It is currently Tue Sep 19, 2017 2:45 pm Advanced search

Decent Plasma to Cut .375" Steel?

Metal cutting - oxyfuel cutting, plasma cutting, machining, grinding, and other preparatory work.

Decent Plasma to Cut .375" Steel?

Postby weldyM » Tue Aug 15, 2017 7:39 pm

I searched for a recent thread but only came up with Feb. I'm looking for one that's better than the over priced stuff you get on the tool trucks.

I know Jody reviewed the AHP 60 a while back and I trust his take on such things but am curious if there have been any new developments on the plasma cutter front since he put that vid out in 2015. Or if there might be something on the 'lighter' side that would handle light work. I really don't know much about these things outside of the few I've used in the past.

I probably wouldn't be cutting anything more than 11g steel most of the time, but those things do come in handy for the odd monster steel job occasionally. And even if I'm only doing light gauge stuff with it, I've used enough 110v stuff to say I'm pretty sure I would want 220.

Any suggestions?
User avatar
weldyM
New Member
 
Posts: 11
Joined: Mon Jul 25, 2016 7:31 pm
Location: Gainesville, Ga

Re: Decent Plasma to Cut .375" Steel?

Postby Artie F. Emm » Tue Aug 15, 2017 10:34 pm

Hey, WeldyM,
I'm not up on plasma cutters, just checking in to say you'll also need a pretty beefy air compressor with a dryer setup. Don't mean to preach, in case you knew that already.

Good luck, keep us posted as to which machine you're considering!
Dave
aka "RTFM"
Artie F. Emm
Weldmonger
 
Posts: 597
Joined: Thu Jul 24, 2014 7:53 am

Re: Decent Plasma to Cut .375" Steel?

Postby homeboy » Tue Aug 15, 2017 11:34 pm

The Hypertherm 30 Air is self contained with its own air filter and air dryer and operates on 120 or 220 by just switching a plug adapter and weighs about 30lb. Cuts up to 3/8 very well and 1/2in only slower. Also has a good dealer network and parts availability. Not the cheapest but very good quality and eliminates auxiliary air supply and filters if you aren't already set up for that. It's completely portable which may be a consideration. I have had one for 2 years and all I have done is replace combustables as needed. :D
homeboy
Guide
 
Posts: 168
Joined: Mon Dec 19, 2016 11:52 pm

Re: Decent Plasma to Cut .375" Steel?

Postby weldyM » Thu Aug 17, 2017 11:20 am

Thanks fellas. I was borrowing a friends plasma for a bit with my own air compressor, but he needed it back.

I looked into that Hypertherm stuff and it looks awesome, but a little more pricey than I was looking for.

Thanks for another great video Jody!

I ordered the AHP 60 :)
User avatar
weldyM
New Member
 
Posts: 11
Joined: Mon Jul 25, 2016 7:31 pm
Location: Gainesville, Ga

Re: Decent Plasma to Cut .375" Steel?

Postby jimcolt » Wed Aug 23, 2017 10:41 am

3/8" steel cut with a Hypertherm Powermax45XP. This unit is production rated to 5/8", can sever to 1-1/4". Costs a little more than the imports, but if you actually use it it will get less expensive as time goes on (longest consumable parts life, made in USA).

Compressor? a 6.0 cfm will keep up with it, for high duty cycle use I would recommend a 12 cfm @ 90 psi and a 60 to 80 gallon receiver. Air consumption is similar to that of an air impact gun as used in the auto repair business or a HVLP paint spray gun.

Air dryer? For hobby type work if you drain the compressor tank daily expect that the onboard coalescing water trap with auto drain will be fine. More use, more humid environment will ultimately need more of an air drying system from absorbing filters to dessicant dryers or to a refrigerant dryer. Keep in mind that some older technology torch designs will eat a set of consumables with a few drops of water in the air system, some of the newer technology plasma cutters are barely affected by water in the compressed air.

Cost of operation? to cut 3/8" steel with an air plasma (like listed above with long consumable life) expect the cutting cost (consumables, air and electricity) to be around 1.2 cents per foot of cut.

Are all plasma cutters equal? No. All are designed to cut metal. Some will cut faster, with better quality and with dramatically longer (6x to 10x) consumable parts life. Amperage is the power rating most manufacturers go by....more amps equals the ability to cut thicker and faster. In reality the power is wattage....which you can find in the power supply specs for most plasma cutters. Multiply the plasma's rated "Load Voltage" times the rated Amperage and you will get the wattage rating for the particular plasma. The major brand 45 amp systems produce higher output wattage than many imported 60 amp systems. Often a 45 amp plasma can cut circles around older technology or low cost imports of 60 amps.

Do your homework when shopping for plasma, ask the industry experts and those that use plasma for hand and mechanized cutting. As with anything else, using low cost as your major purchase criteria will generally get you less quality, lower after sale support from the factory, lower performance and higher operating cost, costing you more in the long run.

Does Jim Colt ever recommend low cost import plasma cutters? Yes, when a buyer wants a warranty, a new unit and the lowest price I have been known to recommend other brands!

Jim Colt Hypertherm



Powermax45 edge angle 003.jpg
Powermax45 edge angle 003.jpg (28.45 KiB) Viewed 129 times
Last edited by jimcolt on Wed Aug 23, 2017 1:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
jimcolt
Workhorse
 
Posts: 52
Joined: Fri Apr 24, 2015 12:11 pm
Location: New Hampshire, USA

Re: Decent Plasma to Cut .375" Steel?

Postby Farmwelding » Wed Aug 23, 2017 1:43 pm

jimcolt wrote:3/8" steel cut with a Hypertherm Powermax45XP. This unit is production rated to 5/8", can sever to 1-1/4". Costs a little more than the imports, but if you actually use it it will get less expensive as time goes on (longest consumable parts life, made in USA).



Powermax45 edge angle 003.jpg

I should get around to using a 45 sometime. Have one hooked up to the cnc plasma table at school and then 85 and 1000 models at tech school. Fantastic cutting job by the way. We have a Miller at school as well and the hypertherms, in my opinion, have far better consumable life. They are also easier to set up compared to our Miller.
A student now but really want to weld everyday. Want to learn everything about everything. Want to become a knower of all and master of none.
Instagram: @farmwelding
Nick
Farmwelding
Weldmonger
 
Posts: 1263
Joined: Thu Mar 10, 2016 11:37 pm
Location: Wisconsin

Re: Decent Plasma to Cut .375" Steel?

Postby LtBadd » Wed Aug 23, 2017 6:34 pm

Thanks Jim, always good to hear the informative advice you bring to this forum.
Richard

Insert witty, sarcastic, or philosophical remark here.
User avatar
LtBadd
Weldmonger
 
Posts: 1319
Joined: Sun Apr 12, 2015 4:00 pm
Location: Clearwater FL


Return to Metal Cutting