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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Yesterday I picked up a new plasma cutter (Hypertherm 600) and tried it out on my 63 CJ frame that had a couple of bad spots. What a slick piece of equipment. Had the frame fixed in no time.

 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thickness of material to be cut and duty cycle will help you figure out what machine you need. Check out welding-direct.com for prices.

 

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Between the different shops around here, and where I worked before, I can give a reasonable opinion on this....
(It's not welding!)

Hypertherm is by far the best one I've used.
ESAB (spelling?) is the second best.
Lund is a generic Hypertherm (Hypertherm makes the guts and torch),
I have two Lund cutters, one is a 250 back street brawler!
(got it second had from a guy that worked for one of the power plants here, it will cut 1.5" thick plate as fast as you can pull the torch across the plate! Watch your toes!)

If you are going to keep the thing in the fab shop, try a Hypo therm 800 to 1100.
(that's 80 amp and 110 amp output respectively)
Small enough to sit on a shelf, but VERY POWERFUL!

If you are going to tow it around the plant, make sure you get one that has the built in gas bottle racks and bottle supply hardware.
They will hold you over a barrel for that stuff! (My butt is STILL sore!)

What ever you buy, keep in mind you have to have parts for the torch, and Hypertherm torches have generic replacement parts available (buy a miller or Lincoln are you are SCREWED! They don't use Hypertherm torches unless you order them that way... Speaking from experience here...)

It's like Tweco mig gun parts... Everybody uses Tweco because the work the best, but since everyone is buying them, the price came down too.
I've never seen a welding shop, no matter what brand lines they carry, they ALWAYS carry Hypertherm too, they have too, the stuff is everywhere.
Hypertherm parts are a little expensive, but if you want the best performance, use real Hypertherm parts. (and they last longer than the general generic Hypertherm knock-offs...)

Just an opinion, feel free to disagree....

So many cats, so few recipes...
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The other manufacturer I looked at was the Thermodynamics. The problem is it used a high freq. to start the arc and could destroy computer and other electrical items (like in the cars computer).

 

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Hey , what did you pay for that ? One of those has been on my wish list for some time /wwwthreads_images/icons/smile.gif

Jeff /wwwthreads_images/icons/cool.gif
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
The local dealer price was 1525 for the 600. I tried it at the shop first and it would cut 1/2 steel and still looked like a descent cut. It's supposed to cut up to 7/8 but it probably wouldn't look pretty. On body parts I don't think a plasma could be beat. Also you can drag cut with this unit. Most of the stuff I cut is 1/8 or less but occasionally I cut heavier.

 
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I ordered the Powermax 1000,the day I ordered it Hypertherm was in the process of releasing it(this is a New unit replacing the 900),the price was the lowest I found,but I had to wait for Hypertherm to release it,ship it to the state of washingtom from NH so that it could be shipped back to Pennsylvania.
local dealers were $300-400 more so the wait was worth waiting,
I will be trying it tomorrow for the first time so I'll let you know what it is like
Hypermax 1000 #083178- $2060.00
Wheel Kit for 1000 #128646-$79.00(these include shipping)
Total $2139.00

JF1
http://www.hrja.org
 
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So how bout some smart guy coming up with an onboard version of a plasma cutter. How hard could it be? There are onboard welders and onboard air supplies, so put the two together with a torch handle and you're set.
OK, maybe it wouldn't be that easy, you might have to make a controller to control the output by adjusting the field current, or maybe get real fancy and replace the 6 power diodes with 12 SCR's and a controller and then you could do AC or Square Wave output.
For doing body and frame work how much power would you really need. There is nothing in the body or the frame that's more then 3/16" thick.
2K US and up is a lot of coin, even more for us poor Canadian's, somebody should be able to come up with a solution.
Perhaps I'm missing something here, maybe those plasma Amp's are at much higher arc voltages, and the actual power(Volts*Amps) is beyond the capabilities of an alternator.
Hey, just thinking out load!


 

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My bud has an ESAB 110V plasma cutter. It's pretty slick, but I've only witnessed about 3/8" stock being cut. He did have to replace the hose/gun assy. not long ago @ approx. $700 which made a BIG difference in cut quality.

Caver Dave
'72 Commando
Oo=====oO
 
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