Any tips on using a plasma cutter?

I noticed that we now have a hypertherm 600 plasma cutter. Looks like bottom of their line from what I gather but it does cut stuff.
Any tips on using it effectively?
Wes
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As trite as it sounds, read the manual, and follow it. That helped a lot with my Max100. Not forgetting to attach a ground clamp also helps. :)
i
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RTFM? Surely you jest. Real men ask their buds and if married don't listen to their wives. ;)
Wes
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Most of the problems I've seen with handheld plasma torches come for "new" operators cutting too slowly... you gotta keep moving.

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Wes wrote:

If it's the PowerMax 600 with the G3 torch, it's the lowest capacity in the line, but hardly a bottom of the line unit. I have the PowerMax 1000 with G3 torch and it quite happily blows through heavy plate (rated 1" cut, 1.25" sever) and is amazingly fast and clean on thinner material like .125". The manual has charts of cutting speeds for different materials, thickness and currents, intended mostly for CNC operation, but still good to get some idea of how fast you should be moving, typically faster than you think.
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I've heard that you have a hard time getting air that is dry enough. I'm using mine out in the desert where you can't spit on the sidewalk because it evaporates on the way down. However, my compressor seems to have it's air inlet somewhere near the Panama canal. Although I have been using the cutter rather successfully, I'm told there is a marked improvement when using really dry air.

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Stuart & Kathryn Fields wrote:

Improvement both in cut quality, and more importantly, consumables life. A lot of folks (including myself) are using the refrigerated air dryer from Harbor Freight that runs around $300 or so depending on sales and coupons. It's a decent unit, and a lot cheaper than other refrigerated dryers.
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If you need to cut pipe try it with a PCS-8+
http://www.t-drill.com/Pipe-Cutter.html
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Actually, I found it last night on another tech's desk. I'll try to read it soon.
Wes
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What Iggy said. It's just like any other cutting device. It has settings. It has limits. It has parameters. It has peculiarities.
It is NOT the bottom of their line, and the cutter is better than about 95% of what's out there. Take the time to learn how to use it. Get scraps and practice different settings and thicknesses. It's a precision piece of machinery, and does have a learning curve. Ask again after about forty hours.
MAIN THING is use dry air! After that, RTFM.
Steve
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