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  #121  
Old Wed 15 April 2020, 02:13
MarkRH
Just call me: Mark
 
Maryland
United States of America
Looks like you spent some time on that panel, looks great. With those good quality geckos and belt reductions I doubt youd have issues, I ended up using leadshine knockoffs the one genuine leadshine i have on the z is much smoother and quieter than the otbers. I'm pretty sure some of the same wire can be used to power up clearpath, but much less of it because it can be daisy chained, then add a 8 core unshielded signal wire.
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  #122  
Old Thu 23 April 2020, 19:10
swatkins
Just call me: Steve
 
Houston
United States of America
Well it's more than official now

I have received the retrofit parts for the control box, Acorn board, expansion, wireless control pendant and a 21" touch screen monitor... I have rebuilt a computer that I think will work well and installed WIN 10 on it so everything having to do with control of the machine should be set!

I drug out the C channel rails for the table and started cleaning them off for welding... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DNLs...ature=youtu.be is a video showing the rails and cleaning.

I was also cleaning off some parts for three bee hive stands and as soon as I finish those the rails go in the table!

I also upgraded the shop mig welder for one of the new Miller 255 units so the welds are going to be beautiful!
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  #123  
Old Sat 16 May 2020, 19:33
swatkins
Just call me: Steve
 
Houston
United States of America
Well..... I've hit another snag

I've decided to make this a dual purpose machine with router and plasma capabilities...

SO ... I'm thinking through the changes I will need to make in the plans for a water table and a spoil board..

Right now the thinking is to drop the cross bearers, DN 10 10 302, 4.5 inches lower than the bottom of the lower flange of the X rail C Channel. I'm thinking that a 2 inch wide, 1/2" thick flat piece could weld onto the bottom of the x rail and then weld to the side of the cross bearer. Then with the cross bearers lowered 4.5 inches I could fab a 4" deep water pan to slide into that space. Thinking I would use a 3/16", 4'x8' foot sheet of metal and then weld 3/16" thick 4"x4"angle iron to the sheet making the pan 4'8" wide, 8'8" long and 4" deep.

Since the table will not be used that often I'm going to make it a drainable table with the water storage in a barrel or tank beneath the MechMate. I might even just drain it out into the grass behind the Barn... Grass likes water !

Now for the tricky part... The spoil board setup... I had though about making it a split table with 4'x4' for each side.. I know if I do the first job will be for something 7 foot long... So that's out.

My best plan so far is to mount the spoil boards onto a frame work of 2x2 inch square tubing and just slide that into place on the x rail lower flanges. I can make some type of clamping system so that it's solid and unable to move after it is place. Problem is it's going to be heavy, large and hard to handle. A gantry crane above the table will take care of that and assist with loading metal plates onto the water table also. But I'm still looking for a more user friendly option.. Maybe a sectional spoilboard say 2, 4'x4' sections that I could slide out of the table or just slide one of the pieces onto the other and use half the water table? IF I keep it in one piece the spoil board and frame is going to be about 6' x 10', too large I think..

Anyone else have an idea?

Do you think a frame made out of 1/4" wall 2"x2" square tubing would be "sag resistant" enough to carry the weight of the 1.5" thick spoilboard?
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  #124  
Old Sat 16 May 2020, 20:38
bradm
Just call me: Brad #10
 
Somerville(MA)
United States of America
A little thinking out loud:

In the original design the sub-spoil board serves two purposes: support the spoil board, and add rigidity to the frame. The rigidity may be affected in two ways here: The absence of that board, and the lowering of the plane to below the C Channel. That may need to be addressed before figuring out the pan and spoil board assemblies. You need to combat racking in the XY plane between the two C Channel assemblies.

Question: how much height do you need in torch mode? Is there any possibility that the pan just slides in on top of the spoil board of an otherwise stock table design?

How much switching out were you planning to do to the cutting head between wood and metal mode?

Also, did Sean do one of these for a college a while back? Might be some info in an old thread. .. Found it, it was metal only: http://www.mechmate.com/forums/showt...hlight=smreish

Last edited by bradm; Sat 16 May 2020 at 20:46.. Reason: Found old thread
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  #125  
Old Sat 16 May 2020, 23:05
swatkins
Just call me: Steve
 
Houston
United States of America
I was thinking that the water table pan would be welded to the cross bearers and provide the rigidity that the spoilboards do. I could use a 3" wide 1/2" flat bar to fasten the cross bearers to the X rail. If I cut a notch into the flat so that it supports the lower flange and then rises up 3" on the outside of the C-channel it would be a good brace for motion in the Y direction.

I have 8" X rail C-channel so I could afford to lose some Z height. All though I could afford to lose the 4 inches the water pan would take because I'll only be cutting at the most 1 inch thick steel. Just thought that it would be easier to put sumps and drains if the pan was below the spoil boards.

My thinking was by lowering the water pan below the lower flange on the C-channel and by using 2" square tubing for the spoil board frame I would only lose 2" of Z and it would be like using a 6" X rail.

I have see where others just place a spoil board on top of the water pan slats. I think that sawdust would pollute the pan and the slats become very uneven from the plasma cuts. That's why I was thinking a subframe for the spoil boards would be better.

Last edited by swatkins; Sat 16 May 2020 at 23:14..
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  #126  
Old Sun 17 May 2020, 05:55
bradm
Just call me: Brad #10
 
Somerville(MA)
United States of America
Have you formed a guess as to how much time you'll spend in wood mode, and how much in metal? How often you will switch?

My thinking is biased with the assumption that it's more wood, so I'm focused on minimizing the compromises in that mode.

Given your design pan size, it strikes me that you have room for a 4" wide sump at any point around an underlying wood spoil board - or all the way around if you wish.

It seems to me that either spoil board panels with steel bracing, or a water pan will be equally heavy to move - mechanical assistance required either way.

So, given that you do have the height to place the pan on top of the spoil board, it doesn't change the table design and thus won't require re-engineering and new experience (*), and it eliminates the dust problem by keeping it below the water pan I'd go for the simple path.

(*) You've addressed racking. Now, how about resonance? Or something else not yet identified?

First mental image is of the 104" x 56" water pan with a 4" x 56" x 2" deep sump welded at one end. During draining operations you raise the other end by an inch or so with either your lift or a wedge, and you'll get all the water down.
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  #127  
Old Sun 17 May 2020, 08:31
swatkins
Just call me: Steve
 
Houston
United States of America
Well I certainly agree that keeping it simple would be best

This is probably going to be a 50% wood and 50% metal table so whatever I make needs to be easy to change over.

Reading through your post I was thinking of the different problems and splashing of water was one reason I was thinking of placing the table on the bottom..I guess I could always weld shields around the perimeter of the pan to further protect the spoil board...

So what I am thinking of now.... As I would probably need a jib crane, for lifting the spoil boards off and placing sheets on the table, lifting off a water table would be a cinch. Especially if I start off with a 56 x 56 inch pan.

I can make fold down lifting eyes for each corner and a jib crane could easily lift it off and place the pan on a roll around cart for easy movement. Since my X rails are 8" tall I can place a 2" frame under the pan and install drain sumps in that space.

I don't think slanting the pan would work as well as the sumps do mainly because the cutting slats would need to be cut to match the angle of the slant so the water level and cutting surface would remain constant.

I will study this more
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  #128  
Old Sun 17 May 2020, 09:16
bradm
Just call me: Brad #10
 
Somerville(MA)
United States of America
I like the way you are headed. I think that if the pan is located at the end of the table, then it can hang off the edge of the spoilboard, and thus a sump can hang down below the spoilboard level, with no spacer needed. If you do this with a 56" wide pan, then the spoilboard is completely covered except for the one pan edge at the center of the table, which might need the additional splash guard.

I'd consider some form of waterproof mat - like a rubber floor mat - that would be easy to roll out over the spoilboard before you crane the pan down on it.

I may have reached the limit of useful remote brainstorming here. Hope it goes well!
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  #129  
Old Sat 23 May 2020, 07:41
WilliamT
Just call me: BillT #111
 
Georgetown, TX
United States of America
Steve, I am in Georgetown just north of Austin. You are welcome to my shop anytime to look over my MechMate and Bridgeport CNC conversion. We can run them and you can see them in action.

As discussed here, I too have been thinking to convert my MM for Plasma dual use. Actually, perhaps in the end it can be considered a triple use machine. I’ve been using mine lately as a cheap CMM machine with great result.

As well, I have an Acorn board and pendant sitting on the shelf ready to implement to the MechMate. Years ago I moved away from steppers to Clearpath servos and have never looked back. This machine now is 100% reliable, well excluding operator error!

I will be happy to share with you my thoughts for a plasma MM conversion including the base table, plasma cutter and controls. And perhaps help demystify some of the rabbit holes we builders go down.

BillT

Last edited by WilliamT; Sat 23 May 2020 at 08:00.. Reason: typo
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  #130  
Old Sun 31 May 2020, 22:22
swatkins
Just call me: Steve
 
Houston
United States of America
Quote:
Originally Posted by WilliamT View Post
Steve, I am in Georgetown just north of Austin. You are welcome to my shop anytime to look over my MechMate and Bridgeport CNC conversion. We can run them and you can see them in action.

As discussed here, I too have been thinking to convert my MM for Plasma dual use. Actually, perhaps in the end it can be considered a triple use machine. Iíve been using mine lately as a cheap CMM machine with great result.

As well, I have an Acorn board and pendant sitting on the shelf ready to implement to the MechMate. Years ago I moved away from steppers to Clearpath servos and have never looked back. This machine now is 100% reliable, well excluding operator error!

I will be happy to share with you my thoughts for a plasma MM conversion including the base table, plasma cutter and controls. And perhaps help demystify some of the rabbit holes we builders go down.

BillT
Thanks Bill... Next time I'm headed that way I let you know...
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  #131  
Old Wed 03 June 2020, 14:31
xraydude
Just call me: Ted #131
 
New Orleans, LA
United States of America
Completely watching this thread to steal all of the good ideas you guys come up with! I have been debating with either building a smaller footprint MechMate to dedicate to plasma or going dual-use.

Ted
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  #132  
Old Sat 06 June 2020, 08:52
WilliamT
Just call me: BillT #111
 
Georgetown, TX
United States of America
Sorry in advance for rambling thoughts. I’m not an expert on plasma cutters but I have owned one, a Hypertherm Powermax 45. It was a great tool and I used it quite a lot on a number of projects. I also used it to cut the steel for my MechMate 111. I have never had one mounted to a CNC machine, however. Please find below my experiences and observations...

Yes, I’ve wanted to build a plasma cutter for a long time. Will I ever see a payback for the conversion? And what are the real cost, not just out of pocket money?

My machine has a fully welded lower frame. But the upper frame and the cross bearers are bolted into place. This allowed the steel to be precisely placed during final assembly.

Bolted cross bearers provide another benefit. They can be removed and reinstalled independently; and can be lowered by inserting dimensional spacers. I’ve done this many times to accommodate large materials. This method can be used to install a water bath pan as well. I use three pedestal rollers to roll the cross bearers from under the table. https://www.amazon.com/ROVSUN-Materi.../dp/B07RSJ86TY

Consider the weight penalty the plasma system will place on the MM frame over the original design. A simple 48x48x4” pan filled with water, material support and work material, 48x48x.25 plate steel will add approximately 600 lbs to the lower frame. That’s a lot of weight beyond the scope of the original design.

Plasma CNC perform best with cutters and machine torches that are designed for CNC use. CNC capable machines are designed with special electronic circuit to maintain proper tip voltage. The machine torch is designed for long service cuts and is not the same duty class as the hand held cutting torch. The combination of voltage control electronics and a higher grade machine torch provide a better cut and increase the life of consumables. Everlast is a good machine and is less expensive than the other big names, Hypertherm, Miller and the like. A non-CNC capable cutter is similar to the Hobart listed below.

Hobart AirForce 40I $1,499.99 50% duty cycle at 40amps https://www.northerntool.com/shop/to...9037_200779037 – Good for hand cutting but NOT CNC capable – the same model is on ebay for $2,100 ?? go figure…

This Hypertherm Powermax 45 XP is sold with a machine torch. But the description on the page does not indicate that is it CNC capable. It is approximately $2,600 and has a duty cycle of 50% at 45 amps. https://www.weldingsuppliesfromioc.c...orch-pkg-88117

HomeDepot has the Everlast 60S IGBT plasma cutter listed for $1,099.00. You can get the newer generation 62I from the Everlast for the same price. They are both CNC capable and both come with hand held torches.
https://www.homedepot.com/p/Everlast...-60S/204629285
https://www.everlastgenerators.com/p...owerplasma-62i

Or, from Everlast you can get the newer 62I CNC Package with a machine torch for $1,349.00. All Everlast machines listed here are commercial grade machines thereby having higher duty cycles/amp ratings, 60% at 60 amps over the Hobart or the Hypertherm. They both have superior electronics for CNC and have great warranty's. So look around.. https://www.everlastgenerators.com/p...2i-cnc-package.


Plasma CNC requires good clean air and a lot of it. A compressor that is ok for hand held torch use may not work well for CNC long cutting tool paths. Find an air compressor that can truly meet its listed air supply specifications. I’ve had two big box store compressors. Neither one ever came close to the delivery specifications. I moved on to Quincy and I finally have a compressor that can provide the needs of my little shop.

Consider the electronic noise emitted from the plasma arc. How will it impact your control design, or existing controls? This link is a good starting point for your research. https://www.hypertherm.com/en-US/lea...nullify-noise/

Finally, plasma cutters are messy. They blow crap everywhere. I have never seen a clean plasma machine after it’s used regularly. This is perhaps, why I have not committed for a conversion.

Best to all. I hope this helps with the conversation

BillT

Last edited by WilliamT; Sat 06 June 2020 at 08:58.. Reason: typo
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  #133  
Old Tue 16 June 2020, 21:08
swatkins
Just call me: Steve
 
Houston
United States of America
I'm considering switching to linear rails as a upgrade... Anyone have a source ?
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  #134  
Old Thu 18 June 2020, 00:26
Mad Machinist
Just call me: Mike
 
Arizona
United States of America
Anaheim Automation has up to 4000mm listed.

https://www.anaheimautomation.com/ma...ear-guides.php

One thing you'll find out is dual purpose machines usually don't work out real well for either purpose.
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  #135  
Old Wed 24 June 2020, 11:03
mike nelson
Just call me: Mike #132
 
Vernon
Canada
Removable water bed

20200624_094045 (640x480).jpg

20200624_094134 (640x480).jpg

20200624_094158 (640x480).jpg
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  #136  
Old Wed 24 June 2020, 15:37
mike nelson
Just call me: Mike #132
 
Vernon
Canada
5x10 plasma waterbed table, hypertherm powermax 65 amp, quick fill and drain water tanks under table using about 6lb air pressure only to fill and dump when plasma is in action, overhead crane to lift steel sheets up to 800 lbs.....table can be changed out in 10 mins for the use of the mill. I can never just leave things the way they are.....have to modify....lol.....I guess it comes from building hotrods for 35 years!
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  #137  
Old Tue 04 August 2020, 23:08
swatkins
Just call me: Steve
 
Houston
United States of America
Well life has thrown more changes.... Sold one lathe and have two more new ones in the shop so everything is getting changed around.... Bought a 20" Axelson lathe with a 10 foot bed so that has pushed the Mechmate down the list again but there is progress!

I found a new piece of C channel to replace the ones I cut, oh so many years ago. This piece of chanel was in a scrap yard, cost 35 cents a pound and has Parallel legs! NO more fretting about making the top rail flatter!
Here is a video of the rails being cut....https://youtu.be/BSzVmU1nb1k
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