New hobbyist, looking for advice on videos and a plasma question.
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Location
    Orange County, CA
    Posts
    10

    New hobbyist, looking for advice on videos and a plasma question.

    Greetings,

    I've always wanted to weld, so when I bought a smoker a couple weeks ago I figured that I'd buy a cheap welder in order to build grates. I had and have only welded with OA and that was over 20 years ago in high-school, but the guys on youtube made it look easy. That day I took advantage of a sale at Harbor Freight (after seeing positive youtube videos), and bought the small flux-core welder thinking I would do all these cool things with the smoker and around the house. Then I researched further and realized I wanted a MIG setup, eventually ending up with a Miller 211 and a bunch of stuff because of the awesome rebate that I couldn't pass up.

    I'll take delivery on Thursday and am pumped.. can't wait to lay down some crappy looking welds. Anyway I had a question regarding the arc-academy series online.. Are they any good? The $30 price for mig videos seems reasonable, but I figured I'd ask before purchasing it. I am debating taking some 1 day courses at a local public shop, but it might be hard to squeeze in the time unfortunately.

    I also had a question regarding Plasma cutters and compressors. Unfortunately I'm stuck with a 30 gallon or less compressor because I recently had my garage wired for 240 and don't want to tell the wife that we need to call the electrician back out, and I'm wondering what the real-world experience is on some of the lower-powered plasma cutters? For example cutting 3/16 or 1/4, how long can you expect a 6SFM 30 Gallon compressor to cut before turning on? Also I wonder why different companies are all over the map with their requirements--for example the 30XP and Cutmaster42 are around 3-4SCFP vs the Razorwelds that say 6.7. Considering the power is about the same, wouldn't the SCFM be at least similar?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Location
    AJO, ARIZONA
    Posts
    799

    Re: New hobbyist, looking for advice on videos and a plasma question.

    Welcome! If you have Amazon prime you can get several Miller publications for an e reader, or there is also an app for reading them on a PC or a phone, best of all they are free. You will also find a wealth of information here and Youtube has numerous videos from a host of welders, elder wannabes and idiots. Enjoy!
    Last edited by CAVEMANN; 09-11-2018 at 09:51 AM.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Not there
    Posts
    2,488

    Re: New hobbyist, looking for advice on videos and a plasma question.

    Go to weldmonger.com and buy the DVD series from Jodie Collier. There is more accurate info there than the rest of the interweb combined. It's not some technical jargon(although plenty for a newb). Just an ol FL/GA boy with about 40 years in this stuff from building airplanes to power plants, iron work, Name it.
    Spend a couple nights cruising and rewinding and get out to the shop and get on with it. you'll be fine.
    Its all on youtube free if you want to spend hour after hour. The DVD set is a library with a directory so you can get right to problem solving in minutes.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    3,203

    Re: New hobbyist, looking for advice on videos and a plasma question.

    In regard to your question about air flow rate of plasma cutters: Air flow rate is determined by the torch design. Some of the air flow is used to develop the plasma cutting arc, some is used to cool the torch and consumables. Generally speaking higher powered plasma cutters will use more air, but only when using consumables designed for higher cutting power. As an example, a Hypertherm Powermax85 will use around 6.5 cfm air flow at 90 psi inlet pressure when cutting at 85 amps, however when you install the Finecut consumables and cut thin material at 45 amps it will only use about 4.5 cfm @ 90 psi inlet.

    In your example wondering why the Razorcut system uses more air than the T-D Cutmaster and the Hypertherm Powermax30XP.....it is because both Hypertherm and T-D design their own torches and consumables specific to each plasma cutter they produce. Razor's manufacturer produces only the power supply and uses "universal" torches from a few different manufacturers. meaning that the torch may be rated for higher power than the power supply can provide, but the torch has higher flow rates for the situation where it may be used on other power supplies. Jim Colt Hypertherm


    Quote Originally Posted by rxmart2 View Post

    I also had a question regarding Plasma cutters and compressors. Unfortunately I'm stuck with a 30 gallon or less compressor because I recently had my garage wired for 240 and don't want to tell the wife that we need to call the electrician back out, and I'm wondering what the real-world experience is on some of the lower-powered plasma cutters? For example cutting 3/16 or 1/4, how long can you expect a 6SFM 30 Gallon compressor to cut before turning on? Also I wonder why different companies are all over the map with their requirements--for example the 30XP and Cutmaster42 are around 3-4SCFP vs the Razorwelds that say 6.7. Considering the power is about the same, wouldn't the SCFM be at least similar?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Location
    Orange County, CA
    Posts
    10

    Re: New hobbyist, looking for advice on videos and a plasma question.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bonzoo View Post
    Go to weldmonger.com and buy the DVD series from Jodie Collier. There is more accurate info there than the rest of the interweb combined. It's not some technical jargon(although plenty for a newb). Just an ol FL/GA boy with about 40 years in this stuff from building airplanes to power plants, iron work, Name it.
    Spend a couple nights cruising and rewinding and get out to the shop and get on with it. you'll be fine.
    Its all on youtube free if you want to spend hour after hour. The DVD set is a library with a directory so you can get right to problem solving in minutes.
    I've seen some of Jodie's videos and he's awesome, really easy to listen to. I'll check on the DVD's but unfortunately my DVD player is boxed up somewhere. Thanks for the info.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Location
    Orange County, CA
    Posts
    10

    Re: New hobbyist, looking for advice on videos and a plasma question.

    Quote Originally Posted by jimcolt View Post
    In regard to your question about air flow rate of plasma cutters: Air flow rate is determined by the torch design. Some of the air flow is used to develop the plasma cutting arc, some is used to cool the torch and consumables. Generally speaking higher powered plasma cutters will use more air, but only when using consumables designed for higher cutting power. As an example, a Hypertherm Powermax85 will use around 6.5 cfm air flow at 90 psi inlet pressure when cutting at 85 amps, however when you install the Finecut consumables and cut thin material at 45 amps it will only use about 4.5 cfm @ 90 psi inlet.

    In your example wondering why the Razorcut system uses more air than the T-D Cutmaster and the Hypertherm Powermax30XP.....it is because both Hypertherm and T-D design their own torches and consumables specific to each plasma cutter they produce. Razor's manufacturer produces only the power supply and uses "universal" torches from a few different manufacturers. meaning that the torch may be rated for higher power than the power supply can provide, but the torch has higher flow rates for the situation where it may be used on other power supplies. Jim Colt Hypertherm
    Thanks for the info Jim, I hadn't thought about the consumables requiring different CFM, but it makes sense. Just curious, do Hypertherm's ever go on sale or give out rebates? I'm a sucker for sales.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    3,203

    Re: New hobbyist, looking for advice on videos and a plasma question.

    Hypertherm as the manufacturer does not provide sales, however our distributors often do. If you don't have a local distributor that has the Powermax units at a sale price, just google the model name and you will see all kinds of discounted prices. Jim Colt


    Quote Originally Posted by rxmart2 View Post
    Thanks for the info Jim, I hadn't thought about the consumables requiring different CFM, but it makes sense. Just curious, do Hypertherm's ever go on sale or give out rebates? I'm a sucker for sales.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Location
    Orange County, CA
    Posts
    10

    Re: New hobbyist, looking for advice on videos and a plasma question.

    Thanks Jim.

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