New from South Dakota

Hi all - just ordered a basic model Crossfire and am anxiously waiting for it to arrive!

My background - I have been a hobbyist welder/fabricator for about 15 years. I took a bunch of welding shop class in high school and shortly after purchased a Craftsman (rebranded Clarke) 110v MIG welder and a small oxy/MAPP torch set that got me by for a while and allowed me to stick metal together in my trailer park yard.

Since then I have moved, built a 30x40 shop and upgraded to a Miller 211 welder, plus several AC/DC/inverter stick welders, large oxy/acetylene torch set, Hobart Airforce 500ci plasma cutter, and a Hypertherm PowerMax 380 plasma cutter. Plenty of air at my disposal, I have a 60 gallon Rolair compressor.

My fabrication jobs are usually projects like bumpers, rock sliders, axle/engine swaps, etc. I am constantly in need of shock tabs, mounts, little pieces, etc that I have traditionally made on my Swag table or with a sawzall, grinder, etc. Most of these are easy and cheap to just order but I’d like to be able to make them myself as well as more complex projects like signs, artwork, tools, and a thousand other things I’m sure I will come up with.

I have some experience with CAD software but will have to brush up on it a bit. I took a couple semesters of that in high school and have only used it a handful of times since - fingers crossed I remember how to use it.

Anyway…looking forward to being a member of the group.

Hi welcome to the gang. I would watch the vids here and read all you can. If you are going to use Fusion 360 I would recomend start messing with it now. Or what ever CAD/CAM program you choose that works with the crossfire. Mach3 isnt real complicated. ( need FULL version of Mach) Good Luck and you will have alot of fun when you get it all going!

Sounds like you’ve got some good equipment set up! What do you do in the winter for clearing smoke? I know it gets dang cold in SD, and although you must be making a fair bit of heat you hate to send it all outside with an open door or window.

Good luck with your machine. I just ordered a Pro and am in the same waiting game.

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Our winters vary between ridiculously cold and pretty mild. Usually I just weld and let the fumes out when I’m done… my garage doors face south and I have a door and windows on the north so I can open them and the wind will blow it all out in a minute or two. If it was warm before that, it doesn’t take long to heat up again. My shop is pretty well insulated so I’ve just been using a 3 burner propane tank top heater the last few years. Will have a natural gas hanging heater installed eventually.

I try to avoid doing a lot of welding in the winter (basically February and March) because most of my metal is stored outside and it’s a pain to dig out of the snow drifts.

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Ooof. I’ve got a little of my stainless and aluminum outside still because I haven’t finished getting everything put away from our move this spring. I definitely aim to have it in before winter.

I’ve gone the mini-split heat pump route for garage HVAC. AC in the shop has probably saved my life on some of the hot muggy summer days.

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