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Plasma

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    ScrapmanIndustries started this thread.
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    Plasma

    So I went out and got a plasma cutter for cutting Ac Compressors apart a few months ago, and I must say that after getting experienced with it I find my self using the plasma way more than the oxyfuel torch for nearly everything anymore. I only have a little 30 amp Hypertherm, but It can cut 75% of the stuff I seem to need it for. I used to think negatively of plasma for the longest time, thinking it was expensive, dangerous, hard/complicated to use, and since the only plasma cutters we had in school were broke the entire 3 years I was there I thought plasma was just straight up junk. But now that I got to use it, (I had to teach myself how to use it) I've found it to be way cheaper in the long run, way quicker if you have the proper machine size, and its so simple and safe almost anyone could do it. even splicing a broken torch lead back together is pretty simple, once you spend 2 hours searching every aisle in the home depot for the $3 part getting it back together only takes 10 minutes. the only time I really find myself going for the oxyfuel torch any more is when I have to cut some sort of heavy pipe/tubing since the plasma you gotta take the torch the whole way around instead of just blowing out a small hole and torching everything from one side. I'm sure theres ways to go about that with plasma but Im still somewhat new.



    If any one else on here Is using a torch almost daily I would highly recommend looking into plasma. there are some machines out there that can do like 2" cuts if you need to, that make oxyfuel look like childs play. sure start up is high but really its way cheaper if your using it all the time. And also portable. My whole set up is run off a 6800 watt generator I got at the Home Depot a few years ago.

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    Question, have you noticed any difference when cutting an oil filled AC can open with the plasma versus the oxygen torch.

    Using the oxygen torch there's an excess of O2 and this makes the oil burn rapidly we'll call it flare, I've suffered plenty of burns from it while cutting into oil soaked heavy equipment that had hidden pockets filled with oil and grease.

    No hot oil flare with plasma.

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    APA

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    Hypertherm is awesome. FreonJoe turned me on to them after fighting with my Everlast, which really should be called Neverlast. Sure, the cost was 3 times, but the quality is there. No downtime and sending it back for repairs like I had with Neverlast. It just works, day in and day out.

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    Nothing wrong with the Chinese plama cutters I had the Cut 70 with pilot arc, the pilot quit rendering the machine inoperable. This happened in the first month and the seller was not much help in addressing the problem other than agreeing to exchange the unit free of charge.

    Yea I was anoyed and ready to toss the machine but instead removed to covers and discovered a high voltage coil leading to a set of contact points, the lead wire was arcing against the cabinet before reaching the contacts. Re rounted the ;ead wire and problem as fixed, never had another incident with the machine and I cut some very heavy farm equipment up with it on a daily basis.

    When I left to live om the sail boat had sold off a bunch of my equipment, I'm thinking of buying another Chinese plasma to cut cats from truck and cars, yea I'm going on a cat hunt just as soon as I get that rebuilt 46RE transmission installed into a 96 Dakota that I bought off of one of the Native guys that had a blown automatic.

    The transmission rebuild if anyone is interested is a story in itself.

    Easy enough to do, total cost of parts for the rebuild was under $500.00 and that was with a new torque converter.

    ...

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    ScrapmanIndustries started this thread.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Proton View Post
    Question, have you noticed any difference when cutting an oil filled AC can open with the plasma versus the oxygen torch.

    Using the oxygen torch there's an excess of O2 and this makes the oil burn rapidly we'll call it flare, I've suffered plenty of burns from it while cutting into oil soaked heavy equipment that had hidden pockets filled with oil and grease.

    No hot oil flare with plasma.
    Yeah same here. I cut some with a torch, standing as far back as my arm and torch would extend, and still got some pretty close calls with them flares. With the plasma I get some flames come out of the window ac units every now and then but its really nothing to be worried about. they stop and go out as soon as I let off the trigger too. (usually). Almost had a fire in the truck bed when a hot spark landed on a ripped up label. but that went out before it hit the oil puddle that was right next to it. Also noticed that cutting into 275 gal. oil tanks with plasma is a lot faster and safer as well. even when they're drained they still catch on fire with the torch for a little bit.

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    Quote Originally Posted by IdahoScrapper View Post
    Hypertherm is awesome. FreonJoe turned me on to them after fighting with my Everlast, which really should be called Neverlast. Sure, the cost was 3 times, but the quality is there. No downtime and sending it back for repairs like I had with Neverlast. It just works, day in and day out.
    You guys are actually the only reason I decided to even try plasma. I was really struggling to find a cheap way to cut them compressors apart. I must of used like every metal cutting tool I could find in the collection of crap that I have and nothing worked. I was gonna get a Hobart since the only plasmas I could find locally were Hobart, Miller, Hypertherm, and some outsourced rebranded Lincolns. I just so happened to decide on the Hypertherm after seeing all the stuff Jim Colt does to help people learn about them and how they fix the occasional problems they put out. That and I got the Hypertherm really cheap with all the discounts, it was actually cheaper than Hobarts 27 amp model.

    Question, what part exactly kept breaking on the ever last? I haven't had any problems with the hypertherm that I didn't cause (Dropped a compressor on the torch lead which severed it in two, and burnt the ground clamp off after not realizing cutting an oily pipe would spit flames out of the one end.) both were fixed fairly easy with less than $10 in parts. Just wondering because the only plasma experience I had before this was tripping over the broken miller machines we had at school for 3 years. They fixed one once and we were gonna learn it but the thing broke again after the teacher made like 3 small cuts.

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    I don't know what part broke. One day it wouldn't strike. Sent it in under warranty. Took forever for them to get around to doing anything with it.They finally decided they couldn't repair it so they sent me a new unit.

    Of course that one lasted just outside of warranty. Since it wasn't worth the headache to get it repaired I tossed it and went with Hypertherm.

    ZERO REGRETS! It gets it done, day in and day out.


    ETA: One tiny regret I suppose. The ground clamp is weak sauce. One jaw i guess it could be called, cracked and is splaying. Still works but doesn't clamp well. I'll probably use a scrap jumper cable to rig it.

    But overall it's miles ahead of cutting compressors with cut offs, sawzall blades, etc.
    Last edited by IdahoScrapper; 11-06-2019 at 08:55 PM.

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