Bus Conversions dot Com Bulletin Board
December 22, 2014, 03:22:04 PM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: If you had an Online Subscription: You can zoom in to make the text larger and easier to read.
   Home   Help Forum Rules Search Calendar Login Register BCM Home Page Contact BCM  
Pages: 1 [2]  All   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Looking for Info on a Decent, Cheap Plasma Cutter? Any Suggestions?  (Read 4016 times)
Jeremy
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1915


1987 Bedford Plaxton


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #15 on: December 06, 2010, 04:57:03 AM »

I've been following this thread with interest as I'm curious about why everyone feels the need for a plasma cutter. I've never desired one myself - but no doubt because I've never used one.

So what exactly is the attraction of a plasma cutter, for hobbyist users such as ourselves? I have a decent (250 / $400-ish) bandsaw that will make quick and perfect cuts in 1/4" plate when used vertically, and will cut any thickness of bar or tube when used horizontally. It won't do tight radius cuts, and it's no good for 'big' pieces of plate...but for my needs (bus-converting and similar messing about on other projects) it can handle 95% of everything I want to do, and costs nothing to run other than new blades every now and then. So I'm curious what people are trying to cut that requires a fancy and expensive plasma cutter?


Jeremy
Logged

A shameless plug for my business - visit www.magazineexchange.co.uk for back issue magazines - thousands of titles covering cars, motorbikes, aircraft, railways, boats, modelling etc. You'll find lots of interest, although not much covering American buses sadly.
bevans6
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 4883


1980 MCI MC-5C




Ignore
« Reply #16 on: December 06, 2010, 06:51:21 AM »

How about a neat, accurate 4" square hole in a stainless steel bus door - while the door is still on the bus?  How about a little round hole in a sheet of glass?  Trimming off a 4" strip from a 4' by 8' steel of steel?

the thing about a plasma cutter is it will cut just about anything with a conductive surface.  It's neat, leaves relatively tidy edges and it's very portable, uses relatively little air and electricity.  You can get adhesive metallic foil to put on glass, for example, although I have no idea how well it works.  In industry they are widely used to CNC cut sheet metal.  They are great for trimming bits of bodywork in a car repair.

Brian
Logged

1980 MCI MC-5C, 8V-71T from a M-110 self propelled howitzer
Spicer 8844 4 speed Zen meditation device
Vintage race cars -
1978 Lola T440 Formula Ford
1972 NTM MK-4 B/SR
Jeremy
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1915


1987 Bedford Plaxton


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #17 on: December 06, 2010, 07:20:09 AM »

Ok, interesting. I had no idea that cutting glass was possible - does that include toughened glass by any chance?

Being able to cut vehicle bodywork in-situ doesn't sell the idea to me (a grinder or air-powered cut-off saw would seem just as good), but I certainly acknowledge cutting a strip off a large sheet of steel (or indeed anything that involves large sheet or heavy plate) cannot be done easily with the tools I have.

I had understood from the earlier posts in this thread that plasma cutters used lots of amps (like a welder, I had assumed), but perhaps I'd got an exaggerating impression of that.


Jeremy
Logged

A shameless plug for my business - visit www.magazineexchange.co.uk for back issue magazines - thousands of titles covering cars, motorbikes, aircraft, railways, boats, modelling etc. You'll find lots of interest, although not much covering American buses sadly.
bevans6
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 4883


1980 MCI MC-5C




Ignore
« Reply #18 on: December 06, 2010, 08:29:13 AM »

Jeremy, I guess it depends on your definition of "just as good"...  I used to restore British sports cars for a hobby, i still have three or four waiting their turn, and I absolutely guarantee you that taking the floor out of an MG Midget, as an example, in 3 minutes with minimal cleanup for the plasma cutter vs an hour or so of noisy grinding with a cut-off wheel makes the whole "just as good" a bit of an argument...   Grin

Just like a Mig welder is basically a hot glue gun for steel, cutting with a plasma cutter is about as easy as drawing a line with a Magic Marker...  anyway, they are a great toy, and a great addition to a shop that deals with a lot of sheet metal.  I wouldn't look to one to cut anything heavy.

Brian
Logged

1980 MCI MC-5C, 8V-71T from a M-110 self propelled howitzer
Spicer 8844 4 speed Zen meditation device
Vintage race cars -
1978 Lola T440 Formula Ford
1972 NTM MK-4 B/SR
Chopper Scott
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1301


MCI 7




Ignore
« Reply #19 on: December 06, 2010, 10:42:24 AM »

I'm with Clifford and others here that recommend the Thermal Dynamic plasma cutter. Probably as good as they get. Even my Miller dealer pushes them over the Millers. Over the years I have become very disgruntled with Miller products anyways and as far as welders go I have went to Lincoln's. My 1250 TD plasma cutter will cut 3/4 " easily and I think it's rated for 1". Probably more than what the average hobbyist is looking for.
Logged

Seven Heaven.... I pray a lot every time I head down the road!!
Bad decisions make good stories.
babell2
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 198


Brice


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #20 on: December 19, 2010, 12:48:46 PM »

Just remember what they say about cars "Cheap, Fast, Relyable, Pick any two" You can substitute decent for fast in the plasma cutter options. When making these types of decisions you can't have it all without some cost in the works.  That's my problem with inverters now Undecided
Logged

1980 MCI-9 "The Last Resort" Located just south of Atlanta GA.
Just starting conversion. A long way to go!
The other Brice
NJT5047
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1942





Ignore
« Reply #21 on: December 24, 2010, 09:05:31 PM »

 
Yep.  I would really enjoy having a new Miller plasma cutter here....but it ain't gonna happen.  What I ended up with is a Harbor Freight plasma cutter...oh yeah, and a $129 buck two year extended warranty.   Never bought an extended warranty before?!   Thought this was a good time to try an extended warranty.  And, we have a big Harbor Freight company nearby.   
For S&Gs, here's a link to what I bought.  http://www.harborfreight.com/welding/plasma-cutters.html
FWIW, most Miller, Hobart, and Lincoln plasma cutters that cost less than $2K are Chinese units.  The only advantage is that you have a major local supplier to return for service.  Such that it is for low cost lines, and non-commercial entities.    Even high-end plasma cutters are being manufactured in China...ESAB for one.   ESAB is considered a quality item.   I rather doubt that my Harbor Freight "Chicago Electric" would be considered a "quality item"....hope that it works.  Haven't plugged it in yet.  I'll post my experiences with the thing as soon as I use it.   It's all ready to use, we just haven't had much weather for playing outside lately.  And I don't usually do much welding or cutting inside of the 'barn.'   Don't want to burn Mr. Bus!  Shocked
Thanks for all your info!  And thanks to Mel for offering me another option.   The logistics just didn't work out. 
I'll post some pictures of the ZX6E powered golf cart too, as soon as it looks like a GC again!   Plan to light the engine next week.  Had a couple of issues to work out...starter clutch had failed, but the engine seems healthy otherwise.  Starter clutch is replaced and the engine turns over and has good compression.   
That's the news from frozen North Carolina! 
Merry Christmas!   JR
 

Logged

JR Lynch , Charlotte, NC
87 MC9, 6V92TA DDEC, HT748R ATEC

"Every government interference in the economy consists of giving an unearned benefit, extorted by force, to some men at the expense of others.

Ayn Rand
NJT5047
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1942





Ignore
« Reply #22 on: December 24, 2010, 09:10:38 PM »


Many Christmas thanks to Jack H for offering to bring Mel's cutter back to NC!   I appreciate your offer! 
Hope to see you at the spring Palmetto Cove!   SPEEDIE TIME!   Cheesy
JR


Logged

JR Lynch , Charlotte, NC
87 MC9, 6V92TA DDEC, HT748R ATEC

"Every government interference in the economy consists of giving an unearned benefit, extorted by force, to some men at the expense of others.

Ayn Rand
Pages: 1 [2]  All   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.18 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!