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Last Updated:  05-20-14

Baker's Gas & Welding CandCNC Corel Free DXF HYPERTHERM LubeCorp Manufacturing Inc. ARTSOFT MACH3 PRECISION PLASMA LLC Steel F/X SHEETCAM COPYRIGHT 2014 DESERT FABWORKS LLC - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED- WEB DESIGN BY: DESERT WEB MARKETING LLC    -     Contact Us   - Cascade Metal Designs BUILD PAGE 20

So here we are several months into using the table what our are impressions?

What would we Change?  What do we like?  What do we not like?

If you have been following the build you will notice that the pretty blue slats are no longer pretty or blue and the green water is now black.

We have a fair amount of cuts and time on the table.

We have made about 6 consumable changes thus far and have been getting better than expected consumable life.

Our air filter and drying system is doing a great job of pulling out all of the moisture. When doing our checks for moisture in the final dryer we are not finding any evidence.   

So lets break the components down.

Computer System - The computer system has been working great.  No problems errors or conflicts.  Its fast and stable.

Software - While previous experience is limited to Sheetcam and Mach3 they have been solid performers with no issues.   I have not found any situations thus far where we have not been able to complete a task or found any part of the operation difficult.

Bladerunner Package from CandCNC -   The components have been working perfectly.  I have not had any component failures and the system including the torch height control has been working just like it should.  The system is sound and a solid performer.    One thing that I do wish is that it was a little simpler as far as components.  I would like to have the  digital current probe and the RS 485 kit built in to the main box.    I understand the need for components for when someone is building up slowly, but having one box for everything would be great.   I really like clean simple installs and with this system there are a few more wires and mounting options to deal with than I would like.

Hypertherm Powermax 65 -  This has been a great performer so far although we have not been able to test out its performance above the 3/8 range thus far we are very happy with it.   One minor problem we have had is the shield and retaining cap seem to be come permanently joined and do can not be separated after a few cuts. We have tried putting some silicone on the threads but no luck.  Have to work on a solution for this.

Iplasma Table system from Precision Plasma -  This table is solidly built, strong and a great price for what you get.   This table is designed more for a hobby type environment but is showing its self to be able to handle a medium capacity shop with no problems.   The accuracy and versatility have been right on track.   Due to the nature of a water table and spray that is sent out when cutting close to the sides we would like to create a shield that mounts to the sides to block this spray and keep things cleaner.   We plan on doing a custom build of some shields in the near future.  The base and water table of the iplasma system are great even for a production shop environment.   I would be interested in seeing a modular system for upgrading the gantry down the road into a system that includes linear guides and builds on this great base platform.

Green Cut Cutting fluid -   When we started looking for a solution to add to our water we did not have many choices.   We looked a plain water, mixing our own formula based on forums on the web and green cut.   We wanted rust protection and algae prevention so plain water was out.  The home brews had warnings about cancer and environmental concerns so we we went with greencut.  Greencut is a environmentally friendly option with few if any health warnings.   Algae prevention has been great but rust prevention has not been what we wanted or expected.   Our expectations may be a bit too much but so far this is what we have found.   When we cut a piece and immediately remove the piece from the table and wipe it down we have very little flash rush formation when stored.   We have found that wiping it dry and then spraying it with a metal cleaner before returning it to the rack is the best way to prevent flash rust.  If we leave a sheet on the table after cutting say for a day, the entire bottom will be covered in flash rust.   It is critical to remove pieces right after cutting.

The green color was quickly lost, not that matters much.   We have had to add  water to the table on a regular basis and it is near impossible to tell if we have the correct formulation ratio we are supposed to have. But at this rate and based on the high cost of green cut this is quickly becoming cost prohibitive.

We recently found a company that is manufacturing Plasma Quench under the original formulation.  We have placed an order and will be giving that a go as soon as we receive it.

Steel F/X - We have been very happy with the products offered by Steel F/X  the patinas have been a great asset to our operation.  They color options and choices that we can offer our customers has been a great benefit to us.  We highly recommend these products.


We will continue to look for upgrades and options to this package and review them as we use them.

What’s next?

We want to build the side shields for the table to prevent the splash and mess

We plan to show off some of the advanced features with the software from CandCNC

And we are looking to upgrade the system and add and air scribe and a rotary tube cutter.

Look for these additions in the near future.

This is a recent replica steam boat project.

PROGRESS REPORT AND PRODUCT REVIEW CONTINUED ON BUILD PAGE 21