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MikeI

Rainy day plasma cutting project

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Another GREAT day of rain, from early morning, and it's supposed to last until tomorrow morning! Very good for our parched land!! A buddy of mine who has the most elaborate metal working shop I've ever seen, had invited me over to "make something out of metal instead of wood." He'd seen a bunch of my woodworking projects, and bought one of my shooting benches from me. So, I called him, went to his shop, spent quite a bit of time getting the basics on plasma cutting, selected a pattern from one of hundreds he had, and whupped out this deer skull. It's about 10 inches tall and 10 inches wide at the widest point of his antlers. My buddy said my work was "a bit rough, but OK." I think he was being kind.

 

Then I got a piece of sandstone, drilled a hole in it, and doweled a piece of cedar to the rock and attached the deer skull. It was quite difficult to get a decent picture of it, but it could be because none of the angles or lighting schemes were "flattering!" You can't perfume a pig. . .

 

I think I'll stick to woodworking.

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well, You seem to be a man of many talents!

Not what I would hang on my wall, but I appreciate the craftmanship when I see it!

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A+ in the craft shop again MikeI

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Thanks for the nice feedback, folks, but keep in mind that this was done in somebody else's shop, using somebody else's VERY expensive equipment, and with somebody else's skills and experience looking (anxiously!) over my shoulder the whole time! The nicest thing I could say is that I was "closely mentored!" On the positive side, I didn't ruin any of my buddy's expensive equipment, and, other than a few second degree burns on my hands and wrists, suffered no serious injuries during the experience. AND, it reinforced the idea that I don't have any business trying to expand my woodworking craft experience into metalworking craft skills. First of all, there's a huge financial barrier to entry into the m/w world of craft; secondly, I'm too old to try to learn any new skills other potty training for myself. And I'm working on that. ^_^

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Well, fer a fella that claims to know little about metal cutting, you did OK, even if you were "supervised"!

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Triple000Buck, if you look at the attached image, you can see where the "roughness" is. As the torch burns through the metal, there's some slag that doesn't fall away. My buddy, who has all the nifty toys, felt that I should have taken the skull to his series of grinders and sanders and polished off all the slag. He's a perfectionist, and his work shows it. But by the time I was finished doing the cutting, I was ready to call it a done deal, or "close enough for government work!" Besides, I had snorted enough of the smoke, squinted my eyes enough, and had enough burns to last me for the day.

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A good example of what a little skill and a few million dollars worth of the right equipment can do. Not bad, though. And I'll bet it was interesting seeing the process. One day I'll show you my metal working process, slightly cheaper of course, involving only a Bic lighter and a pair of vise grips. It'll make you appreciate your antlers even more.

 

OP

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Most of my "metal working" in the past was done with tin snips and a ball peen hammer!

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MI, you didn't answer the basic question. Was the plasma cutter simply the coolest cutting tool you've ever tried? I got use one during my structural collapse classes for a year or more, I thought it was great. Of course when the maintenance guys saw it, I had to keep it locked up unless their supervisor asked for it.

 

4S

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Absolutely the coolest cutting tool I ever used, John! Simply amazing; don't know why anyone would use oxyacetylene any more if they were given a choice.

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The slag just represents the imperfections in the antler, just like it was real. Not even a deer can grow them perfectly...

Judging by the look on your avatar it does appear that you snorted enough smoke, squinted your eyes and had enough burns to last you a day or two. HaHa :D

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