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  1. #1

    Default Possible to have too big of plasma cutter?

    I wondered if it's possible to use to big of plasma cutter for the job. I'd like to cut thin sheet metal 1/16" or so up to 1/2" plate. I'm close to getting a deal on a Miller Spectrum 3080. According to the online manual at the lowest setting can be adjusted to 30A output (I'm guessing this by looking at the dial).

    Any suggestions if this is overkill to the point that my cuts would suffer on sheet metal?

    Thanks ahead of time.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Salem ,Ohio
    Posts
    3,909

    Cool

    I don't think so. We had a PAC 100 at work and it didn't know if it was cutting 16 ga or 1" plate but my shoe strings did...Bob
    Bob Wright, Grandson of Tee Nee Boat Trailer Founder
    Metal Master Fab Salem, Oh 44460
    Birthplace of the Silver & Deming Drill
    1999 MM185 w/185 Spoolgun,1986 Thunderbolt AC/DC
    Spool Gun conversion. How To Do It. Below.
    http://www.millerwelds.com/resources...php?albumid=48

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    near rochester NY
    Posts
    9,881

    Default

    i think your electric bill might suffer a lil but i dont see the cuts suffering. 30 amps should have no problem on the thin stuff. just keep the consumables replaced as needed and cleaner the air the better. if you are getting a good deal on a larger plasma then you need its better then one too small. you will be able to grow into the larger one, where i feel i have outgrown my smaller one and am looking to go bigger.i should have gone bigger to start with but did not have air at the time.
    thanks for the help
    ......or..........
    hope i helped

    feel free to shoot me an e-mail direct i have time to chat. james@newyorkmetalart.com
    summer is here, plant a tree. if you don't have space or time to plant one sponsor some one else to plant one for you. a tree is an investment in our planet, help it out.
    JAMES

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Vero Beach, fl.
    Posts
    761

    Default huh?

    When it comes to tools and equipment is there such a thing as too big, or too much? Dave
    If necessity is the Mother of Invention, I must be the Father of Desperation!

    John Blewett III 10-22-73 to 8-16-07
    Another racing great gone but not to be forgotten.http://video.google.com/videoplay?do...modified&hl=en

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    near rochester NY
    Posts
    9,881

    Default

    i think he raises a valid point. too much power could easily lead to problems on thiner stock. my spectrum 125C dose a great job on this stuff at 12amps but not so good on 3/16". not being able to get a low enough setting could result in thick cuts in thin matereal. but as it goes down to 30 amps i think he will be ok on the thin stuff, but hope some one with this size cutter chimes in to make shore of that. so in general no there is no such thing as too big. but it could be problematic if working on lil stuff and just plain being too powerfull. some thing i was concerned about on the MM210 i plan on getting, thinking i would have to kep my MM135 for the thin stuff, but after trying the MM210 on 20 gage i no longer have that consern. the MM210 worked great on 20 gage and i think 30 amps should do fine on thin stuff as well. i know i wish i had waited gotten my air compressor first them gotten a larger plasma cutter. dont get me wrong i love my spec.125 but its limited to small stuff and i now have a need to do thicker. O/A will get it done but plasma would not only be nicer but much more conveneant.
    thanks for the help
    ......or..........
    hope i helped

    feel free to shoot me an e-mail direct i have time to chat. james@newyorkmetalart.com
    summer is here, plant a tree. if you don't have space or time to plant one sponsor some one else to plant one for you. a tree is an investment in our planet, help it out.
    JAMES

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    California
    Posts
    2

    Default too much power means bigger cut

    I've been cutting thin and thick material with plasma cutters for over ten years now and I can tell from experience that cut quality will suffer with too much power on THIN material.

    The REAL question is how thin are you likely to be cutting MOST of the time and how thick? 30 amps is too much power for good (hand) cut quality on thin stock (say 14 to 18 gauge). Sure you can cut it, but it will be hard to get decent small cuts or intricate detail. To a certain extent you can makeup for the excess power with faster travel speed, but with hand cutting this gets tricky, especially on small detail.

    If you anticipate working at 1/16" or thinker you are probably OK with the bigger unit. It certainly will provide a better cut on thicker stock.

    We were able to get better detail out of our unit by getting a 30amp drag tip (the highest amperage Esab makes for drag tips). This provides a much finer cut on thin stock than the standard offset tip.

    The initial cost of the unit is only the tip of the iceberg, you have the cost of power, consumables and your time to add to the equation. Not to mention any time spent cleaning up lousy cuts. I'd aim for a unit optimized for what you will be cutting most of the time - you'll be happier in the long run.

    Good Luck!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    near rochester NY
    Posts
    9,881

    Default

    i thought 30 amps was a low enough amp to make good cuts on small stock. non of the info on the sites tell you the cut amps available though, strange its not there. or maybee i missed it ?? any how as my spec125 is a 14amp i figured 30 must not be too high. the spec375 is the next step up any one know what its amp range is ??
    would a smaller torch help ??
    thanks for the help
    ......or..........
    hope i helped

    feel free to shoot me an e-mail direct i have time to chat. james@newyorkmetalart.com
    summer is here, plant a tree. if you don't have space or time to plant one sponsor some one else to plant one for you. a tree is an investment in our planet, help it out.
    JAMES

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    3

    Default Thermal Dynamics cutmaster38

    Quote Originally Posted by jjsjeff View Post
    I wondered if it's possible to use to big of plasma cutter for the job. I'd like to cut thin sheet metal 1/16" or so up to 1/2" plate. I'm close to getting a deal on a Miller Spectrum 3080. According to the online manual at the lowest setting can be adjusted to 30A output (I'm guessing this by looking at the dial).

    Any suggestions if this is overkill to the point that my cuts would suffer on sheet metal?

    Thanks ahead of time.
    20-30 amps u cant beat that. I've cut 22guage steel and 3/8 inch steel with this unit. They r priced right and very reliable

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Layton, UT
    Posts
    16

    Default

    I have a 1000 G3 that works great on the thick stuff.... but when I get artistic with it I have to keep my travel speeds very high otherwise you end up with a lot of slag on the back of your work piece. I ended up buying a used 375 for the small stuff and that dropped my travel speed down to where it was manageable. But then again the 375 is a dog on anything bigger than 3/16 steel. You really have to decide the the range you'll be working with most.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    San Jose,CA
    Posts
    43

    Default

    I have the 375 xtreme, it goes from 20-27 amps and can runn 110 or 220. I will say on 22 gauge metal it throws a 1/8" kerf on a drag cut, If you give it the reccomended 1/8" spacing between tip and material the kerf goes up to 1/4" on 20amp. Controlling the cut can be somewhat unwieldy as the amperage is a bit much for the metal. 30 amps is doable, but you wont have the control you expect from a plasma. The 125 is great for sheet metal, not so great for anything over 1/4" and dead at 3/8". The 375 is great for 14 gauge to 3/16 and ok for 20, 22 gauge (haven't tried 24).
    John


    Millermatic DVI
    Millermatic 375 xtreme
    And a brand new Syncro 200!!!

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