The official policy on 1/8" steel near the PlasmaCAM, as I understand it, is something like “for use in classes, maintenance and other official purposes.” I have taken that overly literal but would like to clarify that and add another condition. I have conducted 21 classes in the last year. @jast has also carried a heavy load for a longer time but has recently had to temporarily pull back due to job commitments. As far as I know only a couple of classes have been conducted by others this year. The tool is fascinating and a popular course to take. I always mention in classes that it is easy to become a teacher and give details. I have had six people interested enough to attend a second class but none have followed up. I’m currently working with another two. Hopefully they will start running classes. We need to make it easier to practice.
My new position on usage of the steel is that teachers and those preparing to teach can use the steel to practice cutting key rings or checking configuration settings. Cost is trivial and it may help attract teachers.
Proposal: But what about others that might want to practice using the tool or show a friend how it works without hauling in heavy materials for a trivial demo? I propose that anyone approved to use the tool be allowed to cut DMS key rings and pay $2.00 each or three for $5.00.
Why do I only suggest allowing the DMS key ring to be cut? It has been the traditional pattern for use in the class and uses only five sq in of steel. Everyone who has been through the class is familiar with the process of positioning the torch to make the most efficient use of the materials. Most testing can be done on this little pattern. If you want something else, just bring your own materials.