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!
The plasma cutter is happy in its new home! You can see how small it is compared to my welders.
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.
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.
With the nail in place, I plug welded the hole in the side to hold the nail in.
Since I did not want the blob on the side, I ground it down.
The last thing I did to the handle, was cut out a notch and weld a nut over the notch.
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.
Here is the entire unit.
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.
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!