We have all tried various tools and additions to our armaments for working with CNC Plasma cutting. I thought it would be informative to share “Stuff that worked.” It does not have to be your own discovery but you need to have tried it. You are under no obligation to share where you got the idea, but you can if you want (many times we forget where we first heard something). These are Add ons and tools you have tried and what issue did it solve:
How to regulate fan on pre-cooler (@ToolBoy). Inkbird ITC-308 Digital Temperature Controller 2-Stage Outlet Thermostat Heating and Cooling. I wanted something that would turn the fan on and off at the appropriate time and did not feel the electric circuit of the air compressor would fit quite right. I also have it controlling my electronic compressor tank drain. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01HXM5UAC?psc=1&ref=ppx_yo2ov_dt_b_product_details
How to drain my compressor tank without me needing to remember. Electronic Automatic Tank Drain for Air Compressors. There are cheap and expensive versions. I have bought one of each and have thoroughly tested the expensive one so that is the one I will show: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00273WV78/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1. I also added the “muffler” but now that mine is triggered when the compressor starts, there is no need to try to silence it. I cannot hear the drain release over the sound of the compressor.
Extension for torch firing. This may be taboo for some setups (therefore I will not reference who suggested) but has worked well for me without issues. I wanted to move my cutter away from the table. Amazon.com
Removing mill scale. Nothing beats the effectiveness of the vinegar bath but this works 200% better than flapper discs if need to remove it quickly: S SATC Strip Disc Blue 5” x 7/8” Stripping Wheel Premium Silicone Carbide Strip Disc for Angle Grinder. This disc will remove the mill scale without significant scratching of the metal. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08W42S2BQ?psc=1&ref=ppx_yo2ov_dt_b_product_details.
There are times that it is simply inconvenient to use the vinegar. (I do know that some wipe the 30% vinegar on metal and get quick results for $22 per gallon.) This wheel will also remove dross but will deteriorate the disc much more quickly.
Have a really cheap and simple one to add. Collapsible silicone bowl, got it from Walmart. Trimmed it down with a pair of scissors and cut a hole to slip over the torch. Makes a huge difference in reducing the water splashing up and helps shield the arc flash.
The keyboard arrow keys are used to jog the machine around the table. I jog my machine to the lower left corner and set work home… then using the visualizer in fire control, I jog around to make sure the design fits inside the material. Your process may be different if you have the limit switches installed. I have the kit but have never installed them.
There are other hot keys… there is a list of them somewhere. Space bar stops the cut.
You can use it as a remote to your computer to move the torch in FireControl. Page up/down moves the torch up and down. “2” moves the torch/gantry in the -y direction, “8” moves the torch/gantry in the +y direction and so on. That way you can get your torch where you need it over the spot of metal. Notice the arrows on the number keys.
Oh, I see my friend Eric has already answered. Good show!
Edit #2: After cutting a bunch of 14 gauge aluminum last week, it makes me think, something like this would be worth trying. Since the title of this thread is [Tools and devices I have tried that work], I can’t really say that I have seen this work.