Need plasma torch information

I am a newbe when it comes to plasma torches. I have used Oxy-fuel for an number of years, but will now be doing a lot of work with sheet metal. I have a Hyper Dynamics Model 38, and am not impressed with it¹s manual. It appears to have been printed on a copier that needs repair. After the obligatory 4 pages of safety tips, you know the ones like, ³don¹t place the torch in your ear², there is some information on power requirements, and a parts list. About operating the system they say to keep the torch tip 1/16² off the work. In another manual from Hyper Dynamics the torch specs say working stand-off is from 0 to 1/16². If this is true why would I not just drag the tip across the work, and forget about stand-off? Another item not mentioned is average consumables life. If Im getting 3 feet of cut on 18 gage steel per tip am I suppose to assume that everything is OK? Should I expect 5000 feet of cut? The only book I have seen on plasma torches is one from our local library. Its from the early sixties, talks about using special gasses, and referrers the reader to check with the manufactures user manual about tip life. Does anyone here have some information on using a plasma torch, or a good book?

Reply to
Mike Swift
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Don't know anything about that model. But some plasma torches are made=20 to "Drag Cut" meaning that you drag the tip across the metal and some=20 are not. You'll probably have to give both a try to see what's best with=20 that unit if someone else doesn't have an exact answer.

As fas as consumable longevity, the parts should last quite a while.=20 Tips should last for like 600 to 1000 or more starts, and the nozzles=20 should last for many hours of cutting. You will notice that a tip is=20 wearing out by your cuts getting wider or more jagged or visually the=20 pilot arc will be misshapen or coming out at an angle as the hole in the=20 tip wears out and becomes wider and uneavenly shaped.

Other parts like swirl rings are replaced with every 3-4 tip/nozzle=20 replacements just to keep things working clean.

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I've never heard of Hyper Dynamics. Are you maybe confusing Hypertherm and Thermal Dynamics? If it's a Thermal Dynamics model you should be able to download a manual from their site and print it out to get a better copy:

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If it's a Hypertherm you'll have to call them to get a manual but when I needed one they were great to deal with and I had it in my hands within a few days.

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As for consumable life, I have a Hypertherm Max42 and I get much better life than 3 feet per tip. I haven't had a problem with it but I understand that moisture in your air supply is one of the worst things to affect tip life so you need to make sure you have dry, clean air. A Motorguard filter is probably the most recommended:

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IIRC my manual says I can drag the tip on anything up to 3/16" but I've done it on 1/4" too.

Best Regards, Keith Marshall

"I'm not grown up enough to be so old!"

Reply to
Keith Marshall

You will get a better cut and slighly greater material capacity with some standoff. You may also get greater life from the consumables. That said, I drag on a lot of things becaus it is more conveinient.

The most important thing is to keep the tip clean-if you blow crud back into it (trying to pierce, or overrunning the cut) life drops. Less likely with a little standoff. Also, you want to avoid freehanding wherever possible. Your cut quality and speed drop markedly due to the near impossiblity of keeping the motion straight. The unavoidable shaking will widen the kerf and slow you down. Even a straightedge guide works well. I tend not to use the roller guides if I can avoid it.

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