What piqued your interest to start cutting metal with CNC

I thought it might be interesting to find out what peaked your interest in CNC Plasma cutting.

For me, I love to create and problem solve. I have a complete wood cabinet shop in my garage. I have been making things out of wood since my 20’s. Learn some techniques from a shop teacher, my father-in-law and lots of mistakes on my own. I eventually realized that you can’t solve every problem in the world with wood.

I have made numerous trellises out of rebar. I got a lot of praise for them but they had no charm. One time I added some large 4 inch rings up and the top and that really sharpened it up. I thought, wouldn’t that be striking to have something that was actually attractive and unique that fit into the garden/nature scheme (bird, butterfly, dragonfly or fairy).

But that is not what did it for me. I wanted to make a support bracket that required four precise positioned holes about 5/16" in diameter and a large center hole that was about 3 inches and I would need it made out of 1/4" plate steel. I could come close but not accurate enough with any of the smaller holes but forget making the larger hole. For the life of me, I can’t remember what that was for so I just moved on and solved it another way.

Then I saw something on YouTube where someone, could have been one of you, acting like Luke Skywalker with a plasma torch cutting metal. I looked it up on Amazon. Hey!.. I thought “I could buy one of those for about $200 or $300.” I started researching and bought something just a bit more expensive: Hypertherm 45XP with two handheld torches.

I thought that was going to solve all my problems and fit all my needs. But the swift boot kick of reality set in. My cuts were rarely straight and never cut completely through the metal. I honestly let it sit in the garage for the next 10 months wondering if the problem was the torch or me. I finally realized that my welding skills were shrinking from passably mediocre to downright embarrassing at times. That has been linked to some shaking with movement but also some challenging eyesight issues.

Solution: Langmuir came to the rescue. And I mean it really was a true Phoenix rising from the ashes. I am now able to make great brackets and solve problems with metal that I could never do with wood or metal before. And, I found out that my plasma cutter was not defective: It could actually cut the metal all the way through and in a straight line. That first cut on the Langmuir table was a most memorable moment.

I would love to hear how some of you got into this CNC Plasma cutting. Just peel a layer away to see what avenues others have taken. Incidentally, I did a little research and for the first time found out what CNC actually meant. I know, I have just enough knowledge to hurt myself. But for the six people on this forum that don’t know, it means: Computer Numerical Control.


I started my metal working hobby by teaching myself to weld on farm equipment as a kid. Whenever we needed something fixed we would take it to a neighbor with a welder. I remember thinking man I’d really like to learn to do that myself. One day my dad brought home an old Lincoln mig welder and asked if I could learn to use it and fix our hay elevator. Given the option of fixing it or bucking bales up the stack in stair step fashion I got to work. My first few welds looked more like the bottom of an egg carton then a bead…. I got some advise from a neighbor and by the end of the repair my welds started to look more respectable. It wasn’t long after that my dad bought our first bale wagon so that elevator has spent more time hanging on the barn then being used but I still have a little pride taking it from completely useless to a working machine.

I have always enjoyed creating and inventing tools or widgets to make life easier. I have spent hours cutting with torches and cutoff wheels and beating metal into shapes to create my ideas. When I get to the end I usually had a long list of things I would do differently but not enough energy to put it into practice. I bought my first plasma cutter about 5 years ago and loved it… I made templates and other things to make using it easier but it would still take me hours and sometimes multiple tries to get it right.

I designed a logo for my dads farm using a pdf program I use at work. I printed it out and glued it to some pegboard backing and cut it out with a jigsaw and used that as a template. In all I took me about 4 hours to cut this rather simple design. I thought man this would all be much easier if I could just load this into a CNC program and have it cut it out.

I started to research CNC plasma and found a video from NTD racing on YouTube using the crossfire pro. By the end of the video I was hooked!! Now the tough part convincing my wife I could get my projects done allot faster if I had one! It worked!! A couple days before Christmas 2022 I got my pro table. After a few tests I loaded my dads design into the machine(I’d already made 3 for my brothers and my dad by hand. In less than 5 min I had two perfect replicas cutout. Both better than any of the first 3 I had taken hours to do by hand. With 3 little kids(3, 2 and 7 months) I don’t get a ton of time in the shop but having the pro table has been a game changer. I can do my inventing on the computer while I “watch” the kids and do the cutting in my limited time in the shop.

It has been a super rewarding hobby for me and I am grateful to each of you for helping me to make my experience a successful one! Truly couldn’t do it without the help and support I have gotten here! What a great group!! I have often said the regulars on this forum are langmuirs greatest asset!


I was tired of paying someone else to cut out the parts I make for Toyota Tacoma pickups.


I saw an ad for another brand in Popular Mechanics.

I took most of the shop classes in jr. high and high school. I enjoy wood working still.

Bought a Lincoln 125v wire feed to repair side gate. Built a gate to access park through block wall in my backyard. Found I enjoyed metal working.

Then I thought I could mix the two.

When I saw the add I thought it could enhance that idea and maybe be my second act and keep me engaged after I retire in some years.


Thanks for this post @ChelanJim . A good idea to get the feel from others.

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My college age daughter likes it too.


Started with industrial arts in high school in the 80s (when the was such a thing). Learned to weld with a stick welder, use a lathe, mill, surface grinder, basic sheet metal work, and drafting (pre CAD). Then joined the Army after that and went into the electronics field. Worked for big telecom companies as an electronics technician for the last 27 years. Got back into the metal working about 15 years ago when I got a dirt track race car and had to do all the fabrication and repairs. Gave up the racing in 2014 when I moved to TX and now just tinker and make things mostly for practice to hopefully, eventually make this a side job and post retirement gig.