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plasma cutters?

Discussion in 'The Tool Shed' started by beater_k20, Aug 22, 2006.

  1. beater_k20

    beater_k20 Banned

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    i've thought about buying a good set of torches, as in the summer i tend to do alot of cutting (between working on projects, scrapping, and derby cars). after talking to my buddy (who generally fills the torch tanks) it seems that a plasma would be a much better investment. more expensive initially, but worth it in the long run. we're on our 5th fill on the bottles this year, and at $100 a pop, it wouldnt take long for the plasma to pay for itself.

    can anybody recomend a good trouble free unit, that would cut up to 3/8" steel, maybe even up to 1/2" occasionally, for a reasonable price?
     
  2. rdn2blazer

    rdn2blazer 1 ton status Premium Member

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    a good brand name plasma cutter will be pricy, BUT you get what you pay for when it comes to this type of equipment. try shoping online at cyberweld.com or something like that. that a fairly small to moderate capicity so it wont be too bad. my bud has a Thermadyne by Thermal Dynamics that will cut severance it 1 1/8, it was 2500 bucks. you can expect to pay about 1000 less I would think for one to your capacity.

    this one is about 1500

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Thermal Dynamics Plasma Cutter - Cutmaster 51
    [​IMG]
    Mfg Industrial Price: $2,059.20
    Cyberweld Price: $1,439.00
     
  3. beater_k20

    beater_k20 Banned

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    what should i be looking for as far as specs?
     
  4. rdn2blazer

    rdn2blazer 1 ton status Premium Member

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    Im not an expert but my bud with the big unit is a 6G 20 yr certified welder and he say his company has tried them all. all they buy is Thermadynes. says the technology is better then the others.

    look for pierce capacity and severence capacity. there is what it will cut cleanly at, then its max severence capicity. if you want a clean 1/2 in cut you will need a cutter that is bigger then what you thought.
     
  5. BadDog

    BadDog SOL Staff Member Super Moderator Author

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    My HT380 will severe 1/2 (rough cut, but it'll do it), but I wouldn't want to do it much, and it needs a lot of cleanup with an angle grinder and a slow steady hand or guide. 3/8" actually does not cut that bad, but still requires a slow steady hand with moderate clean up. 1/4" it sings along nicely, just don't get in too big a hurry. 1/8" and less, it might as well be a red hot wire through plastic wrap...

    Best way I know how to describe my experience. But I feed it lots of clean air and run it 220V. I've also noticed that quality consumables are REQUIRED for good consistent cuts.
     
  6. 85mudblazin

    85mudblazin 1/2 ton status

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    I just bought one of these a few months ago and it has been a pretty good unit. It is very small, about the size of a large shoe box, and it packs a big punch:D It will do 1/2" pretty clean if you have a steady hand, zips though 3/8" and 1/4" like a hot knife though butter.

    Not to mention its CHEAP:D
    http://www.pirate4x4.com/forum/showthread.php?t=455721
     
  7. dontoe

    dontoe 3/4 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    How do they work, anyway?
    I've seen them used, but never have studied up on them.

    They recently bought one for the maintenance dept. here at work, and I asked if I could borrow it. The Manager said he thought so. :wink1:
     
  8. Dan@BlueTorch

    Dan@BlueTorch Registered Member

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    All I buy is HyperTherm. I have owned many of the other brands and have never been let down with a Hypertherm.

    Let me know if I can help

    -Dan
     
  9. sgarrison

    sgarrison 1/2 ton status

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    I have a HyperTherm 380 and have put a lot of hrs. on it with no problems. It wasn't cheap, but you get what you pay for.:waytogo:
     
  10. beater_k20

    beater_k20 Banned

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    the Hypertherm380 can be had on EBay for about $1000 shipped
     
  11. clarkjw24

    clarkjw24 1/2 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    Don't forget the consumables. They'll cost near that of bottle refills. Also you'll need an air supply[compressor]. Tips, baffles, electrodes are NOT cheap, but easy to store. I just spent about a $200 on 5 electrodes, tips, and baffles. Gone through about 12 sets in the 1 1/2 years I've had it.
     
  12. beater_k20

    beater_k20 Banned

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  13. sweetk30

    sweetk30 professional hooker Premium Member

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    where the he!! are you filling your bottles for that price?:eek1:

    my local shop guy is about 30 for a 5 ft oxy and 25 for a acy bottle.

    2.5 ft argon/co2 mix is 25 bucks also.

    100 a set is vary high if you ask me.

    do you rent or own them. i own mine.
     
  14. jekquistk5

    jekquistk5 Weld nekid Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    Jeremy, have you tried switching tips. I'm using a propane, oxy torch right now, and its working great. I've cut tons of stuff with it, and I've only had to refil the oxy once soo far and it only cost me 25 bucks.... and that was for a 40 pounder.
     
  15. beater_k20

    beater_k20 Banned

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    i'll be using it alot. building 15+ derby cars a year, whatever i find to strip for parts and scrap, plus the 2 "project trucks" i have now, i know there will be more.

    plus, the plasma is quicker and cleaner to work with.
     
  16. jekquistk5

    jekquistk5 Weld nekid Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    Yeah I suppose. If you take your time with a propane it works just fine. I guess I just dont have 1k to dish out for tools. But my dad does so once he gets his, I'll just barrow it.
     
  17. Txchevy18

    Txchevy18 1/2 ton status

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    New Idea

    Has any one tried polyproalene (sp?) ? I work at a shipyard as a mechanic and that is what we just switched to for buildin barges and other fab jobs. To switch from actelene all that is need is a tank of the stuff and a two piece tip. The tip no longer need to be cleaned with the little needle lke cleaner instead all that is needed is a small brass brush and a coulpe of strokes. We had a dealer come out and teach every how to use it and i was quite impressed. It cut 7/8 plate like butter and as fast as you could move the torch. The cool thing was the cut was clean and the very little amount of slag created just chips away like splatter from a welder ,very little clean up nessecary. Thought id throw out the idea since scapping cars ussualy dosent get u close to a 220 outlet.

    Txchevy18
     
  18. jekquistk5

    jekquistk5 Weld nekid Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    Very good point, Its nice to be able to bring it with you. Although I have seen some very sweet plasma cutters that ran off of 110.
     

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