Usually Metal Fabrication is cleaner and more accurate when the miter cuts are made with a saw.
But, the horizontal band saw in the shop is broken. The angle mechanism is frozen and will not budge even after a good soaking in Kroil penetrating oil.
So, just to cut some quick miter angles, I just used a plasma cutter.
Today’s metal fabrication project is a table to support a stand I built for a portaband (portable band saw) made by porter cable. I was going to buy a nice stand from SWAGoffroad.com, but they don’t make one for Porter Cable saws.
Dimensions for the table support are not critical except for the height and I can make those square 90 degree cuts using the horizontal band saw.
So the plasma cutter it is. Using a straight edge and drag tip, it makes some pretty decent cuts.
Sure I had some gaps when I fit up the table top, that mig welding downhill fills them easily and when the welding is done, I am not sure it would have turned out any better using a saw.
One good thing about using the plasma cutter is the the outside corners do not come to a sharp point. I hate the way those sharp saw cut corners weld. They kinda need to be ground off just so the weld has a place to go….But with the plasma cutter, and cutting to the inside diameter of the square tubing, there is a gap that allows for a full penetration weld that does not stick out and does not usually require grinding.
One thing is for sure, using a plasma cutter instead of a saw, is a fast way to whip together a frame. It is harder to hold tight dimensions but sometimes that is not the biggest concern.
Before I could complete the job, a “Slider” came along. a “Slider” is a job that “slides” in and takes priority over whatever you are working on.
It happens all the time…you are working on something, and along comes a “hot job”….a job that has to be done immediately. It could be as simple as making a good customer happy, or it could be an emergency. Maybe the water bottling plant down the street is shut down because a 30 year one of a kind part just failed and they need it welded.
Or it could be the machinist just over milled a slot on assembly number 12 of 12 units due out today, and there is no material available to make another one.
Todays “Slider” is one component of a stainless steel assembly that was supposed to be delivered yesterday. Its a pretty simple little part but it does have a few angles that have to be right in order for the part to work. I will show how it went together along with some stainless steel tig arc shots in a future video…along with the rest of the metal fabrication on the portaband table.
Stay tuned for next weeks video, I have a few good topics lined up for the next month, like building a Jeep bumper, finishing the portaband table, more on plasma cutting, tips for sharpening tungsten, and a bunch more.