American Welding Society Forum
I just got my new plasma cutter and I'm trying to cut some small parts out of 1in steel. I traced out my patterns but my hand isn't that steady so the cut is not as smooth as I would like. The book says that a straight edge must be made out of a nonconductor material. What can I make a template out of that I can clamp on the steel and follow to make a smoother part. It has several curves so a simple straight edge won't work. Also because I'm cutting 1in stock quite a bit of heat is generated so I don't think wood would work.I got a thermal dynamic 81 and it cuts real nice, it's just that I'm not that steady.
Maybe you can use "Bakelite"
And be care for your cutting speed .....dont slowly as soon as you can
Sorry !! I am not good in english.!!
Perhaps a potter could make them from ceramic. It might take a little experimenting since the clay changes size a little as it dries and again when when fired.
After you used a wooden one a while it would char on the edge, the char is carbon which is a conductor.
Use circle attachment
But you just need use the circle attachment Head
You can use aluminum plate.
What we do is use the wheel attachment that came with our plamsa machines and bend a 1" x 1/4" flat bar (turned onto the 1/4" edge) to the shape we need and allow a 1/2" or so for the wheel attachment. Let the wheel attachment ride along the edge and follow the flatbar. I don't know how big (or small) your parts are that you are trying to cut out so I don't know if you have room to use the flatbar turned on edge or not.
Just a thought and it doesn't need to be any special material.
Thanks, I'm going to see if I can bend up something, the parts I have come to some sharp curves and points and I may have trouble. I worked at freehand some yesterday and did better. This sure is a nice cutter. It is the new model JUST out with the iTORCH and will cut 1in for less than 2 grand. I was going to get the smaller model but for less than 400 bucks I was able to get this one.
This link shows an accessory kit (on page 4) that came with our machine like I was talking about, it comes with circle guides, wheel attachments and all sorts of gadgets to go with your torch to help you follow a line and make nice clean, crisp cuts.
One word of caution that wasn't so obvious to one of our employees apparently, the circle guide is a magnet that holds the center of your radius, well if you cut the entire circle out, the magnet is holding onto the part that is being cut out and it will fall through the bottom along with the scrap piece. He was using it to cut out 1'-4 diameter beam web penetrations and wasn't thinking through about what was going to happen when he completed his cut. It didn't hurt anything, but the potential was there.
Further thought- I suspect that the literature would have been more correct if it had said that the template must be electrically isolated from the work. If true the template could be made of anything and then insulated from the work (with rubber feet, a sheet of cardboard or whatever comes to mind). I have no first hand experience with plasma cutters so take this as the guess that it is.
You may be onto something there and I will give it a try. Thanks
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