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 Post subject: The Future of the Plasma Cutter: Proposal
PostPosted: Sun Feb 13, 2011 4:38 pm 
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Joined: Tue Dec 21, 2010 5:07 pm
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I dropped by and saw that a lot of people are making use of the plasma cutter. This is great. They are also beating the shit out of it. This is not so great.

The nozzle that's on there right now is in very bad shape. What's worse is the shape the nozzle retaining cap is in: That part is over $30. Operating the cutter with damaged parts could damage the cutter, not to mention hurt people who are using the cutter.

I'm thinking that going forward I'd like to remove the retaining cap, nozzle and electrode and have people who want to use the plasma cutter buy their own. Therefore people who want to use it will have to plan ahead, properly learn how it works and then damage their own equipment when using it incorrectly, having them face the consequences for their actions directly. This also means that the equipment in the area won't be just casually usable to any member who walks up. I feel bad about this, but I think unless people have some skin in the game, it will just turn into a "tragedy of the commons" for everyone.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tragedy_of_the_commons


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 Post subject: Re: The Future of the Plasma Cutter: Proposal
PostPosted: Sun Feb 13, 2011 5:54 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 22, 2009 1:41 pm
Posts: 533
Location: Northwest Burbs
I think this is a good idea from both a damage and Safety position.

I also would like to take this opportunity to poke you about another training session.

One other thing that would be helpful, is to locate a local source for the personalized parts and list them so somebody like me who has no idea yet could pick them up.

Booka


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 Post subject: Re: The Future of the Plasma Cutter: Proposal
PostPosted: Sun Feb 13, 2011 7:43 pm 
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It would be nice if these were available at the space for sale.
Techshop does something very similar with things like this, but up front they have all of stuff for sale.


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 Post subject: Re: The Future of the Plasma Cutter: Proposal
PostPosted: Sun Feb 13, 2011 10:24 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 19, 2010 11:14 am
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Location: downtown Saint Paul
Upvote.

Makes sense to me, Nick.

No reason for you or the shop to foot the bill for gear taking a pounding.

Although I haven't taken a class, or used the plasma cutter yet, I'm glad that it, the rest of your gear, and most importantly, you, are at the space, and want you to be happy having your stuff at the space.

This might be a good model for some of the other metal working gear that's taken a pounding. I don't know the particulars of consumables and prone to beat up parts, but I like this idea.

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Riley Harrison
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 Post subject: Re: The Future of the Plasma Cutter: Proposal
PostPosted: Mon Feb 14, 2011 11:38 am 
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Joined: Wed Jan 14, 2009 10:06 am
Posts: 1219
Location: NE Minneapolis
i'm really in favor of that method. it occurs to me that while holding a stock of $30 parts is spendy, our friendly gas supply house might be willing to let you take stock, sell at a class and return the extra.

i'm a little iffy on having those parts easily available in the space as the convenience may mean (as damage already done shows) that folks are more willing to do something they're not really trained for. it's not the sort of thing that is difficult to buy when you're getting your metal stock anyway, and if you just need a fast cut, someone else might have their bits there and be willing to do it for you.


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 Post subject: Re: The Future of the Plasma Cutter: Proposal
PostPosted: Mon Feb 14, 2011 2:39 pm 
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Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2010 12:25 pm
Posts: 75
Location: Minneapolis
This experience will prove indispensable if/when a TIG unit gets moved in. TIG adds the added complication of expensive argon shielding gas.

-Jim Hart


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 Post subject: Re: The Future of the Plasma Cutter: Proposal
PostPosted: Mon Feb 14, 2011 6:14 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 30, 2009 11:03 am
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Whoever used it had no idea what they were doing the tip and electrode have been destroyed. I replaced them less then 2 weeks ago should have been 2 months before they needed to be replaced. I think havening each person have there own is a bit overkill and hard on people that need a quick use and dont have one yet. I propose a per use or per time unit charge for anyone that uses and put a kitty next to the unit or for the area.


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 Post subject: Re: The Future of the Plasma Cutter: Proposal
PostPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2011 10:38 am 
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Joined: Fri Mar 19, 2010 11:14 am
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Location: downtown Saint Paul
Respectfully, I still like Nicks idea more. If someone needs a quick use, they should be able to find someone who has a tip or whatever.

If down the road we see stuff not getting beaten to heck, maybe the kitty idea isn't a bad one.

I like that we have access to nice toys, I don't want to see them go away.


Maybe, in the meantime, someone will realize "Hey, I was the one who beat the $#!+ out of that nozzle, I should get my own."

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 Post subject: Re: The Future of the Plasma Cutter: Proposal
PostPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2011 4:36 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 14, 2009 10:06 am
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Location: NE Minneapolis
merits to both sides.

kitty is harder to enforce, and won't fix the under-trained user problem, but does fix the how many of the same tools do we all need to buy to have a communal tool that's safe to use.

damage to a spendy tool loaned to the group isn't cool in any fashion, and if it's through folks using a tool they're not familiar enough with to use safely then it becomes a safety hazard to everyone. (not to mention a lack of respect for the tool, tool owner, or other members of the community)

since the tool being open isn't working, another (pita) option would be securing it. this could be a locked hasp over the tool, or key parts in a locked tool box. if you've paid your $5 tool checkout fee, you get the combo, and can open it, and use the tool.

a longtime wishlist of several folks has been RFID badges to proximity test for a trained user for a variety of shop tools. until we find a budget for all of the necessary readers and badges, we need to find a reliable solution to this. i REALLY don't think this (or any of the misuse of various saws i've seen) has been intentional, but if you're not 100% certain how to use a tool safely, PLEASE ask someone. reminding folks of this isn't working, but it can't hurt to say it again.


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 Post subject: Re: The Future of the Plasma Cutter: Proposal
PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 1:05 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 10, 2011 10:12 am
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Location: MPLS
Nicks tool means Nicks rule.

Besides opening Root Beers and scraping frying pans clean I rarely even use the plasma cutter. Maybe having some some of those tips for sale in the vending machine would be cool? Riley's got the point that even though I don't use the metal area, the sight, sounds and idea of it seem to validate the hacker space in its entirety. It's just a bad-ass looking area and if Nick takes the power back as another consequence of the Tragedy of the Commons then the whole space takes a hit.


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