Nightmare problems cutting stuff for holidays

I have really struggled to get a couple projects out for the holidays. Besides struggling with the bad child ( fusion ), I am now struggling on the table. I added a water table about a month ago tohelp with dross and I thought with warping. But it seems my warping is 10 fold as it was before the water table. I having head crashes galore virtually ruining my projects. One I had to totally recut 21 x 42 -and even on the second piece I crashed a couple times but was able to recover my indexing with very minor noticeable ( acceptable) defects from the movement of the crash. But another peice 20x20 warped like a pretzel during cutting. I crashed and crashed and crashed and burned two tips. I was able to recover painfulling reindexing my stock multiple times again left with some melted burned details. What I dont get is why am I warping so badly? Yes is cold as hell in my garage recently , so the water in the table is about 40 degrees… could this rapid heating and quick cooling have such a big effect? I mean yes the water is really cold… but in terms of difference of total temp its negligible - i mean when we are talking about 2500 degree molten steel and 70 degree water- a 30 degree , an additional 40 degree differnce shouldnt mean much when you are already speaking 2000 degree difference. or am i missing something… anyone have real world empirical data on this

sounds like really thin materials ?

thin? 14 -16 gauge? This shouldnt be warping like this at 20 x 20 inches

I had more than 1/4 inch warp in two directions. on 16 gauge 20x 20. it was like a huge pucker , push in and it pops elswhere.

In fact , i got the water table because I thought it would help with warpage , though i really didnt have too much problem cutting my 14 - 16 gauge without it - that is what is surprising and yes i also still have metal from the same lot I had before using the water table , so its not the metal. If I didnt know better , I have to say the water is doing it… and its only worse when the water is colder. also I am cutting at 40-45 degree weather… metal is pretty cold// but again 70 degrees is cold when we are talking molten steel

It sounds like the water level is too low, the is no way you should be warping steel that bad, stainless maybe but not steel. I have had bad steel that had tension in it from previous use warp too much to use but not new stuff.
The water should be splashing up on the top of your piece, ya it is messy but it does not hurt anything. If the water is too low the heat gets trapped between the water, the slats and your piece and as it goes.
It is hard watching your torch get soaked but it does not hurt it. Some metals are cut with water over the top of the entire piece on commercial applications.

maybe you could put more water in the table so it’s a lot closer to the metal. I did some 22 gauge and scooped some water on top of the sheet too and that seemed to prevent warping to some extent although there was a long skinny portion that curled like a banana I had to hold down.

When I’m cutting 14ga steel I run the water level up to about a 1/4 from the top of the water tray.

What plasma cutter, torch, amps, and feed rate are you running?

I cut 14g all day long without much warpage… depends on the detail I guess… But, the fact that your metal is that cold, the water is that cold, and your heating it up… Might explain it… It’s not about the 2000 degrees from your torch, it’s how fast the metal is going from 40 degrees to whatever temp and that 2000 degrees heats up the whole sheet… I’d get a space heater and warm up the metal slowly before cutting it… I keep my garage at 45 degrees, but before I go out, I kick the heat up to 60 for an hour. I have not experienced your problem…

I agree with these guys. You shouldn’t be getting any warping. I could see tip-ups, depending on the cuts. But not warping. I run my water in my table to almost right under the top of the slat, about an 1/8”.

If you’re talking about tip-ups, take some slats out with some of the bigger cuts.

As always, pictured will help.

Well, Merry Christmas, I think you missed the whole point of the Crossfire, it is a great machine that has served many of us very well as hobiest and entry level plasmaites. If it were not for the inexpensive, entry level Crossfire many of us would not have any table to learn on. I am sorry if you didn’t see the Crossfire for what it is meant to be before you ordered, some of understand that “you get what you pay for”.
Just a little research show anyone that there are better/higher end tables out there well over what the average hobiest or start up can afford. I don’t know what you get out of trolling this forum but if it makes your butt-hurt feel better you may want to try Preperation H or something.
Some of us enjoy this great little start-up table, it does everything we ask it to do and more. I am not one bit disappointed with this table and I would buy another one again in a heartbeat.
Merry Christmas


I added Z axis, and THC for $500 and a little time, right from the day I started putting it together… Has served me well, and also paid for itself several times over… My customers dig it too! I did not buy this machine for art, its just a byproduct to do in my down time when I’m not making my product. I make those in large batches, then they sell over time, making me 78% profit… And this art stuff… I can make a $250 pile of metal into $1500 in less than a week, at Xmas, every day!




True enough. But just like my Lexus LS is a far more reliable and sophisticated car than my Honda Ridgeline, they’re designed for different use cases and even different customers. I don’t troll the Honda forums telling people what bad choices they’ve made because they didn’t buy the same LS600 I did (also a multiple of the Honda’s cost).

The Crossfire got me into CNC plasma cutting - I had a fair amount of experience with CNC (lasers & mills) so it seemed like a good addition at a far lower cost than a fiber laser for steel. Of course the fiber laser people (at 10X the cost) would probably scoff as well :wink: I’ve had a couple of bumps but never got affected by the quality plague you referred to.

The Honda though, that’s a POS - 2 problems in the first 6 months and I’m going to have to take it to the dealer for service. Lousy Japanese technology & awful quality control. Can’t believe people don’t understand that a Lexus is worth the investment. Not like other cars and trucks.

In fact I can’t believe you’re using crap technology like a plasma cutter and CNC table instead of a quality fiber laser or Haas mill or waterjet. After all you can get into one of those for not much more than 50K. :yum::popcorn:

/end sarcasm

Merry Christmas everyone! Hope Crossfire owners have fun & profit in the New Year. Non-Crossfire owners too :wink: :santa:


Some people aren’t happy unless they are unhappy.

God bless everyone’s Christmas and New Year.


I did top off my water before starting the project, I go to about a half inch to the edge of the water table - and the slates are up another 1/4 to 5/16. so its still about 3/4 -7/8 away from the material… and no it seldom floats on the top of the piece when i am cutting but it did when i first started using it… So i am not sure what changed… Is it possible for slats to grow? or something to change with the water table with colder tempurature? So , i am about as high as i can go in water level. but - it is not floating/splashing on top of the surface when cutting. I may go with a narrower slat next go round

I am running about 80-90 ipm and between 24-27 amps with a 30 amp ips tip

yeah, that is when i am happy.

I think this plays a part in it . I think the water level also needs to come or slats come down. it also could be the exact cuts i was making in the exact shape and size of material… I shouldn’t get carried away - with one off- the previous peice i had some problems but nothing like that smaller piece… just i thought with a smaller piece and less travel - it shouldnt be a big deal… let me work some more and keep you posted

I would love it if you would share the Trump sign.