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  • Plasma Arc Cutting

    I'm starting an interesting project that will involve extensive cutting of stainless sheet and could barely afford a plasma cutter at the time so I was thinking about renting if it is possible. I'm admittedly clueless on the process, but after I get a secondary gas bottle and total up all of the costs, am I better off just buying a small machine and having it around for the next job? I have a gas cutting rig, so a plasma rig that I buy could be a limited one that only cuts thin stuff, since my oxy/ace will take care of the thick stuff. Also, is plasma cutting something for the beginner, or am I biting off a big hunk? Seems like it's my only solution right now, since nothing else in the world seems to like cutting stainless. If I rented, what sort of prices would I be looking at for a small/medium machine? If I buy, what's the important stuff to look for in the machine? Thanks in advance for any help.

  • #2
    Dave
    First of all, you do not need a bottle of gas. Now days most plasma cutting is performed by using dry compressed air from an air compressor.

    The process is quite simple to use. Between a plasma cutter and a oxy/ace torch, it is quite a bit easier for a beginner to learn to make good cuts with the plasma cutter.

    Rental for a machine in my area is somewhere between $80 and $100 per month.

    Personally, I prefer to own the machine that way I have it available to me when ever I want to use it. But you know what your budget can handle so this one is your call.

    For the thin material that your wanting to cut a

    Hobart Air Force 250 A or a Miller Spectrum Thunder sound like the machine that you need. These machines have a built in air compressor and run off a 120 volt input circuit. I haven t personally used either of these machines. Even though my wife continually reminds me that when I went to the welding supply store to get a plasma cutter I was suppose to be bringing home a Spectrum Thunder and NOT a $1000 Hypertherm Powermax 380.OOPS!

    Anyway, I know Rocky D has a Spectrum Thunder and I think JPCWELD has one too. Also, You might try sending DanV an E mail he is one of the Hobart/Miller plasma cutter experts.
    Last edited by Dan; 09-23-2002, 03:37 AM.
    MigMaster 250- Smooth arc with a good touch of softness to it. Good weld puddle wetout. Light spatter producer.
    Ironman 230 - Soft arc with a touch of agressiveness to it. Very good weld puddle wet out. Light spatter producer.


    PM 180C



    HH 125 EZ - impressive little fluxcore only unit

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