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Plasma table jobs

CNC Plasma Cutters are amazing and there is always plenty of knowledge to share and discuss. Use the CNC plasma cutters general forum for this purpose.
Mao2000
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Plasma table jobs

Post by Mao2000 » Mon Oct 23, 2017 5:42 pm

Hello all! New to the forum!! :mrgreen: I’m gettin ready to possibly purchase a new star lab industries 5x10 plasma cnc table! I’m wondering how I could get custom work for the machine make money?? I’m having a brain fart as far as how I can get work! Lol sorry if this has been asked before!!! Thanks!

Bobkovacs
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Re: Plasma table jobs

Post by Bobkovacs » Tue Oct 24, 2017 1:52 pm

Cut some stuff and go to a craft show, farmers market, car show, festival, or any other place you can get a booth cheap. Pass out a million business cards at those shows.

Cut some miscellaneous tabs, brackets, or whatever and bring them to automotive shops that don't have a CNC setup, and show them what you can do.

Start a Facebook page for your new venture and invite everyone you know to like it, and let them know that you'll do custom orders.

tcaudle
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Re: Plasma table jobs

Post by tcaudle » Tue Oct 24, 2017 2:54 pm

Its not different than buying any expensive tool. just having it will not bring you business. you have to create the market. It will depend a lot on where you are and if there are other CNC plasmas in the area. The market for decorative cutting varies a lot too. We never were successful in selling much of anything at swap meets, farm shows or local trades day or sidewalk events. Its kinda like going fishing and your meal depends on what you catch. Some days are diamonds and some days are stone!. You will have to try different things in your area and be ready to shift strategies if one is a dud. This list is a goldmine of ideas for both products (Firepits, restoration hardware, signs , etc) and growing your business but each one is just bait that may work for you or not. You will certainly have a table capable of doing just about anything you want that involves cutting metal out of sheets. Spend some time looking at the posts of projects. Cut some samples of things you THINK will sell and then be prepared to have your ego deflated when you find out a customer wants something different! This is the absolute best time of year to sell to individuals.

Mao2000
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Re: Plasma table jobs

Post by Mao2000 » Thu Jan 11, 2018 9:02 am

Hey guys I’m finally back! Looks like some good advice! I’m torn between Star Lab tableS or Arclight tableS also what would be a good size too start with?

Mao2000
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Re: Plasma table jobs

Post by Mao2000 » Thu Jan 11, 2018 9:10 am

What are LDR motions systems tables like?

motoguy
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Re: Plasma table jobs

Post by motoguy » Thu Jan 11, 2018 10:18 am

I have a Starlab, and I would highly recommend it. That's where I put my money.

People also have success with Arclight and LDR Motion. The different tables offer different things. LDR has a water bladder, but motion is bearing-on-tube. Arclight is (was, last time I checked) a bolted together aluminum extrusion. Bulltear offers linear rails for best motion control/performance (more important if you'll eventually be putting a drag knife/laser/router on the table), and welded construction. It doesn't offer a water bladder, like LDR does, but I made my own with a few blue plastic 55 gallon barrels.
Bulltear 6x12 w/ Proton Z axis & watertable
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dhelfter
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Re: Plasma table jobs

Post by dhelfter » Thu Jan 11, 2018 3:18 pm

Actually we use Vee groove bearings. Not standard bearings on tube!
Plasma cutting creates a dirty environment, and the fact we are not carrying a high mass load such as routing or mill work we find the V rollers to be more appropriate for the application. Recirculating ball linear bearings are great till a seal or wiper fails and grit gets inside!
V groove bearings are very common in sawmills, foundries and other harsh environments.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H3VzmEhNgZM


Thanks
Dan
LDR

Metriccar
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Re: Plasma table jobs

Post by Metriccar » Thu Jan 11, 2018 9:28 pm

I would not buy any plasma table that has bearings riding on sheetmetal.

I would also not spend tens of thousands getting a plasma table up and running without having some sort of market or plan.

There are a lot of plasma tables out there and more being bought every day. It's a crowded market. It's no different than someone owning some woodworking equipment. It doesn't mean people will be banging on your door to sell to you.

Mao2000
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Re: Plasma table jobs

Post by Mao2000 » Thu Jan 11, 2018 11:44 pm

I get what your saying. I’m not sure what to do. There’s 2 machines that I know for sure of in my area.

dhelfter
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Re: Plasma table jobs

Post by dhelfter » Fri Jan 12, 2018 8:01 am

"I would not buy any plasma table that has bearings riding on sheetmetal. "
Who does this?

Dan
LDR

Mao2000
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Re: Plasma table jobs

Post by Mao2000 » Fri Jan 12, 2018 5:25 pm

Guys I need ideas for a good quality machine that isn’t priced high that I can start with and test the market in my area. I would like to upgrade to a 4x8 or 5x10 table eventually if the market is good.

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Re: Plasma table jobs

Post by little blue choo » Fri Jan 12, 2018 8:26 pm

The price difference between a 4x4 and 4x8 or 5x10 is not great. The money is in the electronics and cutter. You would do yourself a favor to go ahead and purchase the larger table. You will realize it when you go to upgrade.

Rick
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tnbndr
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Re: Plasma table jobs

Post by tnbndr » Sat Jan 13, 2018 5:43 pm

The different tables offer different things. LDR has a water bladder, but motion is bearing-on-tube.
LDR does not have a bearing on tube it has a v-groove bearing and guide. I have had mine for 4 years now, completely trouble free.
Also they do not have an actual water bladder. You can raise and lower the water level with air but no bladder is involved. Very unique system and it works great.
Dennis
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motoguy
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Re: Plasma table jobs

Post by motoguy » Sat Jan 13, 2018 10:27 pm

tnbndr wrote:
The different tables offer different things. LDR has a water bladder, but motion is bearing-on-tube.
LDR does not have a bearing on tube it has a v-groove bearing and guide. I have had mine for 4 years now, completely trouble free.
Also they do not have an actual water bladder. You can raise and lower the water level with air but no bladder is involved. Very unique system and it works great.
This is what I was thinking of. Perhaps it's a V-groove bearing, but isn't the roller surface just square tube at a 45 degree angle? Perhaps I'm mistaken.

Image
Bulltear 6x12 w/ Proton Z axis & watertable
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dhelfter
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Re: Plasma table jobs

Post by dhelfter » Mon Jan 15, 2018 8:51 am

That is a pic of our table, but that is not "tube" or sheetmetal.
The rails are 5/8" 4140 solid.
There are so many ways to provide smooth motion, it is always a balancing act of price, performance and durability. In our opinion Vee roller systems win on two of those (price and durability), and the performance (meaning load caring ability and rigidity) albeit is less than recirculating bearings, is not a concern for plasma cutting as it would be for something like lathe or mill work.

Dan
LDR

TTS
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Re: Plasma table jobs

Post by TTS » Mon Jan 15, 2018 10:03 am

I would go with the Bulltear. I have a 5' x 10' LDR and I have found the quality to not compare to others in the same price region.

dhelfter
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Re: Plasma table jobs

Post by dhelfter » Mon Jan 15, 2018 10:26 am

Sorry you feel that way. Do you mean the machine, or the cut quality?

Dan
LDR

TTS
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Re: Plasma table jobs

Post by TTS » Mon Jan 15, 2018 4:12 pm

The machine. The cut quality of the plasma cutter is fantastic. The machine has quite a few things to be desired as far as build quality are concerned. I have definitely seen much worse out there so don't think that i am lumping you in with that bunch. The rotary attachment was by far the largest waste of money in my opinion.

dhelfter
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Re: Plasma table jobs

Post by dhelfter » Mon Jan 15, 2018 5:46 pm

Wow a bit surprised to hear that.
Contact me via phone or email if there is something I can do to help rectify things

Dan
Ldr

TTS
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Re: Plasma table jobs

Post by TTS » Tue Jan 16, 2018 8:07 am

I have. Your response was to charge me to engineer something to make it work correctly. What I bought should have worked correctly.

dhelfter
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Re: Plasma table jobs

Post by dhelfter » Tue Jan 16, 2018 9:31 am

Don't recall that, if so I apologize and would be glad to help.

motoguy
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Re: Plasma table jobs

Post by motoguy » Tue Jan 16, 2018 10:02 am

I have a Bulltear/Starlab 6x12, and I'm very happy with it. At the time of purchase (fall 2015), I was down to Bulltear, LDR, and Arclight. All have good reviews from happy customers, all had a reputation for good post-sale support, all are in the field making their owners money. Any of the three would likely be a good choice. In the end, it came down to this, for me:

1) LDR pros: customer feedback, reputation, I'd spoken with many happy users, welded steel design, water bladder/setup.

Cons: Motion. I didn't care for the wheels-on-bar-stock method. While I'm sure it's fine for plasma (as evidenced by all the happy users), I was considering adding a router, drag knife, and/or small laser post-purchase. The wheel on stock didn't seem the best motion option for those.

2) Arclight pros: customer feedback, reputation, I'd spoken with many happy users.

Cons: Motion and construction. I didn't care for the PP-esque bearings-on-plate motion, for the same reasons mentioned with the LDR. I also was not a big fan of the bolt-together AL extrusions. I planned on going with a 4x8 (or larger) table, and wanted something that could handle anything I threw at it. While it obviously is capable (again, lots of people using them and loving them), I felt I wasn't getting the most versatility and/or durability with this design.

3) Bulltear/Starlab pros: Customer feedback, reputation, all linear rail motion control, beefy welded steel tube design, included magnetic break-away torch mount, water table, seemed truly "engineered" by a company who did precision manufacturing daily (as evidenced by the fleet of CNC mills/lathes in the shop making auto parts, when I picked the table up)

cons: Heavier than the others, due to the welded steel construction. No water bladder/system, like the LDR (though it does have a water table). Linear rail motion will require more maintenance (regular cleaning/wiping down/greasing trucks) vs the wheel-on-metal method on the other two.

Pricing? Honestly, I don't remember. I was of course concerned with pricing, but I wasn't going to let it be the sole motivator. They were all within a couple thousand bucks of each other, IIRC. Say, 20% variance.

I'm not saying my choice should be everyone's choice. However, the Bulltear/Starlab was the best choice for me, based on my "unknown" future (would I want to add a router? laser? drag knife?), preference in motion control (I came from CNC mills and lathes, box-ways were my choice, linear rails after that), and robust build (did I mention I dropped a 2k lb sheet of 3/4" steel off the skid-steer, onto my Starlab table? It chamfered one of the corners a bit...that's it).

All three had solid reputations for product functionality, pre-and post-sale support. In fact, I used the Arclight video tutorials while learning my Starlab table, because I felt the publicly-available Arclight videos were better than the ones available from Starlab.

You won't go "wrong" with any of those three. You just need to choose which best match your personal preferences / needs. It's a Chevy/Ford/Dodge thing, IMO.
Bulltear 6x12 w/ Proton Z axis & watertable
CommandCNC/Linux w/ Ohmic & HyT options
Hypertherm Powermax 85 w/ machine torch
Solidworks, Coreldraw X7, Inkscape, Sheetcam

TTS
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Re: Plasma table jobs

Post by TTS » Tue Jan 16, 2018 11:56 am

dhelfter wrote:Don't recall that, if so I apologize and would be glad to help.
I forwarded you a copy of the e-mail. While I do appreciate you wanting to take care of this now, when I originally e-mailed you in October of 2016 I did not get the same willingness to help.

dhelfter
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Re: Plasma table jobs

Post by dhelfter » Tue Jan 16, 2018 1:30 pm

Actually reading the email you forwarded,

"I am not sure what I can do if that is the case. We have lots of machines using these with the same arm style system? To make the arm more rigid would require a second mount. I can work on designing one?"

there is no mention of any charges for making a different mount. The email also ended with a question stating I would be willing to try a different mount, even though other customers were not having this issue, you never responded.
I am not going to respond any further on a public forum, I am willing to either help make your rotary addon work to your satisfaction or give you a refund for the rotary addon.

Dan
LDR

TTS
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Re: Plasma table jobs

Post by TTS » Tue Jan 16, 2018 2:15 pm

Actually, these were the next two and final e-mails and then I NEVER heard from you. I don't mind if you don't want to continue to respond on a public forum but don't try and put this on me not following through with you! I will gladly take a refund.

"Do you have any in Texas that i can go look at?"

"Yes but his has extended rails and his rotary sits in front of machine, so does not use the arm. Once I get back to shop I will look at customer database and find the closest one to you"

After this last reply from you I did not hear back once on this issue.

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