Fabrication Department - starter tools (plasma table, press/ pan brake)
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  1. #1
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    Post Fabrication Department - starter tools (plasma table, press/ pan brake)

    Hey everyone, I am looking to insource some very basic fabrication. We don't currently have the ability to do anything in house, and want to change that for the sake of doing some basic custom project prototypes. This will mainly be basic brackets (14-16 ga max), but we want some flexibility to expand into new products too.

    I was looking into a plasma table (4'x4'), 4' press or pan brake, and welder (we have a welder already, need a table). I think these would pretty well cover what we need to make the basic parts. Does anyone have any recommendations for good introductory models?

    Would love any other advice for starting to do more fabrication.

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    Quote Originally Posted by whara View Post
    Hey everyone, I am looking to insource some very basic fabrication. We don't currently have the ability to do anything in house, and want to change that for the sake of doing some basic custom project prototypes. This will mainly be basic brackets (14-16 ga max), but we want some flexibility to expand into new products too.

    I was looking into a plasma table (4'x4'), 4' press or pan brake, and welder (we have a welder already, need a table). I think these would pretty well cover what we need to make the basic parts. Does anyone have any recommendations for good introductory models?

    Would love any other advice for starting to do more fabrication.
    Show us some examples of the types of things you're having made, and we'll be much better able to direct you.

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    img-0392.jpg

    Oops, my bad. Thinking mostly internal brackets

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    Quote Originally Posted by whara View Post
    img-0392.jpg

    Oops, my bad. Thinking mostly internal brackets
    Those look like they are laser cut.
    Before bringing these in house, have some plasma cut by a vendor, and make sure
    the reduced accuracy and edge finish you can live with.

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    Not feeling it for the part in the middle on a pan brake. Possible but PITA. My answer based on having a press brake.

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    If you do, get a 4x8, and a hypertherm PS. You won’t regret it.

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    Pretty happy with our Accurpress brake with CNC back gauge. Big learning curve to start from zero.

    I would find a good quick turn vendor for your cutting before doing plasma in house. Dust, floor space, sheet storage, expense of buying and handle sheets, etc. There are a lot of plasma tables gathering dust because laser is so good and fast and cheap. OSH Cut is in Utah and cuts quickly and probably 1 day of UPS from you. Send cut send is another online place with instant quotes. 3x or more the cost of a good local laser outfit, but convenient to deal with on a prototype basis.

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  12. #8
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    Thanks for the input, everyone. A lot to explore here, appreciate it

  13. #9
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    Here's why laser cutting is best as a purchased item: the best CNC's are hugely expensive but also so efficient that prices are quite reasonable and nearly impossible to justify in-house mfg. I buy laser cut parts for many fixtures and even home & boat parts (i.e. very low quantities but they are WAY cheaper than spending time to make them myself). I use send-cut-send, I can design and order a part often in as short as 5 minutes and get the parts (to Oregon) often less than one week (with free shipping).

    The Dude

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Dude View Post
    Here's why laser cutting is best as a purchased item: the best CNC's are hugely expensive but also so efficient that prices are quite reasonable and nearly impossible to justify in-house mfg. I buy laser cut parts for many fixtures and even home & boat parts (i.e. very low quantities but they are WAY cheaper than spending time to make them myself). I use send-cut-send, I can design and order a part often in as short as 5 minutes and get the parts (to Oregon) often less than one week (with free shipping).

    The Dude
    I’d say the numbers would have to be very strong to disagree with this. I worked for an EDM shop that had a laser, made decent money with it, and still decided not to get a new one when it died. Wasn’t worth the floor space.

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    Quote Originally Posted by thunderskunk View Post
    I’d say the numbers would have to be very strong to disagree with this. I worked for an EDM shop that had a laser, made decent money with it, and still decided not to get a new one when it died. Wasn’t worth the floor space.
    I didn't say you can't make money with certain kinds of lasers, it's whether you should by one to make relatively few parts, like the OP inquired about. It's not worth the machine cost, maintenance, floor space, time to run nesting, etc. when you could use all of this for something better when laser-cut parts are so cheap to purchase. Completely different situation. You might also be able to make money with an older less-efficient laser (I didn't deny that).

    The Dude


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