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  #1  
Old Mon 15 December 2008, 09:11
DocTanner
Just call me: Don Ross
 
Blue Ridge, Texas
United States of America
Shared Gantry?

My MechMate is 2 years old this January!
Great machine, never any problems other than operator error.
It's time to add a cnc plasma cutter to the toy collection.
The idea is to build a table appoximately 4 feet overall <-- Think "Shopbot Buddy"
on wheels with water table. Then move short table to different area for use.
If the gantry from the MechMate was shared between the 2 tables the cost would be fractional compared to a whole new machine.
Add torch height control from Bob Campbell
Add torch holder.
Move control box and computer to a mobile workstation.
The X cable chain would be too long for the short table.
Fix by adding a short cable chain to new table and quick disconnects or bracket for using existing cable chain.
If the changout time was under an hour this would be feasible for me.

Thanks in advance for your input.

Donald W. Ross
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  #2  
Old Mon 15 December 2008, 10:03
Gerald D
Just call me: Gerald (retired)
 
Cape Town
South Africa
Is it out of the question to put a portable water bath on top of the wood table?
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  #3  
Old Mon 15 December 2008, 10:54
usapaul
Just call me: Paul
 
Fallon NV
United States of America
It is also my plan to have a plasma router combo. My idea was to use a portable water bath built in sections. However your idea of shared components makes me think that an extra Y car with the torch set up would be simple and fast. It would be much easier to build a Y car than an extra machine.
Paul
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  #4  
Old Mon 15 December 2008, 19:40
DocTanner
Just call me: Don Ross
 
Blue Ridge, Texas
United States of America
The reason for the short table was to keep nasty plasma dust out of the woodworking area. Making it small would allow for easy storage.

Paul, I was figuring on using everything above the X-rails on both tables.
Replacing the router with a torch shouldn't be too difficult.

Thanks
Donald W. Ross
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  #5  
Old Mon 15 December 2008, 22:00
Gerald D
Just call me: Gerald (retired)
 
Cape Town
South Africa
Okay, so you are aware of the mess that Plasma makes.

As you have figured out, the major limiter is the x-chain. We go without x-chains, only using a dangling loop of cables - this would be more flexible.

In theory, we could:
- unhook the control box from the wall
- lay the control box on top of the gantry
- roll the gantry & control box over onto another (wheeled) table
- take to another room and unpack.
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  #6  
Old Tue 16 December 2008, 05:01
smreish
Just call me: Sean - #5, 28, 58 and others
 
Orlando, Florida
United States of America
Don,
I drafted a few scenario's like you suggest, but what I came up with was 2 tables, end-to-end with a "bridge rail" area that could be removed after moving the gantry to the other table. Think === removable section ===.

2 rooms essentially, end-to-end with a dividing area. This way I don't have to move the controller, power - just make considerations for a really long swag on the control/power cable.

The removable section is where I would put a spark curtain or other rolling door/wall. This consideration made it so I would always have 2 level tables and not have to worry to much about a level surface to work from. Plus, it kept the dust in the dust area, and the sparks in the spark area.

....just my 2 cents, which in this economy is worth about .00001 pennies.
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  #7  
Old Tue 16 December 2008, 06:52
normand blais
Just call me: Normand
 
montreal
Canada
Hi Don
I was thinking of doing some thing similar ,roling the gantry onto another base with an indexer .It would belong to another thread, They say here a can opener has no reverse.
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  #8  
Old Wed 17 December 2008, 00:16
Kobus_Joubert
Just call me: Kobus #6
 
Dalview
South Africa
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What about a MM that can be towed to site. Simply add an axle under the main beams, a tow hitch on the front and some lights on the back. At site 4 jacks will bring it up to working height. Some bolt on stabalising cross members and away you go. I know this discussion is for different cutting gantries, but the trailer idea popped into my head reading this thread.
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  #9  
Old Wed 17 December 2008, 11:32
normand blais
Just call me: Normand
 
montreal
Canada
And a lawn-mower motor for spindle
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