Metalworking (rec.crafts.metalworking) Discuss various aspects of working with metal, such as machining, welding, metal joining, screwing, casting, hardening/tempering, blacksmithing/forging, spinning and hammer work, sheet metal work.

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Default Plasma Cutter

I'm shopping for one now ... and I'm wondering if the plot arc
feature is worth the extra cost . I'm looking at the bottom of the price
range , around 200-250 bucks - I'm not going to be using this thing all
day every day . I'm basically looking at one for irregular cuts and more
efficient cutting on things too big for my bandsaws . I don't do much OA
cutting since I'm operating on small bottles - a "B" tank for Acetylene
and a 20 CF oxygen tank . And since the wife has no objection ... she's
always been pretty flexible with me on buying tools , she knows I save
much more on repair costs than the cost of those tools .
--
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On 10/27/2020 3:17 PM, Snag wrote:
* I'm shopping for one now ... and I'm wondering if the plot arc
feature is worth the extra cost . I'm looking at the bottom of the price
range , around 200-250 bucks - I'm not going to be using this thing all
day every day . I'm basically looking at one for irregular cuts and more
efficient cutting on things too big for my bandsaws . I don't do much OA
cutting since I'm operating on small bottles - a "B" tank for Acetylene
and a 20 CF oxygen tank . And since the wife has no objection ... she's
always been pretty flexible with me on buying tools , she knows I save
much more on repair costs than the cost of those tools .


Just remember that most of the small cheap plasma cutters tend to
overstate their cut and sever range. Also It won't cut as thick on
aluminum. I don't know what "plot arc" is. A quick search didn't tell
me.

Oh! Duh! I'm not normally that slow. I promise. I bet you meant
pilot arc. YES. Its it helps with interrupted cutting and cutting
dirty(ish) material. Some claims are that the pilot arc may burn
through paint, rust, and other gunk, and the main arc will come on when
the "current starts to flow."

One thing I would strongly suggest if you buy one of those inexpensive
low price import machines is stock up on consumables just in case they
aren't available later.

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Default Plasma Cutter

On 10/27/2020 6:31 PM, Bob La Londe wrote:
On 10/27/2020 3:17 PM, Snag wrote:
** I'm shopping for one now ... and I'm wondering if the plot arc
feature is worth the extra cost . I'm looking at the bottom of the
price range , around 200-250 bucks - I'm not going to be using this
thing all day every day . I'm basically looking at one for irregular
cuts and more efficient cutting on things too big for my bandsaws . I
don't do much OA cutting since I'm operating on small bottles - a "B"
tank for Acetylene and a 20 CF oxygen tank . And since the wife has no
objection ... she's always been pretty flexible with me on buying
tools , she knows I save much more on repair costs than the cost of
those tools .


Just remember that most of the small cheap plasma cutters tend to
overstate their cut and sever range.* Also It won't cut as thick on
aluminum.* I don't know what "plot arc" is.* A quick search didn't tell me.

Oh!* Duh!* I'm not normally that slow.* I promise.* I bet you meant
pilot arc.* YES.* Its it helps with interrupted cutting and cutting
dirty(ish) material.* Some claims are that the pilot arc may burn
through paint, rust, and other gunk, and the main arc will come on when
the "current starts to flow."



Yeah , I missed that one when I proofread . I thought it would
probably be a feature I'd need , most of my stock is stored outside and
it's not too clean . And I figure they will fudge on the capabilities ,
but I think I'll be cutting 3/8" and under mostly - if it's heavier than
that there's always the OA torch . Most of my aluminum projects are
pretty small , I seldom need anything bigger than the 4X6 bandsaw . And
aluminum I can cut with my woodworking saws and the proper blades .




One thing I would strongly suggest if you buy one of those inexpensive
low price import machines is stock up on consumables just in case they
aren't available later.


I have read about the difficulty of getting consumables . They list
a torch model though I don't know how standardized that is between
vendors . Probably be a good idea to stock up as you suggest . I have
found a 50 amp unit with the pilot arc for 225 bucks that I think will
fit my needs . It's first job might be cutting those OCS's into knife
blanks ... I'm already thinking of ways to warm up the shop better this
winter so I can spend some Quality Time with my forge and anvil .
--
Snag
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Default Plasma Cutter

On 10/27/2020 5:42 PM, Snag wrote:

blanks ... I'm already thinking of ways to warm up the shop better this
winter so I can spend some Quality Time with my forge and anvil .


Um... am I missing something again? LIGHT THE FORGE! LOL.



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"Snag" wrote in message ...

I'm shopping for one now ... and I'm wondering if the plot arc
feature is worth the extra cost . I'm looking at the bottom of the price
range , around 200-250 bucks - I'm not going to be using this thing all
day every day . I'm basically looking at one for irregular cuts and more
efficient cutting on things too big for my bandsaws . I don't do much OA
cutting since I'm operating on small bottles - a "B" tank for Acetylene
and a 20 CF oxygen tank . And since the wife has no objection ... she's
always been pretty flexible with me on buying tools , she knows I save
much more on repair costs than the cost of those tools .
--
Snag
Illegitimi non
carborundum

===========================

My 1/2 HP air compressor couldn't keep up with a 30A plasma cutter.



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Default Plasma Cutter

On Tue, 27 Oct 2020 17:17:09 -0500, Snag wrote:

I'm shopping for one now ... and I'm wondering if the plot arc
feature is worth the extra cost . I'm looking at the bottom of the price
range , around 200-250 bucks - I'm not going to be using this thing all
day every day . I'm basically looking at one for irregular cuts and more
efficient cutting on things too big for my bandsaws . I don't do much OA
cutting since I'm operating on small bottles - a "B" tank for Acetylene
and a 20 CF oxygen tank . And since the wife has no objection ... she's
always been pretty flexible with me on buying tools , she knows I save
much more on repair costs than the cost of those tools .

My plasma cutter, which is a nice (and expensive) Thermal arc, has a
feature that you set for cutting stuff like expanded metal or dirty
metal. I believe it is what is now called a pilot arc. I dunno what
Thermal Arc calls it. It does, on my machine, wear the consumables
faster, but when needed it sure is handy.
Eric

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On 10/27/2020 7:31 PM, Bob La Londe wrote:
On 10/27/2020 5:42 PM, Snag wrote:

blanks ... I'm already thinking of ways to warm up the shop better
this winter so I can spend some Quality Time with my forge and anvil .


Um... am I missing something again?* LIGHT THE FORGE!* LOL.


P.S. Yer a bad influence. I started looking at plasma cutters again
today.

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Bob La Londe wrote:
On 10/27/2020 7:31 PM, Bob La Londe wrote:
On 10/27/2020 5:42 PM, Snag wrote:

blanks ... I'm already thinking of ways to warm up the shop better
this winter so I can spend some Quality Time with my forge and anvil .

Um... am I missing something again? LIGHT THE FORGE! LOL.


P.S. Yer a bad influence. I started looking at plasma cutters again
today.


They are incredibly handy at times. Much easier and faster than pretty
much every other cutting method except for a shear.

--
Steve W.
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Default Plasma Cutter

On 10/27/2020 9:31 PM, Bob La Londe wrote:
On 10/27/2020 5:42 PM, Snag wrote:

blanks ... I'm already thinking of ways to warm up the shop better
this winter so I can spend some Quality Time with my forge and anvil .


Um... am I missing something again?* LIGHT THE FORGE!* LOL.




The only problem with lighting up a gas forge (or torpedo heater) is
the several hundred pounds of cold iron machine tooling ... the forge
will warm the place quite nicely , but I end up with flash rust on the
lathe and mill . I have a small pot belly stove that might work out , I
just need to find the time to repair it and rearrange the whole shop to
accommodate it .
--
Snag
Illegitimi non
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Default Plasma Cutter

On 10/28/2020 8:16 PM, Bob La Londe wrote:
On 10/27/2020 7:31 PM, Bob La Londe wrote:
On 10/27/2020 5:42 PM, Snag wrote:

blanks ... I'm already thinking of ways to warm up the shop better
this winter so I can spend some Quality Time with my forge and anvil .


Um... am I missing something again?* LIGHT THE FORGE!* LOL.


P.S.* Yer a bad influence.* I started looking at plasma cutters again
today.


They're getting quite reasonable now . The one I bought is one of the
cut50 variants with pilot arc . 225 bucks plus taxes , free shipping .
My wife didn't even ask what I wanted it for , she's a gem when it comes
to me buying tools .
--
Snag
Illegitimi non
carborundum


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On 10/28/2020 5:35 AM, Jim Wilkins wrote:
"Snag"* wrote in message ...
* I'm shopping for one now ... and I'm wondering if the plot arc
feature is worth the extra cost . I'm looking at the bottom of the price
range , around 200-250 bucks - I'm not going to be using this thing all
day every day . I'm basically looking at one for irregular cuts and more
efficient cutting on things too big for my bandsaws . I don't do much OA
cutting since I'm operating on small bottles - a "B" tank for Acetylene
and a 20 CF oxygen tank . And since the wife has no objection ... she's
always been pretty flexible with me on buying tools , she knows I save
much more on repair costs than the cost of those tools .


__________________________________

My 1/2 HP air compressor couldn't keep up with a 30A plasma cutter.

__________________________________

I think my 60 gal/6hp unit might be able to keep up with the duty
cycle on this one . It wants around 4 1/2 CFM @ 75 PSI . I'm still
studying these things , but if I understand it correctly you need less
air pressure at lower amp settings ... I got plenty of stuff to practice
on . I'll need to buy more consumables , right after the first of the
month when my monthly transfer to the shop account happens .
--
Snag
Illegitimi non
carborundum
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"Snag" wrote in message ...

On 10/28/2020 5:35 AM, Jim Wilkins wrote:
......
My 1/2 HP air compressor couldn't keep up with a 30A plasma cutter.

__________________________________

I think my 60 gal/6hp unit might be able to keep up with the duty
cycle on this one . ...
Snag

=======================

Yep, it should be enough. I don't even turn on my newer 60 gal one for small
jobs like sandblasting rust spots, the air in the tank is plenty.

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On 10/30/2020 12:18 AM, Snag wrote:
* The only problem with lighting up a gas forge (or torpedo heater) is
the several hundred pounds of cold iron machine tooling ... the forge
will warm the place quite nicely , but I end up with flash rust on the
lathe and mill . ...


Torpedo heaters (& any open-flame heater) are really, REALLY bad in a
shop. Because each pound of fuel burned produces more than a pound of
water vapor*!! Water vapor + cold steel = flash rust, as you found.

* - the reaction is very straightforward, but I'm too lazy to work out
the details. Basically it's hydrocarbon plus oxygen gives CO2 & H2O.

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On 30/10/2020 10:42, Jim Wilkins wrote:
"Snag" wrote in message ...

On 10/28/2020 5:35 AM, Jim Wilkins wrote:
.....
My 1/2 HP air compressor couldn't keep up with a 30A plasma cutter.

__________________________________

* I think my 60 gal/6hp unit might be able to keep up with the duty
cycle on this one . ...
Snag

=======================

Yep, it should be enough. I don't even turn on my newer 60 gal one for
small jobs like sandblasting rust spots, the air in the tank is plenty.

My 40A plasma cutter runs fine on my 2hp compressor.

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"David Billington" wrote in message ...

On 30/10/2020 10:42, Jim Wilkins wrote:
"Snag" wrote in message ...

On 10/28/2020 5:35 AM, Jim Wilkins wrote:
.....
My 1/2 HP air compressor couldn't keep up with a 30A plasma cutter.

__________________________________

I think my 60 gal/6hp unit might be able to keep up with the duty
cycle on this one . ...
Snag

=======================

Yep, it should be enough. I don't even turn on my newer 60 gal one for
small jobs like sandblasting rust spots, the air in the tank is plenty.

My 40A plasma cutter runs fine on my 2hp compressor.

=======================

Thanks, that's a useful data point. I wasn't looking for such a large
compressor but couldn't pass up the deal, $75 unused but missing the pump
(handling damage?). The 3HP Harbor Freight air pump works fine on it.



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On 10/29/2020 9:22 PM, Snag wrote:
On 10/28/2020 8:16 PM, Bob La Londe wrote:
On 10/27/2020 7:31 PM, Bob La Londe wrote:
On 10/27/2020 5:42 PM, Snag wrote:

blanks ... I'm already thinking of ways to warm up the shop better

this winter so I can spend some Quality Time with my forge and anvil .

Um... am I missing something again? LIGHT THE FORGE! LOL.


P.S. Yer a bad influence. I started looking at plasma cutters

again today.


They're getting quite reasonable now . The one I bought is one of

the cut50 variants with pilot arc . 225 bucks plus taxes , free shipping
.. My wife didn't even ask what I wanted it for , she's a gem when it
comes to me buying tools .


Whelp! I done went gone and ordered one. Didn't get quite the deal you
did, but I went with the CUT60P (60 amp) unit at just under $300.

I've got a piece of 3/4" steel plate laying out in front of the shop
that I have wanted to break down for various projects for a while now. I
hope this will cut it without to much slag.

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"Bob La Londe" wrote in message ...
....
I've got a piece of 3/4" steel plate laying out in front of the shop
that I have wanted to break down for various projects for a while now. I
hope this will cut it without to much slag.

==============

I've encountered a tool-dulling hard layer at the CNC plasma cut in hot
rolled steel. Fortunately the tool that dulled was an easily resharpened HSS
lathe bit instead of an endmill or bandsaw blade.

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On Fri, 30 Oct 2020 06:42:43 -0400, "Jim Wilkins"
wrote:

"Snag" wrote in message ...

On 10/28/2020 5:35 AM, Jim Wilkins wrote:
.....
My 1/2 HP air compressor couldn't keep up with a 30A plasma cutter.

__________________________________

I think my 60 gal/6hp unit might be able to keep up with the duty
cycle on this one . ...
Snag

=======================

Yep, it should be enough. I don't even turn on my newer 60 gal one for small
jobs like sandblasting rust spots, the air in the tank is plenty.


Double up on the air tanks if your little compressor can't keep up.
That said, plasma cutting is pretty quick, and you may not need it
unless you're cutting 100' of 3/4 plate.

I'm late here, but heard that the Lotos brand was a step above most
imports. 50A $409 vs $259 for others on Amazon.

--
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"Larry Jaques" wrote in message
...
On 10/28/2020 5:35 AM, Jim Wilkins wrote:
.....
My 1/2 HP air compressor couldn't keep up with a 30A plasma cutter.
__________________________________


Double up on the air tanks if your little compressor can't keep up.
That said, plasma cutting is pretty quick, and you may not need it
unless you're cutting 100' of 3/4 plate.

========================================

I did that to help my 1/2 HP compressor keep up when sandblasting vehicle
rust spots. I also hung up an 8" wall gauge to monitor the tank pressure
from where I was working, to show if I should wait a little before starting.

It was barely adequate for sandblasting and cost me some plasma consumables
because I couldn't as easily pause to check the gauge.

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My "3HP portable" air compressor matched the draw of my small
Hypertherm plasma cutter (about 10mm max cut), for continuous running.


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On Tuesday, October 27, 2020 at 8:42:15 PM UTC-4, Snag wrote:
I'm already thinking of ways to warm up the shop better this
winter so I can spend some Quality Time with my forge and anvil .
--
Snag
Illegitimi non
carborundum


Light the forge and swing the hammer. You'll soon be wishing for air conditioning.
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On Friday, November 6, 2020 at 11:15:47 PM UTC-5, Larry Jaques wrote:
On Fri, 30 Oct 2020 06:42:43 -0400, "Jim Wilkins"
wrote:

"Snag" wrote in message ...

On 10/28/2020 5:35 AM, Jim Wilkins wrote:
.....
My 1/2 HP air compressor couldn't keep up with a 30A plasma cutter.

__________________________________

I think my 60 gal/6hp unit might be able to keep up with the duty
cycle on this one . ...
Snag

=======================

Yep, it should be enough. I don't even turn on my newer 60 gal one for small
jobs like sandblasting rust spots, the air in the tank is plenty.

Double up on the air tanks if your little compressor can't keep up.
That said, plasma cutting is pretty quick, and you may not need it
unless you're cutting 100' of 3/4 plate.

I'm late here, but heard that the Lotos brand was a step above most
imports. 50A $409 vs $259 for others on Amazon.


Here in NY, I'd rather actually own a pickup with a compressor like a CFM and a 3000 watt generator between the cab and tilt bed. That would be real good right now.
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