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New Spectrum 375

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  • New Spectrum 375

    Hi -

    I'm have been teaching myself how to weld and fabricate for the past year and a half (taking classes at Busted Knuckle U). My goal from the start was light household fabrication, and custom motorcycle parts. I succeeded in building what I think were some nice parts (shift linkage, fenders, brake pedal, license plate/taillight brackets) for my own bike. I feel I have only learned the smallest tip of the iceberg when it comes to welding, but I'm getting better with each bead.

    My biggest chore always seems to be cutting. All my cuts where done with an angle grinder and cutting wheel. I decided that since I did so much already, that it was time to splurge on a Spectrum 375 plasma unit. I took delivery last night.

    I have two questions. First - what do people normally use for patterns? Is it possible to make a pattern out of cardboard and run the tip along it or does it just catch fire? Second - I want to do drag cutting so I got the drag cup, drag tips, and drag shield. After installing it the drag shield is flush with the tip. Seems like that kinda defeats the purpose. I checked it a million times to see if there was something I was doing wrong, but I haven't seen anything. Has anyone else installed the drag "stuff" on a 375?

    Chop it and ride it,
    Tim

  • #2
    The drag tip on my TD leaves about 1/16" of gap from the actual consumable tip insert.

    Cardboard might not be a good idea, but I'm not positive about that. I tried taping off some lines and the tape melted and caught fire, but that's also a bit more direct contact with the work piece. If the 27 amp machine will get the work as hot as mine does @40 is another question entirely.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Fishy Jim View Post
      The drag tip on my TD leaves about 1/16" of gap from the actual consumable tip insert.

      Cardboard might not be a good idea, but I'm not positive about that. I tried taping off some lines and the tape melted and caught fire, but that's also a bit more direct contact with the work piece. If the 27 amp machine will get the work as hot as mine does @40 is another question entirely.
      I have a 375 but not the drag cup ... I should look into it

      We do have the stand-off roller attachment, and I think with this on the distance between the roller wheel and tip might be enough to allow a cardboard template.

      How much distance between the tip and the side of the cup? Is the cup much wider than the torch body?

      Best thing to do is try it. If ya have a piece of scrap long enough and some cardboard, run it along the edge for say 12" or more and see.

      I'be doing the same myself.



      QUESTION: Are the Drag Cup and Tips actual Miller Parts? I don't see them listed on the product accessory web pages
      Last edited by harcosparky; 11-08-2006, 04:18 PM.

      Comment


      • #4
        Here is some info on drag cuttting with the 375 from Miller web site ....


        "While the Spectrum 375's performance when drag cutting is still outstanding, the 375's increased capabilities result from the ability to shift to standoff cutting technique," says Schmidt. "For example, this machine cuts 3/8-in. steel at 10 IPM when drag cutting and 16 IPM when standoff cutting. Using a standoff also increases maximum cutting capacity by 1/8 in." Miller Electric offers roller guide accessories to aid in holding a consistent standoff to maximize cutting.
        Here is the URL - millerwelds.com/about/news_releases/2003/articles5.html


        No mention of a miller drag cup. Somebody told me the standard tips that come with it are ' drag tips '. Though I will go with the standoff mode as it increases consumable life.
        Last edited by envano; 08-15-2007, 08:05 AM. Reason: Broken Link

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        • #5
          Quickie Test -

          375 set to full power

          no cardboard - we used 3 pieces of printer paper fold in half and dragged the tip right along side the paper. It did burn the paper at the beginning.

          I would say if you can keep the tip away from the cardboard say the width of the ring around the torch you'd be OK.

          Though I would plan on making extra templates.

          Comment


          • #6
            if you have the room to do it you can make the templates out of 1/4" ply wood they last forever. we do this to cut out ligth and fuel holes and gas tank fills on harley tanks. good luck.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by garth View Post
              if you have the room to do it you can make the templates out of 1/4" ply wood they last forever. we do this to cut out ligth and fuel holes and gas tank fills on harley tanks. good luck.
              yeah I tested with paper becaue I figured it would burn easy and if it did not but nothing would.

              I figured plywood or hardboard would do fine.

              We are making some out of plywood as you suggested for things we will repeat.

              Comment


              • #8
                There's a separate cup that holds the drag insert for the TD 1Torch. What it does is mandates a little gap between the work and the tip, but I too have been dragging a standard tip just to gauge how durable they are (and it's holding up very well!).

                I'll try to take some pics later.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Fishy Jim View Post
                  There's a separate cup that holds the drag insert for the TD 1Torch. What it does is mandates a little gap between the work and the tip, but I too have been dragging a standard tip just to gauge how durable they are (and it's holding up very well!).

                  I'll try to take some pics later.

                  Yes I understand some cuttter/torches have a seperate cup for drag use, but the OP mentions the Spectrum 375, and assuming he has the stock torch I am curious about his drag cup.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Called Miller tech support

                    My 375 is bone-stock, just got it a couple days ago. The drag tip, cup, and shield are Miller parts. There is no gap between the tip and the drag shield. I called Miller tech support yesterday with this exact same question. The technician was very helpful. He went and got all the parts to see for himself. The good news - he came up with exactly what I had - no standoff with all the drag parts. The bad news - no standoff with all the drag parts. He literally told me he didn't know what to say. Anyway, I have decided that I am going to unscrew the drag shield enough to give me 1/16" stand off and see if it works. I did it last night with the power turned off, and just dragged the tip to see if the loose drag shield would unscrew anymore, it didn't seem to, so I think this weekend I will try a live test.

                    Can't wait for Saturday for my electrician to install my 240v drop in my garage so I can really give this machine a good run. Quite frankly, this machine is probably way more than I needed, and beyond my skill level, but I'm hoping to catch up. And besides..... It's just sooooooo cool ;-)

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      You might just want to make a bushing to take up the space between the drag tip and the cup. If I remember right, that piece is one of the spendier replacement items. It'd be a shame to lose it.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Fishy Jim View Post
                        You might just want to make a bushing to take up the space between the drag tip and the cup. If I remember right, that piece is one of the spendier replacement items. It'd be a shame to lose it.
                        Great idea, I'll try that. You are right - drag cup, drag tips, and drag shield ran me about $80 all together. I'm a little disappointed that Miller sells parts that don't accomplish the single purpose for which they are intended.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Thermal included all of that, and the stand off bracket for the non-drag tip.

                          The little parts kit included was actually rather well stocked.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Hypertherm makes all the hand held plasma torch handles for Miller. Looking at Hypertherms equipment, I suspect they make the Spectrum 125C and 375 for Miller as welll. Hypertherm does have some accessories that Miller doesn't have listed. The Hypertherm accessories that are identicle or nearly identicle are running about the same price or a little less than the equivalent Miller parts. The Hypertherm circle cutting guide cuts a bigger diameter circle than Miller and is significantly lower in price by the time you got all of the Miller parts to do the same thing. Miller seems to have some great partnerships for torch and gun handles for their gear.
                            Whatever you do, don't buy any Thermal Dynamic parts, guns, or gear for your Miller, others here on the forum have had problems mixing components. As long as you stay with Hypertherm/Miller you should be good on your parts and accessories.
                            As far as patterns go, making them from plywood or hardboard would be the way to go. I even saw one of the guys on CMT Trick My Truck use the flange from the light kit he was installing to cut the hole in the truck bumper. Fit perfectly.
                            Have fun with your new gear.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              3390: Here's the drag tip for the 1Torch. You can see some of the air flow vents for cooling. The tip then tucks up inside this where it's protected from most of the blow back.

                              I used this inside an enclosed circle jig and that's why it's all crappy looking. The soot just wipes off.

                              3391: This is how the consumable tip comes off for replacement.
                              Attached Files

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