On Mon, 12 Jan 2004 13:34:40 -0000, "John Manders"
They're quite impressive. Cut quality is good, even with a beginner
using it. Cutting with oxy-acetylene has a tendency to melt its way
through, rather than burning, unless you're skilful with it.
Running costs aren't as cheap as oxy-propane though, especially with
our petrol costs. Given that most of your cost is for the oxygen, this
isn't a big deal anyway.
The main downside to it is that you can't heat metal, and certainly
not weld with it. I have a 3-cylinder rig and that allows me to do
pretty much anything, just by swapping torch parts around. I buy the
propane second-hand, so unless I'm cutting and using a lot of oxygen,
I barely notice the gas costs.
The best thing for cutting steel is a plasma cutter, no question. The
little one I use can just about sever 1/2" (but not too happily). If I
was going to make a habit of it, I'd get a big one, no question.
I use 1" bar, whenever I can find an excuse to ! Thicker is more fun.
This looks cute. Metal cutting with vodka !
Do whales have krillfiles ?
Our metal-bashers have got a laser, goes up to about 13mm or a bit more,
depending on the material.
Gives a very nice finish as you say, but the great thing is that it is really
easy to programme, so even complex shapes are not a chore as long as you can
describe or draw what you want in the first place.
If you can draw it in CAD, then the drawing information can almost be used as
Peter & Rita Forbes
Engine pages for preservation info:
What kind of pressure does the water jet have to be to cut steel? Never seen
one of these babys working- i imagine its a *very* high pressure, as trying
it at 200bar with a pressure washer dont work! ;p
My friend Roland was making some replicas in brass which needed to be cut
very finely and the water cut steel was very clean edged.
Unfortunately, the company was mortified to find that brass smears around
the cut and it cost them a fortune having special jets made that would do
They tried all sorts of combinations. It was for the Sutton Hoo shoulder
clasps for the new museum and the edges had to be crisp AND the plates
capable of being curved afterwards.
Lasers, Plasma, and waterjet are very complimentary tools. My
knowledge is mostly in waterjets.
The advantage of waterjets is that they can go very thick (like 8" or
so, though 2" is more practical). They also have excellent cut
quality without heating the part, and can cut almost anything. Lasers
and torch cutting are significantly faster, though. Lasers are very
expensive. Torch and plasma are relatively cheap, and waterjet is
somewhere in-between. They each have their place.
If you find this to be of any interest, you may want to visit
http://www.waterjets.org for an overview of the technology. Or
http://www.waterjets.org/waterjet_pictures.html - lots of pictures
http://www.waterjets.org/about_abrasivejets.html - introduction
http://www.waterjets.org/waterjet_advantages.html - Advantages and
disadvantages when compared with plasma, laser, etc.
The above is my web site.
http://www.omax.com (This is where I work. OMAX is the top maker of
abrasive waterjet machining centers for the machine shop industry.)
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