Plasma Cutter Gen 2 - Part 2: Unloading and Building of the Table Frame

by Joey Sacco on August 07, 2015

Benco Steel from Hickory, NC brought us a lovely delivery this morning! A stack of steel!

This is our classic Clark C50B unloading some sheet steel for some of our art. The tube steel for the plasma table is just to the right.

Here is the pile sitting on the ground just WAITING to be cut up!

The main frame sections were cut up and beveled, then tacked together. It was getting a little late, so I stopped because I was making a wee bit too much noise.

Here is the pile of goods all cut up and ready for a little beveling, and then ready to be tacked together.

This bucket on a step stool is my fancy way of leveling all the pieces out, using a little tool I created. The little tool is a 3 way jack screw, which can be leveled out and used for items that are too large for a welding table. I call these little guys “turtle feet”. The bucket holds water, and after creating a siphon in a hose, which has been zip-tied to a yard stick, I can go to each “turtle foot” with a surface level and adjust each one to the same elevation, thus creating a perfectly flat and level surface to lay the frame out for welding. It always amazes me how accurate this method is. After adjusting each foot, and setting the material down on them, there is no rocking of any kind. The sticks just lay flat down.

Here is the frame clamped down, and ready for some tack welds. I like to attach temporary gussets anywhere I can to avoid having pieces pulled by tack weld cooling.

At the end of the night, this is where I was at. The main table frame is mostly together, with just a few braces left to tack in. All diagonals measured perfect, according to the tape measure, so I assume most dimensions are within 1/16 of an inch at most. The tracking rails will be adjustable, so it doesn’t really matter, but it’s nice to have the piece of mind.

Then I flipped the table over, welded a few more supports for the linear slide rails, and I made some feet to stabilize the beast. The feet are made of 1/4″ thick steel and pivot around 1/2″ rod ends in order to adjust to an uneven shop floor. The diameter is 5″, and I think they are the perfect size proportionally.


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