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Thread: Plasma Cutter?

  1. #1
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    Plasma Cutter?

    We are considering purchasing a plasma cutter to use on the farm. We have steel pipe for fence building and need to finish one corral and start another. I was hoping for advice/info on what you have used, good or bad.
    Thanks.

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    Senior Member bill5362's Avatar
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    I have a ESAB 1125 and it is a beast, had a thermal dynamics and I didn't like it much, it used a lot of consumables and had to cool down short duty cycle. I have never had my ESAB kick out of it's duty cycle, used mine to day and it sliced through 3/4" steel for about 5 hours, only used one torch tip, and cut there was a lot of heat. Hope this helps here is the link

    http://products.esabna.com/EN/home/p...utting_package

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    Member Feed Bunk's Avatar
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    I wouldnt want one to build coral with unless I was close to a shop. Scince they need electricity and an air compressor going all the time. We had an esap in school and it worked pretty slick. Out of curiostity our you using pre fab pannels?

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    Super Moderator willie59's Avatar
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    I can see where a plasma cutter would be useful on a farm, but I'm trying to figure out cutting pipe with it. Why not a pipe cutter? Or even a portable band saw?
    A good mechanic isn't expensive, he's priceless!

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    Senior Member powerjoke's Avatar
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    i have a 75amp miller, and use a oxy/accetelyne torch 10times more than the plasma, if your not making cuts in sheet steel often dont waste your money IMO.

    Forgot to ad, there is no "plunge" cuts with a plasma like there is a torch in heavy steel, it just burns up extremely expensive consumables

    Pj
    Last edited by powerjoke; 09-26-2009 at 10:08 PM.

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    Senior Member powerjoke's Avatar
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    alot of guys around here use old guard rails from state surplus, and a plasma would work good for that but, not on pipe.....i am with ATCOEQUIP totally on the portable saw

    Pj

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    Member Feed Bunk's Avatar
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    I never thought about a band saw, but you could run it off the welder and have a pretty slick cutting machine. I would have to say bandsaws are my favorite way to cut metal besides a torch.

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    Super Moderator willie59's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Feed Bunk View Post
    I never thought about a band saw, but you could run it off the welder and have a pretty slick cutting machine. I would have to say bandsaws are my favorite way to cut metal besides a torch.
    LoL...I probably use our Milwaukee Porta-Band as much as any power tool we have. It's a handy tool.
    A good mechanic isn't expensive, he's priceless!

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    Quote Originally Posted by ATCOEQUIP View Post
    I can see where a plasma cutter would be useful on a farm, but I'm trying to figure out cutting pipe with it. Why not a pipe cutter? Or even a portable band saw?
    Probably saddling the pipe.

    Any that we cut off square we just weld the top and bottom, then a few licks with a sledge on the sides before welding it up.

    Anyone using electric cable and sucker rod clips on your pens?

  10. #10
    Super Moderator willie59's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by roddyo View Post
    Probably saddling the pipe.
    Yep, I was thinking about that roddyo. But the more I thought about it, to cut the saddle notches and to have the pipe the correct length, just sounded too time consuming. I like your idea better. Cut it to length, flatten the ends with a sledge, and weld it in. Quick and easy.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by ATCOEQUIP View Post
    Yep, I was thinking about that roddyo. But the more I thought about it, to cut the saddle notches and to have the pipe the correct length, just sounded too time consuming. I like your idea better. Cut it to length, flatten the ends with a sledge, and weld it in. Quick and easy.

    Don't ask how long it took to figure that out.

    Kinda like tryin to weld sucker rod to pipe. It's a lot cheaper to just buy the clips. Plus you don't have to weld on your coral every time you want to get your cows up.

  12. #12
    Super Moderator willie59's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by roddyo View Post
    Don't ask how long it took to figure that out.
    LoL...it would probably be more accurate to say "don't ask how many curse words it took to figure that out".
    A good mechanic isn't expensive, he's priceless!

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  13. #13
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    It is very easy to just flatten the ends of the pipes and than weld them to the posts. Time consuming also, not to mention tired arms. I built a little machine out of some scrap flatbar and a hydraulic cylinder that crushes the end of the pipe to the same dimensions evry time. It is run off of either a portable hydraulic unit or off the tractor hydraulics.It is just a matter of cutting everything first, doing the crushing and then welding. It just separates out all of the steps so you dont have equipment spread all over the shop. I would post pictures but I dont have any at the moment. If you're interested, I can do so. That little unit saves me large amounts of time when I'm building panels.

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    Sorry it took a while to get back. Yes saddle cuts is what I'm doing. Getting a clean fitting cut with torch is a challenge. Thought plasma would do better job. However, I do have to make several plunge starts. The demonstration I have seen at the Tulsa Farm Show was so damn fast. I think I like the thought about flattening the ends. Don't want to start in middle of my job. Will suggest that to son when we start on his. Did look at place where I get my O2. They had Hypertherm 35 for about $1500. Should be able to run from my welder. Don't know about my little portable compressor(cfm).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Danny B View Post
    Sorry it took a while to get back. Yes saddle cuts is what I'm doing. Getting a clean fitting cut with torch is a challenge. Thought plasma would do better job. However, I do have to make several plunge starts. The demonstration I have seen at the Tulsa Farm Show was so damn fast. I think I like the thought about flattening the ends. Don't want to start in middle of my job. Will suggest that to son when we start on his. Did look at place where I get my O2. They had Hypertherm 35 for about $1500. Should be able to run from my welder. Don't know about my little portable compressor(cfm).
    I have a TD50 and I love it, but for pipe I would use (as suggested) band saw/porta saw. My thought would be a metal chop saw, they are fast.

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