This instructable will show you my way of making some of my mom's favorite lawn art. For this, I normally use a plasma cutter with plasma cam software. Don't have a plasma cutter? Well neither do I. Some schools and campuses have one that they will let people use. Or if you're a pro at the band saw, you can just use that.
Step 1: Using Plasma Cam Software
List of common Short cut keys:
Other not so common keys such as circles can be seen in the drop down menus.
P- Cut Path
F1- Zoom in
F2- See previous Screen
F5- See whole table
Simple how to:
1. Get the image.
2. See a part you don't want? You want the lines to be very smooth. Hit B and break the line at the unwanted section. Select the unwanted part and delete it. Connect the lines by drawing a line and hitting k. They didn't connect? Zoom in to where they didn't connect then draw another line and hit k again. The lines have to be a certain distance away to connect. If your piece is jagged everywhere, use the break tool and break the lines about every half/ quarter inch. The red x stays unless you move the screen or hit k, so i normally connect the dots when the lines are so jagged.
3. When the shape is closed, it will turn purple. The goal is purple.
4. Rotate image by hitting r, clicking the image, then dragging it to the right angle, then click.
5. Re size it by hitting s, click the image, then drag out cursor until you reach the desired size.
6. Is it all purple? Good. Convert it to a cut path. Select all your lines and they will turn blue.
7. You are now ready to cut!
Step 2: Gather Materials
Well ventilated area
You Must Have:
Welding Helmet/ Shield
Well Ventilated Area
You Might Want:
Step 3: Cut It Out!
Initialize the machine and you should be ready to cut.
Select the pieces you want to cut and hit the cut button. Common sense: Don't look at the blue light without eye protection.
Tip: if you have a piece in the middle/ island piece, cut it out before the outer side.
Also, use your brain before cutting things out. You want to leave a little kerf room, but not 3 in. You should be able to move the torch with the key pad.
I was given sheets of metal with random holes in them and was told to cut around the holes. Possible when someone leaves an eight inch gap
The last 3 pictures are the ones I cut out
Step 4: Clean It Up
Step 5: Need to Cut It?
Step 6: Weld It!
To weld it, i normally just use tacks rather than a full bead. If you do not know how to weld, there are many helpful instructables :]
Also, use a brain when welding. I didn't and put pieces on before others had to go on so i had to grind off welds :/