A water table is simply a tray filled with water that surrounds the slat bed of a gantry-style CNC plasma machine. The tray is filled with water to below the top surface of the slat bed so that the action of plasma cutting (forced air) causes water in the tray to splash back up onto the backside of the part being cut. This allows for part cooling, reduces cutting noise, decreases part warpage, reduces arc flash, and reduces smoke and cutting dust.
A water table is not required for operation of the CrossFire™ CNC plasma machine and it is not provided standard with the basic table kit. Many CNC plasma tables are capable of operation without a water tray or a spray coolant system, but thermal warpage can be an issue when cutting materials thinner than 1/8" thick. The reason for this distortion is that plasma cutting imparts a large amount of heat energy into the material and the resulting thermal gradient can cause a part to warp. When the part warps, it can stick above the original flat surface of the plate and interfere with the movement of the torch. As a result, we strongly recommend using some type of cooling system when cutting thinner material to prevent warpage that may potentially ruin your part; especially when high detailed cutting such as artwork is required (high localized heat input). If you are not able to purchase a water table, we have had an equal amount of success by using a standard spray water bottle and continuously spraying the plasma arc with the water bottle during cutting to cool the part. Do not worry about extinguishing the arc with water, plasma cutters are capable of cutting material even while completely submerged. Another option is to make your own water table using our plans shown on our Projects page (will be available on website at launch date).
NOTE: When cutting aluminum on a water table, it is encouraged to have the water level be at least 1/8" below the bottom surface of the material and to use proper ventilation. The reason for this is that molten aluminum can react with water to form flammable hydrogen gas which can build-up and cause an explosion if large enough concentrations come into contact with the plasma arc. In addition, aluminum-lithium allows should NEVER be cut with a water table due to the high reactivity of lithium and water.
All hand torches use a simple pull trigger to start the plasma arc. When this trigger is pulled, it connects two wires together and once this circuit is complete the machine initiates the plasma arc. If you were to open up the cable going from your plasma machine to your hand torch, you would find these two wires going up to the trigger. In addition, these two wires can also be found by opening up the plasma machine cabinet and finding the two small wires that go from the plasma machine electronics to the torch cable input plug. If you are unsure which two wires are used to fire the torch, we recommend disconnecting the torch and probing the input plug with a multimeter. Probe the input leads around the plug with the two prongs of the multimeter and check for continuity when the trigger is pulled. Once these two input pins are found that control torch firing, it should be straightforward to determine which wires on the inside of the cabinet are used to make this connection to the torch plug.
On the CrossFire™ electronics enclosure you will find a Torch ON/OFF port with two terminals. In addition, each CrossFire™ machine comes standard with two wires that connect to this terminal block. When the machine controller receives a G-code signal in Mach3 for torch firing (M3), the relay inside the electronics enclosure creates continuity between these two terminals. In order to fire the torch using the machine controller, the two wires from the Torch ON/OFF terminal need to be spliced into the two wires that are connected to the plasma hand torch described above. The easiest way to splice into these two wires is by using the T-Tap connectors (see image below) that were provided with your machine. Simply locate the two trigger wires inside the machine and install one T-Tap connector onto each wire. The T-Tap connectors make it so that no wire cutting or stripping is required in order to splice into a wire. Next, fasten the quick connect onto the T-Tap connector and install the other end of the wire into the Torch ON/OFF terminal block (the order of these wires is unimportant).
Some plasma machines come standard with a CNC port so that wire splicing is not required. To setup, simply plug the two wires from the Torch ON/OFF terminal block into the CNC input port on the plasma machine. Please consult with your plasma machine manufacturer to ensure that the CNC port can be used in conjunction with a hand torch. If not, you will need to manually splice as described above or use a machine torch with your plasma cutter.
****NOTE****: Please consult your individual plasma manufacturer before splicing into machine wiring. Langmuir Systems is not responsible for a voided warranty that may result.
You will need to purchase a rust inhibitor solution that is specific for plasma cutting. The solution is added to the water in the tray to prevent rusting of the slat bed and your parts when cutting.
Nozzle & Electrode Set for Trafimet S45 Torch
'right' arrow keys jogs the machine left and right along the X-axis.
The second way to jog is by pressing the TAB button on your keyboard to reveal the JOG pendant in Mach3. The machine can then be jogged by using the Button Jog section (highlighted in red in the image below).
In order to return to regular jog mode, press the 'Jog Mode' button so that the yellow bar indicates that 'Cont.' mode is selected.