Keep The Sparks Away With A Plasma Cutting Table

For one-off projects or prototypes it’s not uncommon for us to make do with whatever workspace we have on hand. Using a deck railing as an impromptu sawhorse, for example, is one that might be familiar to anyone who owns a circular saw, but [Daniel] has a slightly different situation. He had been setting up metal workpieces on random chunks of brick in order to use his plasma cutter, but just like the home handyman who gets tired of nicking their deck with a saw, he decided to come up with a more permanent solution and built a custom plasma cutting table.

Plasma cutting has a tendency to throw up a lot of sparks, so most commercial offerings for plasma cutting tables include a water bath to catch all of the debris from the cutting process. [Daniel] builds his table over a metal tub to hold some water for this purpose. The table itself is built out of aluminum and designed to be built without welding even though most people with plasma cutters probably have welders as well. The frame is designed to be exceptionally strong and includes curved slats which add to the strength of the table. The table is also designed to be portable, so the curved slats stay in place when the table is moved.

While this might seem like an average metal table at first glance, the table is actually being designed with a homemade CNC machine in mind which [Daniel] is working on. The CNC plasma cutter needs a sturdy, flat surface and can’t be set up on bricks in the driveway, so this table suits both [Daniel]’s immediate needs to not shower himself in sparks every time he cuts something and also his future CNC machine’s need for a sturdy, flat workspace. We look forward to seeing that build being completed but in the meantime take a look at this motorized plasma cutter which has the beginnings of a CNC machine if in one direction only.

8 thoughts on “Keep The Sparks Away With A Plasma Cutting Table

  1. Sorry for being an armchair critic.

    It is a neat table.

    The water not so much. In my experience with plasma cutting the water table (as in water level) sits just above the torch tip.

    This is a nicely constructed cutting bed with a bucket of water under it. Not a water table as I understand one for plasma use

    1. The plasma water table type you are talking about is industrial, they use air and underwater cavities to raise an lower the water level. This is more a hobby version to help grab the sparks, smoke and soot out of the air, even being that low it still makes a big difference.

  2. The thing is water freezes fast. Here on the prairie we use ethylene glycol (antifreeze) which serves two purposes: 1) to keep from freezing, and 2) killing rodents who hop in to drink it. The screen should be big enough to keep out barn cats.

  3. Neat idea. I wonder how the square drip trays for furnaces and washing machines would work… build a table underneath for it. i think that you only need an inch of water or so.

    Kudos, it takes work to take the pictures and write it up!

    1. That is actually how most production tables are built. You only need a shallow pan. The closer to the cutting surface, the more debris and smoke it will catch. A drip tray for a furnace, washing machine, or water heater would work fine if it had the right dimensions. Any sheet metal shop could fab up a custom size for you pretty cheap as well.

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