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Hobby Plasma Cutter Choice Question?

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  • #16
    What about cutting off rusty bolts, OA torch works but makes a mess. Would be nice to be able to just cut the nut off.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by BobinOK View Post
      What about cutting off rusty bolts, OA torch works but makes a mess. Would be nice to be able to just cut the nut off.
      You can get gouging tips for Hypertherm plasma units that will do that, but as far as I know none of the cheaper ones have them. I'd rather use a blue wrench for bolts than my plasma. The torch on my plasma would be too bulky to torch off all but the most wide open bolts.

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      • #18
        On a drag arc start torch, cutting rusty metal can be problematic as you need to establish a sound electrical contact. You can establish a good contact mechanically, grinding or wire brushing, etc. but this is where the pilot arc start shines. Rusty bolt removal is also where the shape and size of the plasma torch is a big factor, along with technique as you need to run parallel to the metal that the bolt runs through. I have extended tips available for my particular unit and this helps considerably.

        Also a consideration is that it is easy to exceed the plasma torch's capacity.
        Take for example a 1/2" bolt, once the nut or bolt head are included you are looking at 3/4" or 7/8" on a heavy hex bolt. Most home shop plasma's are at their limits much past 1/2 inch for a clean fast cut.
        Home, down in the valley behind the Red Angus
        Bad Decisions Make Good Stories​

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        • #19
          Just in case anyone here is interested. I started this thread earlier today...

          http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net/thr...63#post1236763.

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          • #20
            Originally posted by BobinOK View Post
            Talked me into it, been thinking about buying one of the home shop cutters for a while you helped with the decision. Ordered the LTP5000D and with my free Prime trial should be here tomorrow.

            Something that is a little confusing is the package of consumables that Amazon suggests. One of the questions asks if it will work on the new brown version of the 5000D and the answer is no! In another question the answer is yes! I went ahead and ordered it thinking I could always return it if the NO answer was accurate.
            https://www.amazon.com/Plasma-LTP500...548225-4417704
            Well I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but unless your unit comes with a different torch, the consumables that you (we) bought WILL NOT WORK! Period. All three parts are course thread and all three parts of our torches are fine thread. I have initiated a return to Amazon, and I'll start looking for correct consumables.

            I also don't have a NEMA L6-30R receptacle to plug the little devil into, so for now it's going to sit on the cart and look cute (and it is a cute little bitty thing!).

            More to come when the sparks fly.

            EDIT: I found the correct consumables straight from Lotos. It seems the torch design has been changed recently, thus the confusion of what fits and what doesn't. The sets with the pink nozzles will fit the RED color machine, but not the BROWN color model. The Brown one is the newest one and takes fine thread stuff. These things are expensive from Lotos. Hope I can find them a tad cheaper somewhere.

            https://www.amazon.com/Lotos-Plasma-...ateway&sr=8-25
            Last edited by garagemark; 05-06-2019, 08:21 PM.

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            • #21
              Thanks for the heads up, ordered the correct parts and will return the bad ones. Maybe Amazon will wake up and bundle the correct item when they get enough returns.

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              • #22
                Originally posted by garagemark;1236798................................ ....

                EDIT: I found the correct consumables straight from Lotos. It seems the torch design has been changed recently, thus the confusion of what fits and what doesn't. The sets with the pink nozzles will fit the RED color machine, but not the BROWN color model. The Brown one is the newest one and takes fine thread stuff. These things are expensive from Lotos. Hope I can find them a tad cheaper somewhere.

                [URL
                https://www.amazon.com/Lotos-Plasma-Consumables-LTP5000D-LTPDC2000D/dp/B07L4418XZ/ref=sr_1_25?keywords=plasma+cutter+consumables&qid =1557184115&s=gateway&sr=8-25[/URL]
                This seems to be a newer style torch that comes with these machines, hence the high price. I'd be willing to bet that once they become more prevalent prices will fall once the Chinese suppliers tool up for the new torch consumables.
                The old style consumables are very modestly priced because there are so many suppliers filling the need. By the time the consumables listed on Amazon are due to be reordered prices will have dropped dramatically.
                Give the suppliers 6 months to tool up.
                Home, down in the valley behind the Red Angus
                Bad Decisions Make Good Stories​

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                • #23
                  Amazon return was easy, they even pay shipping. Now have the correct kit.
                  Ran across this video and really liked what the guy did with his Harbor Freight welding cart. Funny I have the same welder and cart, my new 5000D is now sitting in it's new home on my HF cart. Had to do a few things a little different due to the change in design of the 5000D but it worked out well. I can sure see how having a plasma cutter opens up a whole new world of possibilities.

                  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AMwNokIOlNA

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                  • #24
                    i've stood back and looked and read about the Plasma cutters for a long time, not feeling like I could spend the money to buy one. I have been to art galleries and craft shows where multiple items where're obviously cut with plasmas cutters. So when today at a yard/garage sale I found a lessor quality one ( Central Machinery} that had never been used, Not once. I made a offer of $300 and they took it.
                    Now comes the big question. What else do I need? I have a compressor. No air drier. Do I need to get some extra tips? I mostly want to cut 1/8" material. Are there guides available for contour cuts? Any help would be helpful. Thanks
                    _____________________________________________

                    I would rather have tools that I never use, than not have a tool I need.

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by lugnut View Post
                      i've stood back and looked and read about the Plasma cutters for a long time, not feeling like I could spend the money to buy one. I have been to art galleries and craft shows where multiple items where're obviously cut with plasmas cutters. So when today at a yard/garage sale I found a lessor quality one ( Central Machinery} that had never been used, Not once. I made a offer of $300 and they took it.
                      Now comes the big question. What else do I need? I have a compressor. No air drier. Do I need to get some extra tips? I mostly want to cut 1/8" material. Are there guides available for contour cuts? Any help would be helpful. Thanks
                      Dry air is mandatory. Any moisture will cause all sorts of problems. I have the same HF plasma cutter, it works great. I bought mine used at a flea market, it looked unused. When I got it home it wouldn't work, found the internals of the torch all burned. My guess is they ran it off one of those little pancake compressors with tons of moisture which caused arcing everywhere but where it was intended. I suspect it only cut for a very fews minutes before it quit because of the arcing inside the torch.

                      Make your own guides. I use all sorts of things, coffee cans, flat stock for straight cuts, even thin plywood. The heat with a plasma is right at the cut, 1/4 inch away stays very cool.

                      I ordered some drag tips for mine which is a worthwhile upgrade. Rather than keeping a constant gap you just drag the tip along the work.

                      Lastly, often Harbor Freight tools are considered poor but there are exceptions. The plasma get excellent reviews and is a quality unit. It cuts 1/4 steel nicely and 3/8 is about the practical limit.

                      Soon you will wish you got one a long long time ago.

                      There were 3 different generations of the HF plasma I believe. The middle one is considered the best.
                      Last edited by Sparky_NY; 05-24-2019, 11:37 PM.

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                      • #26
                        Thanks sparky
                        Tomorrow, after I get a 240V plug that matches my 240V outlets, I will give it a try. I think I have some sort of air drier, if I can find it. If not i will order on from Amazon. Maybe some extra tips of it also. I assume there are different sizes also.
                        _____________________________________________

                        I would rather have tools that I never use, than not have a tool I need.

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                        • #27
                          Just wondering what model exactly do the two of you have?
                          I looked at Harbor Freight's site and they don't seem to have any plasma cutters listed anymore.
                          Home, down in the valley behind the Red Angus
                          Bad Decisions Make Good Stories​

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                          • #28
                            I have not checked the HB web site, but the information/manual that came with mine lists it as a Model 92652 Plasma air cutter 230 volt- 40 Amp Inverter technology.
                            _____________________________________________

                            I would rather have tools that I never use, than not have a tool I need.

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              I ordered a air dryer last night from Amazon, so I won't try out the cutter until after I get it... now I think I might want to get some tips that will work with metals of less than 3/16 mostly 1/8 or less.
                              _____________________________________________

                              I would rather have tools that I never use, than not have a tool I need.

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Originally posted by lugnut View Post
                                I ordered a air dryer last night from Amazon, so I won't try out the cutter until after I get it... now I think I might want to get some tips that will work with metals of less than 3/16 mostly 1/8 or less.
                                Don't forget to drain the tank on the compressor.

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