Waterjet cutting at home

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C Michael Hoover

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Depends on where the cost/benefit ratio sorts it's self out in the hobby market. A half decade or more ago I was very interested in getting one. There was no way I could afford to buy one and looked at the DIY side. From my research the pressure not only determines the cut rate/quality, but there is a non linear curve that relates pressure and abrasive use.
If someone is really interested in this type of DIY look at the used industrial market. I came R E A L L Y close to buying a used, but rebuild-able, 20 Hp intensifier unit for about a fifth of the asking price for the Wazer.
If I had 3 phase at my shop...........:confused:

Flexible plumbing for 50KPSI is also expensive. I'd expect to see the hobby jets develop along the lines of fixed head and movable work piece. That takes up more floor space but might turn out to be the best compromise?
If you have normal 220VAC single phase (1 neutral and 2 lines, for 220 volts across the 2 lines and 110 between each line and Neutral), then some of the new Variable Frequency Drives will convert the 110 to 220 (208) three phase. About $150 for a 1-2HP motor. worth a look.
 

lr27

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I imagine you could cut tempered 4130 with a waterjet, but bending it might be a hassle. I don't know if bending it is prudent.

I wonder about home EDM or plasma. I suppose in the latter case the cuts would need a lot of cleaning up. I want a Bridgeport and a place to put one.
 

cvairwerks

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If you have normal 220VAC single phase (1 neutral and 2 lines, for 220 volts across the 2 lines and 110 between each line and Neutral), then some of the new Variable Frequency Drives will convert the 110 to 220 (208) three phase. About $150 for a 1-2HP motor. worth a look.
A 20 hp VFD for single phase 220 input, will need a 140 amp circuit, and will set you back over 2200$. Couple that with the fact that most POCO's will not allow anything more than a 7.5 hp motor on a residential service, and it's probably not going to happen in a garage shop.
We were looking at putting in a waterjet at our small shop, based in a residential area, and we determined it was cheaper for us to simply have a diesel generator to run the jet, than get the POCO to let us have 3 phase, even though it ran across the one side of our property.
 

Hot Wings

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POCO's will not allow anything more than a 7.5 hp
Only 5Hp in my service area - but my shop is commercial zone. Still, no 3 phase for several blocks in any direction and my panel is antique 200 amp. I've seen jets run directly from diesel engines. Probably the solution for a lot of situations?
 

Hephaestus

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Of course I've got to ask why you'd run an electric pump off a diesel generator?

If you're going to run an engine you might as well just replace the pump with a gas powered one :)
 
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cvairwerks

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Of course I've got to ask why you'd run an electric pump off a diesel generator?

If you're going to run an engine you might as well just replace the pump with a gas powered one :)
Didn't know of anyone that made a water pump that was engine driven and produced 60,000 psig, at about 1 gallon a minute at that time...:)
 

Hephaestus

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Didn't know of anyone that made a water pump that was engine driven and produced 60,000 psig, at about 1 gallon a minute at that time...:)
The electric ones don't hit that level either :) they're 3000psi/3-4gpm range.

There's a part called the intensifier in there that takes it up to 60k psi.

Sorry millwright coming out in me. Yeah there's a second part of the boost process.
 

cvairwerks

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OMAX makes and has run 60kpsig pumps on their waterjets since the late 90's. They are a triplex pump design, but rated for the pressure and flows for the jet.
 

Hephaestus

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OMAX makes and has run 60kpsig pumps on their waterjets since the late 90's. They are a triplex pump design, but rated for the pressure and flows for the jet.
Ok, but the majority of consumer and prosumer products won't have that.

In most cases you wouldn't be hard pressed to find an appropriate gas driven pump to replace the electric pump if a power issue needed overcoming. A big generator just to power an electric water pump isn't the best workaround if power is the major stumbling block.
 
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