What you see on this site is 3 1/2 inch diameter steel pipe with designs cut out with a computer controlled plasma torch.

In early September 2011, I made a device that fit onto my CNC mill, to plasma cut some parts out of tubing for my sand rail (dune buggy). This gave me the idea and ability to cut designs out of the pipes that were lying around the shop. So I cut out a single design of a Trident and presented it to my daughter. Encouraged by the positive reactions, I cut a number of designs for Halloween. I showed the Halloween designs to just about anyone I could, and again received a lot of REALLY positive reactions. So for the next few months, I put in countless hours designing a machine dedicated to cutting designs from pipe or tubing, like those you see here.

Starting in early January, my daughter joined me and her creative talent is highly noticeable in many of the new designs. She also recently graduated with a degree in Civil Engineering, so she has been a great help with many of the technical issues involved in getting this process to work smoothly.

About the pipe.
Up to now, all that I have worked with is what is referred to as 3” Schedule 10 pipe. It’s a little confusing, but the outside dimension is actually 3 1/2” and about 0.100” thick. So about 3 1/4” left on the inside. The pipe has been waiting around in our construction yard for the last 3 years, acquiring a wonderful patina. I have located a number of different sizes and thicknesses to work with. We currently have, 3.5, 4.5 , 5, 6, 7, and 8”. Please contact me if you have any ideas.

Tube vs Pipe
The first difference is how tubing and pipe are described. Tubing is based on its outside diameter (OD) and wall thickness, while pipe sizing is based on its capacity. So 3” pipe has a minimum inside diameter of 3” and its thickness is determined by the “schedule” and its outside diameter is 3 1/2 inches. There are tables that show what each of the pipe sizes are for each schedule. Tubing is generally used for structures, like roll cages for vehicles and is also available in dimensions other than round (like square, rectangular, etc.) Pipe is used for moving fluids or gases and have fittings designed to connect them together.

For my process, the important thing is that it isn’t too heavy. The pipe we’re currently using is considered very light duty and it still weights over 4 lbs per linear ft.

Click Here to see a short video on how I got started.