Introduction: How to Make a Plasma Cutting Station | DIY

So I recently acquired a new plasma cutter, which is totally going to revolutionize my workflow. But in order to use these guys you need a surface for your material that won't reflect the arc back towards the workpiece, so I designed and build this guy, which has removeable slats that can be easily removed and replaced.

First off I want to thank all of my patrons, you guys are awesome, and you sure help me to justify making video content! If you want to be a part of my Patreon party here is my page :)

If you guys like this sort of thing, please check out my website www.zhfabrications.com and also sign up for my newsletter.

Also, if you are interested in the sketchup file for this table: https://www.zhfabrications.com/store/

Tools and products used:

Lincoln Electric 375 Air Plasma Cutter

Material hauler - 1961 Chevy Apache :)

DEWALT DW872 Cold Saw

Sharpie (12 pk)

Dewalt 20V circular saw

General tools digital bevel guage

Dewalt Flexvolt Angle Grinder

Lincoln Electric 140C Mig Welder

Swanson Speed Square

Abrasive discs(Empire Abrasives)

Dewalt Trigger clamp

Boiled Linseed Oil

Step 1: Materials

Alright, so here is all of the raw material from the local steel joint.

The dimensions of the cart are 2'x3'x3'. I used 1-1/2" square tubing for the frame and legs, 1/8" flat stock for the slats, 3/4" square for the lower supports, and 18 gauge cold rolled sheet for the funnel and lower shelf.

Step 2:

So the first step was using my steel cold saw to cut the frame to length.

Tools used:
DEWALT DW872 Cold Saw

Step 3: Cutting the Slots

The next step was probably the most tedious, I had to make a little 45 degree angle jig with two wood blocks so that I could cut the top of the frame half way through to allow me to drop in the 1/8" slats in the top. This worked well but took a little while as the saw kerf is a hair less than 1/8" so I had to tap it over a hair after each cut to widen it.

Tools used:

DEWALT DW872 Cold Saw

Step 4: Welding the Top

With the slots cut and the frame dimensioned it was time to weld it up. I am using a Lincoln Electric 140C MIG welder.

Tools used:

Lincoln Electric 140C Mig Welder

Swanson Speed Square

Step 5: Test Fitting

Testing everything out--success. After this I welded up a length of 1/8"x1/2" flat stock below the slots so that they would sit flush with the top. I did this because I'll often be cutting pieces larger than the table and--well, it just wouldn't work well if the work surface was below the frame.

Step 6: Welding on the Legs

On to the legs, These are 28-1/4" tall, although depending on what height you build yours as well as how tall of casters you use, this will probably change.

Tools used:
Lincoln Electric 140C Mig Welder

Swanson Speed Square

Step 7: The Bottom Shelf

The next step was to fabricate the support for what is to be the bottom shelf of the plasma cart, this will sit in between the four legs--hopefully.

Tools used:
Lincoln Electric 140C Mig Welder

Swanson Speed Square

Step 8: Installing the Shelf

And it does! After this small victory, I welded this support to the bottom of the frame.

Step 9:

With the bottom support welded on it was time for the casters.

I did some shopping both online and locally and I surprisingly found that the best quality and price I could find on casters were the little locking 3" casters they sell at home depot--so that's what I used.

Tools used:
Lincoln Electric 140C Mig Welder

Step 10: The Funnel

Onto the funnel. I bought an entire sheet of 20g cold rolled sheet metal for both the funnel and the lower shelf, I think I ended up using about 5/8 of the sheet.

Step 11: Cutting Out the Pieces for the Funnel

Using my new Lincoln Electric 375 air plasma cutter to cut out the pieces for the funnel. In the past I would have used my Beverly shear for this--this is so much better, the edge looks like a factory cut!

Tools used:
Lincoln Electric 375 Air Plasma Cutter

Step 12: Installing the Funnel

And here I am installing the funnel into the bottom of the top(that sounds weird) of the table. The funnel will direct all the hot mess into a container; you know, like a--funnel.

Step 13: Shelf Supports

Welding the 3/4" square tubing across the shelf frame. This should add some support so that the sheet metal doesn't sag in the middle.

Tools used:

Lincoln Electric 140C Mig Welder


Dewalt Flexvolt Angle Grinder

Step 14: Attaching the Shelf Sheet.

After welding in the supports and grinding them flush, I attached the sheet metal with a series of tack welds. No reason to be ridiculous and run a continuous bead!

Tools used:
Lincoln Electric 140C Mig Welder

Step 15: The Handle

And the handle. No cart is complete without a handle! Here I actually used 3/4" solid for the actual grip and used more 3/4" tubing for to connect it to the cart. I just can't stand seeing open tubing, and I hate cutting and welding plate to seal it, so--this was the easiest way to do it.

Tools used:
Lincoln Electric 140C Mig Welder

Dewalt Trigger clamp

Step 16: Bells and Whistles

I welded on three hooks, two for the torch and power cable, and another for the ground clamp. I also added a tab for the ground clamp that I made with a 3" off cut of 1"x1" angle iron.

Tools used:
Lincoln Electric 140C Mig Welder

Dewalt Flexvolt Angle Grinder

Step 17: Rust Prevention

This thing is going to get abused, so there is no reason to paint it, plus paint doesn't conduct electricity. I've found that coating steel with boiled linseed oil does a surprisingly good job of keeping rust at bay. I figure if I hit it with some oil every 6 months or so it'll be fine.

Products used:
Boiled Linseed Oil

Step 18: All Finished!

And here we are with the finished product. I'm very happy with the way this turned out. It was actually a pretty simple build that I was able to knock out in 2 fairly casual days. I'm trying to think of what else there is to say. After using this guy a bit, I've found that It's really only necessary to have slats every 4" vs every 2" but hey, they pop out easy so I guess I just have more options.

Let me know what you think, and/or any questions you may have.

Lincoln actually contacted me and told me that they have a promotion on their plasma machines here

I want to thank all of my patrons, you guys are awesome, and you sure help me to justify making video content!

If you guys like this sort of thing, please check out my website www.zhfabrications.com and you can also sign up for my newsletter for product & merch discounts, and common Q&A.

Also, if you are interested in the sketchup file for this table: https://www.zhfabrications.com/store/

And one more time, here are the tools and products I used

Lincoln Electric 375 Air Plasma Cutter

Material hauler - 1961 Chevy Apache :)

DEWALT DW872 Cold Saw

Sharpie (12 pk)

Dewalt 20V circular saw

General tools digital bevel guage

Dewalt Flexvolt Angle Grinder

Lincoln Electric 140C Mig Welder

Swanson Speed Square

Abrasive discs(Empire Abrasives)

Dewalt Trigger clamp

Boiled Linseed Oil

Comments

author
Dui ni shuo de dui (author)2017-05-26

Looks great, very nice build!

author

Thank you!

About This Instructable

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Bio: My name is Zack, I'm a full time craftsman. I am incredibly fortunate to be able to do what I love full time--turning ideas ... More »
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