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Thread: Jelous Post... Don't have one yet...

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    Jelous Post... Don't have one yet...

    I see all the nifty things you guys buzz out with your tables, plasma or waterjet and I am jelous for now. I don't have one, have peices and parts for making one, just don't have the $$ to finish it yet. I know I don't need one for hobby style work, but it would make my hobbies look cooler if I did. For now it is just rough cuts and make it work blend with the grinder to make it look good.

    That being said I really want a plasma table... just adding to the wish list I know. Some of you other guys are in the same boat I know, just had to let it out so I don't spend what it takes to finish mine and not have ANY play money for materials to go on it for the rest of the decade... Ask my wife.
    I haven't built anything I can't throw away. Perfection is the journey.

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    Re: Jelous Post... Don't have one yet...

    Unless you have fairly abundant disposable income, the biggest mistake you can make in this game is buying tools and things you don’t need just because they’re cool. At the end of the day better tools do make for better work but I’d be there’s plenty of guys this forum who would make better welds with a harbor freight machine than I could with a Dynasty 350.

    The best tool in your arsenal is always you. The rest should only be purchased out of necessity.

    Your first plasma table will give you headaches. A lot of them. It is far from turn it on and press a button for magic printing of parts.

    It won’t be fun and games for a while. And it very well may cost you grossly more than you expected every time you blow out a set of consumables or worse mis-cut a plate.

    Learning graphic design or autocad may be another hurdle as well. AutoCAD fusion 360 is somewhat free I’d suggest devoting time to learning it in the meantime. You may find it to be as invaluable as being able to weld.

    Unless you have an overwhelming need for the plasma, just wait.
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    Re: Jelous Post... Don't have one yet...

    I have catia and autocad under my belt, and as I said I am jealous. I don't need one, I want one.. I also know whatever program Lincoln uses.

    My need isn't there, but the desire to build one is there. The knowledge of the mechanical components is here and the programs too... just that pesky electrical system and the cash flow.

    I have linear rails and trucks, they were salvaged from tools we were destroying at work. They are perfectly fine just scuffed, and setting them isn't an issue. Ball screws and motors are similar. Just the controller bits that I am lacking.

    Cash is king and I am a peasant.

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    Re: Jelous Post... Don't have one yet...

    There are things being said that you are glossing over, but are important. Want and jealousy should not override need or usefulness, to many time people buy things and they just sit there not being used. Brooklyn points out other areas that need to be realized when getting into a CNC plasma table. If money is tight jumping into something that cannot support itself is not wise. With that being said when I was younger, I did different things to gain extra money so I was not digging into the family budget. Working overtime, finding outside jobs, making things to sell, and doing things like gathering parts slowly for a project as I could. This may be slow but sometimes as time moves on your wants may change, or the focus can change. Like you said I want to build one and can find some parts from discarded things at work, these may help. Do you have the room for a project like that, without interfering with other important things? Do more research, gather info on what is really needed to build a table, see if there is a local who you can talk with to clarify what is involved with this project. A well laid out plan is better then jumping in the pool to soon, good luck.
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    Re: Jelous Post... Don't have one yet...

    Quote Originally Posted by acourtjester View Post
    There are things being said that you are glossing over, but are important. Want and jealousy should not override need or usefulness, to many time people buy things and they just sit there not being used. Brooklyn points out other areas that need to be realized when getting into a CNC plasma table. If money is tight jumping into something that cannot support itself is not wise. With that being said when I was younger, I did different things to gain extra money so I was not digging into the family budget. Working overtime, finding outside jobs, making things to sell, and doing things like gathering parts slowly for a project as I could. This may be slow but sometimes as time moves on your wants may change, or the focus can change. Like you said I want to build one and can find some parts from discarded things at work, these may help. Do you have the room for a project like that, without interfering with other important things? Do more research, gather info on what is really needed to build a table, see if there is a local who you can talk with to clarify what is involved with this project. A well laid out plan is better then jumping in the pool to soon, good luck.
    Rightfully said... also I do have the opportunity to take material into work and cut it on the Torchmate. While this is not as efficient it is an option. I recognize the difference between want and need too.

    Room in my shop is an issue as in I dont have a 40 80 shop to play in... I am not doing this to make money but to teach my kids how to think about how to build things or what is practical for their imagination.

    While I am jealous of those wonderful toys, and plan on building one for myself (to fit the right size of my shop). There are things that are most important to me... food on the table a roof over the head. Time for the kids and cash for play. But while I want a plasma table I also want the knowledge of how the electrical system works.

    With that being said I will not drool over these nifty things but I will investigate, learn, and watch for the opportunity to build my own. This is for the long game but if priorities change so does the timeline.

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    Re: Jelous Post... Don't have one yet...

    Quote Originally Posted by BrooklynBravest View Post

    Your first plasma table will give you headaches. A lot of them. It is far from turn it on and press a button for magic printing of parts.

    It won’t be fun and games for a while. And it very well may cost you grossly more than you expected every time you blow out a set of consumables or worse mis-cut a plate.

    Learning graphic design or autocad may be another hurdle as well.
    These are all valid points on a plasma table. I built mine based on plans from ACourtJester. The steel to put it together was not very expensive but adding a plasma cutter and the software to run the system was quite pricey. I like art and thought I could make some extra cash as well. It took me about 6 months off and on to finally get the table together and working. The command software and hardware I bought works well but it was made by a "mom and pop" operation and the quality and tech support was poor. I had dreams of cutting 1" thick steel and bought a Hypertherm 85 when all the work that I've done could have easily been done with the 45 amp model.

    Lots of frustration getting it to operate correctly but now 2 years later I have a relatively reliable table. There is free software to use for designing pieces but I like to use Illustrator since I'm familiar with the program and it does a lot.

    My main area of focus is signs although right now I'm working on a couple of weathervane designs. The airplane weathervane is an RV10 that I'm building. I've made a couple for other folks in the shape of their aircraft. I also in the final process of making an excavator vane with the company name under the arrow. Made quite a few custom military signs.

    Not close to recovering the cost of the table but its been a very enjoyable journey and the items I've made should last several lifetimes.

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    Re: Jelous Post... Don't have one yet...

    Not a moneymaker for me... a toy but a toy for later me, no today me. The want is all it is... I want to make those nifty things.

    As I know it is a toy, I can wait.

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    Re: Jelous Post... Don't have one yet...

    Mac I sent you a private message from here.
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    Re: Jelous Post... Don't have one yet...

    I built my own table. I have a complete build on plasma spider on it. Same user name as here. It took me a long time to build cause I have young ones as well as other priorities. I could not afford to buy one in one lump sum. I did kind of the same as others. Side jobs and such to make my next purchase. I use PPLC rail set up and plans. However, I deviated a little from the plans and added my own items I thought would be beneficial for me. I have had my table up and running for about a year now. I am still learning drawings and such and will still learn. It has not paid for itself yet but I hope to be in the black with it by the end of this year. If you are going water table do not use the PPLC plans where they tell you to make a "picture frame and add sheet to the bottom to make a kiddie pool. Get a piece of 10 gauge bent up to make a 4" pool and weld the corners and be done with it. Making the water try was by far the biggest long pole in fabrication.
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    Re: Jelous Post... Don't have one yet...

    If you're looking for something "entry level", consider the Wazer desk top water jet. It gets great reviews from folks on Youtube and isn't too pricey.

    You're fairly limited in size, obviously, but that can be overcome fairly easily.

    Also look up Forme Industrious on youtube. He's a really talented craftsman with some amazing design ideas. Most importantly, he doesn't have a huge shop or fancy tools. It's really amazing to see what he can make with patients and a willingness to get after it!

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    Re: Jelous Post... Don't have one yet...

    If you're looking for something "entry level", consider the Wazer desk top water jet. It gets great reviews from folks on Youtube and isn't too pricey.

    You're fairly limited in size, obviously, but that can be overcome fairly easily.

    Also look up Forme Industrious on youtube. He's a really talented craftsman with some amazing design ideas. Most importantly, he doesn't have a huge shop or fancy tools. It's really amazing to see what he can make with patients and a willingness to get after it! This might be my favorite video of his, likely because he's wearing one of my t-shirts in the last few minutes!!


    If I've learned anything from Scott, it's that perseverance is the greatest tool in the shop, and the hardest one to come by.

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    Re: Jelous Post... Don't have one yet...

    VaughT


    I know that this is ego talking... I want a plasma table. But big three letter word... But I want to build it. I have enough saved for fun money I can buy an entry level table... than have to add another plasma cutter to it.. for additional costs. I want one I built.

    I know it will cost more but I can make sure that nothing moves except what should be... I want to learn how to build it electronically. (That I don't know it yet but with help and lots of investigation and questions I will learn). It may not work out first time and I may be frustrated but success comes in steps.

    I did not learn to weld instantly. I didn't learn anything instantly... it takes time. I have 3 kids still in high school and below. I have time but I want it now. I have materials for the table and the linear rail... I don't have acme rods and nuts yet.. nor the electronic portions. Oh or a spare plasma cutter. But I can with time. I do have access to a Lincoln Torchmate and know how to run it... but I want my own to fit my shop.

    This being said I am in the place to learn and build over time go defer costs. But I will build one.

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    Re: Jelous Post... Don't have one yet...

    Quote Originally Posted by BluCllrPlt View Post
    These are all valid points on a plasma table. I built mine based on plans from ACourtJester. The steel to put it together was not very expensive but adding a plasma cutter and the software to run the system was quite pricey. I like art and thought I could make some extra cash as well. It took me about 6 months off and on to finally get the table together and working. The command software and hardware I bought works well but it was made by a "mom and pop" operation and the quality and tech support was poor. I had dreams of cutting 1" thick steel and bought a Hypertherm 85 when all the work that I've done could have easily been done with the 45 amp model.

    Lots of frustration getting it to operate correctly but now 2 years later I have a relatively reliable table. There is free software to use for designing pieces but I like to use Illustrator since I'm familiar with the program and it does a lot.

    My main area of focus is signs although right now I'm working on a couple of weathervane designs. The airplane weathervane is an RV10 that I'm building. I've made a couple for other folks in the shape of their aircraft. I also in the final process of making an excavator vane with the company name under the arrow. Made quite a few custom military signs.

    Not close to recovering the cost of the table but its been a very enjoyable journey and the items I've made should last several lifetimes.
    Those really look great! I like how you make them from thicker steel than the sheet metal that most folks use.

    Two different friends of mine recently completed their RV10 builds; you should like it a lot when it's done.
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    Re: Jelous Post... Don't have one yet...

    Quote Originally Posted by VaughnT View Post
    If you're looking for something "entry level", consider the Wazer desk top water jet. It gets great reviews from folks on Youtube and isn't too pricey.

    You're fairly limited in size, obviously, but that can be overcome fairly easily.

    Also look up Forme Industrious on youtube. He's a really talented craftsman with some amazing design ideas. Most importantly, he doesn't have a huge shop or fancy tools. It's really amazing to see what he can make with patients and a willingness to get after it! This might be my favorite video of his, likely because he's wearing one of my t-shirts in the last few minutes!!


    If I've learned anything from Scott, it's that perseverance is the greatest tool in the shop, and the hardest one to come by.
    Good video; great shirt at the end!
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    Re: Jelous Post... Don't have one yet...

    Quote Originally Posted by scsmith42 View Post
    Those really look great! I like how you make them from thicker steel than the sheet metal that most folks use.

    Two different friends of mine recently completed their RV10 builds; you should like it a lot when it's done.
    Using the heavier metal helps on my machine by slowing down the cutting rate. Using 16Ga I have to use a cutting speed of 275 inches/min and I get just a little scalloping when the torch turns the corner. I think I Overbuilt the gantry the the inertia due to the weight causes a little vibration. If I was making precision parts it might be an issue but signs are forgiving.

    The RV has been a fun project. Never did aluminum riveting and am getting pretty proficient. Estimate is about 20,000 rivets
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    Re: Jelous Post... Don't have one yet...

    This whole equipment envy is typical and it does not just include hobby types. In many cases it is cheaper to order your material precut and even pre-bent that spend the time and money on fancy cutting tables and forming machinery.
    This was impressed on me when I got laid off from my job on a half inch plate shear and a 250 ton press brake. The company laid me off once they ran out of work. So I end up working for old Howard who was in his fifties and I was just a young 30 year old idiot. So I discover Howard is making all kinds of gold mining equipment with an old bullmoose forklift and a ten ton chain fall on a gantry frame. I asked why he didn't have a cutting table or any press brake. He looked at me with his squinty eyes and a cigarette hanging from his lips and explained that he was be quite happy having other companies cutting and forming for him. He knew exactly how much more the material would cost and if it was cut wrong or bent wrong he could just send it back. He was free of any bank payments and when he made the gold mining equipment he only started if he got 50 % down. When he ran out of work he closed off the lease on the warehouse space and worked off his truck in the field.
    Even if you are a hobbyist you will find companies that will quite willingly cut an form material as long as you are not whiny about speed of delivery.

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    Re: Jelous Post... Don't have one yet...

    Quote Originally Posted by lotechman View Post
    This whole equipment envy is typical and it does not just include hobby types. In many cases it is cheaper to order your material precut and even pre-bent that spend the time and money on fancy cutting tables and forming machinery.
    This was impressed on me when I got laid off from my job on a half inch plate shear and a 250 ton press brake. The company laid me off once they ran out of work. So I end up working for old Howard who was in his fifties and I was just a young 30 year old idiot. So I discover Howard is making all kinds of gold mining equipment with an old bullmoose forklift and a ten ton chain fall on a gantry frame. I asked why he didn't have a cutting table or any press brake. He looked at me with his squinty eyes and a cigarette hanging from his lips and explained that he was be quite happy having other companies cutting and forming for him. He knew exactly how much more the material would cost and if it was cut wrong or bent wrong he could just send it back. He was free of any bank payments and when he made the gold mining equipment he only started if he got 50 % down. When he ran out of work he closed off the lease on the warehouse space and worked off his truck in the field.
    Even if you are a hobbyist you will find companies that will quite willingly cut an form material as long as you are not whiny about speed of delivery.
    I have some of the forming equipment... and if I NEED to I can purchase or build what I need to for the some of the others. Cutting I do have a plasma cutter, drycut saw, torch, milwaukee metal "skill" saw, and a good heavy jig saw with the correct blades. Again this is a want, not a need, but I am also trying to teach my kids how to run they can run anything. I am trying to teach my kids that with perserverance and effort you can "earn" the things you want. But you have to be able to work for anything you want or need.

    While growing up on the farm, I learned that if you need it, you can make it; no matter what. I build tools for aircraft or whatever is needed for production. The framework, gantry work no problem. The electronics and motor work I don't know. This is what I want to learn, (and I am learning through research) I have not started this project yet, but when I feel comfortable starting the elctronic portions of this project I will start a new thread. I started this just to let these guys who are in a different place in life, or doing this for a living that I am jealous of their toys. These "toys" are the next level I would like to step to. I am not envious, I am jealous. Envy to me say's I want them without the work, jealous is OHHH SHINEY I WANT one. That's just me. I am willing to earn this toy. I will have it but the time frame will be skewed because of the earning it... I will learn it. I will know each idosyncrosy that is there.

    While I want one today, I haven't earned it to me...
    I haven't built anything I can't throw away. Perfection is the journey.

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    Re: Jelous Post... Don't have one yet...

    It's no secret,,,,,,,,,,I believe in minialism

    I buy what I can afford on the big ticket items...………..lathe, mill, drill press. BECAUSE I know that the tooling for these machines can exceed the price of the machine.

    You really don't need NEED a plasma table. You can do most stuff with a standoff guide, and a straightedge. And, don't ignore the O/A rig. Lot of stuff can be done with an old school torch, if you take the time to dress the cuts after done.

    And...……...don't foget about the cost of STEEL!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You can tie all this money up in machines, and NOT be able to afford the steel to work on. Steel is very expensive.

    I just got done with a version of a very expensive tube bending machine. Got 'er done, patted myself on my back, and had to go out and buy some stuff to bend. I just about crapped when I saw the price of stainless tubing Bought it (luckily it was an "off" size, and I got a deal on it), but it was a killer. You have to consider all the angles. This crap is expensive!. To be honest...………..the lathe paid for itself on the bender build. But, that's sort of weird accounting Bottom line, it was still money out the door.

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    Re: Jelous Post... Don't have one yet...

    A friendly competitor of mine put over $20,000.00 in a plasma table over a year ago and it just sits gathering dust plus what ever can be piled on it.

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    Re: Jelous Post... Don't have one yet...

    I have a tiny welding business, full time work part time pay kind of thing. I too dream of a bigger shop and better tools. I used the harbor fright 4x6 band saw for probably close to 15 years before I got the Ellis 1600. Only purchase it if you can pay cash and go slow. I retired from my teaching job last year and did spend more money last year on upgrades than I ever.
    Farmersammm and Brooklyn gave good advice

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    Re: Jelous Post... Don't have one yet...

    Personally I would build build it, because you want to build it.. Sam spends more money on Smokes then you will on your table.. Sometimes doing it because you want too has many rewards along the way.. I can do things on my table that Sam would waste the whole day dicking around with. Draw it up. mark out things, and done with it.. How long would it take Sam to layout a complex bolt pattern in steel or flanges.. Done in about 2 minutes here..

    I bought my Ironworker for my personal use.. Turned out to be a great unit for many things..Same way with my tire machine/balancers. It's because i wanted it, and I could of screwed around some other way getting it done.. People are always going to tell you how you should spend your money, but unless they are putting into your fund, then it's worth about 2 cents, if that..
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