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Plasma Cutting Questions

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  • Plasma Cutting Questions

    I currently have a Millermatic 175 for hobby, light repair and fabrication work for my company. I am getting ready to purchase the Spectrum 375 X-Treme plasma cutter. I have a couple of questions before my purchase.
    1. Is wind as much a factor with plasma cutting as with the 175 w/ air. (I work outside)
    2. I will be using a small Porta Cable air compressor for the air supply. Since my cutting will be light duty what is the simpliest and most cost effective filter for dry air to purchase and set up?
    3. My wife would like some decorative metal art, ie: sun burst out of thin sheet metal. Will this cutter do that with clean edges either by free hand or template?
    4. Last one, When I use my gas cutting torch to cut square or round tubing, thin to thick wall I always get a little nervous because the blow by is inside the piece being cut. What is the procedure for cutting this material with the plasma cutter or for that matter cutting in an enclosed or tight area.

    I hope these questions make sense and I thank you all in advance for your help. GO MILLER

  • #2
    Plasma Cutter

    Regarding the plasma cutter, I recently bought the 375 and although I hav'nt used it out in any wind I will tell you this. When I initially started using mine I was dissappointed. It just did not seem to cut as well as I had hoped. I had a small 25 gal 3.5 HP compressor. I've recently installed a 80 gallon ingersol compressor and plumbed my shop with 1 inch black pipe. It was like getting a new cutter. It really started cutting like I had hoped. Just a little info to keep in mind
    Webb's Welding and Repair LLC
    MM210 w/a 3035 spoolgun
    Syncrowave 250
    Spectrum 625
    Trialbazer 302 w/HF


    • #3
      I used a MM175 and Spectrum 375 conbination for many years. They are a good match. I used the Spectrum from a 4-gal., "2 HP" DeWalt/Emglo compressor for a while, too. It worked well, but did limit the duty cycle. It worked better from a larger compressor when I got one. But still got the job done with the smaller one.

      I was very happy with cut quality up through 1/2", especially up through 3/8"

      I most often cut less than 1/4" and it was exceptional when used with a standoff/straightedge.

      There were no problems using it in the wind. It's a plasma stream, not a shielding gas.

      I have no experience with the Extreme model.


      • #4
        Ive used my 375 extreme outdoors exculsively, run off the same Dewalt compressor Mac mentions. It also was slightly duty cycle limited with the small compressor. It cuts as well or cleaner then the 375 I used to have....but that can be due to many factors as well. Its a good machine for what your wanting to do with it. I ended up using a inexpensive water seperator on mine, with quick disconects on both ends to keep it seperate from the machine for storage etc.

        "Better Metalworking Through Research"

        Miller Dynasty 300DX
        Miller Dynasty 200DX
        Miller Spectrum 375 extreme
        Miller Millermatic Passport

        Miller Spot Welder
        Motor-Guard stud welder

        Smith, Meco, Oxweld , Cronatron, Harris, Victor, National, Prest-o-weld, Prest-o-lite, Marquette, Century Aircraft, Craftsman, Goss, Uniweld, Purox, Linde, Eutectic, and Dillon welding torches from 1909 to Present. (58 total)


        • #5
          Follow Up Question

          Why is portability such a big selling point for the Spectrum 375 when you need such a large air supply?


          • #6
            Also take a good look at the TD Cutmaster 38 (I know...sacrilege on a Miller site). I REALLY wanted the Miller 375 Xtreme, but couldnt do it.


            • #7
              Originally posted by nporst View Post
              Why is portability such a big selling point for the Spectrum 375 when you need such a large air supply?
              CFM is the key. A large tank only makes up for it at small duty cycles. Most portable gas-engine compressors have a very good CFMs compared to the same size electrics.

              And if you can handle the smaller duty cycle, a 4-gal. electric compressor will still make your plasma cutter very portable.
              Last edited by MAC702; 04-01-2007, 09:52 AM.


              • #8
                I am sure you will be pleased with the 375 extreme providing you have enough air supply as mentioned.We also use a small quick connect water separator that works O.K. Working in the wind will definitely not e a problem.We have recently compared this model to Hypertherms eqivilant & Miller won this contest hands down on this particular size of machine.You won't reret this buying decision.
                252 Miller Mig
                180 Synchrowave
                R - 45 Milling Machine
                Kingston 1100 Lathe
                Miller 2050 Plasma Cutter


                • #9

                  The wind don't cause any issues while using the kind of plasma you are going to get. Have fun with it, it is a good system as long as it is setup right.


                  • #10
                    I have a 375 on an 80 gal/19scfm comp. To help with question four, If I need a really clean cut I put in a new set of tips and use a rolling stand off. They always cut the best right out of the box before i drag them on the material and deform the tip! SSS
                    Last edited by SkidSteerSteve; 03-31-2007, 08:50 PM.
                    Bobcat 250, MM 210, Syncrowave 180, Spectrum 375
                    Cat 242B Skid Steer, Challenger (Cat/Agco) MT275
                    1 Thessalonians 4:11-12