The water table has been great! Having had a down draft I very much prefer the water table for a couple of reasons. We cut a lot of very thin gauge material especially 20g. On the down draft table we would have problems with parts warping and sometimes when cutting off pieces near the edge the edge piece would warp and rise and the torch height control would follow the piece that was warping and rise away from the cut.
Also with the water table all of the parts are cool to the touch immediately after the cut and there is very little heat affected zone on the cuts.
We have been cutting a lot of stainless steel lately for restaurants and have not had any problem with discoloration on the stainless or rusting down the road from the heat affected zone.
That being said, the water table has its challenges. Rusting if the water is not treated or if the parts or base metal is not removed quickly can be a problem, having to fill and maintain the water level. This is a challenge for us due to the very high summer temperatures and high evaporation rates.
Also there is the mess. Water tables are messy but as I said before I prefer them over the down draft.
On our table the water would splash into the side channels, onto the floor, and all over the place creating a mess.
So I used the device that was creating the mess to solve the problem.
This is a Picture of the table in its “stock” form before I added my guards.
The arrow is pointing to the channel that runs between the water table and the outside, which collects all of the water and debris that splashes out during the cut.
This is what I created to solve the problem. It consists of two parts. The first is a piece of 20 steel that has been bent into a hook type shape, and a slight bend was placed into the center of the piece to create a slight angle.
The second piece is another piece of 20 g that has two slight bends opposite of each other. The smaller piece was tack welded to the larger to form a lip that will rest on the table edge.
The two pieces were painted and then a bead of silicone was ran along the joint between the two to keep water from slipping through.
Close up of the two pieces
This is a picture of two of the pieces butted against each other on the long axis. You can see how the one piece over hangs the edge of the table to prevent water from getting through.
This picture shows the now protected area behind the splash guard. There is enough room for the gantry to roll through and it keeps dirt and debris off the gantry rail as well.
In this picture you can see all of the dirt and debris that is now on the splash guard. Had it not been for the splash guard this would be in the channel, on the rails, and on the floor of the shop.
Any splashes hit this and drain back into the table.
Here is a picture with all of the guards in place on the table.
The front guard comes on and off easily for loading and unloading of material