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What table to buy
Posted: Wed Aug 28, 2019 9:51 pm
Hi everyone I'm new here. I'm looking to retire soon and have been thinking of getting a plasma table. My uses would be signs, yard art and possibly small parts cutting for local farmers and such who don't want to pay high machine shop prices. It would be more of a hobby to keep me busy during retirement and possibly make some cash. I've been searching the net and there are all kinds of fly by night table manufactures. I'd like a 4x4 table of good quality but not break the bank in doing so. Any suggestions? Thanks
Re: What table to buy
Posted: Thu Aug 29, 2019 10:05 am
Well, you are correct when you refer to the huge number of popup table vendors. There are just a lot that will not be here in 2 or 3 years . Here are some things to consider in the purchase of a table:
- 1. Support. Not just before you write the check but afterwards. Lifetime support sounds great BUT its not worth much if they don't survive One of the shortcomings of new table vendors is they do not allow enough profit to cover things like time for support calls, hiring staff when the volume of field tables starts to need the added time . The really good companies support their customers consistently and in a timely manner
- 2. Backup support options? Is there anyone else that can help you if the vendor can't? How about Support Forums ?
- 3. Reasonable priced upgrades and replacement parts?
- 4. Possible options that you might decide later you need like: rotary pipe cutting, oxy-fuel, plate marking, light milling, decorative routing (including 3D). its really hard to predict where your business will go. I varies so much by your local needs and your customers will tell you what they will spend money on.
- 5. Fully licensed Modern fully supported control software with ONGOING and active development and upgrades.
- 6. Information about the controls and is there enough detail about what is under the hood? While there are some decent import controllers there is also a lot of cheap junk. if the vendor decides building tables is too hard or they can't make it can you get the electronics fixed in at least your hemisphere?
- 7. Features that will make your job easier and offer you better, more accurate cuts, and on a wider variety of material.
- 8. Flexibility: Can you draw and design in a choice of packages and in the comfort of your home or office and not in the hot / cold dusty shop? Can you chose where and how you want to create your cut files?
Used to that Torch Height Control was a detailed feature . Now days you it just a check list item that is offered (at least as an option) on most tables. The quality and reliability of THC's vary widely across the brands.
FourhillsDesigns/ CandCNC has been designing and using THC's since 2002. First in our own decorative plasma cutting business and then as first a THC add-on vendor for MACH, and later as a full controls mfg . over 15 years of track record. We have watched the market develop and seen the good , the bad and the )(really) ugly. The landscape is littered with orphan tables from vendors that may have had good intentions but had flawed business models
I humbly offer that table vendors that use our advanced controls and our latest CommandCNC LINUX based software would be a good choice for you to start your quest. All our electronics carry a fully 2 year parts and labor warranty . We backup the our OEM table vendors and we will honor a warranty on our electronics regardless of who sold it or owns it. It helps the resale value of your system and provides a valuable second level of support .
Re: What table to buy
Posted: Thu Aug 29, 2019 4:40 pm
As an example of whats under the hood, here is whats inside one of the low cost controllers....