cutting out patterns?

michael_loomis

Well-Known Member
what are low end ways to cut out decent patterns for fabbing parts , gussets , trusses etc. ? i'd imagine a plain old torch is pretty rough ? plasma cutter ? are those expensive ?
 

Dylan

Well-Known Member
Water is way expensive. You can laser up to 3/8” and the newer machines can do ½”
Many of the laser places have scanners, you can cut a paper template or even an existing part can be scanned. If you need thicker pieces you have to water jet though.
If your doing home fab and/or only a couple of parts a band saw and some hole saws will do. Even a jig saw w/ a good metal cutting blade will do.


“Those of you who think you know so much really annoy those of us who do!”
 

AllwaysRcn

Well-Known Member
Hourly rate on a WaterJet machine is less than hourly rate on a Laser. You have to write a program for each. (DXF file)
 

ntsqd

Well-Known Member
Local guy up here has a CNC retrofit kit on his plasma pattern cutter. Works off of a scanned photocopy or takes in a .dxf file.

TS

I used swerve around my halucinations, now I drive right thru them.
 

ACID_RAIN28

Well-Known Member
I got a harbor freight bandsaw that i picked up for $100 bucks, it is for cutting wood but i changed the pulley ratio and got the blade to turn real slow for metal. Purchased a $20 blade and i can cut complicated patterns. i have sliced through 1" like butter

Band saw $100

blade $20

pulley $15

function..............priceless

"THE FASTER YOU GO, THE SMOOTHER IT IS!"
 

michael_loomis

Well-Known Member
cool thanks guys....

why does the band saw need to turn real slow.....to keep the blade alive because of heat?
 

ACID_RAIN28

Well-Known Member
the blade speed for cutting metal is like around 200-500 (i think) sfpm and for wood it is 1000-3000 sfpm. think of it like an automatic hack saw. if the blade were to turn fast it would burn up and you would be no where, but sense it turns slow it is able to rip at the material. the denser the material is the slower you must cut it. on my saw i run a 12-14 tooth combo made from bi-metal.

Ps. sfpm is saw feet per minute, how many feet of blade per minute.

if you go the harbor freight route ask and i can tell you how to set one up. it must have a two stage pulley system. ie a belt that goes from the motor to an idle, then from there a seperate belt goes to the blade wheel. i can send a pic if you are lost.


"THE FASTER YOU GO, THE SMOOTHER IT IS!"
 

michael_loomis

Well-Known Member
cool ....since i work in the tool corral at home depot i'll definately be going this route!! what size is your bandsaw....we've got a Ryobi 9" for 100 bucks that should work , with a 2 year no questions asked warranty :) this is not a plug might i add...HD is insightful , no discount to employees except 10% on anything once a year. like Austin would say " what a joke!!" guess i'll have to find one with a scratch and mark it down! :)
 

ACID_RAIN28

Well-Known Member
sorry to burst your bubble but that one will not cut it, no pun intended. belive me i have tried. mine is a 14" unit. it costs about $219 from harbor f

"THE FASTER YOU GO, THE SMOOTHER IT IS!"
 

michael_loomis

Well-Known Member
k thanks for the info , ill check out the 14" Ridgid.
 

ntsqd

Well-Known Member
My HF metal cutting Horiz. bandsaw cost about $160. Has three speed ranges. As I recall they are 65 sfpm, 125 sfpm, & 300 sfpm. I can stand it up and use it as a verticle saw (with a really small table) for free form cutting.

TS

I used swerve around my halucinations, now I drive right thru them.
 

ACID_RAIN28

Well-Known Member
That was the saw i was originally going to buy but i cam across this one for cheep, and i thought that when in vertical, the table would not be big enough to handle my patterns. ?what kind of blade do you use, ie size, tooth pitch, etc,. and does it work good for cutting stock?

"THE FASTER YOU GO, THE SMOOTHER IT IS!"
 

Tom_Willis

Well-Known Member
and hang on to the receipt. HF probably sells some stuff that can't disappoint you, (like a chisel, nail bag or scissors, maybe even a blue plastic tarp), but anything that has moving parts on it, or a motor, that's a gamble. Their return rate is pretty high for tools.... BTW, one time as I walked in there a customer was screaming at a clerk about his new chain saw. It seems it wouldn't cut properly. The clerk was patient, quiet, calm, while the customer proceeded to act like a full on psycho. When the customer finally ran out of steam, (actually stopped to catch his breath between rants), the clerk calmly explained to this fool that THE CHAIN WAS ON BACKWARDS!
 

CRAIG_HALL

Well-Known Member
MICHAEL, I HAVE BOTH A LASER AND A WATER JET AT MY SHOP YES LASER IS MORE PER HOUR, BUT IT DOES CUT ALOT FASTER THAN A WATER JET ACCURACY IS THE SAME ON BOTH. OUR LASER CAN CUT 3/4" STEEL. WATER JET CAN CUT 4" THICK MATERIAL.PROGRESSIVELY SLOWER THE THICKER YOU GO. WE CAN SCAN ANYTHING YOU GOT TEMPLATES ARE FINE,I CAN USUALLY WATER JET PARTS WITH A QUICK TURNAROUND MUCH FASTER THAN OUR LASER.

CRAIG
 

sirhk100

Well-Known Member
Outta curiosity what kinda speeds are you able to cut say 1/4" material with those water jets and laser cutters. I work for RCD and we run 5 plasma tables and have two more on order. Off the top of my head I want to say that we're cutting about 100"s per minute on each machine. (is that realistic or is my off the top of my head number way off, 1/4" material) Personally I think we should've saved the money and went to a laser or water. WAY cleaner, kerf is pretty much not an issue at least for what we'd be doing, no prep for forming and welding (right?), and cut faster (I think?). We're a low tech company though and the owner is set with the old technology. I do the programming for the CNC plasmas, CNC Amada Punch, and a CNC mill that we have.

Khris

'92 Ford Exploder (work in progress)
 

CRAIG_HALL

Well-Known Member
KHRIS, Off the top of my head I couldn't give you a ipm but your defenietly right about the secondary cleanup,none. Water jets do leave a slight bur on the back side but its tolerable. Laser is way faster than plasma,but water jet has comparable speed I'd guess .I personally don't run the laser but the water jet I do.Great machine to have to complement a laser for prototyping or for making only a couple of parts.Also a simple machine to use we have an OMAX 55100 and the laser is a 3000 watt BYSTRONIC with a second machine on the way. Does RCD build all parts start to finish?

Noticed you lived in Ramona I grew up there moved away around 89'

CRAIG HALL
 

AllwaysRcn

Well-Known Member
The only downfall to Waterjet machines is the bed size. 100 inches max length on our Omax's. Our Lasers have 2 240" beds each. As long as you don't need to nest a full sheet of Mat'l, the water jet's are awesome. Hey craig, are you interested a Garnet removal system for your Omax. P.M. me for details.
 

ntsqd

Well-Known Member
"what kind of blade do you use, ie size, tooth pitch, etc,. and does it work good for cutting stock? "

The only answer I can give you on blade size w/o going up to the shop & looking is "the one on the wall." I believe it's an .025" thick, ~48" long blade. Most of the time it has a blade of about 16-18 tpi. When we first got it my former employer had to tweak with the guides to get it cutting straight. Since then it's been trouble free. The brand name on it is "Rong Fu".

TS

I used swerve around my halucinations, now I drive right thru them.
 
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