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Plasma torch jigs--what is the best material?

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  • Plasma torch jigs--what is the best material?

    I will be purchasing a Hypertherm 380 here in a few weeks and I am wondering, aside from a CNC table, what is the best way to make a jig for a plasma cutter? My brother-in-law is a whiz with wood so I was thinking of having him make me one, but is wood OK, or it there a better material?

    Thanks in advance for any replies.
    AtoZ Fabrication, Inc.
    Miller MM210--now X2
    Hypertherm 380
    Miller autodark hood

  • #2
    Not really sure what info your looking for. I have made a jig that will hold the torch for circle cuts from a steel rod and small steel pipe that torch sits into, with a pc. that will slide up and down shaft for different radious cuts that sits in a center punch or you could find this attachment for sale from a welding supply source or make one. I have also built a cutting table using angle iron turned up for cutting sheet steel, I use this because I have no shear yet.

    J P Streets Welding
    Jerry Streets
    J P Streets Welding LLC

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    • #3
      Re: Plasma torch jigs--what is the best material?

      Originally posted by ZACHV
      I will be purchasing a Hypertherm 380 here in a few weeks and I am wondering, aside from a CNC table, what is the best way to make a jig for a plasma cutter? My brother-in-law is a whiz with wood so I was thinking of having him make me one, but is wood OK, or it there a better material?

      Thanks in advance for any replies.
      I think it would depend on how many times you plan to use it. Wodd will do for quite a few cuts, but if it is something that you need to last through a few thousand cuts, I'd use metal tooling of some kind.

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      • #4
        I'm a home hobbiest/hot rodder/woodworker. For one time patterns I have even used stiff cardboard on up to 1/8" plate. Usually use 1/4 plywood though (since I have it laying around) if I have to cut a couple of the same thing or am cutting 1/4" plate . The cardboard works good on sheetmetal too since you move fast enough and there is very little residual heat. And then there is 'grab a trusty 2x4 and use it for a straightedge' 1/8" or 1/4" fiberboard should work too. I just make sure the edge I guide against is smooth since the pattern telegraphs all the bumps to the finished work. A good jig saw with the right blade will make smooth cuts. Oh yeah, the patterns tend to get burned a little sometimes.

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        • #5
          Cutting 1/4" steel can be done by "dragging", correct? If so I could probably just make something out of 1/4" plywood with a router.

          Thanks.
          AtoZ Fabrication, Inc.
          Miller MM210--now X2
          Hypertherm 380
          Miller autodark hood

          Comment


          • #6
            I drag cut my esab 550 for all my cuts. Works fine. A jig saw with the right blade may work better than the router though to cut the pattern. The problem with the router is it will really telegraph any free hand cutting to your pattern wood in a 'heart beat' and give a irregular edge. You have the same problem with the router on wood as the plasma cutter on metal when 'free handing' anything.

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