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DIY plasma/router table



acourtjester
12-18-2011, 11:20 AM
Hi
This is for those whom are interested in building a plasma/router table. This is a true DIY project as many of the parts are shop made. The aluminum parts are cast using the “lost foam” method and how they are machined in place of vender supplied parts. I am retired (more time then money) and have all the tools needed and will share my methods with you. So far I have used a waste oil furnace to melt the aluminum and a lathe and mill to machine the parts. If you want more detail you may email me with your questions. A hot wire cutter was used to form the foam and was coated with wall texture type plaster.
Jigs were made to assist machining on both the lathe and mill and are pictures here.

Have fun

Tom

acourtjester
12-18-2011, 11:29 AM
I am using 1” shafts for “X” and Ύ” shafts for “Y”. These are the end and center supports that I cast and machined. The clamping bolt are 5/16" fine threaded allen head. When I finish casting a machining the remaining lineear bearing carriers I will start on the base for the table. And order the stepper motor and electronics needed.

acourtjester
12-18-2011, 11:50 AM
Other info
The jigs for the mill were 3/16" X 2" X 3" angle the I chucked in the lathe are trued up to 2 outside surfaces. This will made the angle had a true 90 degree and will clamp the part being milled at a true 90 degrees to the table surface.
I could only find 1-1/2" foam so I needed to hot glue layers to make enough for the size parts I wanted. Here is the 1" linear bearing slider cut from 4 layers of foam or 6" long. The wall texture stuff can be bought from lowe's or Home Depot just mix with water. When mixed it can be stored for a long time in a closed container.

Gadget
12-18-2011, 01:29 PM
Very nice write up Tom. I need to get started on the hot wire foam cutter so I can re-engineer my table.

INSANITY
12-20-2011, 02:53 AM
Awesome work Tom. I'm still trying to finish my manual hot wire table. It's so close to being done yet it has gone untouched for over a year. Too many irons in the fire I guess.

-Aaron

acourtjester
12-25-2011, 10:08 AM
Adding to the parts needed I cast and machined a holder for my plasma torch (P-80).

Gadget
12-31-2011, 08:25 PM
Great work Tom. Your boring tool setup gave me an idea on how to use mine.

brucer
01-01-2012, 02:03 PM
i'm liking the torch holder tom, good job.

acourtjester
01-01-2012, 02:29 PM
Ran in to a string of bad castings for the larger linear bearing slider changed the outer covering material. I was using wall texture mix which took over a day to cure, switched to dry wall joint cement. Bad idea it set up fast but must have kept some moisture as the pours of the aluminum were very violent. None of the casting was usable and went back into the melting pile.

Later
Tom

KHK
01-02-2012, 10:17 AM
Tom, Realy nice job!! Good writr up. Thanks for sharing.

acourtjester
01-04-2012, 07:07 PM
HI
I made some changes to the linear bearings for my table. They will take less aluminum and machining to make the new ones. I hope to fire up the furnace in the morning and cast more I want to get on to the table frame.

Have fun
Tom

Gadget
01-04-2012, 08:17 PM
Looks like it should work fine Tom.

KHK
01-04-2012, 08:45 PM
Looke realiy Great!! The only thing I would consider if I were you, is to ues hardened and polished shafts. That would guarentee a long life of the unit.

acourtjester
01-05-2012, 09:00 AM
You are correct but for now I will use cold rolled shafts. After I get it all going I can look for improvements time to shake the bugs out.

have fun
tom

brucer
01-05-2012, 09:44 AM
Tom,

How large are you planning on making your table?

acourtjester
01-05-2012, 11:47 AM
I'm looking at about a 3' X 5' table. The side linear bearing will ride on a 1" shaft over 5' to take up for the larger linear bearings. It will have supports on both ends and 2 middle (like at 1.5' and 3.5'). And 3/4" shaft for the y and z directions. I don't have a lot of space in my shop.

have fun
Tom

acourtjester
01-14-2012, 02:08 PM
HI
Started working on the table and this is what I have done so far.
Shown are the 4 legs and 4 corner brackets. I copied Brucer’s leveling bolt on the bottom of the legs (good ideas get used a lot). I scored some 4” aluminum channel from a boat trailer and plan to use it for the table frame. I ordered the electrics and software from Hubberd CNC as Brucer said they were good to work with and good prices. They sell the mach3 software on CD not like some that tell you to down load it then get the license via email.
I like having the CD in my hand so if the computer crashes it’s a simple reload.

Have fun
Tom

Gadget
01-14-2012, 03:17 PM
Looks like it's coming along nicely.

acourtjester
01-20-2012, 04:01 PM
HI
I finished the able base today (assembly for the first time). After the table is complete I will break it down for cleaning and making bolts the correct length ect. After I added the cross bracing on the legs and it is now is ridged, I bolted on the short ends so I can remove them if needed.
I also received my electrics for the table I get a picture of the kit I assembled. Hubbard CNC worked with me to get just want I wanted in the package. I have two 425 motors and one 570.
With the correct drivers he bundled the software in my order to save a little more. I will start on the “Y” section of the table now.

Have fun
Tom

Gadget
01-20-2012, 04:12 PM
Really looking good Tom. I like that your shafts are protected by the frame. What kind of feed mechanism are you going to use?

acourtjester
01-20-2012, 07:26 PM
HI Gadge
by feed mechanism I take it you mean the drive methode. I am using a #35 chain for the "X" and timing belt for "Y" and have not desided for teh "Z" yet.
I have ordered the parts they just need to show up surplus center is the best place to buy chain and sprockets also pillow block bearings too. I plan to drive the "X"
from both sides using one motor and a connecting shaft from side to side.
have fun
Tom

Gadget
01-20-2012, 08:20 PM
Thanks Tom, that's exactly what I was asking. If I had to do it again I would use chain as well for X and Y and probably belt for Z.

brucer
01-21-2012, 07:32 AM
HI Gadge
I have ordered the parts they just need to show up surplus center is the best place to buy chain and sprockets also pillow block bearings too.
Tom

Tom,

does the surplus center have a website?

thanks,
bruce

brucer
01-21-2012, 09:38 AM
I found it

acourtjester
01-21-2012, 12:29 PM
for others its
Surplus Center - Hydraulics, Engines, Electrical and More (http://www.surpluscenter.com/)

acourtjester
01-22-2012, 12:02 PM
attached picture of the electric parts for the table I am building.

2--425 motor and drivers for them
1---570 motror and driver
power supply (I will need to add another)
BOB board and power adaper.
printer cable and software
to my door $562.:2thumbs

brucer
01-22-2012, 12:13 PM
sweet..

will be a nice kit to run with

acourtjester
01-25-2012, 01:07 PM
More progress on the build. Pictures show the bracket for the chain sprockets attached to the linear bearing and how it fits on the table frame. Also shown is a 5/16” bolt used to tension/mount the drive chain. The “Y” assembly will be welded to the bracket that is bolted to the linear bearing.

Gadget
01-25-2012, 06:59 PM
You'll have it running before you know it Tom. Very nice work.

acourtjester
02-04-2012, 09:25 PM
Here are some pictures of the “X” drive section on my table. I have a 3/4” shaft running across the table to drive both side chains. Also two 1” shafts that the “Y” slides will ride on shown in the pictures. I still need to add a 4" channel to the top of the "Y" section.:joker
Plugging away to the finish line.

Have fun
Tom

Nick
02-04-2012, 10:14 PM
Coming along nicely. :D

acourtjester
02-10-2012, 03:00 PM
Finally got a good day to get the furnace out and cast some more parts. Here is what I came up with for the “Z” linear bearing assembly. I cast the housing and machined it to fit some scrounged bearings. They are 20 mm the housing is 4-1/4” long with a bearing in each end.
Tomorrow I will machine the “Y” bearing carriers they are just like the “X” carriers.

Have fun
Tom
:joker

Gadget
02-10-2012, 03:08 PM
Really coming along well. I'll bet you're getting excited.

brucer
02-11-2012, 11:31 AM
nice job tom, looking good... building a table is a lot of fun, and a lot of work isnt it.

acourtjester
02-11-2012, 11:48 AM
Yes sir I like to keep active to hold off olds-himmers.
And it very interesting to see how other guys build theirs, Transfer of info is neat too.

have fun
Tom

brucer
02-11-2012, 09:21 PM
Yes sir I like to keep active to hold off olds-himmers.
And it very interesting to see how other guys build theirs, Transfer of info is neat too.

have fun
Tom

yes,

I like having folks like you, gadget and khk to compare builds to and get info from... comes in handy and I really enjoy looking at other peoples builds...

I've spent hours looking on youtube and cnczone, a lot of interesting designs.. I do wish I had more money to sink into mine, would really like some of the hiwin rails and trucks, maybe when i'm rich :)

acourtjester
02-12-2012, 06:00 AM
Your rich in interest and that most of the battle. Doing with what you have shows drive and thats not a bad thing.
Most of us started out with little but we tried harder. When you are done your will do what you want it to do and thats all the matters but you saved money to start another project. Its like a snowball you will end up with all you need.
Having the web has greatly increased the knowledge base for us all to learn from. The spread of information and suppliers makes building projects easier and has increased the joy we get doing them. Something funny I see on YouTube is a video put out by some guy who wants to share his work and then does not talk!!!!!

have fun
Tom

acourtjester
02-21-2012, 09:16 PM
hi
Here is the x motor drive and y motor drive I put together today.
Waiting for the rack to show to work on the Y drvie section.

have fun
Tom

KHK
02-22-2012, 03:17 PM
Looks like a good SOLID build.

acourtjester
02-25-2012, 02:44 PM
Here is the "Z" carriage I worked on today need to figure how I'm going to mount the router so I can drill the mounting plate.
Shown is how my torch will be mounted. I will weld the plate to the "Z" carriage after that.
I was able to mount the "Y" & "Z" motors on the same plate I'm thinking about mounting a small fan for air flow over the motors.

have fun
Tom:joker

KHK
02-25-2012, 04:30 PM
Looking GREAT!!

acourtjester
03-08-2012, 04:26 PM
Here is a box I configured for the electronics it was an old equipment box I had. I cut down the top and bottom and made new front and back panels. I have a mount for a 4th driver and front panel jack if needed later. I just need to wire up the limit switches to the BOB board to finish it.

For those whom may be interested I use a 10" table saw with a new carbide blade to cut the panels. I also cut the 1/4" flat aluminum plate for the CNC table the same way and it worked great. Just moved slowly and it cut like butter no problems.

Have fun

Tom :joker

brucer
03-08-2012, 04:53 PM
looking good tom...

Gadget
03-08-2012, 05:36 PM
Very well thought out Tom.

arandall
03-08-2012, 09:21 PM
Did that ever turn out nice!!

KHK
03-08-2012, 11:30 PM
Nice!!!!!!!!

acourtjester
03-10-2012, 05:02 PM
Here is a trick I have been using for years to label wires or cables.
I make a small label/name with my printer (different colors too) cut it to size and slide it on the cable and cover it with heat shrink tubing. Apply heat to seal and you have a label for each wore/cable. I started using it an the street rods I built.

Have fun
Tom
:joker

Gadget
03-10-2012, 05:32 PM
Where do you find the clear heat shrink tubing Tom?

acourtjester
03-10-2012, 05:46 PM
I deal with mouser electronics most of the time check this out.
http://www.mouser.com/catalog/catalogUSD/645/1263.pdf
It looks like you put a 4 (for clear) at the end of the item number when ordering.
have fun
Tom

acourtjester
03-15-2012, 12:48 PM
Ran into a problem with the computer I was going to use, it did not have an on-board parallel port and tried a PCI add on card.
No worky, hooked up to my main computer with a on-board parallel port and all worked fine. Tried another PCI card same thing.
I guess the PCI command logic would not handle the commands needed for the BOB board.
Also found that Mach 3 will not run on windows 7.

have fun
Tom

Gadget
03-15-2012, 02:17 PM
You'd think that the people at Mach would have a W7 upgrade by now.

brucer
03-15-2012, 07:45 PM
You'd think that the people at Mach would have a W7 upgrade by now.

but no win7 native machine will have a parallel port.

Gadget
03-15-2012, 08:20 PM
Ah, makes sense.

acourtjester
03-30-2012, 01:49 PM
Hi All
After correcting my computer problem (parallel port) I took my table apart to paint.
Finished that reassembled the table and mounted the X & Y motors and ran a test today they worked fine. Very happy with the progress so far. Making magnetic limit and home switched and will assemble the Z drive soon.
First table test.wmv - YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bKR9zwTwGvw&list=UUrWyAGIpMmQfMwq0KTKpuRw&index=1&feature=plcp)
Have fun
Tom

Gadget
03-30-2012, 04:49 PM
Tom,
You will probably get some serious build up on magnets from the plasma dust and if you use it as a mill on ferrous materials that will also build up. Table looks great though. I'm about to start on a foam wire cutter to start making some bearing skates for a possible new generation of table for myself.

acourtjester
03-30-2012, 07:34 PM
I plan on having a water box for the table to keep the dust down. Also I am using very small magnets (1/8" 1/8") mounted in small aluminum brackets easy to clean off.

have fun
Tom

poodle
03-30-2012, 09:09 PM
Oh man that thing is to pretty to use. You might scratch it. You do fantastic work. You sure have put in some time on that little project.

brucer
03-31-2012, 01:16 AM
I really like the contrast of colors..

How fast can you rapid using the single stepper on your larger axis?

I'm guessing you had to use an add-on parallel port?

You jumped ahead of me, I been loafing off, ncaa tournament got me behind i guess...

Table is looking very good Tom..

acourtjester
03-31-2012, 08:26 AM
Well I would not say I’m ahead of you, as the scheme of things go we are maybe even. There are many portions to be worked out and you are ahead on some and me on others. I have not tuned that motor operations at all, just made sure it all worked.
As for my computer problem I changed the motherboard to one that had a parallel port on board. Pentium D Motherboards at Pricewatch - Lowest prices, Sales | Page 1 (http://www.pricewatch.com/gallery/motherboards/pentium_d) I just swapped the cpu chip and memory to the new board ($30) I did try a add on printer card first on the old motherboard an it did not work and the mother board change cost about the same.

have fun
Tom

acourtjester
04-07-2012, 04:15 PM
Progress repost I built a floating torch holder for my table today. It is a complete assembly that I can install and remove as a unit with 4 bolts.
Have fun
Tom
:joker

poodle
04-07-2012, 05:28 PM
Tom, that's first class!

KHK
04-08-2012, 08:46 AM
Great Job!!

Xalky
04-08-2012, 09:33 AM
Hi Tom. I really like the floating torch holder, I might steal it if you don't mind. :) I'm looking at the torch head, where did you get it. I'm using a Longevity machine with the p60 hand torch and I'm looking for a straight torch body that'll work with the pilot arc start on that machine. I need to procure one so I can start working on the torch holder.

acourtjester
04-08-2012, 03:43 PM
This be the one I bought
P-80 PANASONIC plasma cutting straigh machine torch 25F | eBay (http://www.ebay.com/itm/P-80-PANASONIC-plasma-cutting-straigh-machine-torch-25F-/400124946910?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item5d294e29de) The consumables come in different currents 60, 80, 100 amp very good prices. It is a pilot arc start too.

have fun
Tom

acourtjester
04-09-2012, 12:44 PM
Made a change to the floating head, came up with another switch that works much better. I can adjust it down to a .008” trip distance. This will make it much easier to set the home to cut height of the torch. It has about 1/4" travel after the switch is made (spring loaded).
Micro switch Honeywell BZ-2RQ69. Here is one on EBay MICRO SWITCH BZ-2RQ69 | eBay (http://www.ebay.com/itm/MICRO-SWITCH-BZ-2RQ69-/110776254211?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item19cac77f03)

Have fun
Tom

KHK
04-09-2012, 09:51 PM
I have come accross some solid state micro swithces and plan to convert my CNC over when time permits.

---------- Post added at 10:51 PM ---------- Previous post was at 10:44 PM ----------

I have come accross some solid state micro swithces and plan to convert my CNC over when time permits.

Gadget
04-10-2012, 06:34 AM
Keith, when you do convert I'd like to see how you did it. I'm tired of my micro switches failing all the time.

brucer
04-10-2012, 09:40 AM
nice job tom.. your machine is coming along nicely.

are you using the nylon as slides or do you have bearings mounted somewhere?

acourtjester
04-10-2012, 02:40 PM
just using the nylon I have a mill so I can cut the parts for a good fit. There is also a thin sheet under the aluminum torch holder.
It seems to work well time will tell.

have fun
Tom

acourtjester
04-14-2012, 06:17 PM
I installed the home and limit switches on my table today. I used a magnetic type with a LED attached so I see when the switch is active. All worked out fine it was neat to do a reference all and see the table go to home.
Copied the switches from this post on CNC Zone
Electronic home switches made easy! - CNCzone.com-The Largest Machinist Community on the net! (http://www.cnczone.com/forums/open_source_cnc_machine_designs/101878-electronic_home_switches_made_easy.html)
Page 2 has most of the good stuff. Mouser P/N 785-ss441A
Make sure you get the “A” ones the other need both “N” and “S” poles to turn on/off.
The a works with just the “N”

Have fun
Tom

KHK
04-15-2012, 09:03 AM
I have a magnet attached INSIDE a metal cabinet in the garage and it collects metal out of the air. Make sure that you keep your magnets clean.

acourtjester
04-15-2012, 09:07 AM
Will do they are all open facing out/up so a quick wipe with a rag well clean them off. Mounted in aluminum and being 1/8" in diameter not much metal should be there.

acourtjester
04-16-2012, 08:23 PM
Pasted a milestone today I ran the road runner on my table to see how it worked. No cutting or routing just dancing in the air. I was very pleased with the behavior of the motor actions. I still have the cable drape to complete and more tuning of the motor drive.

Have fun
Tom

Gadget
04-17-2012, 06:42 AM
:clapAlways great to see the first movement. Let the cutting begin:clap

acourtjester
04-22-2012, 11:10 AM
HI all
Some updates showing the cable chain I used on my table. This chain comes from the bone yard off a 2001 up Doge van side door cable path. It is very easy to remove from the donor vans, wire cutters and a screw driver. I bought 3 so I could change the length (24” long normal). For my use I have 35” side to side travel (cutting width) and used a 27” extended chain. The chain pops apart and you just add what you want from the spare chain. Each link has a cover and you open each to lay the cable in then close. It is about Ύ” wide and ½” deep. I had 2 motor power (6 conductor and shield/ground) plus 2 limit switch cables in mine. As you can see I anchored the chain to the Y/Z motor plate and the other end to the top center of the Y Bridge. As you can see you do not need as much chain as you table moves for it to work.

Here is a video of the dodge van door wire chain.
How to Fix Dodge Grand Caravan and Chrysler Town and Country Sliding Door Wires - YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=705hcJqOf6U)

have fun
Tom

poodle
04-22-2012, 11:34 AM
Now that looks first class!

Gadget
04-22-2012, 02:06 PM
That's a great idea, I'll keep that in mind in case I upgrade mine or make a new one.

Xalky
04-25-2012, 09:48 PM
Is that chain from a caravan or a full size van? I like it. :envy

acourtjester
04-26-2012, 07:57 AM
They are used on both caravan and town & country vans normal size on both sides of the van.

have fun
Tom

brucer
04-26-2012, 11:06 AM
I have a magnet attached INSIDE a metal cabinet in the garage and it collects metal out of the air. Make sure that you keep your magnets clean.

could you put a thin plastic bag over the magnet? when it needs cleaning just pull the bag off and toss it..

KHK
04-26-2012, 02:46 PM
I Like the use of the chain. I looked into using the chain idea but it was to much $ From the bone yard I imagine that the cost was lo.

acourtjester
04-28-2012, 12:32 PM
Here is the cutting grill I assembled today it is 3' X 4' X 3-1/2" high. I used 1/8" X 2" angle for the frame and 1/8" X 1-1/2" flat for the cross bars. I can slip the bars in or out when needed.
I still need to paint it and build a pool for it to swim in. I ordered the chemicals to keep the water from getting funky today.
By gully I think I see a light in there!! I hope its not a train.

have fun
Tom:joker

acourtjester
05-05-2012, 02:29 PM
HI
Here is another update of my build. I have combined the computer and controller cabinets (like you guys did). I cut up a computer case and mounted the motherboard and hard disc to the top panel of my controller. Put the power supply on the bottom of the controller. I am using the computer power to supply the BOB +5volts so I could remove the transformer power for the BOB. Installed a 4 pin connector in the front panel for plasma/router trigger. Ran test cuts running roadrunner and cutting with my plasma about 8 feet from the controller after installing a ferrite core on the input power I had intermittent stops from a limit switch (I need to change to micro away from magnetic). My plasma is a Everlast PM256 multi-unit (tig, stick, plasma)
cannot up load pictures at this time????????
Have fun
Tom

acourtjester
05-08-2012, 07:21 AM
Up loaded images of the changes to my controller cabinet. Added motherboard, hard disc, and power supply.
This was to reduce the cables outside and combine to one cabinet.

have fun
Tom

Gadget
05-08-2012, 08:37 AM
One suggestion, put filters on all air pathways on the cabinet. The plasma dust will get everywhere and it is conductive. It could cause you trouble down the road. Looks good though.

KHK
05-08-2012, 08:48 AM
Looks really nice!!

undercut
05-08-2012, 12:52 PM
Holy crap .... First forum article I read is this one and my mind is now racing. This is fantastic stuff - a bit out of reach for a guy who is saving up for his first welder but the possibilities! I'm going to need to read the whole thread again and start making notes. Wow, hope all of the other forum threads are as loaded as this one. Thanks for letting me lurk and gasp.

Gadget
05-08-2012, 01:07 PM
We have about three plasma table builds going on right now and several of us have completed one previously so there's quite a bit of experience to tap into when you get ready to dip your toe. I just adapted mine to add a foam wire cutting capability for a future project so now it does routing/ plasma/ and foam cutting.

undercut
05-08-2012, 02:13 PM
We have about three plasma table builds going on right now and several of us have completed one previously so there's quite a bit of experience to tap into when you get ready to dip your toe. I just adapted mine to add a foam wire cutting capability for a future project so now it does routing/ plasma/ and foam cutting.

Outside of the plasma cutter, what kind of costs are we looking at? Hmmm, on second thought, that is a bit open ended as I'm not specifying table size, etc. Let me do a bit more reading and research (and then I'll ask the question!) ;)

acourtjester
05-12-2012, 08:12 AM
I wanted to check out how my machine was working before cutting metal. I read about a pen used by another guy so I made one to fit my table. I set it up to replace my plasma torch so I could test the floating head operation. Basically I have a pin refill inside of a ½” OD 3/8” ID tube with a slider plug and spring capped by an adjustable stopper. This fits into a plastic retainer with the OD of my torch. When assembled the pen tip sticks out about .100” the spring allows the pen to retract and the housing hits the TOM and sets the limit switch. Setting the DRO to 0.00 next command it sets Z at .750” then the next is Z to .035” so the pen is on the paper and the spring has enough pressure for the pen to mark the paper. Any directional movement is now marked on the paper and used to check distance measurements.
This allowed me to find my X was off and I needed to make changes in motor tuning to correct the error. Attached pictures shows parts used and mounting on the floating head.

Have fun
Tom

undercut
05-12-2012, 12:37 PM
That's a cool idea to test it out. Gosh, the fabrication for the pen itself was quite a nice project! Not sure if was already mentioned but what software are you using?

acourtjester
05-12-2012, 02:03 PM
Mach 3 and I am learning as I go. I got it in a package deal with the electronics from hubbard. Info near the front of this thread.

have fun
Tom

acourtjester
05-12-2012, 05:14 PM
Today was the day I fired up the table and cut metal.


http://youtu.be/OJfW0r8pbz4


youtube video

have fun
Tom

Xalky
05-12-2012, 05:19 PM
:cheers Yay.:bounce I can't wait for the day. Thats gotta feel great.

brucer
05-12-2012, 06:21 PM
wahooo tom..

undercut
05-12-2012, 08:51 PM
That's sooooo cool! Congratulations. You must have a huge backlog of things you want to try ....

acourtjester
05-23-2012, 11:18 AM
Hi All
New torch holder, I was not pleased with the operation of the p-80 torch as it was a 60-80 Amp torch. So I broke out the torch that came with my Everlast PM256 (60 amp max). I machined a holder for it so I could use the floating head holder I was using with the p-80. This was a great improvement in cutting I did a test cut. I drew up a box with 4 holes of different sizes and this torch completed the cut very well. Still much to learn and a few more bugs to work out.

Have fun
Tom
:joker

acourtjester
05-23-2012, 11:36 AM
I forgot to attach this picture :doh2

KHK
05-23-2012, 12:00 PM
Hooray!! The jobi done Congrats!!

undercut
05-23-2012, 12:07 PM
I forgot to attach this picture :doh2 I was wondering where the picture of the holes were! :) Very nice torch holder and the holes look very clean to me. What kind of debugging do you still need to perform? It's looks pretty good from my side of the screen ....

Xalky
05-23-2012, 01:00 PM
Oh man. I just ordered a P80 torch head for mine. That's a very nice torch holder. I have the wp-60 that came with my 256pi and it seemed to be better than the ag55 that I had adapted to my machine, as far as HF emissions was concerned. Since the AG55 was not pilot arc, I ran a ground wire out to the torch tip to get pilot arc and it fired nicely but it created havoc or so I thought. Not sure now that it may have been a defective board in my controller. The main concern I had about using the WP60 hand torch on the cnc table was being able to fixture it well enough to keep it plumb to the table. I especially like the vertical rod that you incorporated into the top part of the torch holder to use your existing torch mount. I hate to say it Tom but I'm gonna steal your idea again. :envy

acourtjester
05-23-2012, 02:44 PM
Hi
No need to use the word steal, I have gained so many things from reading articles posted on the web I am happy to repay the favor. I think that’s why we post projects the love of doing them and the added joy that some one else is interested is seeing them.
On the torch with the P-80 it seemed like I got as many sparks on both sides of the metal, Buy with WP-60 the plasma blows through the metal and there is very little sparks above the metal.
There is a very slight difference in the orifice size between the torches. I guess with above 60 amps of plasma power the P-80 will do better and cut thicker metal.

Have fun
Tom
:joker

Xalky
05-23-2012, 03:33 PM
Yeah I know. I'm sure plenty of people have used my ideas too, I actually encourage it. There's not an original idea in my plasma table either...they're all bits and pieces of things I've seen on other machines and reassembled them in my mind to suit my purpose.

I'm gonna go ahead and make a similar torch holder. That way I'll have the option, that vertical shaft makes it easily interchangeable.

Funny... right before I saw your post, I went out to the scrap yard looking for a suitable chunk of aluminum but came home empty handed this morning. Nice chunks of aluminum are tough to find. I suppose that's why your casting them.

acourtjester
05-23-2012, 09:20 PM
Yeah the scrape yards around here have stopped selling back retail any metal, real bummer.
I have some stuff I rat holes from the past but that is running out. I did cast some of the parts and machined them for my use. The steel I just buy new from a local distributer or order from Speedy Metals for DOM tubing.

Have fun
Tom

Xalky
05-23-2012, 10:11 PM
We have an outfit up here that buys steel surplus and resells it. I get most of my steel from there. The "surplus barn" has an ever changing inventory of cutoffs and just surplus that they buy up from places going out of business or job remnants. Anything from the surplus barn is $1 a pound which isn't too bad. That's where I went today. They have aluminum too at $5.00 a pound but if you can't find the length you need or can use they charge you a $20 "cut Charge" for cutting it,...I aint payin that. They had what I needed but not at a price I wanted to pay. ;)

acourtjester
06-09-2012, 07:44 AM
Getting near the finish of the table. Build the mount for the router and a boom for the plasma cutter cable and router power. I used the same output from the BOB board to start the plasma and router, with the router I added a SSR to switch input power on/off. That’s in the black box on the boom the boom rotates freely and can be removed for storage.
I also built a cart for the controller/computer box its like a hand truck so I can move it when I want. The keyboard and track ball have Velcro under them to hold them down. The monitor is on a flip stand up for using it and down for traveling.
I ran a free program called StickFont v1.1 to lay out names and routed them on some MDF as a test.
Have fun
Tom :joker

brucer
06-09-2012, 01:04 PM
looks good tom...

acourtjester
06-09-2012, 01:44 PM
why thank you sir.

Gadget
06-09-2012, 02:10 PM
Very well thought out, nice work.

brucer
06-14-2012, 03:01 PM
Tom,

Have you made any money with your table yet?

undercut
06-14-2012, 03:10 PM
Didn't realize it was fully completed yet. Is it fully operational? I'd love to see what comes out of it (both metal and wood, actually).

KHK
06-14-2012, 11:25 PM
Looks real nice!

acourtjester
06-16-2012, 10:25 AM
No money yet I am still learning CAD and not getting far with that. I have Turbocad 14 deluxe and it seems if you don't buy the Pro version it will not do some things they say it can. Here is one I drew and I cannot connect the outside lines so it will be only one cut path. They have a join poly lines command that is to do it but will not.:cursing

Have fun
Tom

brucer
06-16-2012, 01:57 PM
No money yet I am still learning CAD and not getting far with that. I have Turbocad 14 deluxe and it seems if you don't buy the Pro version it will not do some things they say it can. Here is one I drew and I cannot connect the outside lines so it will be only one cut path. They have a join poly lines command that is to do it but will not.:cursing

Have fun
Tom


Tom,

do you have a Chain command or option? in Mastercam you would have to Chain the lines together in the direction you want to cut..

Gadget
06-16-2012, 01:59 PM
Tom, send me the dxf and I will see if I can fix it for you.

acourtjester
06-16-2012, 02:18 PM
It has 2 commands join and chain poly line in the write up but I can only find join and it will go around some of the outside but not completely.
If I have the arcs as in this drawing here is the message I get. If I redraw it with lines only then I can never get completely around the drawing path. Mach 3 will use the drawing but it has breaks in the path so the torch turns off and withdraws at each break.:doh2
Will do Gadget I want to make some new skates for a bigger table. I have turned offset bearing studs.

have fun
Tom

acourtjester
06-16-2012, 04:19 PM
Gadget put the wammie on my drawing works like a champ.
Thanks gadget you da man.

Gadget
06-16-2012, 05:25 PM
Happy I could help Tom.

Xalky
06-17-2012, 07:54 AM
I want to make some new skates for a bigger table.

have fun
Tom You're already planning another table?? You barely got this one going! Will you be cannibalizing the old one for components for the new one?OR are you gonna have 2 tables now?

Gadget
06-17-2012, 12:33 PM
I really like the offset nuts. I was thinking of an offset bolt but this is better by far and easier to make as well.

acourtjester
06-17-2012, 01:31 PM
I love building things working out how things should work is fun. I plan to use the one I have now to cut the parts for a bigger one. But I am in no rush to build another. It is more like just using the one I have to get the operation down.
One the off set nuts I threaded the internally to Ό” X 28 so the bolt will go through the skate into the nut. To adjust you use the nut to turn the bearing and then tighten the bolt to lock it in place. That plate you fixed for me is the top plate of the skate with a bearing on each corner.
The two side plates will have 3 bearings each arranged so right has one bearing on top and two below. And the left will have two on the top and one below. I will post pictures when I do them.

Have fun
Tom

Gadget
06-17-2012, 01:52 PM
I may want a copy of the drawings as well. Are you going to use the lost foam again for the slides?

acourtjester
06-18-2012, 07:38 AM
I will send you copies of the parts after I cut and check them. I am not using castings for these sliders but may use castings for other parts when I get therre.

acourtjester
06-24-2012, 10:55 AM
Up date I finished the water table tank on Friday. I made a sheet metal break from scrapes and here is what I did. I used back end of my trailer for the base of the bender. I made pivot points from 1” DOM tubing and 1” round shafts. The other part was a 3” square tube with the 1” shafts at each end to pivot on and a 2” angle for a handle. This was clamped to the trailer and plywood sheet went under the sheet metal. After cutting the corners out of the sheet I laid it on the trailer and aligned it up for bending. The bends of the sides were not perfect but I then clamped a straight edge inside the tank on each side and worked a 2X4 and a hammer along the bottom edge to sharpen them up. I was very easy and quick I then machined a bung for the drain and welded it all up. The tank holds about 30 gal. The sides are 1” above my grid for the metal to sit on.
Have fun
Tom
:joker

Xalky
06-24-2012, 11:29 AM
Where there's a will there's a way. Ingenious. :)

undercut
06-24-2012, 01:00 PM
Nicely done. That's another great idea I've made a note of and will probably use! Thanks.

acourtjester
06-25-2012, 01:20 PM
HI All
Well I am done with building and checking out my CNC table.:bounce
plasma cuts 5-12-12.wmv - YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OJfW0r8pbz4&feature=autoplay&list=UUrWyAGIpMmQfMwq0KTKpuRw&playnext=1)
Here is a video I did today cutting parts, the short bursts are drill hole marks and the middle of the video was double speed to make is shorter. I'm not sure if all torches are the same but I ran cutting height of .060" at 70 PSI. I will be getting the Force Cut 80I tomorrow and I will hook it up on this table to see how it works.
I cut 4 parts from 1/4" steel plate and there was more funk in the water table then I thought there would be. But I am happy as it worked fine trapping all the dust. I found a formula for water table rust preventer to keep the water clear I have the stuff just need to mix and put in the table.
have fun
Tom:joker

Gadget
06-25-2012, 04:37 PM
Sure glad it's working well for you, you've put a lot of thought and work into it. Very nice work Tom.

undercut
06-25-2012, 04:42 PM
I never grow tired of watching this stuff in action! What's going to be your first big project with this?

acourtjester
06-25-2012, 08:16 PM
Those plate are for new bearing sliders for a bigger table not sure I will build one but I wanted to have something to cut that was useful.
I will be assembling them in the morning to check the fit and bearing tracks.

Have fun
Tom

acourtjester
06-25-2012, 08:48 PM
I posted the wrong video
Plasma Cutting parts 6 25 12 - YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WdG9_ZQSxCg&list=UUrWyAGIpMmQfMwq0KTKpuRw&index=1&feature=plcp)

undercut
06-25-2012, 11:54 PM
I posted the wrong video Plasma Cutting parts 6 25 12 - YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WdG9_ZQSxCg&list=UUrWyAGIpMmQfMwq0KTKpuRw&index=1&feature=plcp) 1/4" steel plate huh. Very impressive! Gosh I like watching that thing go. The plasma torch holder is even nicer too look at when it is in action. Going to watch it again!

acourtjester
06-26-2012, 11:46 AM
Here is the prototype of a new X slider I am working on. It is at a temporary assembly stage as I need to change some dimensions to make it fully operational. The top plate has a adjustable bearing at each corner and the side have 3 adjustable bearings. The sides are reversed so one side has 2 bearings on top and one on bottom and vice-versa. I believe this will make a much more stable assembly. It is designed to run on a 2” square tube and the bearings are 6001-2rs.

acourtjester
07-01-2012, 10:53 AM
Test cuts with my new Force Cut 80I that I won in longevity's last contest.
Just 2 small 1.5" square hole in 1/4" steel on my table. Sorry for all the bubbling noise in the video I need to use bigger sheets to cut from.
test cuts were made with .120" and .130" above metal surfaces will test other heights slag not much of either, outside temp to hot to do more now.
force cut 80I first cuts - YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jvBxbiI5EXc)
have fun
Tom

undercut
07-01-2012, 12:15 PM
Test cuts with my new Force Cut 80I that I won in longevity's last contest. Just 2 small 1.5" square hole in 1/4" steel on my table. Sorry for all the bubbling noise in the video I need to use bigger sheets to cut from. test cuts were made with .120" and .130" above metal surfaces will test other heights slag not much of either, outside temp to hot to do more now. force cut 80I first cuts - YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jvBxbiI5EXc) have fun Tom Hey Tom, any issues with having your water level so high up. I noticed water splashing up from the force of the compressed air from the torch head(?) Just wondering if it promotes any corrosion in the head or anything. Thanks for the video. Can't wait until you put bigger pieces in there to see how it performs!

acourtjester
07-01-2012, 02:43 PM
I'm not sure about corrosion as most of the parts are chrome, brass, or plastic on the torch head.
I'm sure if I have a bigger section of metal the splashing woud be less, time will tell.

brucer
07-01-2012, 05:28 PM
tom, you might drop your water level some... I've read like 1 1/2" is about where you want it.

brucer
07-01-2012, 05:32 PM
so what are you thinking of a thc? candcnc has a low cost thc (LCTHC) for like $250, I was thinking of trying it first.. it only has a one year warranty but they support it.. some of those thc's are just too expensive.

acourtjester
07-01-2012, 06:25 PM
Thanks Bucer
I will try that I drained the tank today so I could clean it and add some chemicals.
Like many other things with CNC and plasma things like water level are not talked about.
I been flying by the set of my pants with most of the things until someone says try this or do it this way.
That will still give me 2" of water in the tank and drops the weight about in half.

have a happy 4th

sharpcreation
07-01-2012, 06:54 PM
Amazing Project!!! Can't wait to get a few more tools and start some more complected projects myself!!!

brucer
07-01-2012, 08:15 PM
tom,

on your carriages... how about cutting a slot through the top plate, and sticking the side plate through it then, welding it together? It would still be capturing four sides and give you the side clearance for you gantry to pass over the side rails, plus it would give you a gantry mount to bolt the gantry to..


I didnt make my top bearings on my cariages adjustable, that way they will ride parallel with my rails at all times....

brucer
07-01-2012, 08:24 PM
and tom, fillets are your friend ;)

acourtjester
07-02-2012, 08:39 AM
Well you unerstand the design I have, as that is just how I was going to make them. I plan to have the X rails open so the X sliders can be loaded from the end when assembling.
The X rail will be suported from the under side. I should have one assembled (slider) in a day or so and I will post pictures then.

Xalky
07-02-2012, 12:48 PM
Thanks Bucer
I will try that I drained the tank today so I could clean it and add some chemicals.
Like many other things with CNC and plasma things like water level are not talked about.
I been flying by the set of my pants with most of the things until someone says try this or do it this way.
That will still give me 2" of water in the tank and drops the weight about in half.

have a happy 4th
Yeah, you're not kidding. It's the little things. Sometimes i think i have a dumb question and I'm afraid to ask, so I'll do a keyword search...which usually turn up empty. Thank God for these forums, I'd never be able to do one of these on my own without having studied 100s of these tables on forums and youtube. And then there are all the little things that rear thier ugly head ...like an errant plasma cutter... nobody ever talked about that one...i'm the first...hopefully my gripes will help somebody out. :doh2

Not every forum is as helpful as this one- thats for sure.

brucer
07-03-2012, 03:53 AM
Test cuts with my new Force Cut 80I that I won in longevity's last contest.

Tom

Yea Yea, rub it it in tom.. ;)

looks like it cuts pretty good for just test cutting..

acourtjester
07-03-2012, 10:08 AM
Well when I did the first test running mach 3 and cutting with the torch not attached to the table I did not have the things grounded and all went fine.
Next I hooked the torch to the table and started (still not grounded):furious3 a test cut routine with different cut heights (thats the video shown) it cut 2 squares fine but at the end of the second torch off. Limit switch error and it ate my X driver. :cursing I had to shut down the computer to clear the error but the X driver is dead. Swapped input pins in Mach and the outputs to the motor. That tested before and after the driver, now I need to order another driver from hubbard. It could be the driver just died on its own.
Live goes on
have a happy 4th
Tom

brucer
07-03-2012, 03:19 PM
tom,

Thats the reason I went with the cheap driver board to start off with, if I lose it i'm not going to worry about too much... I'm thinking when I do upgrade my electronics I'm going with the
gecko 540..

I have a question, how are your rails wearing?

Xalky
07-03-2012, 11:04 PM
I sure hope you're not getting the bad juju that I had. We both know where the bad juju came from. :gwink

acourtjester
07-04-2012, 09:19 AM
You never know where bad juju will show up! These may have been self induced as I did not hook the grounds up and not ferrite core on the torch trigger cable.
The problem did not show until the second torch cut was at its end (torch off time) I had also tested before with running mach 3 routine and cutting very near with the 80I about 6 times on/oof no problems???
Happy 4th to all

Xalky
07-04-2012, 08:25 PM
Torch starts and stops are where your gonna get the most electrical interference. So yeah, grounding and shielding is where its at.

Marcel

acourtjester
07-11-2012, 11:43 AM
HI Guys
little update on my failed table controller. I replaced the drive and no help. After moving wire connections it looks like the motherboard's printer post was blown.
Tried to use my main computer to check that out but for some reason I cannot run the driver test and that causes the signals not to completely work. I cannot access the motor tune in the config tab. Like the driver test the motor tune just will not come up with the main computer. I can access both from the controller computer but which ever driver I hook pins 2 & 3 to that driver will not work. Looks like I will buy a refurb from Wallyworld.:cursing

undercut
07-11-2012, 12:18 PM
HI Guys
little update on my failed table controller. I replaced the drive and no help. After moving wire connections it looks like the motherboard's printer post was blown.
Tried to use my main computer to check that out but for some reason I cannot run the driver test and that causes the signals not to completely work. I cannot access the motor tune in the config tab. Like the driver test the motor tune just will not come up with the main computer. I can access both from the controller computer but which ever driver I hook pins 2 & 3 to that driver will not work. Looks like I will buy a refurb from Wallyworld.:cursing

That kinda sucks, Tom. Refresh my memory, what do you figure caused it to break?

brucer
07-11-2012, 01:29 PM
HI Guys
little update on my failed table controller. I replaced the drive and no help. After moving wire connections it looks like the motherboard's printer post was blown.
Tried to use my main computer to check that out but for some reason I cannot run the driver test and that causes the signals not to completely work. I cannot access the motor tune in the config tab. Like the driver test the motor tune just will not come up with the main computer. I can access both from the controller computer but which ever driver I hook pins 2 & 3 to that driver will not work. Looks like I will buy a refurb from Wallyworld.:cursing


tom couple quick questions,

Your break out board didnt prevent back feeding to your computer? I thought the optic isolator on the break out board was suppose to prevent back feed..
Have you spoke with hubbard cnc about this? It sounds more like some kind of current spike in the electronics.



also your saying a refurb from wally world, a refurb computer?
why not just replace the mother board?

undercut
07-11-2012, 01:34 PM
tom couple quick questions,

Your break out board didnt prevent back feeding to your computer? I thought the optic isolator on the break out board was suppose to prevent back feed..
Have you spoke with hubbard cnc about this? It sounds more like some kind of current spike in the electronics.



also your saying a refurb from wally world, a refurb computer?
why not just replace the mother board?

I'm not very well versed in this stuff but if you replace the board or computer, maybe see if you can buy a printer port addon board so that if it gets fried, you only have to replace the addon?

brucer
07-11-2012, 02:59 PM
I'm not very well versed in this stuff but if you replace the board or computer, maybe see if you can buy a printer port addon board so that if it gets fried, you only have to replace the addon?

the add-on parallel port cards are iffy, some will work some wont..

undercut
07-11-2012, 03:05 PM
the add-on parallel port cards are iffy, some will work some wont.. It was a shot. Not even sure if you can buy those addons anymore. Parallel ports and serial ports are going the way of the dodo bird. Can't even find a new computer with those ports in my area.

Gadget
07-11-2012, 04:27 PM
I'm not very well versed in this stuff but if you replace the board or computer, maybe see if you can buy a printer port addon board so that if it gets fried, you only have to replace the addon?

That would be my suggestion too.

acourtjester
07-11-2012, 08:58 PM
I will try an add on in the morning but on another motherboard it did not work. Also if the signal bus for the printer port is blown I think the add on uses the same bus just different address of the port. I did not check but the limit signal line may not be working either.
I want to replace the motherboard if I can find another that is the same or I will need to reload the operating system. If I get one from Wally World I will get XP disc with it. Another plus for going that way. Some time you just got to lick you wounds and go on.
Have fun
Tom

acourtjester
07-11-2012, 09:10 PM
Here is where I got the last one from I just need to find the same motherboard.
motherboard Motherboards at Pricewatch - Lowest prices, Sales | Page 2 (http://www.pricewatch.com/search?q=motherboard&start=32&cn=Motherboards)

I never had this happen before but if the battery on the motherboard goes out up cannot start the computer.
In the past I have seen them cause a problem with the BIOs setting but never stopping start up.

undercut
07-11-2012, 10:47 PM
Here is where I got the last one from I just need to find the same motherboard. motherboard Motherboards at Pricewatch - Lowest prices, Sales | Page 2 (http://www.pricewatch.com/search?q=motherboard&start=32&cn=Motherboards) I never had this happen before but if the battery on the motherboard goes out up cannot start the computer. In the past I have seen them cause a problem with the BIOs setting but never stopping start up. That is weird. The battery typically is used to keep stuff alive like the time and the various BIOS settings like you said. On every system I've been on with the battery dead, I could go in the BIOS settings, set them and I'd be good until the computer was unplugged .... Any message when it failed to start up?

acourtjester
07-12-2012, 08:08 AM
What I said was I could not start the computer (not able to power up) I have seen this before so I replaced the power supply same thing. I replaced the battery and it powered up and still does. I expected the BIOs problem with a bad battery not what happened so that is why I passed it on for others to hear about.
I'm a retired Electronics Field Engineer I cannot tell you how many unexplained problems I've seen that make no sense but happened.
Must be the phase of the moon or global warming or an Aardvark in the room!!!!

acourtjester
07-12-2012, 08:18 AM
Brucer
The BOB I have is not an optic isolator type just straight through pin for pin to the printer port.
The way I hooked up the torch trigger was parallel the hand switch. What this did was give a 25' pair of wires to act like and antenna and feed it right into my controller.
My Everlast has a separate plug for torch trigger so I ran a shielded pair from that plug to the controller with no problems.

undercut
07-12-2012, 11:12 AM
What I said was I could not start the computer (not able to power up) I have seen this before so I replaced the power supply same thing. I replaced the battery and it powered up and still does. I expected the BIOs problem with a bad battery not what happened so that is why I passed it on for others to hear about. I'm a retired Electronics Field Engineer I cannot tell you how many unexplained problems I've seen that make no sense but happened. Must be the phase of the moon or global warming or an Aardvark in the room!!!! So many variations on how companies make computer components doesn't help. Well, good debugging because I don't think I would have swapped the battery. Cheers!

acourtjester
07-18-2012, 11:45 AM
Replaced the MOtherboard and the system back working as it should.
need to draw up some more parts to cut.

have fun
Tom

undercut
07-18-2012, 02:19 PM
Replaced the MOtherboard and the system back working as it should. need to draw up some more parts to cut. have fun Tom You using the onboard parallel port of the new motherboard? Question, you're not getting any fouling of the plasma cutter tip from the water splashing? With so much emphasis on ensuring the cutter gets dry air, I'm really surprised your torch is OK with the water level so high. Quite puzzling!

acourtjester
07-18-2012, 07:14 PM
When you are running 60 to 80 PSI from the torch I don't think any water will get in to cause a probelm.
I have seen other videos with water bubbling all around too. I think some of the big industrial unit do cutting under water to cool the torch.

undercut
07-18-2012, 07:57 PM
When you are running 60 to 80 PSI from the torch I don't think any water will get in to cause a probelm. I have seen other videos with water bubbling all around too. I think some of the big industrial unit do cutting under water to cool the torch. So what part of the plasma is susceptible to damage from water in the air line? I've heard dire warnings about having moisture in the air lines out of the compressor.

acourtjester
07-19-2012, 08:12 AM
The problem is water in the air supply that can bridge the gap inside the torch itself. That water would act like a short in the torch which destroys the consumables. There is positive pressure inside the torch so water from the water table cannot get inside the torch. If you look at some videos the air blast from the torch even dries the water on top of the metal being cut.

undercut
07-19-2012, 10:45 AM
The problem is water in the air supply that can bridge the gap inside the torch itself. That water would act like a short in the torch which destroys the consumables. There is positive pressure inside the torch so water from the water table cannot get inside the torch. If you look at some videos the air blast from the torch even dries the water on top of the metal being cut. I see. Thanks, Tom. I get it now. Pretty impressive setup. Love watching your videos!

acourtjester
08-02-2012, 03:51 PM
New adapter for the P81A torch I received with the Force Cut 80I. Used the same torch holder base and made a new adapter for the P81A.
I am waiting for some new consumables I ordered for it it came with a 1.2 tip but I want 1.0 tips for 60 amps or less before I use it.

undercut
08-02-2012, 04:14 PM
Hey Tom. I see the spring and the limit switch (nice set screw arrangement, by the way!) so I highly suspect that the torch holder is able to slide up and down but can't see how that is being done. Is is simply loosely bolted to the mounting plate or is there a more elaborate design back there? Cheers.

acourtjester
08-02-2012, 06:24 PM
Oh yea of little faith the torch works just fine as seen in the videos I posted.

undercut
08-02-2012, 07:11 PM
Don't get me wrong, Tom. I've seen the magic of your creations. You make some really detailed, elaborate and smart items. I don't doubt it works and works well ... just wanted to know more about its construction, that's all.