View Full Version : Self contained Plasma cutters

03-22-2004, 01:38 AM
I have been doing alot of commercial metal buildings lately. Doing mainly the plumbing. I was thinking of buying a self contained (air supply) plasma cutter if any of them are worth a crap. This would just be a lightweight one to cut holes in the metal studs for the plumbing pipes. I think the heaviest studs they use are 18 gauge. Anybody got any suggestions or comments good or bad on any of the units. I could take my Hypertherm 1000 but that seems like overkill,and then I'd need the compressor and a large power supply. The smaller the power supply the better on something like this. David

03-22-2004, 04:00 AM
The little Millers work well in the HVAC business for cutting duct and plenum openings, and studs ain't much heavier.
Question is, why the hell ain't you usin a stud punch? OK, make that a stud punch and a dummy with big shoulders?
Aren't you still going to need to put slider bushings in the studs to prevent erosion of the pipe by the stud?

03-22-2004, 08:39 AM
David I have the little Miller Thunder and it works very well for me. I have cut 1/4" with it with a new tip and electrode on it. The little built in air compressor works well and ya can carry it anywhere with little difficulty. Maybe that will help ya some .

03-22-2004, 09:24 PM
Franz for electrical work we do use stud punchers,plastic grommetts,etc. For some plumbing drain piping(usually PVC around here) we sometimes need bigger holes,2-3/8",2-5/8",3-5/8",4-5/8". It usually not that many holes, but you can't drill them with a hole saw. We use the electrical stud puncher for the water lines,with the grommetts,and copper cross bracing.
Rodburner, what voltage is the Miller Thunder? All the studs are 16 gauge or less, so that would work fine. What is the price of that unit? Thanks for the replies, David

03-23-2004, 08:17 AM
Here's my $.02
I know nothing about Miller plasma machines. I have a Thermal Dynamics Drag-Gun plasma machine that I use for auto body work and other thin cutting needs. It works real sweet and it would work just fine for the things you are describing. The consumables last a long time also. Since you need the portablity these self-contained machines, again, will serve your needs. In a shop setting the wise money is spent on a heavier (and needing an external air supply) machine as these small ones really struggle at 1/4" stock.

03-23-2004, 08:47 AM
David the Miller Thunder is now called 125-C and on http://www.millerwelds.com/products/plasma/spectrum_125c it will give you all the specs and stuff your wanting. I just use mine for a hobby and on the site it says its lists for 1,150.00, I got mine a tad cheaper at my welder supply as I have a freind that works there and got a little bit better deal. It doesn't have a dial to change settings or anything like that . Hope that helps ya, also the tips run about 5 bucks apiece and the electrods run about 6 bucks apiece thereabouts.