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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Omaha, NE
    Posts
    447

    Default [Resolved]Hypertherm no longer letting me down (with 1'' AL cut pics now)

    I bought a plasma to start cutting 1/2 inch flanges for intake and exhasut manifold, along with turbo outlet flanges for custom builds. Well, it has gotten the job done but what is bugging me is that it's rated at 1/2 normal cut capacity ( 10 inches per minute @ 45 amps on 1/2 inch)

    1/2'' is mainly what i've been cutting and there's so much dross that it's really stuck back together most of the time and a PITA to get cleaned up afterwards and often needs gropund off to seperate teh pieces (although sometimes it falls right off) now i'll admit i'm no plasma pro, and have probably logged 2-3 hours on them tops in my life. But this machine says it's max "severance" it's 1'' in stainless, mild and AL (thought it was weird that unlike other machines this one has the same rating on all materials)

    WEll, i'm called today to go do a 1/2 inch thick plate sheet (4x8) and cut it into twp pieces of 4x4, i want the cut to look good and that's why they're calling me to do it instead of using the O/A torch since no one there can cut cleanly with one.

    My air is good, my consumables are new (and i have many spares) and the machine won't let you set it up wrong period. IT's a hypertherm powermax 45

    ON everything else from cast iron to aluminum and stainless sheet it has done anything i ask, nice nad clean.

    Now when i go slow enough to get a penetrating pass i get lots of dross that's stuck back together, if i try adn speed up just slightly i get flyback from the molten metal and don't cut all the way through..

    any ideas or thoughts... NOw i do have to admit that due to my spinal injuries i don't have very steady hands on things where i can't rest a palm as a "steady" but clamping a straight edge or template on has helped alot, it's just with speed changes sometimes i am jerky with picking up and slowing down
    Last edited by turboglenn; 06-04-2009 at 12:25 AM. Reason: EDit title, problem solved
    Dynasty 200DX
    Hobart Handler 135
    Smith MB55A-510 O/A setup
    Lathe/Mill/Bandsaw
    Hypertherm Powermax 45
    Just about every other hand tool you can imagine

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    144

    Default

    call hypertherm customer service. i have the same machine and every question they have been super super helpful. They may have videos that show you the 45 cutting 1/2 material so you can see the results and the manner in how they are cutting. im sure if the machine is rated for .5", it should cut to your satisfaction. I hope you'll give them a call.

    I mainly cut sheetmetal up to 1/8th. On paper i should have bought the Powermax30 but like everything else in life, i've learned to error on the side of more power than immediately needed. I suspect this is what you are up against but i do not know that.

    I love my 45.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Muskogee Oklahoma
    Posts
    245

    Default

    Make sure you have the right amped tip for your torch. I had a guy not long ago that his cutter started acting up so he changed the consumables on the torch and replaced a 60 amp tip with a 40. He couldn't understand why he wasn't getting the same output as before. Put a 60 back in it and it worked fine.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Hazelwood Mo USA
    Posts
    462

    Default

    The jerky motion will cause a lot of your problem, my pak 50 had an air distributor in the torch that would cause problems if it got damaged as well.
    Usually dross sticking to the backside in my case was air or travel related, too much stand off, or the cup not clean or the distributor not swirling the air properly.

    kind of like an OA setup the oxygen hole needs to be clean and the travel smooth.

    The not so smooth travel shows up worse in the thicker materials as you are getting close to the maximum cut for the machine.

    My cutting in steel was noticably easier than stainless steel, I never did much aluminum so dont know much about it.
    mike sr

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Southern NH
    Posts
    233

    Default

    I would say there is no way that machine can cut 1" thick aluminum, so I would take those specs with a grain of salt.
    miller dynasty 350
    miller spectrum 1000

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Albion. IL
    Posts
    181

    Default

    What is your air pressure? How about torch angle? and stand off? Few things that come to mind.

    Steve
    Dont force it, use a BIGGER hammer.

    Linde VI-252C and Linde wire feeder.
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Omaha, NE
    Posts
    447

    Default

    Well, I got it sorted out, it was a combination of 2 smaller problems adding up to one big PITA.

    First, The wiring to my garage is 10/3, Hypertherm recomends 8/3 or better coming from the fusebox and for extension cords.

    Second, The air lines i'm using have both too small of couplers on them, but one of the lines it's self is less than what is recomended forclean cutting (recomended is a 3/8th ID air supply line) My couplers and my "coily" hose that I use were both restricting the airflow.

    I found this out the first hand way but not by choice. When i wen to cut that sheet, it turned out it was 3/4 of an inch thick (my heart fluttered when i saw that) But they also had different plugs than what i run and so i had to put one of their ends on and plugged into an outlet that was less than a foot from the box and had 8/3 wire running to it. Then i went to hook up the air and noticed they also use WAY bigger air lines and couplers than I do. So I also had to put one of the correct fittings on my desicant air dryer that i have on the back of the machine for added water removal.

    With the change of these two things the machine cut 3/4'' steel for 4 feet and did it cleanly and rather fast compared to what i'm use to. I made the cut into 3 sections trying to keep duty cycles and such in mind (and to clean slag from the tip), but the machine never came close to overheating, and the only time i had trouble was twice when my arm twitched and moved the torch too fast and blew some slag/metal back up on the torch and clogged some of the air holes, so i had to stop and clean that up twice (the times i took breaks in the cut) and all went well.

    When i got home I bypassed the "coil" hose on air line but haven't went and picked up any 8/3 wire yet. But just the restriction of the air line alone was enough to cause a good bit of the issues, With the coilly removed it is now cutting 1/2 inch mild steel without many more issues than operator error of shaky hands and not having a good cutting table right now. Just don't have the room at the moment

    I'd like to thank everyone for the fast replies, and Now i don't feel let down by my plasma, so the day has gotten better. Now if i could get this customer over here to pay for and pick up his Virago i just fixed that would be icing on the cake!
    Last edited by turboglenn; 06-03-2009 at 05:52 PM.
    Dynasty 200DX
    Hobart Handler 135
    Smith MB55A-510 O/A setup
    Lathe/Mill/Bandsaw
    Hypertherm Powermax 45
    Just about every other hand tool you can imagine

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Omaha, NE
    Posts
    447

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ridesideways View Post
    I would say there is no way that machine can cut 1" thick aluminum, so I would take those specs with a grain of salt.

    I will try it tonight if i can find something in AL that thick.. Even if it's some round it will show if it's done in one pass or not, so we will all see for ourselves i guess. ONe thing i have noticed is that the cuts from plasma on aluminum aren't very pretty at all. I'm not sure if that again is operator error or the fact that aluminum melts as such a lower temp than steel and me stil having the amps cranked up *shrugs* I love it on this stuff though, it can cut as fast as i can move my hand on 1/8th and below, even 1/4 inch cuts like butter.

    Also the place i bought it from told me that the rep cut 1 and 1/4'' steelslab with the 45 when they brought it in to demo for retailing, that's who brought up to check the extension cord/feed size as they said the hypertherm rep said voltage drop from the fusebox was a BIG factor on anything less than 8/3 wire for coming off the box.
    Last edited by turboglenn; 06-03-2009 at 06:01 PM.
    Dynasty 200DX
    Hobart Handler 135
    Smith MB55A-510 O/A setup
    Lathe/Mill/Bandsaw
    Hypertherm Powermax 45
    Just about every other hand tool you can imagine

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Omaha, NE
    Posts
    447

    Default

    WEll, I hate to tripple post, but this is worth an update since i said i would do it.

    And it isn't pretty (which plasma cutting aluminum rarely is for some reason), but hey at least it does it! Here's the pudding, I mean proof..man i'm hungry

    THe start took the longest to get going, but once it got it's initial penetration going, it cut the rest of the notch rather easily. I think it was more about getting some heat into the AL before starting to cut decently. (just like pre-heating for TIG welding thick AL)

    Enjoy.... I would have cut more, but this is still a usable piece of machinable aluminum.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by turboglenn; 06-04-2009 at 01:45 AM.
    Dynasty 200DX
    Hobart Handler 135
    Smith MB55A-510 O/A setup
    Lathe/Mill/Bandsaw
    Hypertherm Powermax 45
    Just about every other hand tool you can imagine

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    254

    Default

    Thanx for posting the info about wire size. I would have never figured 8/3 would be needed.

    ETA: For comparison the Miller Spectrum 625 X-treme OM states 10 gauge wire is OK and its rated as a 40A machine.
    Last edited by HayFarmer; 06-08-2009 at 03:32 PM.

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