1st time using plasma to scarf!
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  1. #1
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    Oct 2015
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    1st time using plasma to scarf!

    I closed my shop a few weeks ago but I had a few unfinished jobs left to get done. One was removing an old style quick attach setup from a grapple bucket and attaching the new style. I was going to use a cutting torch to remove the old setup. It was welded 100% all the way around. I knew by the way it was designed it was going to give me trouble with blow back in some spots. i was not looking forward to doing it. I happen to move my plasma cutter to get access to my torch and I though , what the heck Ill give it a try . I just have my standard tips because the brand I have does not make scarfing tips.

    I was very surprised how well it worked . The welds were just single pass that I was removing and it worked real well for that. I would not like to try any more than a 2 pass welds with it but for the single pass it was no problem. The only thing was I destroyed 2 sets of tips and 3 insulators. I count that as a learning curve and mostly my own fault . I found I could not drag the insulator on the metal at all or it would destroy it in just a foot or so of scarfing. I had to keep it up off the metal , then I had no problem other than having to stop once in a while and scrape the tip on some metal to clean the dross off of it. I would say it worked as well as carbon arc but carbon arc would work better on heavier welds.

    I know this is nothing new but I just never did it before. I though I would need special tips to do it. I just angled my torch at about 45 degrees and I could control how deep I went by changing the angle of the torch. I suspect I could probably scarf through 3/8 " -1/2" thick with my 60 amp plasma . Much more than that and I think the arc would not be concentrated enough to cut.

    After the part was off I used the plasma to clean up the bucket some so I had less grinding. It worked well for that too. Again not quite as good as carbon arc but still not too bad. If I could have gotten the torch more parallel to the plate it would have cleaned it better . I would say it save me a good hr of grinding. The tips and insulators I used probably cost less than the gas I would have used with the cutting torch.

    The other nice thing was it threw less metal around than when I carbon arc . I would not have air arced it in my shop because of the danger of the flying dross.
    Last edited by thegary; 06-15-2019 at 04:39 PM.

  2. #2
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    Re: 1st time using plasma to scarf!

    I remove old welds with oxy-acet. Always have. Always will. Much more control.

  3. #3
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    Mar 2011
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    Re: 1st time using plasma to scarf!

    Thegary, I have been using plasma for my go to rig for the last 10-15 years when it comes to changing ears on buckets and stuff like that... much more precise than O/A( at least for me) sometimes I end up ruining a few plasma parts when I get in too much of a hurry and try to take more than the plasma can handle but for the most part it does an impressive job

    Disclaimer: most of my bucket work is for smaller and mid sized machines <120 if I was working on 20 ton and up I would be using the A/A or O/A

  4. #4
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    Oct 2007
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    Re: 1st time using plasma to scarf!

    Contrary to Bonzoo's statement, the newest technology used with Hypertherm Powermax65 , 85 and 105 systems give the best control for weld removal and disassemble of steel weldments. Ther are great new gouging nozzle and shield designs that take advantage of a softer arc (as compared to a narrow high density cutting arc) that is easier to control and faster than carbon arc gouging or oxy-fuel gouging techniques. There is even a Flushcut nozzle design that the cutting arc exits at a 45 degree angle that allows your to remove weldments (think of a lifting lug welded perpendicular) with very little material left to grind. I'm sure there will be arguments from some of the old timers that used oxy-fuel and carbon arc for this type of work (I used to be in agreement with them). New technology plasma gouging is great, but not unless you actually try it! Jim Colt Check out the gouging training and videos on the www,hypertherm.com website Note, there is a gouging process for the Powermax45xp, however if you are serious about weld removal you need 65 amps or higher to do a production job.

  5. #5
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    Re: 1st time using plasma to scarf!

    Thanks Jim , I'll have to look into the flushcut thingy that is one thing that slows me down - having to do the cutting twice when I have to come back and 'scarf' off the remaining ridge of metal...



    I've always been a TD user but I know from other guys how cool the HT stuff is BTW: you get that trailer finished and operational yet???
    Last edited by ronsii; 06-15-2019 at 05:02 PM.

  6. #6
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    Oct 2015
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    Re: 1st time using plasma to scarf!

    Quote Originally Posted by Bonzoo View Post
    I remove old welds with oxy-acet. Always have. Always will. Much more control.
    Iv done it all 3 ways now. my least favorite it oxy-acyt . Speed wise on 1-2 pass welds the plasma is the fastest and has as much control as Air Arc.

  7. #7
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    May 2014
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    Re: 1st time using plasma to scarf!

    I have the PowerMax 65 and love it for gouging and washing off junk. Normally I just save up used cutting tips for that duty, but I will be checking into the flush cut tips. The Arcair torch is lost in the service truck somewhere.

  8. #8
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    Re: 1st time using plasma to scarf!

    Scarf isnt really the right term for what you are doing. A scarf is typically an overlapping beveled joint. Sounds like you were gouging.

  9. #9
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    Re: 1st time using plasma to scarf!

    Quote Originally Posted by jimcolt View Post
    There is even a Flushcut nozzle .
    You named a nozzle after me, you shouldn't have!

  10. #10
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    Aug 2014
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    B.C. Canada
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    1st time using plasma to scarf!

    I hardly have to do any repairs anymore and I’ve never tried the plasma for scarfing.

    I’ll have to try it and I’m sure it’ll do a nice job but I like having the long handle of an oxy-acetylene torch for the extra reach and control.

    A scarfing tip helps for washing away the dross.






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  11. #11
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    Oct 2015
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    Re: 1st time using plasma to scarf!

    Quote Originally Posted by walker View Post
    Scarf isnt really the right term for what you are doing. A scarf is typically an overlapping beveled joint. Sounds like you were gouging.
    I stand corrected!

  12. #12
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    Dec 2016
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    Re: 1st time using plasma to scarf!

    From time to time I have to cut a 5/8" diameter aluminum handle from a 1/4" aluminum plate. The gouging tip on my Powermax 45 does a wonderful job with this task. I have gouged out a few welds on steel with the Powermax with good results.

  13. #13
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    Re: 1st time using plasma to scarf!

    Quote Originally Posted by Deerehauler View Post
    From time to time I have to cut a 5/8" diameter aluminum handle from a 1/4" aluminum plate. The gouging tip on my Powermax 45 does a wonderful job with this task. I have gouged out a few welds on steel with the Powermax with good results.
    Just curious, I have a PM65, but have never purchased gouging consumables. It the arc quality different than standard consumables, or what is different about them?

  14. #14
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    Re: 1st time using plasma to scarf!

    Quote Originally Posted by jimcolt View Post
    Contrary to Bonzoo's statement, the newest technology used with Hypertherm Powermax65 , 85 and 105 systems give the best control for weld removal and disassemble of steel weldments. Ther are great new gouging nozzle and shield designs that take advantage of a softer arc (as compared to a narrow high density cutting arc) that is easier to control and faster than carbon arc gouging or oxy-fuel gouging techniques. There is even a Flushcut nozzle design that the cutting arc exits at a 45 degree angle that allows your to remove weldments (think of a lifting lug welded perpendicular) with very little material left to grind. I'm sure there will be arguments from some of the old timers that used oxy-fuel and carbon arc for this type of work (I used to be in agreement with them). New technology plasma gouging is great, but not unless you actually try it! Jim Colt Check out the gouging training and videos on the www,hypertherm.com website Note, there is a gouging process for the Powermax45xp, however if you are serious about weld removal you need 65 amps or higher to do a production job.
    Quote Originally Posted by walker View Post
    Just curious, I have a PM65, but have never purchased gouging consumables. It the arc quality different than standard consumables, or what is different about them?
    This.

  15. #15
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    Re: 1st time using plasma to scarf!

    The term is called gouging, not scarfing. A well engineered plasma power supply, torch and gouging consumables work together to produce a lower energy density arc at fairly high voltage. The arc does not cut well, being low energy density, rather it is made to produce a long arc (2 or more inches from torch to the attachment point) that melts metal and blows it away in a controllable manner. The long arc allows for excellent visibility and control. The power supply needs to be able to produce a high arc voltage at its maximum amperage (Hypertherm power supplies have higher arc voltage / duty cycle ratings as compared to any other brand so they are ideal for this process). I agree that the 45 amp gouging consumables work great, but on a low production or hobby level. It takes 65 amps to compare with 600 amp carbon arc gouging, 85 amps to blow the doors off carbon arc and with less smoke and noise. The Powermax125 with its 125 amps and 100% duty cycle is becoming the industry standard in the field for pipeline crack repairs as well as with making weld prep bevels for new installations.. Jim Colt

  16. #16
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    Re: 1st time using plasma to scarf!

    Quote Originally Posted by jimcolt View Post
    The power supply needs to be able to produce a high arc voltage at its maximum amperage (Hypertherm power supplies have higher arc voltage / duty cycle ratings as compared to any other brand so they are ideal for this process).
    I am not a plasma expert but the PM65 and the 60i both have 50% duty cycle ratings at there respective amperage that are exactly the same. As far as arc voltage I don't see that listed for either. The 60i is lighter 37lbs compared to 64 lbs. I have gouged with my 45xp, PM 85 and 60i, the 45xp is not even in the same ballpark as the other two.

    PM 65 = 50% at 65 A
    60i = 50% at 60 A
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  17. #17
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    Re: 1st time using plasma to scarf!

    For removing welds I love my pm 65 with the gouging tips. It’s so easy to keep washing away material. While you do have to be careful not to go too far once you get the hang of it it is hard to beat
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  18. #18
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    Re: 1st time using plasma to scarf!

    Duty cycle is rated at the maximum amperage and rated load voltage. So.....look up the load voltage for the 60i, I think you will find it is lower than the Powermax65. Hypertherm torches run at higher load voltages and therefore need power supplies with more wattage. Multiply the max amperage x the rated load voltage and you will get the cut wattage at the rated duty cycle. That is where the difference in power supplies comes from. Jim Colt Edit, I took a few minutes to get the comparative specs from the 60i and the Powermax65 manuals. T-D 60i @ 50% duty cycle produces 60 amps at 126 load volts = 7,560 Watts of cutting power at 60% dudty cycle. Powermax 65 @ 50% duty cycle produces 65 amps at 139 load volts, = 9,035 Watts of cutting power. The Powermax65 produces close to 20% more power at the 50% duty cycle rating. Gouging, with its long arc needs higher load voltages in order to get the job done.



    Quote Originally Posted by Jawslandshark View Post
    I am not a plasma expert but the PM65 and the 60i both have 50% duty cycle ratings at there respective amperage that are exactly the same. As far as arc voltage I don't see that listed for either. The 60i is lighter 37lbs compared to 64 lbs. I have gouged with my 45xp, PM 85 and 60i, the 45xp is not even in the same ballpark as the other two.

    PM 65 = 50% at 65 A
    60i = 50% at 60 A
    Last edited by jimcolt; 06-17-2019 at 08:52 AM.

  19. #19
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    Mar 2011
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    Re: 1st time using plasma to scarf!

    Do the Hypertherm gouging consumables Fit the TD torches?
    Or Doe"s Thermal Dynamics Have there own gouging Tips
    Thanks
    Last edited by Josey; 06-17-2019 at 11:40 AM.

  20. #20
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    Re: 1st time using plasma to scarf!

    The 60i is in between a 45XP and Hypertherm 65 in power output. The 60i fill a perfect spot in my shop.since i owned the other two Hypertherm machines.. All nice machine either way.

    The 60i has 16% more power then the old spec posted above.. Jaws, and I had both the single, and three phase units.. I am thinking the 3 phase units always had a bit more. It pierces way above what a Hypertherm 45XP will. Also cutting one inch plate is faster even on the old single phase unit..

    https://mam.esab.com:8443/assets/1/B...rochure-01.pdf

    There are are 4 different Thermal Dynamics gouging style nozzles, and you can also use some larger amp nozzles like 70/80/90-100- 120 amp cutting nozzles to tailor the arc around a bit..
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