Greetings from Georgia, I'm Bat Man!

We have been running Habitat For Bats going on 16 years now, no stranger to CAD/CAM and we run a 4x8 ShopBot CNC for wood products. We also produce bat house mounting brackets and I’m currently working on a “mega” bat house with a metal frame. This morning I learned that (for the 4th time) the welding shop we use as a supplier to cut our parts is not going to deliver on time… in fact, I believe they lost the order when I placed it (and confirmed it) 3 weeks ago. I get it, we are small potatoes and $1000 orders are a nuisance to them (apparently). But for us, I need those parts.

I just purchased the Crossfire XL with every options (except the plasma cutter itself, I have that already). Nothing we produce is bigger than the table and the parts I cut are 0.12 or thinner. This machine should suit us just fine in this niche market of ours and give us even more options.

I’m looking forward to eventually getting this up and running. We are looking at an 8 week wait is what I’m told though.

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Welcome to the group.

What do you need metal parts for on bat houses? I haven’t needed any metal parts for them.

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We make mounting brackets and several items to support bat house installation etc… we also have a large bat house with a metal frame. We don’t list everything online, many of our sales are to State, local Government and large institutions. I weld everything together but I outsource the parts to a shop with a laser cutter. I started years ago by cutting them by hand using a plasma cutter and templates… that didn’t last long. I’m looking forward to this thing arriving, honestly I might only run it once every couple of weeks, but that’ll be more than enough to cut all we need.

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Welcome to the Crossfire club! I met you at a ShopBot meeting in Marietta some time ago, I can’t believe it was 16 years though.

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welcome…but once you have the plasma bug you will wish you went for the pro…hehehehehe

Not necessarily. I’m very glad I have my OG :smiley:


HEY! I remember that meeting, were you the guy with the Ford truck with the funky injectors that kept running after the engine shut down? Anyway, seems like a few weeks ago but I know it was a long time ago! We started H4Bats in 2005 and bought our ShopBot in 2006 at the IWF! Still have it, still run it making bat houses. Admittedly, we have done work and upgrades to it, but it’s the same one.

Hope your ventures are doing well.

Maybe… I thought about that but the smaller footprint and the wheels will work effectively in my shop. I intend to be able to protoype and cut when I need small quantities. When I order bat house bracket parts, I’m still likely to just call and order 12 dozen and let the shop run them for me. But for much lower volumes (and when they fail to deliver) I can cut what I need myself. When I use this shop, I also have to pay for “failed” prototypes and adjust them manually.

i.e. I want this to solve a PITA, here’s why and how:
I design a new widget and send it to the shop
If I order one, I’m charged $75, if I order a dozen they are $10 each.
So, I order a dozen, I get it back and the hole needs to be 1/4" somewhere else or the notch needs to be deeper etc… I use those after adjusting manually with a saw or torch, adjust my file and repeat.
Once it is all tuned in no big deal, he can run a gross of top plates for $4.50 each and they are perfect.

With the Crossfire, I should be able to cut one, adjust, cut one, adjust etc… and send a refined file to the shop. AND, when I really do only need a few I don’t have to pay a premium or stack a gross of them in storage.


you have your business model and Idea down well.
that is a great use for the OG table…

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Then you have the Nut jobs with one of each…My OG looked lonley and needed a play mate. What can i say.

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I’m ok with the ‘nut jobs’. I just want to go on record that there are some of us, who are not into maximizing our sheet metal capabilities and might be very happy that we can ‘shape’ metal at all.
I’m very happy that I can make some thing out of metal that can make my granddaughter smile. To me, that is reward enough.


Hi Batman, I also love in Georgia just curious where you find inexpensive steel. Thanks hope your having a great weekend!

Lately, not many places have good supply or prices. I’ve been using Metals Supermarket, OnlineMetals and Besco in Winder GA. I’m not doing flips about any of them, but Besco has been easy to work with and quick to respond.

I found a place in Carrolton that sells A36 4x8 at 1/8 for 247 is this a good price? Thanks!

I was being lazy called them and got a answer. Thanks again!

I’m not sure about any prices any longer with lumber and metal prices so high. Earlier this year I think I paid less than $150 for a 4x4 sheet so whatever that is plus the cut fee, a 4x8 at $247 sounds like a good price.

I don’t check this forum daily (yet) so my responses will lag.

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Good luck, I hope this fits the bill.

I believe it will, still waiting on my water table, only thing missing at this point.

If Newnan isn’t too far for you, I’ve gotten most of my steel from Sabel Steel. Selection is very limited (pretty much only hot rolled stuff) but prices were decent pre-plandemic. At one point I was paying $50 for a 4x8 sheet of 14ga. Haven’t needed to get anything recently though.

Okay awesome appreciate that!