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Thread: Expanding CNC plasma table

  1. #1
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    Expanding CNC plasma table

    I’ve had the Langmuir crossfire shown below for a few months now. I’ve gotten a lot of use out of it and it’s paid itself off at this point so I’d like to improve it.

    My plan is to scrap the entire frame because it’s cheap. The only real expensive custom part is the gantry arm that houses all the bearing and X axis motor.

    This is my rough design. The stock crossfire can not utilize the entire space of the water table. By lengthening the rail for the gantry arm this can be relieved.

    The other issue the water table is flimsy as is the frame which is all 16g bolted together.

    My proposed design is 2x2 11g welded fully and the water table will be 1/8” sheet.

    My main question is, what’s the best way to weld this thing to keep it as absolutely flat and square as possible? If it warps it produces a lot of issues because the unit has no Z axis and it is imperative the gantry arm tracks over everything within around 1/16”

    I plan to add a third slat holder to make the slat curved but was too lazy to draw it. I also need to upgrade the Y axis to a 1/2” lead screw but will cross that road when i get to it.

    The photo below is the stock machine. It can only cut 25.5 x 23” though the water table is 26x33

    I’m my design the bottom is 1.5” angle and will have an expanded metal shelf.

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  2. #2
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    Re: Expanding CNC plasma table

    Looking at the table you have to go larger there will need to be some design changes, and maybe some electronics changes too.
    I have built a few tables in both 4x4 and 4x8 sizes. Here is a video on the slider system I use. One thing for sure no bolt together table.

    You don't need 1/8" for the water table just a better table base.
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    Re: Expanding CNC plasma table

    Picked up the steel today.

    Going to start assembly tomorrow.

    What’s the best bet for keeping them this as square as possible while still welding all the joints

    I have the fixtures to clamp and tack it all square my issue is the welding. Should i tack the entire thing together first and just do one bead at a time letting it cool fully and hope for the best? Maybe a lower heat setting?
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    Re: Expanding CNC plasma table

    5th Street Fab put this video out a while ago. It might help you in welding the frame up as true as possible.

    edit: Oops I forgot to add the link. Hope you find it usefull.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=872m5surk4o
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  5. #5
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    Re: Expanding CNC plasma table

    Here is a right angle welding video by Jody at tips n tricks

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    Re: Expanding CNC plasma table

    subscribed.

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    Re: Expanding CNC plasma table

    I would be concerned with adding any more mass to the moving parts on that table. Its ability to cut at and maintain plasma speeds is marginal in its stock form (motor sizing / gearing are designed to be purchased at a budget price). Also....will the software handle more travel than it is originally designed for? Great little budget machine for the small shop with one-off part requirements in its original form. Jim Colt

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    Re: Expanding CNC plasma table

    Started the build today.

    Need to grab another piece of tube for the main rail and the last piece of angle for the bottom shelf

    I think i am going to put it on casters as well.

    Unfortunately this machine has no Z axis so I need it to stay as flat as possible for everything to track properly. Otherwise it’s gonna become a lot of wasted metal.

    Also a little unconventional use of the corner clamps but it worked great.


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    Last edited by BrooklynBravest; 01-24-2019 at 03:31 PM.
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    Zach

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  9. #9
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    Re: Expanding CNC plasma table

    Quote Originally Posted by jimcolt View Post
    I would be concerned with adding any more mass to the moving parts on that table. Its ability to cut at and maintain plasma speeds is marginal in its stock form (motor sizing / gearing are designed to be purchased at a budget price). Also....will the software handle more travel than it is originally designed for? Great little budget machine for the small shop with one-off part requirements in its original form. Jim Colt
    A couple people have already successfully expanded it. The main issue is you need to upgrade the lead screw size on the Y axis. The 3/8" screw is barely enough as is.

    The X axis is really where the weight I think is an issue due to the floating arm and I am not touching that from its stock form. Langmuir has said they intend to release their own 2x4 kit at some point.

    The biggest issue with the machine in its original form is the 16g bolted together frame is just too flimsy. It relies heavily on ensuring the machine is perfectly level.

    The software is just Mach3. It has no built in stops.
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    Zach

    Lincoln 210mp
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    2x4 CNC Plasma Table.

  10. #10
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    Re: Expanding CNC plasma table

    Got the last 2 pieces tacked in place.


    Needed a little persuasion to get it right.

    Itís dead square all around right now hopefully I can keep it that way. Thinking of welding it on a lower heat setting.

    Need to figure out the lead screw situation now. I need a 1/2Ē lead screw but the machine is meant for 3/8.

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    Zach

    Lincoln 210mp
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    2x4 CNC Plasma Table.

  11. #11
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    Re: Expanding CNC plasma table

    keep plugging at it and you will be cutting thing soon.
    here is a router table I built for my daughter some time back.
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    Re: Expanding CNC plasma table

    Personally, I’d upgrade to height control before anything. I bought a Go Torch when they first came out. I was given a 4’ gantry tube. Upgrading at least one axis to 4’ makes the machine much more useful. Then I upgraded to THC. This turned the machine from a toy to a tool. I have modified the table and software over the years as needed. I roll it outside the shop doors for cutting, as I think water tables are a huge mess.

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    Re: Expanding CNC plasma table

    Quote Originally Posted by BrooklynBravest View Post
    Thinking of welding it on a lower heat setting.

    .
    bad Idea.
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    Re: Expanding CNC plasma table

    fully welded. It seems to not have distorted whatsoever. Rather than lower the heat, with the amount of welds each joint had I opted to weld the entire table vertical down position.

    I should have left well enough alone but I chose to grind the front legs smooth for whatever reason and now I have to weld some caps on so it doesnít look terrible.

    Unfortunately adding a height control is far beyond my scope of capabilities especially with the unsupported gantry arm design. This is a relatively cheap project at the moment Iím only into it for $200, half of which is the stainless steel top rail.

    I do need one small adapter custom made on a lathe Iíd it interests anyone. Itís very small.

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    Re: Expanding CNC plasma table

    Nice progress.
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    Re: Expanding CNC plasma table

    Quote Originally Posted by N2 Welding View Post
    Nice progress.
    Thanks.

    I forgot to thank you for the video as well that you posted I did watch it. Mostly what I knew already but never hurts to be certain.

    When you generally weld the same thing over and over you get complacent when it matters on other projects...
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    Re: Expanding CNC plasma table

    I'd like to add casters to this but want to avoid using something with a giant wheel. It will almost never be moved.

    Is there any reason not to use a stem caster? It seems casters with at least a 2.5" mounting hole pattern to avoid the legs are pretty giant.
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    Re: Expanding CNC plasma table

    Small update. Had the water table made from 11g steel. $225 for materials and bending. It’s 27.5 x 50

    Casters go on tomorrow and will try to get the seams welded on the table.

    Also put some caps and grinded them down on the ends of the frame. Kind of wish i left well enough alone and went with my original plan to use plastic caps but i guess it looks alright. I’ve never been good at making a smooth transition on the corner where two unequal rounded tube edges meet

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    Lincoln 210mp
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    2x4 CNC Plasma Table.

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    Re: Expanding CNC plasma table

    nice looking work.

    apart from the grinding of perfectly good looking welds

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    Re: Expanding CNC plasma table

    Looks like you are on your way. I just got my 4 x 8 table motors moving last nite.
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    Re: Expanding CNC plasma table

    Quote Originally Posted by Munkul View Post
    nice looking work.

    apart from the grinding of perfectly good looking welds
    I have reoccurring problem with "leaving well enough alone"

    Quote Originally Posted by TJS View Post
    Looks like you are on your way. I just got my 4 x 8 table motors moving last nite.
    4x8 I wish. Maybe someday if I ever move into a real shop space. Can't bring myself to justify the overhead at the moment...

    What I am hoping for is someone far smarter than myself designs a Z-axis for my table. I have a plan to add a guide rail to the unsupported gantry arm already if needed for the added weight.
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    Lincoln 210mp
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  22. #22
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    Re: Expanding CNC plasma table

    I have built a few table and used 2 types of Z assemblies, one uses linear bearings and the other used "V" bearings and rail both worked very well. The first one shows a floating head assembly (both had it) for detecting the metal surface before the cutting operation starts.
    And if you looking for a reasonable priced THC look at the PriceCNC ACHV10.
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  23. #23
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    Re: Expanding CNC plasma table

    Quote Originally Posted by acourtjester View Post
    I have built a few table and used 2 types of Z assemblies, one uses linear bearings and the other used "V" bearings and rail both worked very well. The first one shows a floating head assembly (both had it) for detecting the metal surface before the cutting operation starts.
    And if you looking for a reasonable priced THC look at the PriceCNC ACHV10.
    That is so far beyond my capabilities to make... If you came up with one that could be integrated into the langmuir crossfire I bet you could sell quite a few. I'll be your first customer...
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    Zach

    Lincoln 210mp
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    Re: Expanding CNC plasma table

    This may sound silly but I looked at your table with the Y axis being supported with only one rail. What If you put a wheel that would roll on the top of the outside rail to support it better. That may allow you to but more weight on the Y for the Z axis.
    Here are most of the parts you would need to build a Z axis only the stepper motor and mount would be needed to complete,, plus the electronics. you are only moving the torch and parts up/down so a small stepper would work. These are both about 12" long.
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/SBR12-Linea...pFr7HziGwWd7kQ for 12 MM rods and bearings
    pr
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/SFU1605-End...5zB38Rpz1RqcLQ for 16 MM rods and bearings
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    DIY CNC Plasma table USB BOB Price THC
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    ECT, ECT,

  25. #25
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    Re: Expanding CNC plasma table

    Quote Originally Posted by acourtjester View Post
    This may sound silly but I looked at your table with the Y axis being supported with only one rail. What If you put a wheel that would roll on the top of the outside rail to support it better. That may allow you to but more weight on the Y for the Z axis.
    Here are most of the parts you would need to build a Z axis only the stepper motor and mount would be needed to complete,, plus the electronics. you are only moving the torch and parts up/down so a small stepper would work. These are both about 12" long.
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/SBR12-Linea...pFr7HziGwWd7kQ for 12 MM rods and bearings
    pr
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/SFU1605-End...5zB38Rpz1RqcLQ for 16 MM rods and bearings
    I thought adding a bearing and a bridge for it to ride on to support the arm.

    Building a z axis even with the parts, and furthermore finding a way to wire and control it
    Is far behind my knowledge
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    Zach

    Lincoln 210mp
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    Hypertherm Powermax 45xp
    2x4 CNC Plasma Table.

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