2/2/08 -- Item Selection
Well I can't say that a whole lot of skill went into this portion of things since we have no experience or skill with any of what we're going into.. specifically...
-Tracker CNC - 2006 Model 4x4 CNC Table w/automatic height control.
We found this available on eBay and came to find out that it was being sold by the manufacturer and had been used as someones display model so it ended up with a mere 2 or so hours of actual usage. We talked with one of the Tracker CNC techs, Justin, who also happened to be the individual overseeing the selling of the table & setup, and got as much information as two novices could practically gather from phone and e-mail conversations with him. All questions and such were answered very well and to the fullest of our expectations/hopes. Oh yeah, one bonus to ordering the TrackerCNC plasma setups in particular, they do include the computer system all preloaded and ready to go; although I could easily throw together a computer system in my sleep for this thing, less potential software bugs, hardware requirements, pieces & parts to worry about for even a little bit doesn't hurt my feelings. Bottom Line: This setup was their poster child and if any one of their pieces of equipment was going to work, it'd be this one. Beyond that it also came with the standard new purchase deals of 2-year warranty and unlimited tech support... well not to mention that it was being eBay'd for a hefty price LESS than a new retail setup from TrackerCNC which also equated to about the same cost of other competing brands CNC table setups which come with no computer system. As of now, we're waiting for the palletized package to arrive in the next few days.
-Thermal Dynamics Cutmaster 52 - Latest generation of Plasma Cutter with a 1/2" reccommended cut and just strong of 1" maximum cut thickness.
This specific brand came as the reccommendation of our helpful TrackerCNC tech. Stating that it packed the best cutting precision & reliability of other brands that we were considering. However, this particular model.. the 52, being that it is the latest generation, the tech said that they have no experience with the latest generation and couldn't exactly reccommend it in particular(this we learned of course came after we purchased it), oh well. Reason being for 'I wouldn't reccommend that model in particular', this generation of plasma cutter(52, 82, 102) is based on an Inverter technology, something totally different from the last generation(51, 81, 101). Not a problem though.. or so we think so far. We just got in the Plasma Cutter yesterday and along with it arrived a machine torch, which we had to order seperately, but at the same time... it's rare that you find anyone selling a plasma cutter AND a machine torch together, and when you do, it costs you just as much as buying both a plasma cutter w/hand torch AND the machine torch.. wierd. For what it's worth, the difference between the hand torch and the machine torch is: hand torch has an angle in it at the head and of course it has the actuation trigger on the hand-hold portion; machine torch is totally straight, quite long, has a toothed section and retainer which locks into the teeth for preliminary hieght adjustment and has no trigger on the body, but works off an electrical triggering mechanism, the computer software. As for the electrical triggering mechanism, it may require an adapter that was never mentioned anywhere and does not come with the plasma cutting machine or the machine torch.. not to mention that as of yet I cannot find any item or part number which would suggest that it is this adapter that the instructions seem to point towards. No major worries, but it is our first hiccup, that I can recall at least.