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  • #16
    So now we have it....the first hands on demo of the Multiplaz 3500.

    It's awesomely hot......cutting a piece of 2mm thick mild steel plate was like cutting through a piece of as you can go.

    So far I haven't had a lot of good results welding square tubing, the stuff you use to make all those small machine stands and benches.

    It is so hot that the tube, 20mm square with 1mm wall, burns through quickly, so a few more demo tests to improve on that are wanted.

    I have made a number of projects with 20mm X 1mm wall steel sq tubing using both Mig and Tig, and managed to burn through with the Tig on quite a few occasions, mainly from not moving the torch fast enough.....once the area starts to glow it's move or it collapses into a hole.

    I did a weld test on two pieces of 1/2" steel plate using a 3mm (1/8") regular welding rod, with the flux removed, for a filler rod.

    The penetration is very deep, practically all the way through if you slow down the rate of travel, and the amp setting indicated about 170 amps....this was with the machine connected to a 240 volt 10 amp supply instead of the 15 amp supply recommended in the handbook.

    Welding at that rate was in Mode 2 with the earth lead connected to the job and the arc making contact with the workpiece like as in a Tig torch.

    No "veeing out" weld preperation is used in this method, as the weld gets the two faces fused together with the filler rod adding a bit to prevent sagging in the weld area.

    It welds faster than a Mig and faster than a stick and much faster than Tig, and you have to be quick in moving the torch forward or you get real deep penetration.

    The weld characteristic is like melting the two edges together and adding filler to top up....very full weld with a slightly raised bead on flat stuff.

    I haven't tried welding two pieces at right angles, but the process is the same....deep penetration.

    The last weld test was on cast iron and this is like melting butter onto bread.

    A few seconds to preheat the weld area to red heat and a pure cast iron filler rod, 3/8" diam,( no special High Nickel rods needed) filled a 1/2" X 1/2" deep hole level to the parent metal.

    The body of the iron work piece drew the heat out too quick to allow the weld to anneal itself so a chilled rock hard weld finish resulted, but a subsequent reheat and slow cool will prevent this for regular work pieces like exhaust manifolds and damaged machine work tables etc.

    I haven't been able to get ANY success with alluminium, no doubt due to the lack of proper flux at the demo time, so this will be the next trial.

    A piece of stainless steel plate 1mm thick dissapeared in holes at the weld site, so that needs to be tested too.

    I did a bit of copper "brazing" straight onto the steel plate using some copper wire without any flux and it went oK, so a lot of those small jobs that need brazing are possible without using expensive bronze filler rods etc, but the thicker filler rods are better than thin stuff, 1/4" diam would be OK as the torch eats filler quickly.

    Next demo session today.


    • #17
      Well I finally went down to the store and bought the Multiplaz 3500.

      Now I've got to practice and get the results I want.

      Here's a couple of pics of the 1/2" steel plate butt welded both sides and the cast iron die base I did a few fill in welds with cast iron rod.

      The cast iron weld left it in a very hard state as it's a very localised instant heating, but I just wanted to see how the metal flowed, so no attempt was made to produce a perfect job, it would need reheating and slow cooling to remachine, but the heating and welding ability ability on such a lump of iron was very soon as the weld area goes shiny and glassy you feed the filler rod in.

      The steel plate had a 3/4" hole though it, and it welded out with out blowing the flame out, starting at the sides of the hole and when melting occurs you just feed in the filler rod and work round the welding to half way and turning over and repeating until the hole is filled up.

      They recommend in the handbook to use a copper block for backing up thin stainless sheet material, so I expect the same applies to thin steel as well.

      My main concern will be square tubing with a 1mm wall thickness, as it's so hot it burns through very quick.

      The guy at the showroom said he melted through 30mm (1-1/4")thick steel plate to make a hole, so there's plenty of heat there.


      • #18
        In a few of your posts you make this comment several times "it's very hot". Well is there a way to turn down the heat???
        On the 1/2" plate you welded it don't look like you cleaned it much and, what process did you use to weld Tig??


        • #19
          Hot, yeah it's hot. The manual says the "flame" is 8000 deg C, so it's their word on that.
          You can compare the process as an extremely hot gas torch with Tig characteristics and a very small flame sticking point area contact initially.

          One thing you notice at start, as soon as you get the flame near the job, the weld area starts to heat very rapidly, you get a red heat spot directly on the weld joint and if'n you hold the torch there the joint starts to melt, very little side dissipation, and that's when you move along a bit and add filler.

          In the photo, last post, the two bits of 1/2" steel plate were as I found them, no preperation or cleaning.....not needed.....butt the two ends more or special mating to get flush fitting.....the torch just melts the two but ends together and you get more penetration as you hold the torch flame on the's very can't do this with Mig or Tig....Mig adds metal as you go, and you need to Vee out the butts or you get a build up on top of the joins....not quite the same for Tig as it's more or less the same process, (but no shielding gas)....melting the butts and adding filler, but Tig is pretty slow and you don't get the depth of penetration.

          You can hold the torch vertical to the steel plate and it will just burn a hole straight through without blowing back on you.

          So far I've just messed with a few pieces of plate and some sq tubing at the demo, but the potential to use different metals for welding and brazing opens a whole lot of options.

          Reading further into the manual, which is very comprehensive and extensively detailed, they advise using copper backup for welding thin steel and stainless to prevent blowing through.

          I want to have a try making a small furnace with some fire bricks to see if'n I can melt alluminium in a steel pot for doing a bit of casting, so there's lots of opportunity to explore it's potential.

          Apparently the shielding gas is made from the water that forms the plasma in the arc path, and you use a 50/50 water methylated spirits or any alcohol mix for all welding and brazing, just plain water for the cutting, so consumeables are practically non existant.....I'm going to try some 3mm (1/8") fencing wire to see how it works as filler rod, then I'm going to try some hard facing tests using some spring wire and old piston rings, which being cast iron will add a high carbon area to any edge you want to have hardened, like garden tools for digging.

          Just forgot, you adjust the heat input by jiggling the front controls on the power unit with 2 heat modes and a number of settings on each, gotta do a test to see how low it can go.

          It's extremely portable.
          Last edited by billbong; 06-21-2011, 10:51 AM. Reason: Corrected welding and cutting.


          • #20
            Does`nt sound 2 promising 4 precision work. Also noticed some porosity in the weld beads
            Journeyman Tool & Die Weldor


            • #21
              Hi Grumpy, I'm not a welder by profession or trade, but a Fitter and Turner so welding has always been an extra string to my bow.

              The test pieces were done at the retail outlet and as such were not under ideal conditions.

              I took along a couple of pieces of material and they let me loose for an hour or two on my own.

              The cast iron piece was just to see how much heat it took to actually weld as opposed to just heating the material in a large area like you would get using an Oxy Acetylene set-up......tig, unless you had a large unit and lots of preheat, wouldn't get near it.

              I did a preheat on the iron job using the torch to get an area of about 50mm to red heat, and then just went in and started at the first hole which was 3/8" diam and just melted the edges while adding filler rod until it was more or less filled up.....welding actual took about 3 mins, preheat another two or so.

              There's a bit of porosity in the weld because I didn't take particular care to withdraw the heat source plasma stream carefully, which allowed the weld pool to bubble up while it was still molten.

              The design of the torch uses water to form the plasma stream and this plasma is also the shielding gas (steam,actually).

              I wanted to try cast iron (using pure cast iron rod) to see if'n the weld could be done, and to do a proper set-up needs more preperation, as in proper preheat and final slow cooling in a chalk box.

              Now I've bought the unit I can get my garage welding area prepared and concentrate on achieving a weld without just melting metal because it can do it.

              I've got a lot to learn about welding, but I've got the time to play about, so for the short answer to does the damm thing work.....yes it well depends on how I get to apply the processes that are unique to it.

              For me the ability to do without rented gas bottles and fillups in Argon various and Oxy/Acetylene is an answer to my prayers.....I've always liked gas welding for some processes but the cost of Oxy/acetylene always put me off.

              The Video on the web site states that the welding in confined spaces is possible because no toxic gasses are produced from the weld process or shielding gas as in Tig and Mig and no fumes as in stick.
              This means you could set up a welding area in a basement without gassing yourself...LOL.

              I won't be getting rid of my Tig,Mig,and stick set-up right now, not until I become more "expert" with the newey, but at the same time the prospect of another $15 a month Argon gas bottle rental is something I want to get away from.

              As soon as I do some more test runs I'll post a few photos doing different welds on various jobs etc.


              • #22
                I went outside last Monday to have a go at some welding with the my own torch... last one used was the demo unit at the shop.

                I wanted to do some typical welds on 19mm X 1mm wall square steel tubing, because I have about 100 1 metre lengths left over from a job I did years ago.

                Normaly I clean the paint off the ends for about 25mm by grinding lightly and chamfering the edge to the middle prior to Tigging and the Tig likes to have a clean steel joint or the dirt just bubbles up like a sticky slag and you end up burning a hole in the tube.

                This time I just butted the raw tube ends together, no preperation at all, paint on and all, and using a 2.5mm welding rod with flux removed for filler, went round the join easy as a wink.

                Normally you have to clamp the tube or jig it or it bends back away from the weld line, but I just laid the tube on the bricks, and welded it as distortion and no drama from the paint on the metal which powdered up and blew off before the steel melted and fused at the join line.

                The last weld on the tube was the most difficult (for me) to do and that is when you have a Tee joint...the very pitts to get the Tig into the corner, and if there's any dirt there the Tig won't look at it, but with the plasma it went like melting butter....and no holes at all...lovely.

                I then went for broke and put the 1/2" piece of steel plate on the bricks and stood a piece of 3/8" plate next to it to form a right angle joint, again the most difficult to get fillet welds right into the corner without one side or the other not welded fully.

                I put a piece of wood against the steel to hold it in position and tacked one corner only, took the wood away, and welded end to end, again no distortion by bending away from the weld area, turned over and did the back side which had a small overhang to form a corner weld area.

                You'd have to clamp it with Mig and stick welding, and also do a substantial vee preperation, but this welder fuses the joint together, no prep at all, and you get no movement in the two pieces of metal, why I couldn't say.

                There's a couple of photos of the welds, nothing fancy, as I was just testing my ability to get the difficult jobs under control.

                One other test I did was some holes to be filled on the cast iron job, but this time I wanted to try mild steel welding rods for filler instead of the cast iron rod I used before....piece of cake....the job got preheated for a couple of minutes and when the iron went glassy I fed in the steel rod and then slowly drew the torch away to allow solidifying the weld pool while the plasma shield stream was still there, no was also, when cold, fairly soft, not at all glass hard like the cast iron rod, and could be filed but it was still too tough even then, so a proper slow cooling would be required normally.
                Last edited by billbong; 06-09-2011, 11:58 AM.


                • #23
                  While I'm on the subject, I'll post a couple of photo's of the unit and ancillaries to show what the welder looks like, also the cast iron block with the before and after welding with steel filler rod.

                  Silver soldering and brazing you can do with your eyes closed virtually.

                  At this moment in time I'd have to say that doing delicate work like thin steel plate or alluminium and stainless is going to take a bit more practice to get the method right....early days yet, so no letting the Tig, Mig, Stick and Argon set-up go for a while yet.


                  • #24
                    Thank you and keep posting!

                    If you weld with it, bend tests would be nice.


                    • #25
                      Hi, I'd have to say that a bend test would be beyond my capability.

                      Welding just one side of the 1/2" plate had the weld penetration to over half depth and that would take some bending if not even breaking.....both sides, you'd only break the vice.

                      From my observations of welding with Mig, after having done a Veeing out preperation, still only leaves you with a Vee groove filled with weld material, but the sides of the groove have little depth of penetration at all, so you end up with a weld joint that is in three parts....two sides and a bead in the middle with little parent metal depth, so to break the joint all you have to do is break the relatively shallow welds on either side of the Vee big drama.

                      I might hacksaw through the weld joint to see how the depth of weld looks when you get to the inside area.

                      The ability to do that difficult corner weld is in my case a definite boon.

                      In the case of the corner weld you can end up with a weld that has no bead due to the sides being melted together, but you get the desired bead fillet by adding the filler rod to the melt pool as you go.

                      At this moment in time I want to replace the capability I have for stick, Mig and Tig welding, so getting rid of the Argon gas bottle, Tungstens and the need to keep working on the Tungstens is my main aim.

                      The fact that I am able to do the welding so far using just the 240 volt 10 amp supply is quite an eye opener as the unit is designed to go 15 amps.

                      The jury is still out on the Tig mode for lighter work, and I haven't had a test for alluminium or stainless yet.....coming next time.

                      If'n I can get the unit to do credible welds on Ally and stainless I'll seriously consider selling up the other units.

                      I'll post some more as soon as I get some more far it's 7/10 in favour of the transition.

                      I reckon the saving on Argon, Tungstens and also Oxy Acetylene bottles and gas, and no toxic fumes is winning me by the minute.....heck I bought the unit so there's no going back...LOL.

             only need a regular set of brazing goggles as there is no arc outside the torch....the plasma flame stick out is about as bright as a regular Oxy/acetylene torch, but the metal gets bright red when it starts to melt so some eye shading is needed.

                      I'll probably use my old welding helmet with the magnifier lenses (in place of my specs) and a much lighter shade glass than the arc proof glass, which means my other LCD shield won't be needed anymore...too dark and won't shut down arc light.....and there is some, but not much, sparking when the weld starts to go, like a gas torch, so face protection is needed, hence the full face shield instead of the goggles would be better.


                      • #26
                        I thought I'd better mention it, I don't have any vested interest in the supplier or manufacturer of the Multiplaz 3500 torch so aren't in the market to win browning points of secure commission.


                        • #27
                          Just wondering why none of us who surf the internet or I know I do a lot of reading of various magazines never ran across this before? So the energy for all this is from water and electricity? I know water can be separated into the hydrogen and oxygen components and burned but the process uses more energy for the extraction than it produces.

                          Watched some of the videos, I can see some limited use, but it would be difficult to use in something other than a shop or fixed station factory setting. Also wondering about the duty cycle. If it needs to be cooled down after every weld or use that would really slow things down. In the HVAC/R trades when I was silver brazing or Sil Phos brazing I would go from one fitting to the next. If I had them all prepped and together, I would do maybe 20 or so at a time.

                          I agree with Jim, don't sell your plasma cutter TIG or other welding machines just yet, this sounds way to good to be true.

                          Originally posted by jimcolt View Post
                          I wouldn't go selling of all your equipment just yet....untill you try one of these units out! If your read through the spec there are some pretty wild claims and comparisons. The one that I tried was able to barely sever some 1/8" thick stainless.....and barely 1/4" on steel in the cutting mode. And...the claim that it uses only 2500 watts of power indicates that is has about the same power as a 20 amp plasma system....which are generally rated for about a maximum of 1/4" cutting.

                          An interesting quote from one of the testimonials on the site claims that the unit uses less power than 3 - 100 watt light bulbs....they also state that a 100W light bulb consumes 1 kW of power......which is 1000 watts! In reality it uses that same amount of power as 25 - 100 wattlight bulbs......I'm not so sure I would trust many of their claims. I could not find any pictures of it cutting any heavy plate....nor any good technical explanation of how it works.

                          Last edited by wmgeorge; 06-13-2011, 09:04 AM.
                          Master Electrician
                          Journeyman Refrigeration Pipefitter
                          Semi-pro/Hobby Welder
                          Hobart Handler 140
                          MakerGear M2 3D Printer


                          • #28
                            A Kw is a Kw either on 240 or 120 volts, the only thing that changes is the amperes. These folks are so smart.

                            Originally posted by usmcpop View Post
                            They spec power required at 3.5 "kWt" at 220V and 2.0 "kWt" at 110V. ???

                            Cutting up to 3/8" ...

                            Master Electrician
                            Journeyman Refrigeration Pipefitter
                            Semi-pro/Hobby Welder
                            Hobart Handler 140
                            MakerGear M2 3D Printer


                            • #29
                              Hi all, the unit is totally portable, no fixed location could take it down the drive way with an extension lead and weld the tow bar back on your trailer if'n it fell off on the road....LOL.

                              BTW, there is no relationship with the water and H2O conversion....different process alltogether.....the water is used to produce steam that makes the pressure to concentrate the arc in the torch nozzle and form the plasma for welding and cutting, so no compressor is required for the blowing while cutting.

                              When you use it for cutting you use plain water, and for welding, brazing, heating etc you use a 50:50 water alcohol mix...I used methylated spirits 'cos I have a gallon of the stuff for various purposes, and Iso Propyl alcohol is mentioned in the handbook.

                              The reason to cool after welding is to conserve the water in the torch, because it's still hot and blowing steam when you switch off....water capacity lasts for about 10 to 15 mins on a run, and if'n you leave the torch in the water while cooling it will suck up the water to refill the reservoir automatically.

                              Two torches, (both identical, different inside parts) are supplied, one set up for welding the other for cutting, but both can do either just by changing the inside parts and nozzles.

                              This is OK for cutting, when you use plain water, but for welding with the water/alcohol mix you just cool it down for 10 seconds or so and stand it on the bench.

                              As I said I'm 7/10 satisfied that the torch can do all my welding, brazing, heating and cutting jobs without the need to hold gas bottles, and weld preperations like veeing out the joint are a thing in the past now.

                              The unit, a Russian invention I'm told, has been on the market for 10 years or so, and if'n you browse the Ali web site for Chinese suppliers, they also have the previous model the Multiplaz 2500.

                              I'll have to go out and buy a tin of alluminium flux to do the ally welding test, which for me is a steep learning curve, but having seen the video demos, it's just another process to be learned, and if'n it turns out OK....goodbye Tig set-up.

                              I don't have much stainless welding in mind to do, but I've done a fair bit of it in the past, with stick and submerged arc, so if'n I can get to grips with that mode with the plasma....goodbye all former welding methods....LOL...(fingers crossed).


                              • #30
                                It may be portable, but try being under a car welding up an exhaust system or cutting off something. It may be portable but it will never work for the HVAC/R trades where we need to work in the winter, (think water frozen) or up on a ladder or roof. Same as for plumbers and the other trades.

                                Have you tried to weld something and then do a break test of the weld? Did you try heating some metal for bending? Something other than just a test on the work bench would be nice, a "real" world test. I can see a limited use, maybe thats why no one has ever heard of it or seen one on a job someplace and wondered, gee thats great... where can I get one?

                                Do a Google on Browns Gas and get an online education of the process used for this miracle torch.
                                Master Electrician
                                Journeyman Refrigeration Pipefitter
                                Semi-pro/Hobby Welder
                                Hobart Handler 140
                                MakerGear M2 3D Printer