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New To Me Plasma Cutter, And My Homemade Circle Guide


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#1 Ryan313 OFFLINE  

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Posted August 09, 2013 - 09:46 PM

In another thread HERE, I told you guys I had bought myself something for my birthday. I later reviled it was a plasma cutter. It is a Miller Spectrum 375, and I bought it from member Chris M. He shipped it out a couple days ago, and it arrived around 3 o'clock today. Yesterday, I built a cart for it, since a manual Chris sent me had the dimensions in it. Here it is sitting on its new cart!

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The plasma cutter is happy in its new home! You can see how small it is compared to my welders.

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The first thing I am going to cut out, are circles for my Power King Dump Tractor Project. Since I can not clamp something to the plate for a guide when cutting circles, I decided to make a guide. The first thing I made, was the pivot point. The first thing I did, was cut the end of a nail off.

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Then, I used a piece of 3/4 round bar, and drilled a hole in the end, and then one in the side that would intersect with the other hole. In the hole on the end, I put the nail.

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With the nail in place, I plug welded the hole in the side to hold the nail in.

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Since I did not want the blob on the side, I ground it down.

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The last thing I did to the handle, was cut out a notch and weld a nut over the notch.

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Now, on to the part that holds the torch! I tried to find something that would fit over the cup nicely, but could not find anything at Home Depot, or another hardware store. So, I decided to go home and see what I could find there. It turns out, that a big lug nut works almost perfect! There is still some movement, but not a lot. Now that I knew what I would be using to keep the torch in place the rest went pretty easily. I welded a 1/4" rod to the lug nut, that would connect it to the handle. Since the plasma cutter's torch does not have a drag tip, I needed something to keep it at a set height. In order to do this, I welded two pieces of angle iron t other nut and drilled a hole in each. Through the hole went a  screw with a nut on each side of the angle iron to keep it in place. I did not want to use hex bolts, as I thought the heads would hang up easier then he curved screw head. Also, I put the height screws so the inside, so that if I am working close to the edge on a sheet of metal, they will not fall off the edge.

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Here is the entire unit.

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I tried it out on a couple pieces of sheet metal, and it worked great! The slight movement of the torch in the lug nut caused on circle to not line up, but it was only off about a 1/16 of an inch.

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To buy a new circle guide, it cost about $130 online, which is WAY more then I want to pay for something I can make! All I had to buy for the guide was the 1/4" rod, and the cost a whopping $2.50! Factor in the electricity used for the welder and plasma cutter, the gas to run the compressor, and the other odds and ends, this cost me about 3 bucks to make!


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#2 olcowhand OFFLINE  

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Posted August 09, 2013 - 09:59 PM

Your younger arms/hands are sure steadier than mine are.  I can barely cut legible words with my cutter.  Always intended to make a circle attachment, but never gotten around to it.


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#3 chris m OFFLINE  

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Posted August 09, 2013 - 10:02 PM

It is so... strange seeing it in your shop! I miss it already :boo_hoo:

 

I knew you'd be playing with it as soon as it arrived LOL. You are so... going to love that thing!!!

 

Great idea for the circle cutter! I think I'll go make one right now for mine! Oh... wait never mind :poke: :D


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#4 jdslednut OFFLINE  

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Posted August 10, 2013 - 12:43 AM

Nice little gadget! I'll have to sick a few kids on that plan when school starts.


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#5 KennyP ONLINE  

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Posted August 10, 2013 - 05:17 AM

Nice circle cutter, Ryan! Like the cart for it too!


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#6 JDBrian OFFLINE  

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Posted August 10, 2013 - 05:58 AM

Awesome build Ryan! Great use of what's on hand to get the job done. 


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#7 LilysDad ONLINE  

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Posted August 10, 2013 - 06:54 AM

Do you have to hold the center upright while using it? How about a magnet?


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#8 daytime dave OFFLINE  

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Posted August 10, 2013 - 07:57 AM

Very ingenious Ryan.  Nice work on the cart and circle cutter.  I like the GTtalk on the one circle cut out.  Congratulations on your new tool.


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#9 olcowhand OFFLINE  

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Posted August 10, 2013 - 08:12 AM

You got my thinker working Ryan.  I have my magnetic bases for my dial indicators which have a post on top that I can slide my gauge mounts off.  All I'd need is to make a torch holder & a longer shaft to the holder.  I can use one of the gauge shaft holders to swivel, just leaving them loose instead of tightened as when using the gauges.  Oughta work fine, long as the magnetic bases are strong enough.


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#10 JRJ OFFLINE  

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Posted August 10, 2013 - 08:52 AM

When I was in the service I went through welding school and learned all the welding methods out at the time but the plasma cutter was not out or invented as far as I know, like other ways to weld. The most modern we had to  learn with was inter gas welding which I really love but our welding was all piece work.

 

Your cart looks like it will do your job and the circle cutter adapter is a darn good idea, enjoy the cutter and just watch the eyes.

 

 

Dick


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#11 TomLGT195 OFFLINE  

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Posted August 10, 2013 - 03:31 PM

Nice addition to your collection . I received the 625 extreme for Father's Day , they open a whole new option to custom fabrication. Nice job on the circle cutter.

Edited by TomLGT195, August 10, 2013 - 03:32 PM.

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#12 Sawdust OFFLINE  

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Posted August 13, 2013 - 09:37 PM

Nice job on the circle cutter & the cart....thanks for sharing.


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#13 Alc ONLINE  

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Posted August 14, 2013 - 05:42 AM

Nice plasma cutter and great job with the circile jig :thumbs:    



#14 LilysDad ONLINE  

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Posted August 14, 2013 - 07:20 AM

I have used a straight edge with an acetylene torch and found that it made a much smoother cut than free hand.



#15 101 senior OFFLINE  

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Posted August 14, 2013 - 02:49 PM

While I don't own one, it is amazing to see what you made.






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