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Quality Plasma cutter, $400

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  • Quality Plasma cutter, $400

    Rationalization can be such fun, can't it?

    I have no good way to cut metal. A 4" Milwaukee angle grinder and a HF air cut-off tool. Imprecise and noisy, to say the least. With my new HH187, I need something better. Like a plasma cutter. Still, $1,000 and up? OUCH!!

    So here's my thinking...

    Hypertherm Powermax 30 or Thermal Dynamics Cutmaster 39 cost about a grand.

    Was originally going to buy a HH210, but bought the 187 instead.
    Saved $200. So with the cash I saved, the price of the Plasma cutter drops to $800.

    Thought about a horizontal band saw at about $400 (or more). If I apply that toward the Plasma...

    The price drops from $800 to $400.

    How am I doing?
    Michael

  • #2
    You can't possibly be married, or at least not for long.

    Now if you are married, and have kids that are interested in such things, you just get them excited. Then tell the wife that the kid needs it (education and such), and go away shaking your head about how much this will affect the beer budget, etc., but what can you do?
    --- RJL ----------------------------------------------

    Ordinarily I'm insane, but I have lucid moments when I'm merely stupid.
    -------------------------

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by usmcpop View Post
      You can't possibly be married, or at least not for long.
      Male logic is sooo superior, don't you think?

      Michael

      Comment


      • #4
        TR3A, It sounds like your decision has been made to go for the plasma cutter. I don't see any harm in that, but, you can also cut steel with an O/A setup or chopsaw for less than what a plasma outfit is going to cost you. You didn't say what type of metal or thickness you need to cut so the choices are pretty varied. Tell us what'cha gonna do with it and we'll try to give you some good advice.
        Jim

        Miller MM 210
        Miller Dialarc 250P
        Airco 225 engine driven
        Victor O/A
        Lots of other tools and always wanting more

        Comment


        • #5
          Yes. TR3, I see you have an excellent grasp of the Theory of Declining Differentials . It really is true...set your sights high, then shoot low, and the difference is like money in you pocket!!, so go spend it!

          JimTX is correct. You can do almost any cut with a much more versatile OA outfit. Its amazing how fine a cut you can make with practice..plus you can use Rosebud, Braze, cut all sorts of junky metal, etc.

          Both are excellent plasmas. I've owner the TD, and it had a particularly fine kerf...but be warned...DO NOT UNDER-BUY!! That's the mistake so many of us make. Be honest with what you are going to cut, and be wary of the manufactuer's claims. My TD 38 would not cut the 1/4" thick heavy cylinders in one pass. I believe they are of a type steel that takes more amps than normal mild steel...that caused me to sell that nice unit and buy my Riland (less money/more amps), which works great, but does not cut as fine a line as the TD. I could have bout the Cutmaster 51 for a few hundred more than the 38, wished I would have, but...Lesson Learned!
          Last edited by Hotfoot; 02-05-2009, 07:28 AM.
          "Good Enough Never Is"

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by usmcpop View Post
            You can't possibly be married, or at least not for long.
            I dunno, that sounds exactly like FSL (Female Shopping Logic) to me...

            "Oh honey, they were having this great sale at the mall, I spent $2000 on clothes but everything was half off, so I actually SAVED you $1000!"
            Trailblazer 302 * Millermatic 212 * Syncrowave 180SD * X-Treme 12VS Feeder * Spoolmate 3035
            Thermal Dynamics Cutmaster 52 Plasma * Lincoln 175 MIG

            Victor Superrange II * Victor Journeyman

            Hobart HH 125EZ


            Comment


            • #7
              go away shaking your head about how much this will affect the beer budget, etc., but what can you do?
              Man! Tappin into the beer budget for a plasma cutter. What a shame.
              I think the wife would be very understanding of your sacrifice. LOL
              BUY AMERICAN... THE JOB YOU SAVE MAY BE YOUR OWN!!!!!

              Hobart Champion 16
              Miller external secondary contactor
              stick foot pedal
              remote voltage control(homemade)
              Hobart Portafeed 17(w AG-2000 control box)
              Bernard Q350 mig gun
              Hobart AG-2000 pull gun
              Lincoln Hi-Freq k799(yes, I know it's red)
              Weldcraft CS300 tig torch
              Miller RFC-23A foot pedal
              Thermal Dynamics Cutmaster 50
              Victor 450/300 series torches
              oodles of connecting cords

              I can fix it, just pay me to replace it first

              Comment


              • #8
                Hotfoot is right. Do not under buy. Shopped for a few months and finally decided on a TD 51, but didn't like the $1500 price tag. So I found a lightly used TD 50 with an upgraded torch on Ebay for $825. Wanted something to do 1/2". Got something that will do 3/4". Found myself cutting stuff up 1". It will do it, but I have to go so slow that I can drink a beer while doing it.
                ---Mike---
                BUY AMERICAN... THE JOB YOU SAVE MAY BE YOUR OWN!!!!!

                Hobart Champion 16
                Miller external secondary contactor
                stick foot pedal
                remote voltage control(homemade)
                Hobart Portafeed 17(w AG-2000 control box)
                Bernard Q350 mig gun
                Hobart AG-2000 pull gun
                Lincoln Hi-Freq k799(yes, I know it's red)
                Weldcraft CS300 tig torch
                Miller RFC-23A foot pedal
                Thermal Dynamics Cutmaster 50
                Victor 450/300 series torches
                oodles of connecting cords

                I can fix it, just pay me to replace it first

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Zrexxer View Post
                  ... I spent $2000 on clothes but everything was half off, so I actually SAVED you $1000!"
                  Zrexxer,
                  You'll need to explain away this one, and I'm sure you will.
                  If you spend 2k dollars on product at 50% off the savings are 2k dollars, not $1000.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by usmcpop View Post
                    ...this will affect the beer budget...
                    That, sir, is alcohol abuse...

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by MAC702 View Post
                      That, sir, is alcohol abuse...
                      You have to factor in the cost of the "consumables".
                      --- RJL ----------------------------------------------

                      Ordinarily I'm insane, but I have lucid moments when I'm merely stupid.
                      -------------------------

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Actually, I haven't really decided to buy a plasma cutter, but they do seem really handy. I didn't give OA a moment's thought since it always seemed like even more to learn...plus, I wasn't too impressed with the quality of the cut when I watched the guy use one to cut me a half sheet of 20 ga a while back. I've never even held an OA torch in my hand! Plasma either, for that matter, but it just looks easier. In doing a bit of reading around here though, it would appear that plasma is more complicated to use than I thought. Maybe I'll just buy a good hacksaw!

                        As for what I will need to cut, good question. I guess I'm looking for something that's not too hard to learn that will cut sheet metal and up to maybe 1/4" bar stock, angle, etc. I really can't think of anything thicker than that - I'm hard pressed to even come up with anything ideas for 1/4" material! I know everyone says to buy more than you think you'll need, but I honestly can't see myself needing to cut anything heavy.

                        If I DO decide to get a plasma cutter, has anyone dealt with http://www.weldersource.com? They have the three plasma units I'm considering and have the best prices I have found.

                        This started out as a little bit of humor, but now it's getting $cary! Thanks...I think.
                        Last edited by TR3A; 02-05-2009, 03:16 PM.
                        Michael

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Take all that money you saved not buying the plasma cutter and get a good torch set-up AND a horizontal band saw. It doesn't take long to master a cutting torch...bit longer to weld with one. While a plasma cutter is a wondrous machine it doesn't hold a candle to the uses you'll find for a torch. Even a cheap abrasive chop saw will outshine a plasma cutter on repetitive cuts...and a horz. band saw will make the chore a pleasure.
                          Miller 251, Lincoln PrecisionTig 275, Miller DialArc 250 AC/DC, Hypertherm 900, Bridgeport J-head, Jet 14" lathe, South Bend 9" lathe, Hossfeld bender with a collection of dies driving me to the poorhouse, Logan shaper, Ellis 3000 bandsaw, Royersford drill press and a Victor Journeyman O/A.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            An OA torch is alot cheaper to run than a plasma cutter, I myself run an oxy propane. It works well, cuts any thickness I want. I dont have to worry about did I buy a large enough plasma,I can just change the tip on the oxy pro torch and I can cut thicker metal. The down fall with the plasma is that it cost a lot upfront, then the consumables to run it are very expensive.
                            PowerMig 215
                            Precision Tig 225
                            Old Buzz Box

                            Hypertherm 600
                            HH 125 EZ
                            MM 350P
                            TB 302 w/ 12RC


                            Originally posted by scab
                            If you are the type of person who gets upset at things breaking brace yourself for possible dissappointment.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              You guys are killin' me! I came to this site looking for a small MIG and now I own a HH187. Problem solved? Nah. Now I'm talking about plasma and OA and band saws. There's no end to this, is there?! Groan.

                              Ok...If I decide on a plasma cutter, it will probably be the Powermax 30; maybe the TD Cutmaster 39.

                              If a band saw, the Jet 5x6 from Northern...and use my air tools for sheet metal.

                              I think I will pass on the cut-off saw.

                              And then there's OA. Some of you have made a very good case for buying a torch. I have to admit, I've always thought it was kind of cool, all the things you could do with one, but I've been intimidated by it for some reason. Interesting that OA intimidates me but plasma doesn't. I probably need an attitude adjustment.

                              I've read that, if I one wants to REALLY learn metal work, OA is an excellent choice. Trouble is, I know NOTHING about it. I don't even know what brands there are, much less which brands/models are considered good. It sounds like I can do more with OA than with any of the other alternatives - once I learn how anyway. If anyone can recommend a nice kit, without breaking the bank, it would be appreciated.

                              I don't know anyone who uses an OA torch so if you have any suggestions on how I could best learn this stuff, that would be nice too. I have looked for local courses in welding and metal work in general and have found nothing.

                              Bottom line is, it sounds like OA would give me the most bang for the buck. I just don't know anything about where to start. Short of going to my LWS and buying whatever he recommends. And since I know nothing about it, buying used makes me nervous. Any and all suggestions will be most appreciated!
                              Michael

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