New Plasma build 4'X5'

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25 Sep 2011 19:42 #13443 by austin.mn
Well, here is my new plasma build. This one will be dual side drive on the gantry with twin motors. Rack and pinion drive through gear reduced steppers. Mesa 5i20 and THCAD. I am transfering over all the electronics, motor drives and torch from my old table, and I put it up for sale. The only bites I have had on the old table are scammers from nigeria, I may end up listing it on ebay instead of craigslist.

Anywho, I am building the new machine because it will fit in my garage. The other machine is just too big. So, I am taking the opportunity to avoid all the little issues I have with my old machine.

These are the original drawings that I made up for the machine. I have since made some revisions but have yet to do any screen captures of the new design.
www.cnczone.com/forums/attachment.php?at...=141343&d=1315128514
www.cnczone.com/forums/attachment.php?at...=141341&d=1315128514

Here is where I am at so far with it. The base is cut welded and painted.
www.cnczone.com/forums/attachment.php?at...=142304&d=1316455996
www.cnczone.com/forums/attachment.php?at...=142305&d=1316455996

The material and bearings changed from the original design. I ended up not wanting to cut some longer rails that a friend had for me, which meant using some smaller sized rails. I am fine with that, the other setup would have been super overkill. Now it is just moderate overkill.

One of the issues that I was having with my old table is that grit could land on the bearing surfaces. On the new table I have moved as much of the motion assemblies to underneath the table. I may even throw some sheetmetal sides onto the machine to further shield the bearings and R&P.
minneapolis.craigslist.org/ank/tls/2607693996.html
I still need to revise that listing, as I will no longer sell it all together. My friends had me set the price a little higher than I though was reasonable...

Well see how it all works out soon. Gear racks are on there way, I still need to order up another gear motor and few other misc bits. And of course do a lot of hole drilling and tapping.

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25 Sep 2011 20:23 #13445 by BigJohnT
Replied by BigJohnT on topic Re:New Plasma build 4'X5'
Looking good. When I designed my table I made it able to use a 4 x 8 sheet but only cut on 36" of Y. This makes the table much smaller and fit well in my small shop.

John

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25 Sep 2011 20:52 #13446 by austin.mn
Replied by austin.mn on topic Re:New Plasma build 4'X5'
I was really excited to have a 6' X 10' table, but I soon found out that having a table that big and not having a forklift was a waste of space.. Sure I can cut fire rings on it myself without needing help loading the table, but for the majority of work that I do, I just don't require a table that big. It just takes up a lot of room, that I don't have. My friend hasn't hassled me about getting it out of his shop, in fact he uses the table almost as much as I do. But, I would rather not wear out my friendship. So, the plan became, sell the big table and build one that is more suited to my space and work requirements. I made it this size because sometimes the steel shop has 4X10 material, sometimes they have 5X10. The new table will be able to fit a 5X5 sheet on it, but only cut 4X5. I could still pass through a larger sheet on this machine, I just don't think I could fit a larger sheet into my small shop.

I have a one car garage with a bridgeport boss cnc machine, a custom made cnc machine, a good size collet lathe, oven, powder coating booth lots of misc tools, grinders and buffers. So, as it sits I am already pretty well packed in there. On the plus side, it is easy to heat. .

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25 Sep 2011 21:18 #13447 by BigJohnT
Replied by BigJohnT on topic Re:New Plasma build 4'X5'
And the 1 square foot of floor space it easy to clean :) I know the feeling I had a small trail from one end of my garage to the other with stuff stacked on top of stuff. I get the steel yard to shear all my sheets into 4x4 anymore as it makes it easier for me to handle and store.

John

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26 Sep 2011 00:13 #13448 by austin.mn
Replied by austin.mn on topic Re:New Plasma build 4'X5'
Yeah, I have a space cleared next to where the new machine is going to store 1/2 sheets on end. With the old table, it was empty underneath and I used to just throw my scraps under it. That was a pain in the butt to clean out after a while. So I plan to pick up a cheap plasma cutter just to cut up my scrap swiss cheese pieces. Then I will have a couple of kitchen size garbage cans to collect the scraps.

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26 Sep 2011 12:04 #13454 by BigJohnT
Replied by BigJohnT on topic Re:New Plasma build 4'X5'
Do you have any means to collect the dust from above the sheet when cutting? I've been trying to think of a neat way to put some curtains around the plasma torch and connect it up to my shop vac to suck the dust up. It seems pointless to have a huge exhaust fan when the dust comes from one small point. The water table does good with the dust from below but the current design of mine I can't submerge the material so I get a lot of dust from above.

John

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05 Oct 2011 05:14 #13671 by austin.mn
Replied by austin.mn on topic Re:New Plasma build 4'X5'
John,

I have actually been thinking about that. What I have actually been toying with is to make a sheet metal hood for the entire table. Yep, you heard right. I don't know that I will actually make it, it was just something that I was thinking of. Kind of like a barbecue grill hood, only cut into a front half and a back half. The front would open up into the back half. That would keep the noise down a bit and with a window in the front I could keep an eye on the action if I wanted, and if I didn't, well I don't have to see it.

Remember, it was just an idea.... I haven't even started to draw it up to see how feasible it would be, or how much additional space it would take up. But, if I did do something like that, it would be easy enough to add an air filter and fan to the inside to clear the air before opening it all up.

I have also seen that a guy made a dust/spark hood for his torch. That is something that I am really thinking that I should do. It isn't a big deal on thin sheets, but on the thicker stuff that takes a moment to pierce it would sure be nice. He used Velcro to hold on some fire retardant material to his torch.

In other news..... I just got my gear racks today, and sometime this week I will get them fused to my linear bearing mounting plates. Once that is done, I will have to get them all painted up and move the machine to its final position before mounting all that together. I don't have a forklift at home and I think that this machine will be heavier than a couple of guys can handle once I start bolting things onto it. If things go well this week I should be doing all that this weekend. Then I will be ready to start in on the gantry uprights and pneumatic motor mounts. Should be quite a bit of cad work next week finalizing all the little parts that I will have to mill. But, it will all be worth it in the end. I can't even tell you how excited I am to finally have this machine home. Running across town to cut a couple of parts gets old in a hurry.

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