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Thread: Best Tool To Cut I Beams?

  1. #51
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    Re: Best Tool To Cut I Beams?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ambull01 View Post
    Crap you're killing my plans right now. I thought those plasma cutters could give relatively clean cuts, especially if the steel is within the manufacturer's max thickness specs? .
    I disagree somewhat with SweetMK.

    A good plasma cutter with clean dry air and consumables in good working condition can most definitely make what I personally consider decently clean cut.

    This is a 3/4" test-cut with the new HTP Microcut45 DV plasma cutter. The dross looks bad, but it's very porous and doesn't adhere strongly; it comes off clean and easy with a quick swipe of a chipping hammer.






    I doubt your I-beams have 3/4" thick flanges or webs



    on 1/2" it is even better of course. And this is just hand-cutting; I'm not the steadiest out there.




    Is it as clean as a bandsaw cut? 'Course not. Is the plasma cut finish something that a regular flap wheel wouldn't be able to take care of relatively quickly? No, not in my opinion.
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  3. #52
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    Re: Best Tool To Cut I Beams?

    I have a small plasma and an O/A torch setup... they both have their place. My problem is that I don't use them often enough to stay in practice, so neither are as neat as Oscar's work. My plasma is a small one, so I use it for the quick light work, and drag out the torch for the over 3/8" stuff. Downside of plasma in a small shop is that you also need a good supply of clean dry air. Not a big issue if you want a good supply of air for your hobby work anyway.
    Downside for O/A for me is the local contracts for tanks have doubled in price over the last 10 yrs. Check around for what's available in your area and be sure to ask about rental fees for tanks as well as the charges for actual gas used. Both systems have their place, as does my bandsaw and grinders.
    The harder you fall, the higher you bounce...

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  4. #53
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    Re: Best Tool To Cut I Beams?

    Quote Originally Posted by 52 Ford View Post
    Here's a gas cutoff saw. https://m.northerntool.com/shop/tool...B&gclsrc=aw.ds

    Pretty expensive to get one new. Hard to justify unless you plan on cutting a lot of concrete on something like that.

    Sent from my Lincoln Buzzbox using Tapatalk
    Similar. Mine is also Husqvarna, but bigger. It cuts steel, concrete, or what have you. Cuts are as precise as the operator. Again, clamp a guide beside the cut to start.
    An optimist is usually wrong, and when the unexpected happens is unprepared. A pessimist is usually right, when wrong, is delighted, and well prepared.

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  6. #54
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    Re: Best Tool To Cut I Beams?

    Quote Originally Posted by smithdoor View Post
    Maybe put this one under most dangerous tool.

    You pickup a low cost cutting torch from Amazon or Walmart or HF
    https://www.harborfreight.com/heavy-...kit-64407.html
    Plus a 120 cf tank and your BBQ Tank.

    Dave
    I've heard of the metal cutting blades for circular saws. Why would they be more dangerous then something like the gas cutoff saw that 52 Ford posted? Seems like it's a similar concept to me, good thing I work in front of a computer and not with power tools lol.

    Yeah I read about the ability of using propane as one of the gases for the cutting torch. I always have propane on hand for my grill so that would be really convenient. Being able to heat metal to bend sounds like something that will become really handy in the future.

    Quote Originally Posted by 52 Ford View Post
    Here's a gas cutoff saw. https://m.northerntool.com/shop/tool...B&gclsrc=aw.ds

    Pretty expensive to get one new. Hard to justify unless you plan on cutting a lot of concrete on something like that.

    Sent from my Lincoln Buzzbox using Tapatalk
    Oh okay, I've seen those before. Usually see them with contractor crews. I'll start looking on the HD rental tool site for a used one. Bought two used Makita chainsaws from them over the years, great saws.

    Quote Originally Posted by Oscar View Post
    I disagree somewhat with SweetMK.

    A good plasma cutter with clean dry air and consumables in good working condition can most definitely make what I personally consider decently clean cut.

    This is a 3/4" test-cut with the new HTP Microcut45 DV plasma cutter. The dross looks bad, but it's very porous and doesn't adhere strongly; it comes off clean and easy with a quick swipe of a chipping hammer.

    I doubt your I-beams have 3/4" thick flanges or webs

    on 1/2" it is even better of course. And this is just hand-cutting; I'm not the steadiest out there.
    Is it as clean as a bandsaw cut? 'Course not. Is the plasma cut finish something that a regular flap wheel wouldn't be able to take care of relatively quickly? No, not in my opinion.
    I forgot you're the guy with all the cool, expensive toys lol. How many plasma cutters do you own now?

    Quote Originally Posted by whtbaron View Post
    I have a small plasma and an O/A torch setup... they both have their place. My problem is that I don't use them often enough to stay in practice, so neither are as neat as Oscar's work. My plasma is a small one, so I use it for the quick light work, and drag out the torch for the over 3/8" stuff. Downside of plasma in a small shop is that you also need a good supply of clean dry air. Not a big issue if you want a good supply of air for your hobby work anyway.
    Downside for O/A for me is the local contracts for tanks have doubled in price over the last 10 yrs. Check around for what's available in your area and be sure to ask about rental fees for tanks as well as the charges for actual gas used. Both systems have their place, as does my bandsaw and grinders.
    That's a good point about the air part of the equation concerning plasma, I don't own an air compressor I've wanted one for a while but don't really have a need for one. All my tools are manual or electric but would be nice to get some small profile torque wrenches to get to the tight spots on vehicles. Damn wife's CRV engine compartment is cramped! Just taking off the brake fluid reservoir cap is more difficult than it should be lol.

    Stupid question but have you tried that metal attachment on the plasma torch and drag it along the piece to be cut using a straight edge as a guide? Watched some YT videos last night on pros/cons of OA torches and plasma cutters. Saw someone put that metal attachment on the torch and it seems like it would be dummy proof at that point but I'm sure I'll find a way to screw it up a few times at least. Time to go and watch more Bob Moffatt welding videos, love that guy's humor

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    Re: Best Tool To Cut I Beams?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ambull01 View Post
    I forgot you're the guy with all the cool, expensive toys lol. How many plasma cutters do you own now?
    3. I'm trying to quit. It's hard tho.
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  9. #56
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    Re: Best Tool To Cut I Beams?

    I haven't tried one yet... my plasma is scratch start so I would need one that conducts electricity and I'm not sure how that would affect the plasma stream. If I had pilot arc I might be more inclined to try one. Most of the items I'm cutting are for repair jobs and not very intricate or critical. I often use wooden strips as a guide for straight lines... smokes a little if you're putting heat to it, but it gets the job done.

    Drop that spare motor into the wife's CRV and you'll free up garage space and make her go faster at the same time.
    The harder you fall, the higher you bounce...

    250 amp Miller DialArc AC/DC Stick
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  10. #57
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    Re: Best Tool To Cut I Beams?

    Propane works great.
    It is a little slower on per heat.
    I have use propan a lot just for cutting
    You do need a Propane tip for cutting.

    Dave

    Quote Originally Posted by Ambull01 View Post
    I've heard of the metal cutting blades for circular saws. Why would they be more dangerous then something like the gas cutoff saw that 52 Ford posted? Seems like it's a similar concept to me, good thing I work in front of a computer and not with power tools lol.

    Yeah I read about the ability of using propane as one of the gases for the cutting torch. I always have propane on hand for my grill so that would be really convenient. Being able to heat metal to bend sounds like something that will become really handy in the future.



    Oh okay, I've seen those before. Usually see them with contractor crews. I'll start looking on the HD rental tool site for a used one. Bought two used Makita chainsaws from them over the years, great saws.



    I forgot you're the guy with all the cool, expensive toys lol. How many plasma cutters do you own now?



    That's a good point about the air part of the equation concerning plasma, I don't own an air compressor I've wanted one for a while but don't really have a need for one. All my tools are manual or electric but would be nice to get some small profile torque wrenches to get to the tight spots on vehicles. Damn wife's CRV engine compartment is cramped! Just taking off the brake fluid reservoir cap is more difficult than it should be lol.

    Stupid question but have you tried that metal attachment on the plasma torch and drag it along the piece to be cut using a straight edge as a guide? Watched some YT videos last night on pros/cons of OA torches and plasma cutters. Saw someone put that metal attachment on the torch and it seems like it would be dummy proof at that point but I'm sure I'll find a way to screw it up a few times at least. Time to go and watch more Bob Moffatt welding videos, love that guy's humor

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    Re: Best Tool To Cut I Beams?

    Quote Originally Posted by Oscar View Post
    3. I'm trying to quit. It's hard tho.
    We might need a new sticky for Tool Junkies Anonymous....
    The harder you fall, the higher you bounce...

    250 amp Miller DialArc AC/DC Stick
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    Re: Best Tool To Cut I Beams?

    Quote Originally Posted by whtbaron View Post
    I haven't tried one yet... my plasma is scratch start so I would need one that conducts electricity and I'm not sure how that would affect the plasma stream. If I had pilot arc I might be more inclined to try one. Most of the items I'm cutting are for repair jobs and not very intricate or critical. I often use wooden strips as a guide for straight lines... smokes a little if you're putting heat to it, but it gets the job done.

    Drop that spare motor into the wife's CRV and you'll free up garage space and make her go faster at the same time.
    Pilot Arc is AWESOME! Ya don't have to worry about paint or rust or whatever keeping the arc from lighting. I've forgotten to ground apart and still managed to cut sheetmetal just fine

    Sent from my Lincoln Buzzbox using Tapatalk

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    Re: Best Tool To Cut I Beams?

    Can't remember if it was a bad ground or if I forgot to turn on the air, but it ate the consumables pretty quick...
    The harder you fall, the higher you bounce...

    250 amp Miller DialArc AC/DC Stick
    F-225 amp Forney AC Stick
    230 amp Sears AC Stick
    Lincoln 180C MIG
    Victor Medalist 350 O/A
    Cut 50 Plasma
    Les

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  17. #61
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    Re: Best Tool To Cut I Beams?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ambull01 View Post
    I've heard of the metal cutting blades for circular saws. Why would they be more dangerous then something like the gas cutoff saw that 52 Ford posted? Seems like it's a similar concept to me, good thing I work in front of a computer and not with power tools lol.

    Yeah I read about the ability of using propane as one of the gases for the cutting torch. I always have propane on hand for my grill so that would be really convenient. Being able to heat metal to bend sounds like something that will become really handy in the future.



    Oh okay, I've seen those before. Usually see them with contractor crews. I'll start looking on the HD rental tool site for a used one. Bought two used Makita chainsaws from them over the years, great saws.



    I forgot you're the guy with all the cool, expensive toys lol. How many plasma cutters do you own now?



    That's a good point about the air part of the equation concerning plasma, I don't own an air compressor I've wanted one for a while but don't really have a need for one. All my tools are manual or electric but would be nice to get some small profile torque wrenches to get to the tight spots on vehicles. Damn wife's CRV engine compartment is cramped! Just taking off the brake fluid reservoir cap is more difficult than it should be lol.

    Stupid question but have you tried that metal attachment on the plasma torch and drag it along the piece to be cut using a straight edge as a guide? Watched some YT videos last night on pros/cons of OA torches and plasma cutters. Saw someone put that metal attachment on the torch and it seems like it would be dummy proof at that point but I'm sure I'll find a way to screw it up a few times at least. Time to go and watch more Bob Moffatt welding videos, love that guy's humor
    My plasma has a tip I can actually touch the surface. I need a thick straightedge. I have a square for cutting 2-1/2" angle, just two pieces of 1/2 X 3" flat stock welded together at corners. I can hold it in place, or clamp. I find the transition at the corner gets messy & my dross is nothing like the dross from acetylene torch. Also the plasma does not cut square. With the air jet perpendicular to the surface, the cut is perhaps at a 5 degree angle. I can tilt the torch to compensate on flat stock, but not so good on angles.
    An optimist is usually wrong, and when the unexpected happens is unprepared. A pessimist is usually right, when wrong, is delighted, and well prepared.

  18. #62
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    Re: Best Tool To Cut I Beams?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ambull01 View Post
    That's a good point about the air part of the equation concerning plasma, I don't own an air compressor
    You know, I had been pondering this some time back, and it recently resurfaced due to me acquiring a dual-voltage plasma. Not that I'll be using it all that much on 120V, but I thought to myself: If I wanted to use it on some job that not at my home garage shop, I'd have to acquire a compressor of at least 3.5 CFM and another air dryer system to boot. So I started to look at smaller, oil-free compressors, and I think I've stumbled upon a relatively inexpensive solution that is also compact and lightweight that would allow truly portable use on both 120V and 240V as well.
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    Re: Best Tool To Cut I Beams?

    For one job? Unless it was a really big one, would you really get too worried about a drier? I'd be thinking quick cuts, hit the drain lots and don't let things heat up too much...
    Hate to say it out loud here, but for quick cuts in the field I've used the generator and arc on high amp because it was handier than dragging out the torch.
    Last edited by whtbaron; 1 Week Ago at 04:06 PM.
    The harder you fall, the higher you bounce...

    250 amp Miller DialArc AC/DC Stick
    F-225 amp Forney AC Stick
    230 amp Sears AC Stick
    Lincoln 180C MIG
    Victor Medalist 350 O/A
    Cut 50 Plasma
    Les

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  21. #64
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    Re: Best Tool To Cut I Beams?

    Quote Originally Posted by whtbaron View Post
    For one job? Unless it was a really big one, would you really get too worried about a drier? I'd be thinking quick cuts, hit the drain lots and don't let things heat up too much...
    Hate to say it out loud here, but for quick cuts in the field I've used the generator and arc on high amp because it was handier than dragging out the torch.
    I suppose it'd be personal preference And also moisture does tend to rob some power from the plasma arc, so when on limited power available from the outlet, you need everything you can get.
    Last edited by Oscar; 1 Week Ago at 04:54 PM.
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    Re: Best Tool To Cut I Beams?

    You can get by with shop air if it's not absolutely soggy. Sure, you replace consumables more often, but as little as a plasma gets used, it's not a big deal. At least as little as my plasma gets used. I still prefer an OA setup for most of my cutting.

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    Re: Best Tool To Cut I Beams?

    Quote Originally Posted by farmersammm View Post
    You can get by with shop air if it's not absolutely soggy. Sure, you replace consumables more often, but as little as a plasma gets used, it's not a big deal. At least as little as my plasma gets used. I still prefer an OA setup for most of my cutting.
    Unless I'm doing a lot of cutting, I run mine off a pancake air compressor. I've never had an issue with water in it. There's a water separator inside of my plasma cutter, though.

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    Re: Best Tool To Cut I Beams?

    Quote Originally Posted by farmersammm View Post
    You can get by with shop air if it's not absolutely soggy. Sure, you replace consumables more often, but as little as a plasma gets used, it's not a big deal. At least as little as my plasma gets used. I still prefer an OA setup for most of my cutting.
    I am the exact opposite almost all is plasma cut.. Really hard to cut stainless, and Aluminum with O/A. Little plasma? My 45 amp cut this very well.. I use my old 23 year old 35 amp plasma the most for things I do. (original Pakmaster 50 USA built) I am digging the $350 Esab off my engine drive too (460/3 phase) My O2 and O/P is mostly machine cutting on thicker stuff,when you do not want any plasma related issues.. 45 amps can go a long way is you know what you are doing. Bit over 1 inch below at 45 amps.
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    Re: Best Tool To Cut I Beams?

    Quote Originally Posted by Brand X View Post
    I am the exact opposite almost all is plasma cut.. Really hard to cut stainless, and Aluminum with O/A. Little plasma? My 45 amp cut this very well.. I use my old 23 year old 35 amp plasma the most for things I do. (original Pakmaster 50 USA built) I am digging the $350 Esab off my engine drive too (460/3 phase) My O2 and O/P is mostly machine cutting on thicker stuff,when you do not want any plasma related issues.. 45 amps can go a long way is you know what you are doing. Bit over 1 inch below at 45 amps.
    We gotta get you over to the Dark Side. A real torch

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    Re: Best Tool To Cut I Beams?

    BTW..........wildfire season is coming.......stay safe.

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    Re: Best Tool To Cut I Beams?

    Quote Originally Posted by farmersammm View Post
    We gotta get you over to the Dark Side. A real torch

    I have a smith mini torch does that count?I I use a rosebud much more than a gas axe..

    Rain coming here. We happen to have the best firefighters in the PNW out of this town..Helos, and tankers right out by me..
    Last edited by Brand X; 1 Week Ago at 12:21 AM.
    Esab/Lorch ET-220i
    Esab 160i caddy
    Esab CV353
    Thermal LM-200/ Lincoln feeders
    Thermal 60i- 3phase
    Pak 50
    Thermal 35C
    Thermal 15c
    INE 1500
    Klutch 220i
    Blue Demon/140 msi/90sti

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    Re: Best Tool To Cut I Beams?

    Quote Originally Posted by Brand X View Post
    I have a smith mini torch does that count?I I use a rosebud much more than a gas axe..

    Rain coming here. We happen to have the best firefighters in the PNW out of this town..Helos, and tankers right out by me..
    Smith Little torch? Yeah, why not? Just make sure you use a lot of preheat, otherwise it might take a little while to cut through that 1" plate.

    I thought about getting one of those. Looks like it'd be a handy size for smaller brazing jobs. Like brazed carbide tooling, small cast iron repairs, etc.
    Last edited by 52 Ford; 1 Week Ago at 12:34 AM.

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    Re: Best Tool To Cut I Beams?

    Quote Originally Posted by Brand X View Post
    I am the exact opposite almost all is plasma cut.. Really hard to cut stainless, and Aluminum with O/A. Little plasma? My 45 amp cut this very well.. I use my old 23 year old 35 amp plasma the most for things I do. (original Pakmaster 50 USA built) I am digging the $350 Esab off my engine drive too (460/3 phase) My O2 and O/P is mostly machine cutting on thicker stuff,when you do not want any plasma related issues.. 45 amps can go a long way is you know what you are doing. Bit over 1 inch below at 45 amps.
    I'm not cutting parts with a machine torch, but for the last 10+ years I've learned to love the plasma torch for anything up to 5/8" hand cutting and really like it for deconstructing rusty semi trailers and gouging welds and cracks on farm implements. My O/A cylinders haven't been changed for a year.
    Oh yeah, Hypertherm 65 here.

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    Re: Best Tool To Cut I Beams?

    Quote Originally Posted by 12V71 View Post
    I'm not cutting parts with a machine torch, but for the last 10+ years I've learned to love the plasma torch for anything up to 5/8" hand cutting and really like it for deconstructing rusty semi trailers and gouging welds and cracks on farm implements. My O/A cylinders haven't been changed for a year.
    Oh yeah, Hypertherm 65 here.
    The biggest deal for me is that the surrounding metal doesn't get hot. Less burning paint and grease to deal with.

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    Re: Best Tool To Cut I Beams?

    Quote Originally Posted by Brand X View Post
    45 amps can go a long way is you know what you are doing. Bit over 1 inch below at 45 amps.
    That's a CNC plasma cut part, right?
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    Re: Best Tool To Cut I Beams?

    Quote Originally Posted by 12V71 View Post
    I'm not cutting parts with a machine torch, but for the last 10+ years I've learned to love the plasma torch for anything up to 5/8" hand cutting and really like it for deconstructing rusty semi trailers and gouging welds and cracks on farm implements. My O/A cylinders haven't been changed for a year.
    Oh yeah, Hypertherm 65 here.
    I plasma anything I can too. It aint a hobby, Use a torch on auto work as much as anything else.

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