View Full Version : what is the best way to cut smoothly
09-21-2010, 09:24 PM
i have a powermax 45
and i also have a roller standoff and some straight edges. but those are really only good for making straight to slightly curved cuts.
what is the best practice for cutting curly lines like cursive letters and such?
i can not get a steady enough hand to do them free handed
and so far the only way i can come up with is making stencils out of thick paperboard. but even that paperboard is difficult to cut corners out of smoothly.
so the real questions would be
whats the best way to make stencils or free hand better?
09-22-2010, 07:50 AM
Use the lowest power level you can, as this allows you to move the torch more slowly, allowing for more accurate cuts. If you look in your Powermax45 manual you will notice that you can put the 30 Amp consumables from a Powermax30 in your 45's torch. On thin materials you can turn the power down and drag these parts against a template or just along a line, and it is easier you see what you are doing as the parts are pointed.
Actually the best way is to put the torch on a cnc machine, much steadier and more accurate than my hand! Attached is a metal cut out that was CAD drawn from a picture of my wife and her horse, and the horses name cut out in 10 ga steel. Pretty easy on a cnc machine....these were done with a Powermax45 on a PlasmaCam cnc.
09-22-2010, 06:38 PM
Id love to have a cnc table but me being a welder only as a hobbyist i cant affoard one. I was looking at the instructables cnc plans but none of them cab use a plasmas hand torch.
I did try the 30 parts at 20 amp but it doesent make that much of a difference. At least nt for me anyway. It just takes longer to find out i screwed up
Like every thing else, most of it is practice... You might find a few thought from freehand drawing that might help. Most people will draw a very shakey line when trying to freehand a straight line. One trick is to look at the final point rather than where you are. Seems counter productive, but with a bit of practice it works. Same drawing arcs and so on. Most will grip the pencil tight and draw from the wrist. You get a better line if you relax and use your whole arm or at least draw from the elbow. You need to be relaxed and loose. Try this experiment with a simple drawing and some tracing paper. Cover the drawing with one sheet of tracing paper and try to follow the lines as exact as possible. Then do the same thing with another sheet of tracing paper, but relax and look at the end point of each line segment and try to get a smooth flow and not worry if you go outside the lines a bit. After one or two trys, I'll bet the second method gives you a nicer look, even if it isn't as exact.
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