What is a Plasma cutter like ?

toomuchglassMay 30, 2009

How do they work ? Do they need an air supply ? - A compressor - or a tank of Oxygen ? 220 volt ? What kind of bench can you cut on ?? Questions - questions ! Now that I learned "first grade" welding ... I'm seeing all the cool "toys" that you can buy for metalworking. I've watched videos of people cutting out stuff with plasma cutters ... but of course - it doesn't give the technical details. I have a long way to go before I can do this - but I'd love to find out the details. If you've done it --- I'd LOVE to find out the pro's and cons ...... Thank you !!! ~ Kathy

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alphonse

They work by establishing arc plasma between the nozzle and the work. The plasma is conductive.
Yes, compressed air is now the common driver.Inert gases were used initially and still are on sensitive material.
220VAC hookups are standard foo home shops. The swarf doesn't have the thermal "memory" like oxy torch, plywood could suffice as a bench. There will be charring.
The "pierce" rating of the machine is a good indicator of capability. If the intention is cutting non-ferrous greater capacity is required vs. steel only.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2009 at 7:01AM
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toomuchglass

Oh -- there IS air involved. I wasn't sure. Sounds like that will be something to use in the far far future.
My hubby isn't too happy that I'm taking over his garage with my "new hobby" ~~ LOL

    Bookmark   June 1, 2009 at 6:50PM
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alphonse

The compressed air requirement is modest for the type machine you would likely get. Any basically equipped garage compressor probably fills the bill. Hubby might find the cutter VERY handy.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2009 at 5:36AM
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christopherh

If you're interested in seeing what plasma can do with intricate work or repeatable work, go to www.torchmate.com
They're small units for small shops or craftsmen who sell the work at craft shows.

Here is a link that might be useful: Torchmate

    Bookmark   June 21, 2009 at 7:17AM
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gretch1964

OMG, you will love one. There is so much you can do with one. I have a miller plasma cutter.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2009 at 12:23AM
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crackpotannie

Hey there Gretch and Toomuch whats new??Gretch what Miller do you have my husband is interested in getting a small hobby one ...whats good anyone out there??

    Bookmark   July 9, 2009 at 3:04PM
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toomuchglass

Hey Annie ...... nothing new -- I'm just dying for the "big boy tools" ... *sulking* .....

    Bookmark   July 9, 2009 at 11:21PM
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