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,