plasma cutter - Page 2 - The Combine Forum
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post #11 of 37 (permalink) Old 02-11-2016, 01:23 PM
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At lot of different opinions on here already. I will give you mine as well. I have 2 cutting torches, one acetylene and one propane, grinders with zip discs and a plasma cutter. My most used tool of these is the plasma. I think it is rated for 1/2" and will cut maybe 3/4" if I go real slow. They cut clean and cool. No preheating required. Shorting a leaf spring is fast and easy. No need to quench at all. Once you get used to how easy and fast it cuts, your mind starts thinking different as to how to cut things out. One day I needed a guard so my cows wouldn't step on my water pipe on my remote water trough. I ripped a 10' pipe in two, picked the pieces up and went to the pasture with it. Cutting with the torch would have used a lot of oxygen and the pieces would have been so hot that they would have had to cool for almost a hour before you could chip off the slag. As it was I just picked them up and went. Cutting steel bar to length is a fast simple affair, just make a 90 degree square to lay on it and cut it off. Lay the head against the jig and the cut is square both ways with very little clean up. Make lots of guides and jigs for the plasma and it becomes much more than just a torch. If the plasma stops because it needs at tip and I forgot to get a spare, I go get one from town, never think of using the cutting torch unless I'm cutting of a bearing. I even load it up and take it to the field for repairs with the portable welder and air compressor. On my place I would be lost without it. I would love a iron worker to shear, notch , bend and punch but they cost to much for me. A plasma is a good low cost replacement.

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post #12 of 37 (permalink) Old 02-11-2016, 01:48 PM
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The one I have now is actually my second plasma. I bought my first one and used it for a couple weeks, then loaned it to a buddy while I was gone on a holiday. When I got back he told me I couldn't have it back, "go to town and put one on my account". I guess he liked it.

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post #13 of 37 (permalink) Old 02-11-2016, 04:47 PM
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Is it an internet legend or can you cut plexiglass with a plasma? I have never tried it.
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post #14 of 37 (permalink) Old 02-11-2016, 05:49 PM
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I've got a hypertherm Powermax45 it has been a good machine for general farm shop work. The oxy/acetylene setup has been semi retired only getting used for heating and bending stuff.
Same here. Wonderful machine. If you really feel the need to cut 1" all day long, get the Powermax 65.

Get them at farm and ranch show time. Good deals.
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post #15 of 37 (permalink) Old 02-11-2016, 07:08 PM
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What are they like on rusty steel?
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post #16 of 37 (permalink) Old 02-11-2016, 07:08 PM
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Go big. I have a Thermaldynamics 102. The salesman didn't want to sell me the 100amp model, but I am glad I spent the extra $600 on it.
AGREE! I have the cut master 82, I'm often running it turned right up. Wish I got the 102

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Only drawback of the 102, is that it needs to be direct wired, as plugs that large are cost prohibitive, and likely to fail.
Same problem on a 82 or anything above 40amps really. I run mine on a 100amp breaker using 50amp welder plugs. I was skeptical at first but nothing has melted or fused together.

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The other thing to make sure of is to keep an extra air dessicant/filter on hand. It will work extremely poor with damp/dirty air.
I made that mistake once, I would install one right at the back of the plasma thats about the best you can do.

There isn't too many farms that NEED a plasma but its so nice to have. I would consider it a luxury, not one that I want to live without. If your working with a lot of thick metal a torch is probably better suited.

As a farmer, you learn quick: “You don’t get anything that you don’t work hard for”
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post #17 of 37 (permalink) Old 02-11-2016, 07:11 PM
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What are they like on rusty steel?
You will need to clean it where the ground clamp goes. Then it will work.
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post #18 of 37 (permalink) Old 02-11-2016, 08:23 PM
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I've been researching plasma's as well, my 20 year old one died and cost more to fix than its worth. Thermo Dynamatics has a much better trade in value on used plasma's than Hyperthem, half are telling me one brand, the other half the second brand. My fix it guy is saying to buy the cheaper one, and when it dies, not if, when, trade it off and buy the next one.


I was quoted about 1000 to boot on a TD cutmaster 52 and almost 1800 to boot on the hypertherm 45. Still sitting on the fence on this one, too many bad memories of the old money pit to get excited about another one.


I'm really leaning towards an ironworker instead, far more uses and far less maintenance issues and far better resale later on down the road if I'd want to update to a larger one in the future.
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post #19 of 37 (permalink) Old 02-11-2016, 09:32 PM
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We have a hypertherm pm65 and love it. It cuts 1/2" easily. I have cut 1 1/4" with it. Really like the gouging feature. Ours has the 50ft torch which is great. I would buy another in a heart beat.
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post #20 of 37 (permalink) Old 02-11-2016, 09:32 PM
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When you are working on new equipment a plasma can eat electronics the same as a welder.

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