Plasma cutters

I've been thinking about buying a Plasma cutter.
Are the cheaper ones on eBay any good. What is the minimum this group would recommend? Anyone have a good place to suggest to order from
outside of CA? (Don't tell Arnold, but tax hurts.)
If I have re-done a common thread, my apologies. Any comments on the subject are appreciated.
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And how are California's taxes -- particularly the state sales tax -- Arnold's fault?
I'm certainly not a big fan of Governor Schwarzenegger, but blaming him for California's taxes is like watching an arsonist burn down a house, and then blaming a firefighter when he comes to battle the blaze.
To be clear, the current 7.25% sales tax was in place before Schwarzenegger became Governor (in fact, IIRC, it was raised 0.25% to its current level in 2002 by the Democrat legislature and signed by Democrat Governor Gray Davis). In fact, Governor Schwarzenegger has been fighting the heavily-Democrat-controlled California Legislature tooth and nail to get them to stop spending money they don't have on their radical social programs.
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I wished my state taxes were that low! (Washington) Lane
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Lane wrote:

Don't forget after the state, comes the county and city in some cases.
In 1989 - the so called SFO earthquake - that tax was just voted off the backs of payers last year for ending this year. Oh - they built everything except what they must. Some roads were not fixed until the press was brought in. Retreats (for the insiders only), farms and ranches bought and fancy buildings all with the earthquake tax money. We (when I lived there) paid 11.25 IIRC. I think it was down to the 8+ when I left.
Gray out Davis also grew the state government by 30+ % and saddled the state with a debt to pay out in 20 years from the power takeover. Nothing like new stock holders buying product from their new stock ownerships. And eating very expensive delivered to the office food.
On and on.
Martin
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@ home at Lion's Lair with our computer lionslair at consolidated dot net
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| > I've been thinking about buying a Plasma cutter. | > | > Anyone have a good place to suggest to order from | > outside of CA? (Don't tell Arnold, but tax hurts.) | | And how are California's taxes -- particularly the state sales tax -- | Arnold's fault? | | I'm certainly not a big fan of Governor Schwarzenegger, but blaming him for | California's taxes is like watching an arsonist burn down a house, and then | blaming a firefighter when he comes to battle the blaze. | | To be clear, the current 7.25% sales tax was in place before Schwarzenegger | became Governor (in fact, IIRC, it was raised 0.25% to its current level in | 2002 by the Democrat legislature and signed by Democrat Governor Gray | Davis). In fact, Governor Schwarzenegger has been fighting the | heavily-Democrat-controlled California Legislature tooth and nail to get | them to stop spending money they don't have on their radical social | programs.
I don't think xray was blaming Arnold. All the while I was growing up in the south the taxes were "fer the guv'nr" but we didn't take it personally, just the way things were. Of course, as time went on, the guv'nr's take kept going up so the feelings about it tended to follow, but it's just an old expression about taxes. I still say it myself, even though our guv'nr's legitimacy is in question (WA state.)
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That's putting it awfully politely!!
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I asked this same question a little more than a year ago. The problem with these machines is that you can't find parts for them. Plasma cutters use consumable parts that wear out with use. Electrodes, nozzles, etc. cannot be found for many of these machines. Thermal Dynamics and Hypertherm seem to be the most recommended machines. I have a firepower fp-18 (made by thermal dynamics, sold as the drag-gun) and it works great on sheet metal and is 110v (so it's portable with a built in compressor) Hobart (Miller) also makes a decent machine that you can get consumables for readily. If you want a plasma cutter to cut steel thicker than .125", you will want a 220v machine that you will attach air to. Either way you're going to be spending $600-$1300. roughly for something that will work well and have consumables available. Good luck, walt
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xray wrote:

Hypertherm and Thermal Dynamics are the two most recommended here. They're serious machines, repairable, and easy to find consummables for.
John
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I just bought a 220v Thermal Dynamics for $415 on eBay. This is my third plasma cutter - I sold the other two because I couldn't easily get the consumables. Hobart, Miller, Hypertherm, Thermal Dynamics are the big names. Essentially, the number you need to look at is the output amperage. You do know you need a fairly good compressor as well, right? The very light 110v ones with the internal compressors are mostly for HVAC work, cutting very thin ductwork, so unless that is your need, go for the biggest output amperage from a name brand...

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A question..cant you simply plumb the cheapies for use with outside compressed air?
Gunner

"Considering the events of recent years, the world has a long way to go to regain its credibility and reputation with the US." unknown
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Ok. Been watching eBay for quite a few days. Think I spotted and reported one scam in the Plasma Cutter sales so far.
I gotta ask... What sort of Thermal Dynamics cutter did you get for $415? Assuming it was decent, I must then assume you had great patience or great luck.
I want some of that. Any secrets?
This guy has a good sales pitch for a non-brand cutter. http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&categoryE030&itemu20431026&rd=1
Says he stocks consumable parts. Anybody care to comment on why (or not) this is a bad idea?
Just passed on a "Smith" cutter that was near-by. Googled and couldn't figure out who Smith was. A few sites mentioned the product, but I never found who or where or when Smith was. Hmm, will I be pissed when I hear the answer, considering I am thinking of going Chinese?
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The seller 'totalcloseout' is a scammer for sure. He advertised a plasma cutter as working, but it turned out to not have a torch. Although I have perfect feedback of 105, eBay took his side and now I have a 'strike' against me. He goes by another name as well, which I forget, but both are from Lebanon Tn. DO NOT BUY FROM HIM!
My approach does have one secret - I search for 'plazma'. This misspelling means a lot of searches will miss it. Otherwise I bid on all of the ones I like, at the maximum I want to pay, and wait. I do not snipe nor do I raise my bid over what I want to pay. Eventually, I win one. All three of my plasma cutters were purchased for less than $550 including shipping to Texas. The one I just got is a keeper. It is only 20 amps, but it is cutting what I want to cut, tubing mostly, for furniture, rod and 16 gauge for sculpture.
If I were to go Chinese, I would pay $499 to Harbor Freight, many of the Chinese ones on eBay are HF units being resold for more. The Smith one you looked at was a good deal I thought, I assumed Smith was the same Smith that makes torches, but I don't know.
Again, the important thing is availability of consumables, so just Google the model and see if the aftermarket suppliers stock the electrodes, tips, etc. for that model. My personal experience says stick with the brand names. I do have a lot of patience, it took 8 months of bidding and buying these three cutters to end up with the one I have. I would say that at $800 you can buy whatever you want pretty quick, at $550 is takes a long time - is that incremental $250 important to you? It was to me.
Good luck!
wrote:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&categoryE030&itemu20431026&rd=1
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"Totalcloseout" uses the name "Biddintime" as well - THIS GUY IS A CHEAT!
wrote:

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Emmo wrote:

...
Or her. The "Seller's payment instructions" for totalcloseout and for biddin-time (rather than Biddintime) are the same, with checks going to Terri Stone in Mount Juliet, TN.
totalcloseout and biddin-time together have 20 negatives in the past month, and 189 overall, which is a lot, even in the context of about 19000 feedbacks in the past two years.
Have to blame the buyer in some of the negative cases -- who in their right mind would bid $61 on a used cheap bandsaw with $90 shipping? http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?itemC78555673
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Also note the long strings of positive feedbacks from one user with the same terse comment. Then farter down another long string of positives from another user with another repeated short comment. And so on...
-C
James Waldby wrote:

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Emmo
Had a look at 'totalcloseout' looks like he's shill bidding.... you may know what it it but for those who dont here is ebays definition:
"Shill bidding is the deliberate use of secondary registrations, aliases, family members, friends, or associates to artificially drive up the bid price of an item. Shill bidding undermines trust in the community is strictly forbidden on eBay. eBay members found shill bidding may receive warnings or indefinite suspensions of their accounts." If you take a look at this page you can see that this may be the case.... as each bid by 731225e seems to have clocked the last bid on 39 items exactly half an hour before the bidding is due to end and all of the bids were ending at the same time.... now it doesn't take a genius to guess.... but it looks a bit suspiscious to me!!
Take a look and you decide perhaps it might be another piece of ammo you could use!!
http://feedback.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewFeedback&userid=totalcloseout&items%&page=3&frompage "2&iid=-1&de=off
Regards
Craig UK
wrote:

third
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&categoryE030&itemu20431026&rd=1
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For the sake of the rest of the eBay community, please forward your suspicions and the evidence for same to eBay's Safe Harbor. They frown on shilling.
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Will do
wrote:

know
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JohnM wrote:

I agree. I have a Hypertherm Powermax600 and a new 50ft ST60 torch (added #4 Gnd cable to extend...) Have the fine cut kit and a nice box of replacements for the new torch. Hypertherm ships upon order - I have what I want at my local dealer in 3 days.
Pick one that you can get parts either by local or web source. Low price machines might be the failing - only having parts in the box and nothing else fits. The sizes and spacing is very specific and there are warnings not to mix one set with another.
Martin
--
Martin Eastburn
@ home at Lion's Lair with our computer lionslair at consolidated dot net
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lionslair at consolidated dot net Wrote:

Hi am in Australia. School wshop I work in has a 240v basic plasm unit. Our medium size 240v compressor won't drive it too well. Sa local trade school. Plugged it into their mega compressor and it wen like a dream!Like chalk and cheese. Visited a contact at welder repair shop. His comments?1) Clean air use medical grade regulators/ filters. 2) Lots of air. He suggested compressed air bottle from gas supplier as an alternative. For schoo use he said it would run for months. An auxillary air tank may hel with more reserve too. 3) COLD air. He has set plasmas up to run pipes thru a "temprite " ie beer cooler unit. With cold air he said maximum cutting thickness wil increase markedly. Large industrial plasma cutters run refrigerate air. Hope this is of help guys
-- nick moore
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