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Thread: Plasma cutter

  1. #1

    Cool Plasma cutter

    I just received my Spectrum 375 plasme cutter, and had to test drive it. I'm home schooling myself in metal working and to be honest was surprised at how it slices and dices steel - like butter. I had been using a high speed Makita angle grinder for all of my cuts for the last two years.

    Thanks to Rickey D for the plasma cutting pan idea - unfortunately - my crappy welds leak. The leaks are more of an insult - about one drop every 4 hours... I coulda and shoulda switched to solid wire and C25 gas - I got lazy and used the flux cored wire that was already loaded.

    Now I'll TIG the seams on the pan - it's only 18" X 18".

    Steve

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Layton Ut. close to Ogden Ut
    Posts
    3

    Default Kudos

    Hey Steve good on ya. it takes some spine to self school anything. I am also new to metalworking and was just looking at the cutting pan picture myself. I think it will be my first home project.

    Good luck in your endeavor
    Vance
    make it better

  3. #3

    Wink Reference book

    I received my copy of the Larry Jeffus Welding Principals and Applications (Fifth Edition) a couple of days ago from Amazon. I have spent the last three nights parsing the 825 pages of text - it is the most complete reference I have come across. It explains the why, and the how of welds - and then numerous practical exercises - from horizontal to vertical to overhead procedures. It covers sheet, plate, pipe, and welding processes I'll never touch.

    I highly recommend this book - it's not cheap, it is an authorative reference for those of us that haven't attended formal welding apprentice programs.

    Steve

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Houston, TX USA
    Posts
    8

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by sjmiller
    I'm home schooling myself in metal working.
    Grats, Keep it up. If your near a community college that offers welding classes I HIGHLY recommend taking one or two. I just started with MIG & TIG I really liked the overall classes. We were allowed to self pace ourselves so I was able to get all the way to stainless (just an introduction though). I was told an Intro to Welding is the best because in addition to same GOOD safety advice your exposed to all kinds of metal working (Plasma, Oxy, GMAW(mig), GTAW(tig), stick, flux core, gouging, x-ray, sonic testing, inspecting welds, etc.) What I took still gave me a great knowledge base on what to look for in my welds and others.

    Quote Originally Posted by sjmiller
    - unfortunately - my crappy welds leak. The leaks are more of an insult - about one drop every 4 hours...
    One of the things I learned to help stop that from happening was to not stop a bead AT the corners but go past them just a bit. Sounds odd but it works. My first attempts did the same as yours until the instructor gave me that clue.

    Quote Originally Posted by sjmiller
    I coulda and shoulda switched to solid wire and C25 gas - I got lazy and used the flux cored wire that was already loaded.
    This isn't necessarily that lazy if it was a gasless flux spool. Some flux wires still require some gas (Don't ask me why, I was just told this by one of my teachers.) but a properly adjusted flux core actually burns hotter and can get more penetration without requiring as much prep work. One of the industrial downsides to MIG (not enough penetration) That's why so many manufactures like to use Flux type welding on the heavier stuff (structural & whatnot) or require that you know how to do that type of welding. This was told to me by my instructor and everyone I interviewed with (that did heavy structural fabrication of some kind). Sorry to be so long winded, just my 2 cents worth.

    DSRbikes

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Clark County, NV
    Posts
    2,696

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by dsrbikes
    Some flux wires still require some gas (Don't ask me why, I was just told this by one of my teachers.)
    Not all cored wire these days contain a true flux, either. Some are filled with metal and alloying powders that give extremely high deposition rates and faster and easier production abilities by the wire manufacturers for special runs.

    Flux or not, some still require a shielding gas, usually CO2, because the core is designed more for cleaning and penetration and deposition than it is designed for shielding.

    Good question. For the most part, you'll have to be specific (and be at a real welding shop) to get these dual-shield wires. When you just ask for "flux-cored," or if your at Home Depot, Harbor Freight, etc, you'll just get the standard "gasless" stuff, what Lincoln calls Innershield.

  6. #6

    Default Thanks for the tips

    My mistakes were many! First and foremost, with TIG or MIG using solid wire and C25 - I pay more attention to the weld pool. With Flux cored - the smoke distracts me... so I rush the weld. I'm going back to basics and burn stick welds for awhile.

    I think most of us see the course welds in parking garage staircases and think I can do better then that, and see the tight quality welds on high end prducts and wish we could do those.

    I'm teaching myself how to weld - and as bad as my first welds look. My RV storage compartment is still on my bumper after 3000 miles without any stress cracks.

    I like Arcin' & Sparkin'
    Steve

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Clark County, NV
    Posts
    2,696

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by sjmiller
    My mistakes were many! First and foremost, with TIG or MIG using solid wire and C25
    Do not use C25 for GTAW. You need 100% Argon. Some metals want small amounts of things like Hydrogen or Nitrogen, but that getting pretty specialized. Argon is your biggie (or a mixture with Helium, another inert gas with higher energy).

    CO2 in your GTAW gas will contaminate your tungsten, among other things.

  8. #8

    Default Late night typo

    Sorry for the miscommunication, I use C25 with my mig, and 100% argon with tig.

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