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Torchmate CNC - 98% complete

12-26-2013, 02:12 PM
Well it's not final by any means. Still need the CNC connector at the front of the machine and a machine torch. So in the meantime, some scrap metal and zip ties help. Well they hold the torch, but that's about all they do right now as it's not straight or anything, but I just wanted to see it in action. I'm hoping the first week of the year I can start cutting stuff for real. I recorded this, but my phone is out of memory so I got a huge 10seconds.
Video here
http://i46.photobucket.com/albums/f110/pportuese/th_86333C88-4E0C-48F9-ACE0-D434985FE706-6489-000003AE9C01217A_zps8b91f622.jpg (http://i46.photobucket.com/albums/f110/pportuese/86333C88-4E0C-48F9-ACE0-D434985FE706-6489-000003AE9C01217A_zps8b91f622.mp4)

Torchmate 2x2 table. Waiting on a machine torch and still need to fab up some place to keep the computer and all these long cables. I can really see where height control is a huge bonus, but it's also $3200 :eek that I don't have an if I did, I'm sure I can find other things to buy that much money.

Powered by the 42i.

Anyone have any tips/tricks or anything that can help? I'm a complete n00b to the cnc world. And from what i have gathered, the line cutting test not even cutting through the material was enough to warp the crap out of a piece of 16g steel. So how can I cut a full 2x2 sheet without it warping?

12-26-2013, 04:31 PM
with 16ga, your feedrate will be very fast..

I would suggest looking at the thermal dynamics cut chart for the cutmaster 52 with the exposed tip at 40 amps and reduce the standoff to about .130 or so..

I would guess about 200-250 ipm..

12-26-2013, 04:35 PM
There are other options for your thc... Almost certain the proma thc that several of us are using would work well enough for you, another option is probably the candcnc dthc..

12-26-2013, 08:37 PM
ahh i forgot, I'm betting your torchmate doesnt have a driver and motor on the z axis.. I bet you adjust it to pierce/cut height with the manual hand crank..

12-26-2013, 10:15 PM
ahh i forgot, I'm betting your torchmate doesnt have a driver and motor on the z axis.. I bet you adjust it to pierce/cut height with the manual hand crank..

That's no fun. I sure hope he didn't pay a lot for a hand crank Z axis set up.

12-27-2013, 01:04 AM
Someone sent me one for free and said to pay him what I think is fair. So that was super nice of him.
It should be here before the weekend

12-27-2013, 03:50 PM
You can get plenty of help here but you will need to give as much info about the setting you are using for cutting.
Did you have the work ground from the 41I hooked to the metal you are cutting. Here is one I made its small and won't get in the way.
I also use the Proma THC but the Torchmate software may make it so you cannot use one (only theirs LARGE BUMMER) $300 for a Proma is sure better then their price.
Do you have a water tabble for you table?

Have fun

12-27-2013, 06:18 PM
I will second what Tom pointed out about the ground clamp...

I see in your video that the ground was clamped to a slat and not the material itself - really important that it is on the piece itself for good cuts.

Good luck!


12-29-2013, 10:26 AM
I didn't have it clamped to the work piece for that cut as it was just a test and I can't do anything without the torch holder. Hopefully soon.

I was thinking about picking up a magnetic ground clamp. Do the magnets affect the cut similar to it throwing off the arc on a tig welder?

I'll update you guys when I get cutting and such. I need to find a place to keep this thing before I fill it with water because I'm sure it won't want to move after it has a few gallons in it.

12-31-2013, 11:26 PM
Can I fill the water table and use borax?

If so how much should I add? I've read that some people use this and others say that it causes rust, and harmful vapors. So not sure which way to go about this.

01-01-2014, 09:12 AM
I have used Borax the only thing is not too much you don’t want bubbles all over the place. The air jet makes many splashes on it own and if you add soap yikes!!! I don’t leave water in my table for very long my cutting goes in spurts just connect a hose to the drain and let it out until the next time. There are other mixes you can use but Borax is the cheapest.
This was posted at another site. I bought the stuff but never used it yet.

The table volume is about 60 gallons, plus about 15 gallons excess in the tank, so the 80 gallon air tank is nearly full when the table is empty. I added about .05% by weight of sodium nitrite (not sodium nitrate!) as a corrosion inhibitor. I'm using n-alkyl dimethyl benzyl ammonium chloride and n-alkyl dimethyl ethylbenzyl ammonium chloride as an algaecide. These chemicals are both widely used for cooling water treament. I also added an ounce of blue dye so I remember not to drink the water!

Here's the recipe for home-made PlasmaQuench
1/4 pound of sodium nitrite powder ($15/pound)
1 teaspoon of Physan 20 ($8/8oz bottle)
1 oz Ultramarine blue food-grade dye ($5/oz.)
Mix well, treats 75 gallons of water.
All prices include tax and/or shipping.

It seems to be working very well, the slag in the bottom of the table is not rusted at all, and it also prevents the sheets and cut-outs from rusting. I haven't been using it for very long, but the water is as clear as the day I put it in. The blue dye is starting to settle out, maybe I should have used liquid dye instead of powder, but it's not important anyway, the color was just for fun.

Edited to post some pictures of the bottom of the water bed.. no rusty muck, just shiny beads and black dust. The slats were rusted before I installed them.

The Physan 20 is marketed for home and garden applications as a general purpose disinfectant, fungicide, virucide, and algaecide. It contains both of the amonium chlorides. You can get it at a garden center or greenhouse supply, or online retailers such as Amazon.com. The label gives instructions for treating pools, you can scale it down for whatever size your plasma table is.
The Sodium Nitrite should be about .05% by weight. Just calculate the weight of the water in your table, multiply by .0005, and add that much Sodium Nitrite.

Check Ebay seller quartzpegmatite for Sodium Nitrite
Check Ebay seller heavenlyorchids for Physan 20