Plasmacam Water Table

Plasmacam By: Add comments

When I first got my plasmacam I wanted to only use a water table to control dust.  I soon found out unless I built the water table perfectly attached to the plasmacam unit so that the water could touch the bottom of the steel plate I was cutting that this would not reduce enough of the metal dust.

From doing more research I did learn that the water table will grealty reduce the amount of large metal dust particles and that adding a simple exhaust fan setup should take care of the rest.

So, I set off to build a simple water table.  I decided to build it on casters so that I could remove it to clean / empty the water at any time very easily.

The water table for the plasmacam is constructed 22ga steel, 1 3/4 x .120 HREW tube legs, angle iron, nd generic casters. I do not have a sheet metal brake big enough to bend the water tray so I made do with some 4″x4″ pieces of wood, screws, clamps and a big hammer.

The above image illustrates how I used the 4″x4″ piece of wood and screwed it to a smaller piece and then hamered the crap out of it to make my bend 🙂 I am sure glad I did not use 18ga as I had originally planned.

This image shows the overall setup of the water table / tray build-up using not so high-tech of tools 🙂

The above image shows how I made the edge and welded borders of the water table more rigid.  I needed some type of ‘frame’ to support the large amount of water the tray would hold and decided this was the best route.  It also provied helpful for making the table rigid to move around.

The water table before the welding started.  The welding took me a couple hours… I hate welding sheet metal!

I do not have any pictures of hte finished work or the braces I added to the bottom.

I added a 1″x1″ tube frame to the bottom of this water table and also used 18ga welded to key locations and then some scrap steel to add braces.  Basically, I took the idea from gas, milk, water, etc tankers how they weld thick steel to the thin steel and then a brace to the thick steel.  My idea here was to prevent flexing / bowing of the water table as it filled to prevent the pulling of my welds.

Once completed I filled it with water and it dripped a very very little bit.  I tacked up a few leaks and then decided I would use “spray in bedliner” to seem-seal it.  I put on about 4 coats of this in 100* weather and then primed the entire table.

After this was completed I welded the legs and casters to the sub-frame and rolled it into place and filled it with water.  The table has not leaked at all and has proven to reduce large air born particles greatly.

After only a few cuts I ran this magnet around the water table and all of these metal shavings were found.  A lot more than I expected!

Overall the water table has been a great addition to my plasmacam unit and for the cost of building one I highly suggest it.

I already have plans to add a expanded metal screen to catch smaller cut parts I want to keep.


  1. Hi,

    Found this site while searching for how to make a water table for my plasmaCAM. I wanted to know how deep you fill the water and if you have any trouble with spray?

    I’d appreciate it if you could email me with your experiences


    Comment by Andrew B — January 13, 2009 @ 12:26 pm

  2. I found your site while i was searching water tables for my plasmacam. I bought the machine with everything including cutting table and I had planned to build a 4×4 water table exactly how you have yours with casters so that I can roll it in and out to clean. With my plasma table I have runners that sit on my cutting table and then the plate to be cut sits on these runners that sit up 2″ high on the cut table then the plate on top. If I make my table to put under with casters so that I can take it in and out I can only make it so that it is directly underneath the runners and that means the water table will be 2″ below the material being cut. I just want to know if you already had your plasma table and how did you modify it in order to have your water touch the bottom of the steel?

    Please email me soon.

    Thank you,

    John Gable

    Comment by John — June 23, 2009 @ 2:58 pm

  3. My water table sat at the bottom of the grates not directly under the steel which would be needed to reduce the particles 90% or more. Having the table under the grates or even 2″ under the cutting still requires a downdraft fan that I also used.

    I hope that helps.

    Comment by admin — June 26, 2009 @ 8:48 am

  4. Hello,

    I don’t use a water table. I put in a downdraft employing a 3000 CFM fan. It works great. Cools my shop off in the winter months but no dust and no smoke.

    Semper Fi,


    Comment by Joe — August 5, 2010 @ 6:56 am

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