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Plate Beveling

ThatGuysFarm

Plastic
Joined
Nov 28, 2023
What are people using to bevel thick plate to T-welds? We are T-welding 1", 2", and 3" plate onto 1 1/2" plate. Currently we are hand torching or plasma cutting the bevels and then touch it up with a grinder before welding. It's working good but I'm always looking for quicker or better ways to do things.
 
Why not use a plate bevelling machine ?

I've looked at a few of these. Have you used one? I'm wondering about the cost and how long the cutters last, how quick they go etc. I'm not sure if they would be better then plasma beveling? But I haven't been around one, I've talked to a few tool reps and they don't know if the hand held one would last with the bevels we are doing.
 
The plate bevelling machines come in 2 types. Cutter and grinding wheel. Cutter eventually wears a notch, the wheel can be dressed. I prefer the grinding wheel type.
 
Some of the answers will depend on the length of the bevel. Shorties on small parts can be done on the mill. Large plates are probably gonna be done most economically with a motorized track and torch.
 
Tilt your plasma head on your table and run a rip cut.
If you are buying out plate add bevel to the drawing. Many processors are moving to 5 ax tables.
Get a 5 axis plasma
Track torch

Those hand bevelers on that much plate would suck.
 
Some of the answers will depend on the length of the bevel. Shorties on small parts can be done on the mill. Large plates are probably gonna be done most economically with a motorized track and torch.
Our bevel lengths vary between 48" up to 240" and we have some smaller parts between 5" to 12" but with the placement on the plate with corners etc the smaller ones would probably have to stay hand cut.
 
Tilt your plasma head on your table and run a rip cut.
If you are buying out plate add bevel to the drawing. Many processors are moving to 5 ax tables.
Get a 5 axis plasma
Track torch

Those hand bevelers on that much plate would suck.
This is the way I've been leaning, I'm looking at options and pricing to try and determine the best way to move forward. Our plasma is only a 3 axis and it cuts up to 1" so we are farming out the thicker stuff for now, but we are looking at bigger and better. Maybe laser? We have a bunch of holes that we have to machine out right now, but with the tolerances we are needing on them a laser could cut them and would not need machining. That would save a bunch of labor!
 
This is the way I've been leaning, I'm looking at options and pricing to try and determine the best way to move forward. Our plasma is only a 3 axis and it cuts up to 1" so we are farming out the thicker stuff for now, but we are looking at bigger and better. Maybe laser? We have a bunch of holes that we have to machine out right now, but with the tolerances we are needing on them a laser could cut them and would not need machining. That would save a bunch of labor!
Laser 1” is expensive. Really expensive. Never heard of 2” abilities.
Plasma tables come with drill/mill spindles too. I really wish they went with that option on our new table.
Torch is still better at 1.5 and above. A 260 can do 2” with running pierce volcano. Good profiles, no holes.
Brands I would look at:
Retro/hornet original 5 axis plasma, great motion stability.
Kinetic original drill-mill plasma
Controlled automation -beast designed for nasty fabrication shops, best controller.

Brands to avoid
Lincoln/torch mate (the machine is good for light industrial)
Voortman (pretty, which is nice because you have to stare at it more than it works)
 
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I bevel 1"x3" bar for butt welding with a portaband (free-handed). No HAZ or cleanup necessary. Could you build a rig that would hold a portaband at the correct angle and roll along the edges? Might be fussier than it's worth, but those saws are cheap and wickedly useful if it doesn't work out for that application.
 
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If you are making a Tee weld why are you beveling at all? Is space that critical?
Those were my thoughts.

I've occasionally done a bevel where the plate is so close to the edge it needs one, and you can't weld on the backside. But I tend to look at that as a partial pen weld with a narrow land.
 








 
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