I’m hoping this question isn’t too general.
I’ll be using my Pro in my little CNC job shop. I’ve had some interest from people for art as well as thicker things like brackets for car restoration/fabrication.
I’d like to go out and buy some drops/small sheets in the most common gauges and materials, so that I can make a good list of verified recipes that I know will make me good parts and not scrap.
What gauges and materials would you guys recommend, especially those of you with job-shopping experience?
I do a lot of signs and small fab work with 14 and 11 gauge.
but trying to guess what gauge of material works best is all based on what you are doing with it…
I am building a 3x72 grinder and it takes 3/8 metal for most parts…
brackets for a porthole design window is being done with 11 gauge…
signs can be any one of the 3 gauges listed…
That seems like a good start- thank you. Do you cut much aluminum or stainless?
I’ve been making all my art and signs out of 16 gauge. I tried stepping down to 18 but it didn’t stay as flat or cut as clean, probably could tweak it, but I have no desire to. On my PM45XP the smallest kerf possible is attained on 16 gauge with the fine cut low speed book settings. I have no plans to go any thinner again. The cost difference is minimal and it’s just easier to work with for the kind of stuff I do and the detail I’m after on some things.
For fab stuff it all varies. My bumper is a mix of 1/4 and 3/16. Light brackets are 1/8 inch.
I’ve only cut mild steel on mine. I’ve seen threads from people looking to get better cuts with other metals, and it sometimes involves using a gas to cut with instead of plain air.
Appreciate the insight. Sounds like it’s a lot of the standard fraction sizes.
I have a Lotos LTP5500D (I know I know) but I’m looking at getting a machine torch that uses the 45XP consumables (including the fine cut.) What kind of kerf width are you getting with them? Does it seem to warp material less? Do you use them on anything thicker than 16ga?
Fine cuts are only good up to 10 gauge mild steel. Hypertherms book specs show a .029 kerf at 40 amps for the fine cut low speed on 16 gauge. Cuts at 150 IPM.
I wouldn’t count on getting those specs with a different torch and power supply though. You will probably have some figuring out to do.
Good reference though thanks. That’s pretty thin That is something that I’ve been wondering though. I really want to get a machine torch but have no clue if I should reference my current cut charts or the X45 cut charts…
16 ga is my go-to steel, cuts great and you can make many things out of it but I never pass up 1/4" plate drops, great for gussets etc.