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Old 03-23-2010, 06:22 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Plasma Circle hole cutter.....cheap and easy!!!

I've been wanting to cut some holes with my hypertherm 1000 for a while now....I just didn't want to drop the coin on a circle cutter from hypertherm.

My idea of a cheap circle cutter consisted of this...


I just used some scrap steel, thats the reason for the wierd "L" shape.....

I then drilled a 1/4 inch hole for the pivot point. I then put a bolt through the hole to act as a pivot and a place to hold the cutter down..



I then drilled holes the same size of the torch drag tip...just a little bit of clearance so it doesn't bind




Drill your 1/4inch pivot hole and then stick the drag tip in the hole and your ready to rip circles



Here is after I cut two holes with it.....a 2in and 4in hole.

It will cut between 2-7 inch holes in 1 inch increments

Here are some pics of the holes and the drops





Just throwing some ideas out for others to check out instead of buying the $80+ factory circle cutter...

It took me about 30 min to make.....let me hear some opinions.
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Old 03-23-2010, 06:33 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Simlar to the one I made for my oxy torch. Except I used one of those plastic slide compass setups that fits on a 1/2" round rod. The compass setup was about $3 on a clearance rack and it has a nice sharp center point so I only have to center punch the center of my circle and the sharp point stays put somewhat nicely.
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Old 03-23-2010, 06:37 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Cool idea, could easily be modified too
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Old 03-23-2010, 07:22 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I've done booty versions like that,too, but rarely do I need to cut in 1" increments, or on whole or half inches. Something infinitely adjustable is definitely more useful. And yeah, I'd sharpen yourself a tip so you only have to center punch.
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Old 03-23-2010, 07:42 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I'm using this for cutting holes for frame plates, so it works perfect for that

I used the 1/4 inch bolt with a wingnut on the back with some washers so it will hold the cutter securely.....not very impressed with the center punch method
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Old 03-23-2010, 07:51 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Another quick circle cutter is to cut a thin sliver of tube or pipe in your choice of diameter and tack it to the plate.

Plas around it and you've got a good circle and the 5 second jig falls to the floor.
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Old 03-23-2010, 08:10 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
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Another quick circle cutter is to cut a thin sliver of tube or pipe in your choice of diameter and tack it to the plate.

Plas around it and you've got a good circle and the 5 second jig falls to the floor.

Good idea! I'm going to be using that
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Old 03-24-2010, 03:10 AM   #8 (permalink)
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i made one like that but with threaded rod so you could adjust it. it was tits for cutting tail light holes for installing rubber grommet lights.
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Old 03-24-2010, 05:53 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Good idea! I'm going to be using that
Thanks.

Another trick I've seen it to use one of the ground clamp magnets as the base for the pivot point.

No drill, and more stable than the center punch method.
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Old 03-24-2010, 06:22 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamscal View Post
Thanks.

Another trick I've seen it to use one of the ground clamp magnets as the base for the pivot point.

No drill, and more stable than the center punch method.
This I like! A lot!
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Old 03-24-2010, 07:38 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Here's one that I had saved to my computer of one I wanted to build. Very simple, the point could be a circle welding magnet with a bushing and a wingnut for infinite adjustability.
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Old 03-24-2010, 08:03 AM   #12 (permalink)
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The production kits come w a center punch, magnet, and bolt-thru option. Bought one for my ESAB several years ago. Wheels support the torch but you still gotta have a steady hand near the edge of the plate.

http://www.welding-direct.com/circutkit.html

If cutting something to cap a pipe the bolt-thru is a PITA because then your drop has a hole in the center which you have to plug or weld up and grind down.

I've worked in shops where the welders cut beautiful circles in 1" and 1.5" plate with nothing but a center prick and oxy/acet, so I guess just like anything else it comes down to skill.
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Old 03-24-2010, 07:06 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Cutting holes for my taillights and coil buckets we traced around grinding wheels/cutoff wheels. Just find one the right size, we measured and labeled a few even so we could grab them quick. Clamp it down or strong magnet it and trace.
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