Plasma Cutting Guide--Look Mom no Clamps Req'd
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  1. #1
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    Plasma Cutting Guide--Look Mom no Clamps Req'd

    I have needed these for years, and for years I have cobbed together whatever steel I had around around the shop to do two things:

    1) Provide a straight edge for plasma cutting that was fast to set up

    2) Provide the proper offset above the tip to avoid blow back and have the consumables last longer. Please note the Miller Spectrum torch I have is not really a drag type and it should be spaced about 0.062 off the cutting surface.

    I also wanted to use these without the use of clamps to get in the way. The solution was those wonderful Neodymium magnets. I think the photos are self explanatory if there are any questions please let me know. The magnets are a press fit approx. 0.750 dia. so an end mill works great. The hole is bored a few thou deeper than the holder. I have made various lengths up to about 52" to cut sheets in half.

    I hope this might give you gents a few ideas for other applications.


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  2. #2
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    Newark, De
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    Re: Plasma Cutting Guide--Look Mom no Clamps Req'd

    With necessity being the mother of invention, I thing you just gave birth to a new tool. Looks like it works great and I'm sure it will be copied many times over. That is a great solution to the problem everyone with a plasma cutter has to deal with sooner or later.

  3. #3
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    Jan 2008
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    Sun Valley, Ca.
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    Re: Plasma Cutting Guide--Look Mom no Clamps Req'd

    You da Man! Thanks so much for posting this. I have some aluminum straight edges I clamp down using little wood spacers and double stick masking tape.......yours is a much better and cleaner solution.

    Thanks again for sharing,

    cheers,

    mike

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    Re: Plasma Cutting Guide--Look Mom no Clamps Req'd

    Do those magnets work on non-ferrous material?
    Have we all gone mad?

  5. #5
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    Re: Plasma Cutting Guide--Look Mom no Clamps Req'd

    Nice clean job! Ive always used angle iron and clamps for a straight edge. Will have to make some of these up myself. Thanks for sharing!
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  6. #6
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    Re: Plasma Cutting Guide--Look Mom no Clamps Req'd

    Quote Originally Posted by sn0border88 View Post
    Do those magnets work on non-ferrous material?
    No. You have to use aluminum magnets for that.
    Millermatic 251
    Spectrum 300 Plasma
    Everlast PowerTig 250EX
    Everlast PowerCool W300
    Harris / Victor OA
    Craftsman 13 Speed Drill Press
    ProTools Air/Hydraulic Bender
    48" Brake
    Compressor, Notchers, Grinders, etc.

  7. #7
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    Lincoln, Ne.
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    Re: Plasma Cutting Guide--Look Mom no Clamps Req'd

    Quote Originally Posted by Rugar View Post
    No. You have to use aluminum magnets for that.
    I really like the project! Guess my copper magnets won't work either...

    (Retired) Professional firefighter, amateur everything else I try to do...
    Oh yeah: Go Big Red! (You know: one of the 12 members of the Big 10 cuz we left the 10 members of the Big 12...)

  8. #8
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    Re: Plasma Cutting Guide--Look Mom no Clamps Req'd

    if it's thin, you could place magnets on the opposite side of the aluminum

  9. #9
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    Re: Plasma Cutting Guide--Look Mom no Clamps Req'd

    Nice idea. For plywood and thicker steel/ alum I've got some clamps similar to this. Mine are 52" long so I can do a bit more than a 4' sheet.

    http://www.mlcswoodworking.com/shops...mer_clamp.html

    To do thin material I'll often clamp over a heavier piece of plywood and hang the cut off the edge. I'll clamp the thin material to the 3/4" base out of the way.
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    Last edited by DSW; 10-10-2010 at 07:00 PM.
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  10. #10
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    Re: Plasma Cutting Guide--Look Mom no Clamps Req'd

    Very "attractive" idea!

  11. #11
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    Re: Plasma Cutting Guide--Look Mom no Clamps Req'd

    Does the tip of the torch touch the straight edge. If so you're shorting the tip to ground. Can you insulate the straight edge with some plastic bushings and washers?

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  12. #12
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    Re: Plasma Cutting Guide--Look Mom no Clamps Req'd

    Quote Originally Posted by DSW View Post
    Nice idea. For plywood and thicker steel/ alum I've got some clamps similar to this. Mine are 52" long so I can do a bit more than a 4' sheet.

    To do thin material I'll often clamp over a heavier piece of plywood and hang the cut off the edge. I'll clamp the thin material to the 3/4" base out of the way.
    WOW! You use your plasma cutter on plywood. I NEED to know how that works.
    Sounds WAY more fun than a circular saw.
    But seriously. I've got the same type of saw guides. VERY useful indeed.

    :-)

  13. #13
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    Re: Plasma Cutting Guide--Look Mom no Clamps Req'd

    Quote Originally Posted by rlitman View Post
    WOW! You use your plasma cutter on plywood. I NEED to know how that works.

    :-)
    Cutting plywood with a plasma torch can only be accomplished with a 2-in-1 multi-purpose unit.
    It incorporates a super deluxe wood cutting plasma arc with a fire extinguisher.

  14. #14
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    Re: Plasma Cutting Guide--Look Mom no Clamps Req'd

    You almost got me to spit soda all over my keyboard!

  15. #15
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    Re: Plasma Cutting Guide--Look Mom no Clamps Req'd

    I wish I had a bottle of compressed air at the house right now. I'd be tempted to break out the Powermax 1000, crank it up to max, set it on the expanded metal setting and see if I could go thru the 1/8" plywood with a sheet steel cover.
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    No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!

    Ronald Reagan

  16. #16
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    Re: Plasma Cutting Guide--Look Mom no Clamps Req'd

    Quote Originally Posted by DSW View Post
    I wish I had a bottle of compressed air at the house right now. I'd be tempted to break out the Powermax 1000, crank it up to max, set it on the expanded metal setting and see if I could go thru the 1/8" plywood with a sheet steel cover.
    I've 'cut' through some 2x4s that I had supporting the metal I was cutting. Not so much a cut as an instant strip of flaming wood. There's nothing like molten metal to start fires.

    Dynasty200DX w/coolmate1
    MM210
    MM Vintage
    ESAB miniarc161lts
    Lincoln AC225
    Victor O/A, Smith AW1A
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    Rage3
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    9" SB
    AEAD-200LE

  17. #17
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    Re: Plasma Cutting Guide--Look Mom no Clamps Req'd

    Quote Originally Posted by AndyA View Post
    I've 'cut' through some 2x4s that I had supporting the metal I was cutting. Not so much a cut as an instant strip of flaming wood. There's nothing like molten metal to start fires.
    It's not so much the molten metal, as it is the 10,000F or so plasma jet!

    With the added bonus of 5+ cfm of compressed air being blown into things as well.
    The best laid schemes ... Gang oft agley ...

  18. #18
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    Re: Plasma Cutting Guide--Look Mom no Clamps Req'd

    Those are some pretty nice guides! I'd like to purchase a set from you. How much for a 12", 36", and 52" set of three? I'll pay shipping of course. -thursma@hotmail.com

  19. #19
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    Willis, Texas
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    Re: Plasma Cutting Guide--Look Mom no Clamps Req'd

    Very nice indeed!

    Could you link to your source for the magnets?

    Also as I have the same plasma cutter, what are the heights that you used for the magnet block and the flat bar?
    Chris

    Lincoln Pro Mig 180T
    Miller Spectrum 375

  20. #20
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    Re: Plasma Cutting Guide--Look Mom no Clamps Req'd

    it's probably to late to patent it.......There go's a million out the window.............

  21. #21
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    Re: Plasma Cutting Guide--Look Mom no Clamps Req'd

    Knack--I got the magnets from Lee Valley Tools, these are the 3/4" dia version. There are also plenty of suppliers on the net. if you do a search for rare earth magnets, you'll find a lot of other uses for these. Here's the link.

    http://www.leevalley.com/US/wood/pag...363,42348&ap=1

    The lower piece is 0.375 (magnet insert) by 1" wide 1018 CR, the top is 0.125 also 1080 CR 1.5 wide. This gives an offset of about 0.060 thou, which is about right for this amperage. Higher amps you might go a bit more of a gap.

    skidaddy---Thanks for asking about a set, these are one off jobs and I've got about 8 hrs into them, my time is free, but my machine time is $90/Hr, you wouldn't want to spend that kind of money on these. But thanks for asking.

    1awert1--the story of my life......day late and dollar short.

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