Zipcut: Worth fixing or screwed?
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Location
    Lititz, PA
    Posts
    17

    Question Zipcut: Worth fixing or screwed?

    Suppose for a minute I have a transformer based Miller plasma cutter, a Zipcut, bought it used and it's like mid-80's manufacture date. I was thinking being a Miller and transformer based it should be rock solid and impossible to fail, right? I just finally got it into my garage and it powers up once but then not the second time or thereafter. Obviously way the heck out of warranty. MAYBE it's the power cord gone wrong as there is a bit of slop at the end. Looks like it was replaced given that the plastic is new and the brass prongs are way newer looking than the original would be. What's the cost, generally, at getting something like this looked at and possibly fixed, given that transformer machines are supposed to be simple and made of stuff easy to swap out?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    31

    Re: Zipcut: Worth fixing or screwed?

    In Tn about $75-100 an hour, 1 hr min, plus parts. Its not terrible if you consider cost of new machine, about the same as mechanic shop.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Dalton, GA
    Posts
    1,467

    Re: Zipcut: Worth fixing or screwed?

    Open it up and use a multimeter to do basic troubleshooting. It is easy enough to verify power to the switch. If no power there you can fix yourself. Then just move forward and test until you get past your comfort level. Likely you can resolve or at least identify the problem.

    After that, report your results here for more detailed troubleshooting help.

    Good luck!
    Burt
    _____________________
    Miller Syncrowave 250
    Millermatic 211 w/Spoolmate
    Miller 375 Plasma Cutter
    Miller Thunderbolt XL AC/DC
    Hobart Handler 120

    10FtDrillBit.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    bar stool
    Posts
    133

    Re: Zipcut: Worth fixing or screwed?

    "it powers up once but then not the second time or thereafter. "

    As I recall from having suffered a ZipCut way back when, the ITW frustration machine is equipped with a safety built into the gun. The ceramic tip contains a Metal strip that shorts across the 2 brass lugs on the gun. The frustration machine will not trigger if that circuit is open.
    I have begged the Divine Power to wipe all memory of that contraption from my mind, but I still remember those damn ceramic cups. Fact is I can probably go to a spot high up on the shop wall and find a small box containing gun components for the contraption.

    There may also be an air pressure sensor of some sort preventing the contraption from coming on.
    The circuitry is simple, and the miserable contraption can be forced to work with a couple jumpers. It can even cut metal up to 1/4" aluminum and multiple layers of metal, if it don't self disassemble.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Location
    Lititz, PA
    Posts
    17

    Re: Zipcut: Worth fixing or screwed?

    Quote Originally Posted by Virgil5 View Post
    "it powers up once but then not the second time or thereafter. "

    As I recall from having suffered a ZipCut way back when, the ITW frustration machine is equipped with a safety built into the gun. The ceramic tip contains a Metal strip that shorts across the 2 brass lugs on the gun. The frustration machine will not trigger if that circuit is open.
    I have begged the Divine Power to wipe all memory of that contraption from my mind, but I still remember those damn ceramic cups. Fact is I can probably go to a spot high up on the shop wall and find a small box containing gun components for the contraption.

    There may also be an air pressure sensor of some sort preventing the contraption from coming on.
    The circuitry is simple, and the miserable contraption can be forced to work with a couple jumpers. It can even cut metal up to 1/4" aluminum and multiple layers of metal, if it don't self disassemble.
    Hmm, so replacing the ceramic cup could help. Tell ya what, maybe i could help you fully recover from the experience by buying that box of parts from you if it contains a cup?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    bar stool
    Posts
    133

    Re: Zipcut: Worth fixing or screwed?

    You're forcing a brain cramp on me with that ferhoodled contraption.

    There are 2 or 3 parts to the cup assembly, one is a ss wire cage, one is the ceramic cup and the 3rd is a plastic saddle shaped device. As I recall the brass safety shorting link is in the plastic saddle.

    I cant remember if the contraption uses 24 volts to the trigger or high voltage.
    Put a clip jumper across the 2 brass studs sticking out the sides of the gun and see if it triggers.

    Keep your hands well clear of that damn nozzle. It WILL hurt you with the pilot arc voltage.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Location
    Lititz, PA
    Posts
    17

    Re: Zipcut: Worth fixing or screwed?

    Aha, I observe one problem: I see a groove in the plastic saddle where the brass piece would be--and it isn't. So I should put a strip of brass or copper there to replace the one that apparently dropped out somewhere and/or get a new one.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    bar stool
    Posts
    133

    Re: Zipcut: Worth fixing or screwed?

    Relax, they look that way. Gently scrape the stirrup portion where the studs stick out of the gun and you should see brass in the saddle.

    So far I found 2 saddle assemblys with ceramics and 1 wire cage. I also found 1 new electrode.
    I can't look any more till my Shrink clears me for Depression.

    CRAP, now I'm thinking I might not have run the damn book for that ITW contraption thru the shredder and incinerated the shreds.

    MORE DEPRESSION

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    bar stool
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    133

    Re: Zipcut: Worth fixing or screwed?

    Like this
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