence of the gas. The consumables I purchased, five rebuild kits for under $15. I grant you I don't use it everyday. After two years I've only installed one kit and that's because my cuts were all at an slight angle. It was still cutting

The two main tables are lead screw and rack and pinion. I like lead screw because I'm in to that on another project. I like the lathe and mill work projects.

Lesson guy, if you really like meg welding your going to love this. It's been out for a while, but I sold both my Lincolns and bought one. My wife said "Would you teach me how to weld." Now I have to say. "Honey, can I use the welder." I am not kidding, the tool does make the man or woman on this one! check it out:

So true!

pic 1 - added a 2x2 leg at corner. Have built a removable roller for a cutoff saw at the far end of table. You can see the 12" x 4' x 1/4" plate I'll cut up tomorrow. My cut bars are spaced 4 bars, 2 bars, 4 bars. Can"t lay your work on concrete with one side setting on something with plasma, like you can with gas. Plasma burns concrete, you have to chisel the burn off.
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Last edited by Vern2; 08-26-2010 at 11:41 PM.
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