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HillbillySmoker
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 19 09 3:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I checked out the Longevity, i like the pilot arc. how are you liking your cutter? have you tried cutting 1/2 yet?
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k.a.m.
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 19 09 6:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

smokin ernie wrote:
Well I am glad that the thread took off so well. I am learning a lot.

I glad KAM mentioned that he likes his O/A set up becuase it is something that I concider to get before looking into plasma. I haven't used either of the systems. I like how the reviews are going and don't want to change the the thread much but is the O/A set better for a beginner or plasma and easier set up.

Things I do know or think I know O/A is slower of a cut. Not as straight of a cut. Possible more dangers because of the gases?

As for the plasma it is not only the cutter you need to get but compressor depending what model. air dryer and consumables. The cut can be cleaner and quicker.

Hopefully it is too basic of questions.

Thanks again keep the reviews coming!!!!!!! Razz Razz Laughing


Your plasma cutter will only cut as straight as your own ability to cut a straight line or curve unless you have it set up on an automatic. As far as kerf in a cut, an example on 3/8'' plate, I can cut with a kerf of right at 3/32'' wide. I believe a plasma is more plug and play not much skill required, as far as speed I have never cut against a plasma so I would not know. What I do know is I like my torch, it will heat and bend metal I can weld with it if need be, and my tips probably last longer than plasma consumables. Would I like to have a plasma? Sure I would, but push come to shove I will take my torch over a plasma any day. I am not set up to weld aluminum so no need to cut it, I can always cut stainless in various ways.
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HillbillySmoker
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 19 09 7:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would never give up my torch either, a plasma has its uses, they both do.
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mtrammel
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 19 09 9:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As I get more serious about this I see building a shop. Once that happens, I too want a torch. But for now, a vice and me will do the bending. Crying or Very sad two small curious kids in the house and a fuel air bomb in the garage are outside my comfort zone at the moment.

I really have liked the plasma. I have cut up to about 1/4 inch but so far nothing bigger. If I use a guide, I can cut very clean and straight. I dont have the "touch" yet to do it by free hand though I did do some curved cuts on my new build and they were satisfactory for my needs, a pro would be snickering behind me. I'm not sure what the pilot arc gives you...I bought the basic unit w/o it and dont know to miss it I guess. It sure makes progress a lot faster.
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HillbillySmoker
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 19 09 9:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm the high bidder of a 3 in 1 unit on ebay but my price didnt meet the reserve, well see if the seller accepts the price. heres the unit. 50 amp plasma - 200 amp tig - 160 amp stick and will run of my generator.

http://www.plasmametalcutter.com/product_info.php?cPath=26&products_id=35
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BabyHuey
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 19 09 9:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

k.a.m. wrote:
Your plasma cutter will only cut as straight as your own ability to cut a straight line or curve unless you have it set up on an automatic. As far as kerf in a cut, an example on 3/8'' plate, I can cut with a kerf of right at 3/32'' wide. I believe a plasma is more plug and play not much skill required, as far as speed I have never cut against a plasma so I would not know. What I do know is I like my torch, it will heat and bend metal I can weld with it if need be, and my tips probably last longer than plasma consumables. Would I like to have a plasma? Sure I would, but push come to shove I will take my torch over a plasma any day. I am not set up to weld aluminum so no need to cut it, I can always cut stainless in various ways.


I am only going to disagree with one point made here and it is the point about the plasma cutter will only cut as straight as your own ability. This is true if you are free handing, but with a plasma cutter you can set up a straight edge and run the plasma along it to cut almost a perfect straight edge. Very difficult to do that with a torch. Also, you can purchase or make a protractor for cutting almost perfect circles with. The rest is like comparing apples to oranges. A torch has it's place and plasma has it's. In my shop I choose the plasma over the O/A torch for most jobs. But you really need both.

I was trained on a torch from a very young age. I can do things with a torch most people can't, as well as a plasma cutter, I attribute that to training and some natural talent. But, I grew up in a fab shop with some very good talent in those areas and they were willing to spend time with me.

To compare a O/A set up and a plasma you really need to evaluate your needs. Plasma advantages are:
1) cut thin material and reduce warpage severly
2) cut a finer line and allow you to cross path for art work with reduced material drop out.
3) Less heat for reduced material property changes.
4) in most cases faster cutting (not all, people like to push the limits on matl thickness)
5) more material cutting options; aluminum, stainless, carbon steel, and most alloys. Cuts on both ferrous and nonferrous metals
6) Much more economical
7) easy to use
Cool does not require a pre-heat cycle; produces a small and more precise kerf width (the width of the cut): and has a smaller heat-affected zone, which prevents the surrounding area from warping or damaging the paint.
9) takes up much less space

However, sometimes it is just easier to grab a torch and hog out some material. You heat material for bending, and for material that is to thick for your plasma, a torch will serve the purpose. If I only had one of these tools, it would be the plasma.

My Dad and I argue this point all the time and he always loses. Shocked He fights technology all way, I love it. He likes carb motors I like fuel injection. He like points and condenser, I like elec ingnition, He likes torches, I like plasma, He has a el camino, I drive a real truck Laughing What it boils down to is what works for you. BTW, my truck out runs his el-camino everytime carb and all! Rolling Eyes
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istock74
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 19 09 10:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would also like to speak up for being able to cut straight with a plasma rig. Even though I consider myself to be a fairly skilled fabricator having been one since 93, I have one problem that experience can't overcome for me. I gots da shaky hands......perhaps one too many hard crashes. I get around that problem with a straight edge. Simply set up your backstop at the proper distance from the edge of your nozzle to put the center of the electrode right on your cut line and have at it. As far as a protractor for cutting circles, I made my own. I am currently in possesion of 50% of that particular dingus and once I locate the other half of it I will post a pic. Laughing

As far as speed of cut, there simply is no comparison.

I also would like to 100% agree with all of the Pros that Baby Huey listed.
Lastly, I just want you to know that I like carbs and electronic ignition. Laughing
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BabyHuey
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 20 09 12:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Double post...sorry
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Last edited by BabyHuey on Thu Aug 20 09 12:19 am; edited 1 time in total
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BabyHuey
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 20 09 12:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

istock74 wrote:
Lastly, I just want you to know that I like carbs and electronic ignition. Laughing


Laughing istock74 - I had a feeling you would say that.... Laughing
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k.a.m.
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 20 09 6:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

BabyHuey wrote:
k.a.m. wrote:
Your plasma cutter will only cut as straight as your own ability to cut a straight line or curve unless you have it set up on an automatic. As far as kerf in a cut, an example on 3/8'' plate, I can cut with a kerf of right at 3/32'' wide. I believe a plasma is more plug and play not much skill required, as far as speed I have never cut against a plasma so I would not know. What I do know is I like my torch, it will heat and bend metal I can weld with it if need be, and my tips probably last longer than plasma consumables. Would I like to have a plasma? Sure I would, but push come to shove I will take my torch over a plasma any day. I am not set up to weld aluminum so no need to cut it, I can always cut stainless in various ways.


I am only going to disagree with one point made here and it is the point about the plasma cutter will only cut as straight as your own ability. This is true if you are free handing, but with a plasma cutter you can set up a straight edge and run the plasma along it to cut almost a perfect straight edge. Very difficult to do that with a torch. Also, you can purchase or make a protractor for cutting almost perfect circles with. The rest is like comparing apples to oranges. A torch has it's place and plasma has it's. In my shop I choose the plasma over the O/A torch for most jobs. But you really need both.

I was trained on a torch from a very young age. I can do things with a torch most people can't, as well as a plasma cutter, I attribute that to training and some natural talent. But, I grew up in a fab shop with some very good talent in those areas and they were willing to spend time with me.

To compare a O/A set up and a plasma you really need to evaluate your needs. Plasma advantages are:
1) cut thin material and reduce warpage severly
2) cut a finer line and allow you to cross path for art work with reduced material drop out.
3) Less heat for reduced material property changes.
4) in most cases faster cutting (not all, people like to push the limits on matl thickness)
5) more material cutting options; aluminum, stainless, carbon steel, and most alloys. Cuts on both ferrous and nonferrous metals
6) Much more economical
7) easy to use
Cool does not require a pre-heat cycle; produces a small and more precise kerf width (the width of the cut): and has a smaller heat-affected zone, which prevents the surrounding area from warping or damaging the paint.
9) takes up much less space

However, sometimes it is just easier to grab a torch and hog out some material. You heat material for bending, and for material that is to thick for your plasma, a torch will serve the purpose. If I only had one of these tools, it would be the plasma.

My Dad and I argue this point all the time and he always loses. Shocked He fights technology all way, I love it. He likes carb motors I like fuel injection. He like points and condenser, I like elec ingnition, He likes torches, I like plasma, He has a el camino, I drive a real truck Laughing What it boils down to is what works for you. BTW, my truck out runs his el-camino everytime carb and all! Rolling Eyes


Free hand is what I was talking about. A lot of people for what ever reason believe that even free hand a plasma will cut straighter than a torch, but there are straight edges for torches as well. I am still blessed with a steady hand and do not need one. As far as heat warpage, if you reduce your tip size to accommodate your work piece you can do wonders with a torch, I know several artists that still use a torch on silhouette pieces that are remarkably thin and very precise. I agree that there is a place for all tools in a shop, but believe me when I pick up my torch it is not to hog out some material, I take pride in every piece I cut. And I wish someone all the luck in bending a straight edge around a piece of pipe Very Happy . I guess you can call me old school.
Your Father sounds like a smart man Wink
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HillbillySmoker
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 20 09 7:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just put a bid in on the ForceCut LP-50D Pilot Arc.
http://longevity-inc.com/details.php?id=4#general
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HillbillySmoker
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 20 09 8:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Guy called me and they didn't accept my offer Sad think i may go ahead and get the 40D pilot arc its $100 cheaper plus he said they would knock $25 off the price, free shipping also. the 40D will cut 1/2" which is more than enough for building smokers.
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BabyHuey
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 20 09 9:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Free hand is what I was talking about. A lot of people for what ever reason believe that even free hand a plasma will cut straighter than a torch, but there are straight edges for torches as well. I am still blessed with a steady hand and do not need one. As far as heat warpage, if you reduce your tip size to accommodate your work piece you can do wonders with a torch, I know several artists that still use a torch on silhouette pieces that are remarkably thin and very precise. I agree that there is a place for all tools in a shop, but believe me when I pick up my torch it is not to hog out some material, I take pride in every piece I cut. And I wish someone all the luck in bending a straight edge around a piece of pipe . I guess you can call me old school.
Your Father sounds like a smart man


Laughing I agree you better have a steady hand when you cut freehand with a plasma cutter, because it will show every move you make in a cut. In terms of changing tips for thin material, that is another advantage of the plasma, just adjust your amperage. When you need a straight edge around a piece of pipe with a plasma, you use a piece of 1/8 X 1/2 flat or I have even used a rachet tie down strap, plus there are many collars made for such cuts. My Dad is pretty sharp, and he is old school, I am old fashioned to in many ways also especially when it comes to moral values, I just don't shut out technology because I don't understand it like he does. I am in my 40's and he is in his late 60's, He called me one day to come fix his computer because it doesn't work right, when I got there he had a fist size hole in the front of it. Shocked Laughing

I too can do just about anything with a torch you can do with a plasma, and I started my metal art life with a torch because when plasma technology 1st came out; it wasn't that good. I have seen your work K.A.M. and know that you take pride in what you do. I didn't mean otherwise! Embarassed Just trying to make a point that the initial investment of a plasma will be more, but it can be used for many more applications and in most cases easier and better. And it will cost less to use it in the long run. For someone that is not as familiar with O/A setups as you and I are, the plasma is probably a better option for their shop. Just my opinion and I could be wrong....
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lineman21
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 20 09 10:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I went to a buddys house today who brought a plasma cutter home from work and I must say within a year I will own one of these badboys. The pros I found from it was when making a cut and having to turn the material you could just lay down the gun on the concrete. If you were to do this with a torch you would have to put it out first or you would have concrete popping all around you. I believe though for someone just starting out, They should get a torch set first. you cant exactly bend metal with a plasma cutter and you dont have to have electricity for a torch set. The only bad thing I didnt like about the plasma, if you dont have a huge air compressor, you have to hear that damn thing run the whole time.
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 20 09 10:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

BabyHuey, I understand what you are saying. As I stated above I believe that a plasma is more plug and play as far as set up and use. And I know they are very useful. And to the beginner welder/ fabricator they are probably a better choice than a O/A setup. I guess when I use torch it is all second nature in knowing exactly what I need to do, and I forget about the years it took me to get here. It is like welding, I live for stick, but I will be the first to tell someone starting out look for a good MIG and learn stick later on. Wink
Have a Great night Very Happy
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 20 09 7:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok, I will throw my $.02 in here. I believe if a man can he should have the following in his toy collection;

Arc Welder
MIG Welder
O/A torch set
Plasma Cutter
Metal Chop Saw
7 inch hand grinder
4 1/2 inch hand grinder (actually two. one with cutoff wheel and one with grinder wheel)
Good heavy duty bench grinder
Heavy duty vice at least with 5 inch jaws
Air Compressor (vertical at least 5 HP)
Good steel welding table
Numerous clamps, vise grips, face shields, glasses, helmets, bubble gum and barbed wire.

And as far as O/A cutting, the boars head in this pic was cut with a torch not a Plasma.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 20 09 8:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

WOW this is great stuff it has got me really thinking and it is great info. As much as I would love to have a plasma cutter and among many other tools that purplewg has mentioned. I have to be realistic and get something that can be used more and be more benifical to me. It doesn't mean that the search stops but just some more thinking.
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BabyHuey
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 20 09 9:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

purplewg wrote:
Ok, I will throw my $.02 in here. I believe if a man can he should have the following in his toy collection;

Arc Welder
MIG Welder
O/A torch set
Plasma Cutter
Metal Chop Saw
7 inch hand grinder
4 1/2 inch hand grinder (actually two. one with cutoff wheel and one with grinder wheel)
Good heavy duty bench grinder
Heavy duty vice at least with 5 inch jaws
Air Compressor (vertical at least 5 HP)
Good steel welding table
Numerous clamps, vise grips, face shields, glasses, helmets, bubble gum and barbed wire.

And as far as O/A cutting, the boars head in this pic was cut with a torch not a Plasma.


purplewg, add a band saw, fork lift, hoist, bridgeport mill, drill press, cut off saw, paint gun, TV, suround sound system, and a good set of steel horses and you have taken a tour of my shop. Laughing with the exception of bubble gum! Razz and there is still a list of wants...... Very Happy
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 20 09 9:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

show offs. Wink
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 20 09 9:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mtrammel wrote:
show offs. Wink


Ha! We didn't say we had all that stuff just that we should have it.... Laughing Laughing Laughing
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