Uses for Hypertherm Powermax 600 gouging and unshielded torch consumables

Hi all:

Thanks to Ernie's advice several years ago, I have been using the PAC123T torch shielded consumables with a Powermax 600 and have been cutting steel that is clean and can be cut with the torch at 90 degrees to the steel. The other day we tackled a job cutting the sides of an Army 6x6 (2 1/2 ton) truck and had some difficulty cutting because we could not get the torch at right angle, or in some cases could not get the shield touching the portion of the steel being cut. Because of these problems, the cut ended up quite ragged and in some cases we were unable to cut through the steel, leaving places still attached to the bed.

One article in Google on the use of the torch states that the gouging tip is better for cutting areas where you need more flexibility with the torch, and I am thinking that perhaps I used the wrong tip for this particular job. What is the experience of the group? An unshielded tip is also available for use with the torch. The usage of this consumable is not discussed in the Powermax600 manual,but perhaps this tip would have been better .

Any guidance would be greatly appreciated.


Ray Ramos

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Here's a photo of the Hypertherm gouging parts installed

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I haven't done much gouging, but in my experience the torch is much *less* tolerant of bad alignment in that configuration. You have to keep it really close to the work or it breaks the arc. It needs to be so close that I've wondered if I have the wrong parts installed. I'm curious about what other users have to say about it.

The (factory) unshielded configuration gives a narrower kerf and is easier to handle at bad angles IMO. It's what I use most of the time.


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I use the Powermax 600 and Pac123T (standard torch) as well as the (grin & Gloat) 50' RT60 torch. (that Rt torch really rocks!) (I get much better cut and deeper cut with it - it is my hand torch.)

I use the Gouging parts in my CNC plasma table. It simply gets the beam closer to the table with less in the way.

The Gouging setup is normally done at an angle - in fact it is used to spray (like a hose cleaning a sidewalk) the metal out of the way. The shallow V nose allows one to guide the nose across the work.

With that in mind, remember the metal is sprayed across the top of the metal cutting a trench as you push forward.

With that in mind, consider what will get sprayed and the concept of gouging a cut not slicing.

You might get better direction and energy in a focused area if you use the fine cut parts. I use them on the table and they kick butt. Almost no dross, thin line, and the exposed lens allows very close access to the source.

Used as a gouge it would drive a thinner slot with the current driving a narrow not wide one.


Martin Eastburn @ home at Lions' Lair with our computer lionslair at consolidated dot net NRA LOH & Endowment Member NRA Second Amendment Task Force Charter Founder

ramray wrote:

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Martin H. Eastburn

Use the extended unshielded tips and you can reach into corners. Just have to hand hold your standoff.

They also make a 70 deg torch and an inline torch for use on cutting tables.

Reply to
Ernie Leimkuhler

Re-reading - I think - don't have my docs here - you don't push forward - I suspect pull backwards. But it is messy as the metal is on the top not blown down through the slot. Martin Martin Eastburn @ home at Lions' Lair with our computer lionslair at consolidated dot net NRA LOH & Endowment Member NRA Second Amendment Task Force Charter Founder

Mart> Ray

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Martin H. Eastburn

Wayne, Martin and Ernie:

Thanks for responding to my post. I went this morning to "Airgas Intermountain" and bought the parts for converting the PAC 123 for gouging and unshielded configurations. Had no time to practice yet, but will try them this weekend.

Martin, I envy you with the new RT60, but checking the price for the 25 ft one I found it is a bit pricey and I cannot find a good reason ( I don't use the plasma cutter that much) to plunk that kind of money for one, yet. Glad you are using yours, enjoy!.

Ernie, I am looking forward to your welding video and will be one of your first customers.

Again thanks,

Best Regards,

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Thanks for the nice reply and good luck.

I had to go for the 50' have it covered in leather. (thought it was in 20's for a while) as my machine is 6' inside or so my shop. It is close to my Plasma CNC machine and is painful enough to detach it from the machine re-enable it and get a new torch on. The 123 torch is attached in several points in the machine and painful to take out. So I swap cables and have a hand torch anywhere in the shop or outside the bay door on something I have outside. My shop is getting full - crowded in a way - so I can't lug in just anything to cut up - that is done outside.

Several time since getting it the length proved handy. Most of the time it has been hung up with the ends to the machine and the torch locally.

The RT60 is some torch. It is intended for the next size up machine, so the current ability is there - and I can use all I can generate. I think it is limited a little on the standard torch. It is also nice as it is a bit larger and handles more heat (IIRC) thus hand use won't be an issue.

Some runs on the CNC take a lot of time. If I'm running 20 in/s it could be minutes. I simply loved to see the machine scream when cutting 0.032" Al - vaporizing Al and a fast pace! The 2" tall panthers 32 of them took no time at all.


Martin Eastburn @ home at Lions' Lair with our computer lionslair at consolidated dot net NRA LOH & Endowment Member NRA Second Amendment Task Force Charter Founder

ramray wrote:

Reply to
Martin H. Eastburn


If you don't mind me asking, what type of Machine do you own?

I'm currently considering the purchase of a new CNC machine and have been comparing systems from DynaCNC, Torchmate, PlasmaCAM, Practical CNC and TrackerCNC.

There is so much competing information out there that it's hard to determine what is most important. For example, stepper motors vs servo vs intelligent servo.

Can you tell me how you made your decision and what you might do differently?


John P.

Reply to
John P.

I have PlasmaCam machine - The software it comes with is well done - some little bugs. It just takes you to draw or import and convert - or import dxf - ... place drawing and with a key - converts lines or arcs or paths - into a cut - internally it generates the G code needed - you never see it or have to debug it - you see what it will do - can change it graphically or back up one step and change that - then proceed...

To cut - select a line, a path or the whole bunch. When converting - you indicate the order. You can change the order also.

Once selected - and the metal and program values set - you start to cut.

Really easy - once one gets the steps down. You can create off line and take the converted files to the machine. e.g. - work at night or in a warm house - burn metal in the cold...

Yes my wife could drive - but doesn't want to. She is a history English type. She consults.... :-) If your wife is into CAD or graphics - duck soup.

That is my input. I'm sure there are other machines - I'd love to have water cutter - but the price. Laser is nice but it is the price.

Currently the cost of metal is high. I think it is coming down - China drove it up is building additional steel mills as they have ample ore.

I cut Steel, Copper, Aluminum, Nickel-Silver at this time. Mostly Steel.

Martin Martin Eastburn @ home at Lions' Lair with our computer lionslair at consolidated dot net NRA LOH & Endowment Member NRA Second Amendment Task Force Charter Founder

John P. wrote:

Reply to
Martin H. Eastburn

Thanks yet again Martin. While I am evaluating several competing machines I've been keeping the PlasmaCAM in my mind as the default winner.

If I can be convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that one of the competing machines will offer more for the money then I'll certainly consider it. But the current large installed user base of the PlasmaCAM combined with all of the online forums seem to me to be a huge selling feature.

Take care,

John P.

indicate the order.

the converted

the cold...

Reply to
John P.

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