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Tons of dross with my new Spectrum 375

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  • vtwin4life
    started a topic Tons of dross with my new Spectrum 375

    Tons of dross with my new Spectrum 375

    Can someone diagnose what I'm doing wrong?... I just got a new Spectrum 375 plasma cutter, and it's running on 240v. No matter what I cut, 16ga on up to 3/16" I get tons of dross on the bottom of the cut. It's very difficult to remove. I have tried changing the output, from 16 amps all the way to full power 27amps with no effect. I have tried increasing the air pressure, even outside the little green arrows. I have also tried slowing my cut, and increasing the speed of the cut to the point at which it doesn't cut all the way through 1/8" steel. Seems that no matter what I do, I end up with tons of dross, or it doesn't cut all the way through. Also - I get a lot of curved lines on the cut, no smooth edges. This is very disappointing seeing that this machine is rated to cut 3/8" and I'm getting crappy cuts on 1/8". I'm doing just small cuts (an inch or two) with a 25 gallon compressor set at 90psi. I'm totally disappointed and wondering A) am I doing something totally wrong, or B) is my machine defective?

  • Amos F.
    replied
    Thanks to TomV. I am trying out the link in your post right now. It works good.
    Thanks
    Amos F

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  • TomVeatch
    replied
    Spell Checker

    Originally posted by Amos F. View Post
    D**m I wish I could could see my spelling mistakes before I post something. Is there a spellcheck on the post page?
    Download and install ieSpell (free) from here. It works as an addin application in your browser (at least it does with Internet Explorer - don't know about other browsers)

    Leave a comment:


  • Amos F.
    replied
    I ran 1 1/2 black pipe all the way around my shop, so it makes a loop and then tee'd in the supply from the compressor tank. I used 1" drops where I wanted a manifold.

    I run a 1" impact with a really big manifold off two separate places in my shop. The impact has 30' of 3/4 air hose plumbed permanently to it with the male manifold coupler on the other end. I have had trouble with it breaking off 1" wheel studs (diameter not swrench size) when really hitting them hard.

    thanks for the links to the spell check sites. I will go looking there. I am not very computer literate, and seem a real slow learner with this thing.
    Amos

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  • vtwin4life
    replied
    Originally posted by harcosparky View Post
    A Little Update ....

    OK so we all know a cool dry air supply is important, and so is FLOW.

    I have a 80 gallon compressor very capable of providing what the 375 demands and was feeding it throug 25 feet of 3/8" hose and I was satisfied with the results. Well I was curious and decoded to up the hose to 1/2".

    Did it make a difference? I'll say it did.

    The amount of dross I saw on some 1/4" angle was nothing compared with the 1/2" line as compared to the 3/8" line, and I wasn't really trying to get a great cut .... just a quick cut across the angle.

    I set the compressor output to 90 PSI and adjusted the regulator on the 375 to the upper limit.

    It DEFINITELY made the difference for me.
    I've been busy/away due to the season, but just caught up on reading this. I did some small cuts for some xmas projects on 16 gauge and still got tons of dross even with the air dryer. I will try using a shorter air hose and see what this does for me.

    Leave a comment:


  • harcosparky
    replied
    A Little Update ....

    OK so we all know a cool dry air supply is important, and so is FLOW.

    I have a 80 gallon compressor very capable of providing what the 375 demands and was feeding it throug 25 feet of 3/8" hose and I was satisfied with the results. Well I was curious and decoded to up the hose to 1/2".

    Did it make a difference? I'll say it did.

    The amount of dross I saw on some 1/4" angle was nothing compared with the 1/2" line as compared to the 3/8" line, and I wasn't really trying to get a great cut .... just a quick cut across the angle.

    I set the compressor output to 90 PSI and adjusted the regulator on the 375 to the upper limit.

    It DEFINITELY made the difference for me.

    Leave a comment:


  • SkidSteerSteve
    replied
    Originally posted by Amos F. View Post
    D**m I wish I could could see my spelling mistakes before I post something. Is there a spellcheck on the post page?

    Get Firefox for your browser (it's free!!)...it has spell check built in so it will work on any web page you type on. SSS


    http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/firefox/

    Leave a comment:


  • harcosparky
    replied
    Originally posted by Amos F. View Post
    Ever notice how your impact works better with a half inch line than a 3/8? Its all volume supply.
    Amos
    Amos - you hit the nail on the head. It's not "pressure" as you can put 150 PSI in a 1/8" diameter tube. It's all about volume. When I first hooked up my 375 to a compressor that met the specs, we had dross as well. ( used a 25 ft long 3/8" line ). Switched over to 1/2" and saw a difference in dross reduction. I had the same thought on air tools as my kicker sanders seem to fun stronger on 1/2" line.

    Sadly for me the 375 will be installed about 40 feet from the compressor, so we are gonna hard plumb air to it with pipe. Another expense, but it will cut back on the aggravation level. Probably run 1 1/2" pipe, using 4 feet of 1/2 between compressor and pipe and then between pipe and plasma cutter. If I have to I will fashion some sort of air resovoir at the plasma cutter end.

    Leave a comment:


  • Frank865
    replied
    Originally posted by Amos F. View Post
    D**m I wish I could could see my spelling mistakes before I post something. Is there a spellcheck on the post page?
    Try this.... http://www.iespell.com/download.php


    It works great for me!
    I also always use the "preview post" button & read it as it will appear, before posting

    Leave a comment:


  • unib63
    replied
    vtwin4life,
    I teach high school metals classes and I have to say that your cuts look similar to what I see coming from my students the first couple of times they try it. Just keep working at it and you should see better results. It almost looks to me like your travel speed was a little fast. That actually is the biggest problem I have with my students, getting them to slow down and let the machine do the work. Either too high or too low a travel speed can cause dross to form.There is usually a range of travel speed that will produce dross free or minimal dross cuts. That range is something you will have to find while playing around with the machine.

    Good Luck,
    Brennen
    Last edited by unib63; 12-15-2006, 11:31 AM.

    Leave a comment:


  • triggerman
    replied
    Originally posted by Amos F. View Post
    D**m I wish I could could see my spelling mistakes before I post something. Is there a spellcheck on the post page?
    There's an edit feature! I use it a lot!

    Leave a comment:


  • Amos F.
    replied
    D**m I wish I could could see my spelling mistakes before I post something. Is there a spellcheck on the post page?

    Leave a comment:


  • Amos F.
    replied
    Funny thing happened to me yesterday. I have read thius post since the very beginning and had almost forgot about it. I have a Hypotherm 1000 I bought used and have been happy with it but I always thought it should leave less dross (sound familiar?). Any how I built a bracket to mount it on my shop wall and ran it with a 25 foot flexable air line for the last year or better. Yesterday I plumbed in a new drop tube from my permanent air line so I only have about 2 feet of flexable air line running to it.
    Guess what, almost all the dross is gone. I believe that I had too much resistance in the air line that I was using. It is the only explanation I can see as I didn't even change the filter (motorcraft) when I hooked up the new air line to it. Just another one of those hard to believe things in life. Ever notice how your impact works better with a half inch line than a 3/8? Its all volume supply.
    Amos

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  • Fat-Fab.com
    replied
    Clean dry Air

    Nitrogen is best

    Leave a comment:


  • rasommer
    replied
    Air Compressor

    I've read this thread with much interest and since you're pretty much at your "wits end" with this machine might I suggest hooking the machine up to a higher volume air source -- just to test it out.

    I'm not trying to be "a pain", but I had the same problem with my cheap import Homier Speedway cutter. It wouldn't cut worth a darn when hooked up to my old 1980's vintage Sears 2HP 20 gal compressor (5.6 CFM @ 90 PSI). Same problems that you're experiencing. I asked around and everyone said that the compressor was adequate. Hence, it must be a problem with the cutter. This went on for weeks.

    Then my friend wanted to use it for one of his projects. I went to his house and hooked it up to his Home Depot 60 gal Husky (10.2 CFM @ 90 PSI) and guess what? The darn think worked like a charm -- no dross, just nice clean even cuts all day long.

    Since then I purchased a PUMA 5HP 60 gal compressor and my problem is solved.

    Just a thought -- I have no experience with the Miller cutter, but knowing the company's customer service model, I would assume that they wouldn't just ship you a replacement machine that wasn't adequately tested before it went out the door.
    Last edited by rasommer; 11-27-2006, 11:28 AM.

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