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  1. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    WY...armpit of U.S.A.
    Posts
    659

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    I have a Bosch shear in either 6 or 8 gage (not looking at it right now and memory isn't that great). Good tool, and it has its purpose, but for a nicely finished edge with less prep time I'd give the edge to my old Hypertherm 900. Actually for 10 ga. I have a couple of cheap Harbor Freight Skil type metal cutting saws that beat both for a nice precision edge...but they are an ungodly mess to operate throwing metal chips hither and yon! If cutting other than an absolutely straight line the Bosch can be more than a handful to keep under control.
    Miller 251...sold the spoolgun to DiverBill.
    Miller DialArc 250
    Lincoln PrecisionTig 275
    Hypertherm 900 plasma cutter
    Bridgeport "J" head mill...tooled up
    Jet 14 X 40 lathe...ditto
    South Bend 9" lathe...yeah, got the change gears too
    Logan 7" shaper
    Ellis 3000 band saw
    Hossfeld bender w/shopbuilt hyd.
    Victor Journeyman torch and gauges
    3 Gerstner boxes of mostly Starrett tools
    Lots of dust bunnies
    Too small of a shop at 40 X 59.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    North Central Indiana
    Posts
    782

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    Quote Originally Posted by Meltedmetal View Post
    Tackit,
    Now you've peaked my interest. I've been considering a plasma cutter and it would be nice to hear the opposing viewpoint. Everyone I've talked to either owns one or sells them. They have all said they are the "greatest thing since sliced bread". But one has to realise that salesmen and those that have invested in something may be reluctant to diss it. What kind do you have and what has been your experience? I currently use a vertical band saw(Doall) power hacksaw, O/A torch,chop saw or strand mounted manual shear for cutting.---Meltedmetal

    ps forgot about arcair, haven't used it in a while.
    Melted, I ain't sinking hundreds of dollars into an air system just to say I cut my parts with plasma. O/A has always done a great job for me whether it be heating, burning, straightening or brazing and I can do it anywhere on my 21 acres without an airline, water traps, filters, dryers, and expensive extension cords.

    The quality of cut BS gets old too, O/A has been producing beautiful cuts for many many decades,,, and it can't get more simple than wheel the outfit to where the work is and turn on the tanks.

    No doubt their are some jobs that Plasma is the best choice, but in my situation, it's just an expensive toy I don't need and would never buy another one... when the cost of consumables come down and are made water proof I might become interested in Plasma machines... until then I'll avoid using it as much as I can and continue to use O/A, the Ellis band saw, Evolution saw, Milwaukee chop saw and now the Makita to do my cutting.

    Here's my expensive air system, since 2003 it's been serving me well.. 10 drops of oil in the air tools before I use them and I'm off to the races....

    Last edited by tackit; 06-02-2013 at 01:57 PM.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    northern NJ
    Posts
    1,846

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    Quote Originally Posted by tackit View Post
    Melted, I ain't sinking hundreds of dollars into an air system just to say I cut my parts with plasma. O/A has always done a great job for me whether it be heating, burning, straightening or brazing and I can do it anywhere on my 21 acres without an airline, water traps, filters, dryers, and expensive extension cords.

    The quality of cut BS gets old too, O/A has been producing beautiful cuts for many many decades,,, and it can't get more simple than wheel the outfit to where the work is and turn on the tanks.

    No doubt their are some jobs that Plasma is the best choice, but in my situation, it's just an expensive toy I don't need and would never buy another one... when the cost of consumables come down and are made water proof I might become interested in Plasma machines... until then I'll avoid using it as much as I can and continue to use O/A, the Ellis band saw, Evolution saw, Milwaukee chop saw and now the Makita to do my cutting.
    Not trying to start anything just going to give an unbiased response. I have worked in the fabricating business since 1986 & have used these cutting tools & processes constantly. You really knock plasma but the truth is it is a great tool if used correctly & you need it. For general home shop, farm & personal use the oxy/acet setup cannot be beat as the best bang for the buck but for someone who needs it a plasma is great. I have both. Cutting steel 1/8" & under quickly with no distortion is a plus. Cutting heavier plates with little heat quickens the handling time to be able to p/u the pc. & use it. Sure you can run it under water but it takes extra time. The other plus is oxy/acet doesn't work on stainless or aluminum. It all comes down to if you really need it or not. I don't have a fancy air setup, just an IR 60 gallon with a trap 12" from the tank & a trap on the back of my plasma, maybe $75 total for both. I keep the drain on the one on the plasma cracked slightly & don't have issues. My consumables last a long time. To me it's a money maker.

    Sorry for the hijack.
    MM250
    Trailblazer 250g
    22a feeder
    Lincoln ac/dc 225
    Victor O/A
    MM200 black face
    Whitney 30 ton hydraulic punch
    Lown 1/8x 36" power roller
    Arco roto-phase model M
    Vectrax 7x12 band saw
    Miller spectrum 875
    30a spoolgun w/wc-24
    Syncrowave 250
    RCCS-14

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    North Central Indiana
    Posts
    782

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    Quote Originally Posted by MMW View Post
    Not trying to start anything just going to give an unbiased response. I have worked in the fabricating business since 1986 & have used these cutting tools & processes constantly. You really knock plasma but the truth is it is a great tool if used correctly & you need it. For general home shop, farm & personal use the oxy/acet setup cannot be beat as the best bang for the buck but for someone who needs it a plasma is great. I have both. Cutting steel 1/8" & under quickly with no distortion is a plus. Cutting heavier plates with little heat quickens the handling time to be able to p/u the pc. & use it. Sure you can run it under water but it takes extra time. The other plus is oxy/acet doesn't work on stainless or aluminum. It all comes down to if you really need it or not. I don't have a fancy air setup, just an IR 60 gallon with a trap 12" from the tank & a trap on the back of my plasma, maybe $75 total for both. I keep the drain on the one on the plasma cracked slightly & don't have issues. My consumables last a long time. To me it's a money maker.

    Sorry for the hijack.
    No need to be sorry MMW, your comments are appreciated and add to the discussion... But I don't need Plasma, if I did I would use it more often.

    Your air system is shameful, you didn't put $3000 into it to build projects that you don't even need in the first place.

    Distortion? you boys need to go watch an electrician welder burn targets and boxes out...How about distortion on CNC plasma tables they always talk about, plasma can distort thin metal also.
    Last edited by tackit; 06-02-2013 at 02:21 PM.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Wa
    Posts
    554

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    I'm surprised to hear you would rather use o/a rather than your plasma. I have loved my plasma since I got it. The consumables are cheap for my machine and they last a long time if I don't get backs plashing. What plasma machine do you have? I do hear ya on oxy being a little more portable, but acetylene is not cheap and air is free. My plasma is dual voltage, and can cut 1/4" on 110v, while running off my small job site portable compressor.

    Really interested to see a cut from your new shears too. I have always been happy with makita products, I'm sure you will love this!

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    392

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    Thanks for the replies to both of you. So it is the moisture in the air supply that eats the consumables. I've heard lots about air driers for plasma but I suppose everyone figured I already knew why. I guess that's why they sometimes use nitrogen instead of air. Nitrogen about the same cost as oxygen? Anyway nitrogen doesn't solve my issue either. I'm trying to avoid tank rental fees. We can't own cylinders here except for the really tiny ones that I find too small and too expensive to be useful for what I do. I was hoping for something light and portable that I could use at home that I don't have to keep paying on whether I use it or not. Given other discussions about inverters aging and storage maybe that's not a great idea either although I don't know that I buy into that either. Between work, renovations and the demands of family life I don't get as much leisure time as I'd like. Food for thought.Thanks.
    Meltedmetal

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    North Central Indiana
    Posts
    782

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Cgotto6 View Post
    I'm surprised to hear you would rather use o/a rather than your plasma. I have loved my plasma since I got it. The consumables are cheap for my machine and they last a long time if I don't get backs plashing. What plasma machine do you have? I do hear ya on oxy being a little more portable, but acetylene is not cheap and air is free. My plasma is dual voltage, and can cut 1/4" on 110v, while running off my small job site portable compressor.

    Really interested to see a cut from your new shears too. I have always been happy with makita products, I'm sure you will love this!
    I don't have anything against Plasma, it's the extra cost involved if I want to use it full time. When I started metal work they didn't have plasma on the job or in shops so I'm used to O/A and don't have issues with it.

    It's like why do I need to have plasma? Not one of my projects or repairs have been done with Plasma. I honestly get along fine without it... just like I did before plasma became popular and a common tool in the shop.

    I'll put some 10 ga cut pictures up after I get the tool and go over the adjustments.

    The shear is just another arrow in the tool quiver. I have been wanting one for long time and a 10 ga project is at hand. From information I have gleaned over the internet shears are better for what I want to do.

    My Ellis 1600 is by far the shops work horse.





  8. #18
    turbo38t Guest

    Default

    Time is money.....I GUARANTEE you that I can cut a sheet of 10 gauge with my Hypertherm 1000 with a drag tip on it all the way across in less than 10 seconds.....name me one person that can do that with OA? OA can cut decently fast on a track torch setup(which takes for ever to set up) and decently fast with a guide(but only until you skip a beat in your heart rate and need to restart the cut). Hardly any prep after plasma either. I can and do use a 00 tip on my torch hear and there and I consider myself pretty ****ed good with a torch but for sheetmetal you can not beat plasma......and at home I have an airline filter and dryer but at work it's about the dirtiest air you can get and no problems.....what time is involved in plasma setup? Hook up the ground and airline and go at it? Probably takes the same amount of time to get shear out of cabinet and run extension cord. Dave
    Quote Originally Posted by tackit View Post
    I don't have anything against Plasma, it's the extra cost involved if I want to use it full time. When I started metal work they didn't have plasma on the job or in shops so I'm used to O/A and don't have issues with it.

    It's like why do I need to have plasma? Not one of my projects or repairs have been done with Plasma. I honestly get along fine without it... just like I did before plasma became popular and a common tool in the shop.

    I'll put some 10 ga cut pictures up after I get the tool and go over the adjustments.

    The shear is just another arrow in the tool quiver. I have been wanting one for long time and a 10 ga project is at hand. From information I have gleaned over the internet shears are better for what I want to do.

    My Ellis 1600 is by far the shops work horse.





  9. #19
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    North Central Indiana
    Posts
    782

    Default

    I get sick and tired of hearing how fast someone can cut with a plasma, I don't know of anyone who sees how many cuts he can make per second plasma vs O/A... I ain't in no hurry and clean up is no problem.

    Time is money... give me a break, I'm not a fab shop so the speed of lightening and few taps to knock off slag are non issues for me. Go buy another plasma, with practice you can cut with both hands and really impress those who care how fast your are.

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    600

    Default

    Manufactures make the tools so we can buy them. Each tool has its place and each person has his or her tool of choice. Some of us can afford them all and others cannot afford shoelaces. It's what you have and how you make it work.
    A old guy told me that anybody could do it with the right tool.

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