Not a bad idea about the water…if accidentally dunking yourself while you TIG weld doesn’t freak you out. I’m sure it’s fine as long as you have a solid ground, but I had plenty of time, and didn’t have my drains in.
One thing to consider is that the pans probably aren’t completely flat from factory either, some amount of out of flatness isn’t that big a deal.
Re your curtain idea. I’m mulling a similar design, but had thought to piggy back my upright mounts onto the bolts that attach the lower rail tubes to the legs. I assume you have a reason for the frame mount location that you chose. Do you mind sharing? I‘m pretty inexperienced and don’t want to make a stupid mistake if I can avoid it. Thanks and great work on everything you’ve done to the table.
A few reasons I chose the place I did for mounting the receiver tubes to the frame:
- Trying to push the uprights as far out as possible to minimize the amount they intrude on being able to work on the machine
- Maximize the size of sheet I can have on the table within the curtained area and still get water and spark containment. If you attached to the legs it would require some other less rigid solution to get the curtains pushed all the way to the back of the table and not overhang any of the area the X axis beam travels in.
- Minimize the number of unique parts
The upright tubes will actually drop into receiver tubes to make taking the tall uprights out pretty easy in case need to do repairs. If the 25’ DC barrel jack extension cords I bought work to extend my reach with the THC and torch on/off without inducing any electrical gremlins I do not plan to add the plasma cutter tray to the curtain system. I want my plasma cutter to stay on my mobile welding bench if possible. That would take me back to the simple 4 uprights and 4 curtain design. I don’t want extra mass up high on the machine where its inertia could induce noise in the cut if it can be avoided, but I also don’t want it under the water table for obvious water/electricity/shock reasons.
Awesome mods! I’m interested in your curtain design. I was thinking about building an enclosure for my table (to limit dust/fumes), but I am very low on floor space. I think your table mounted curtain design is great, any thoughts on closing up the top as well?
Not super practical to close the top IMHO, as that’s where the plasma torch lead comes from. If I had used drag chains large enough to mount the cable inside, maybe, but there would be other problems to work around using much larger drag chains with bigger bend radii.
If I wanted to upgrade from the basic curtain, the next step I’d personally consider is an air cleaner unit mounted at the top or bottom of the rear curtain to capture and contain any smoke and dust that the water table doesn’t.
It’s official. She’s a living fire-breathing dragon.
3/16" steel plate. Cutting parts for some custom bike trail tools for a local guy. First parts were paid parts for the shop where I work on call. This is going to be fun.
Oh man. Oh geeze. Oh my.
This is addictive. I cut one of these out of 2" thick aluminum on a water jet a dozen years ago. It’s still sitting in a display case at the local community college. Updated the design for plasma, ran it through Sheetcam, and 6 minutes of cutting later I have a good sized 3/16" steel one to put on my garage door after I paint it.
Nice work. It is some fun stuff. But with heat , sparks and smoke how could it not be fun.
Total loss fire claim comes to mind.
Nice write up, Thanks for sharing, I to am interested in your curtain idea, Great idea by the way! Could you post some detailed pics of the curtain system?
I will definitely post some pictures when I finish it up. I’m currently on vacation with the family for spring break. Doing a lot of sitting, rocking, and watching Sandhill Cranes fly around.
The extension cords I tried for the THC and torch on/off induced noise problems, so I think I’m going to make the tray in the left curtain assembly as planned to hold the plasma cutter. I think it’s better to simplify and shorten and minimize the potential for noise or loose connections over time.
Here’s a link to a couple of my posts in another thread about connecting a wireless Xbox controller to the computer to control the machine through Firecontrol. It’s not super detailed, but there are plenty of YouTube videos about Antimicro and how to use it, so there are better references than me. Besides, it was quite straightforward.
If anyone has any questions I feel qualified to answer, I will try. I can say with some confidence, go wireless over wired, totally worth the ability to stand anywhere with the controller and have the pause or stop function available in an emergency. Occasionally it does switch off too soon to save power, I need to see if I can make it take longer before it powers down.
Cool, Thanks for the reply. Enjoy you’re vacation, we all could use one! I’ll be looking forward to your future posts. Thanks again.
How is the Beelink U57 mini pc working so far? You had mentioned some lagginess?
The lagginess was with fusion 360 open, and I haven’t had it open since I initially installed it. I do all my designing on my laptop with Solidworks, so Fusion on the mini PC is more of a backup CAD solution if my laptop isn’t handy. I have very little experience actually running Fusion 360.
When I get home I’ll open it again and see if it’s still a bit choppy.
Did you end up making the curtain system?
Your upgrades are very nice! How has the drag chains worked out?
I did not build the curtain system. Once I put a silicone funnel on the nozzle it stopped a lot of the splashing and sparks I was worried about. Unless I start running lots of really thick material where the pierce generates a lot of sparks, I don’t think I’m going to bother. I do have the plastic curtains, so I’ll either end up using those there, or putting them up around the welding area in the shop I’m hoping to start building next year.
The drag chains have been working great. So far no problems with the mounts, drag chains, or wiring.