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Plasma table general disscusion

OK for starters I'm not even close to doing any thing like this but it has caught my interest for my next project once I get my mill build to the point where I can at least make some chips.

what I do have is sitting around is 3 geko  G201x drives , 3- 1300 in/oz sure step motors and a 75v DC power supply for a controller. I was thinking a plasma table would add some material processing needs I don't have at the moment.

what I have seen looking into this is different torch heads, different table types and off course the cutter it's self can range quite a bit in price and if I were to do this the Plasma cutter would most likely not be a top end unit. table size would be no less than a 4' x 4' table and a clean cut on no less than 1/2 material.

i'm looking for some general insight on the process in general as far as costs go and what type of table would best suite my needs best. machine torch options. I have some experience with laser processing but the plasma is something new to me so go easy on me.

This is something that I have been seriously considering for a couple months now. It would be a smart addition to my business activities and support what I do well. I will be watching this post closely

Guy

Masso controller of coarse!

Hypertherm burn box  with a machine torch (the 65 is rated for 1/2" production pierce) . The rest build yourself and allow for future updates. For build ideas go here and do some researching:

https://www.plasmaspider.com/index.php?sid=5b66667a0a906e96bc8e38671d16d420

I was already thinking a water table would be the way to go as far as a table goes. seems like they contain the mess the most to keep your work space cleaner. I would imagine they help with keeping the material you cut flatter than with out one.

with laser processing dross is something you never want to see much of. I think everyone would agree cleaning it off you parts sucks. I was wondering if anyone has used both and had any input as if a water table helps keep dross to a minimum?

only down side to a water table would possibly be case hardening around the cut if it would rapidly cool the work piece I would think? but if you had water lines plumbed into your table to adjust most likely a holding tank or reservoir with a pump you could adjust water levels to minimize this?

Hypertherm  is probably the best of the best and out of my price range. especially since the machine torches are rather expensive. the only way i could go with that brand would be to find a cheaper solution for a machine torch? not every brand even offers them as a option.

 

$$ Over time will be well spent on Hypertherm as the consumable cost is the cheapest / cut. You will spend more money on consumables than on the machine itself over it's life.

America $ is about $3,300 for the unit w/ machine torch (not sure where you live). These tables are a good source of income once people know you and what they can do.

https://www.bakersgas.com/HYP083277.html

Water table is a must for both smoke and thin metal warpage, holes will harden from the nitrating action of the cut with or without water. If you need a precise hole cut it 1/2 to 2/3 of it's finished size then clean it out with a quality HSS drill bit. Dross is minimal once the travel & THC is dialed in. It can normally be scrapped or buffed off with a cup brush. Most holes can be slightly oversized to allow for plasma cut taper.

The rule of thumb on a plasma cut is a hole no smaller than the thickness of the metal. My (3-tool) 6x12 table under construction will have a machine torch / air scribe and drill. so I can do small holes as needed on parts. Here is a pic of my 2x2 Torch-Mate w/ Hypertherm 65 that I got a good deal on, TM wanted over $4,000 to upgrade everything to the newer accu-move system, I thought the money would be better spent on the bigger machine. It has cut tons of metal in my 4 years of ownership:

 

EDIT

Here is a link to the construction of the 2x2 table on a Side x Side Forum. If you have trouble viewing the pics you may need the "Photo Bucket Embed Fix" for your browser:

https://www.wildcatforums.net/forum/off-topic-discussion/15768-shiny-keg-plasma-kutter.html

 

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I would think you might get more life out of your table slats with a water table as well? seems like water might slow the wear on them. over time they will need replaced i'm sure but if that style of table helped with the life on them that is something to consider too.

as for location I am on the east coast near Pittsburgh Pa so I am not sure what I can get as far as a price on a unit over on this side of the country ? will shop around no doubt.

it seems like a good air supply that is dry and in enough volume  is a must , but are there times when you need a different kind of shield gas ? everything I seen so far looks to stem around compressed air so far. I seen somewhere some units can cut under water?

sorry in advance for being so full of questions 🙂 total rookie in the world of plasma 🙂

Answers:

The link I put on the first post is some of the best prices I found and located your way.

Slat life and cut quality is improved by using the sharks tooth design (a bunch of points vs flat) curving the slat prevents a ripped slat on a straight cut. Slats are considered consumables and needs changed out ( I get 6 mo to a year on mine).

Hypertherm Powermax Series are air torch's so compressed air is all you need. 5hp 60 gal tank is plenty big , nitrogen my be used. Yes there is other torches than can use a mix of gases but they make the 65 look really really cheap LoL

Air needs to be dryer than a popcorn fart or consumables will fail sooner.

Yes the torch will cut underwater

What else Plasma Rookie?

 

Quote from SegoMan DeSigns on July 13, 2019, 11:51 pm

Answers:

 

What else Plasma Rookie?

 

I'm thinking 🙂 maybe after I pick my kid up and think for a little bit on the ride over and back I might have a million and one more questions 🙂

Quote from SegoMan DeSigns on July 13, 2019, 11:51 pm

Answers:

The link I put on the first post is some of the best prices I found and located your way.

Slat life and cut quality is improved by using the sharks tooth design (a bunch of points vs flat) curving the slat prevents a ripped slat on a straight cut. Slats are considered consumables and needs changed out ( I get 6 mo to a year on mine).

Hypertherm Powermax Series are air torch's so compressed air is all you need. 5hp 60 gal tank is plenty big , nitrogen my be used. Yes there is other torches than can use a mix of gases but they make the 65 look really really cheap LoL

Air needs to be dryer than a popcorn fart or consumables will fail sooner.

Yes the torch will cut underwater

What else Plasma Rookie?

 

so I noticed some units have a remote on and off feature would I be correct in assuming that this is for powering the unit down with control software? I also seen with hypertherm they have a low amp making feature I have not seen with other brands. seems they make use of argon in this for better results as well. does Hypertherm only have this feature? I could see it being useful for a lot of stuff plus I already own a big tank.

also noticed the cut thickness is not reduced very much on different materials  like the everlast machines which seems to be the only low end option with a machine torch. also noticed those cheaper machines run into issues with torch height control because of the voltage divider boards doing strange things when they interact with a THC component.

also seems like hypertherm has the fine cut detail sorted out on the consumables where others do not? I also seen they have a high definition line of plasma as well but I don't even what to know what the price point on those are. the 65 is at my max if not beyond what I would like to spend. not to mention probably at least another $500 for some sort of air dryer system on top of that. I was thinking 5K would be doable but it looks like to get into something decent I will have to find more funds than what I initially thought looks like about 7.5 k might be more realistic as far as cost goes. metal prices suck these days and not to mention all the little stuff that will nickel and dime you to death you never think about.

Here is mine running after the new gantry build..