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I can cut wood with my plasma cutter

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  • I can cut wood with my plasma cutter

    All,
    I am pretty sure that there is something wrong with my plasma cutter. There doesn’t seem to be a need for the ground cable. When I pull the trigger I get an arc. This would be fine accept that the ground cable was dangling in the air.
    Has anyone seen this before? Why is this possible? How long before my new plasma cutter becomes a door stop?
    Rob Starke
    Lincoln Square Wave TIG 175 Pro (broke)
    Panasonic PANA-Auto KR350 (like the Deltaweld, but old)
    Shindaiwa SMAW welder/Generator X2
    Hobart portable spot welder LG013747
    Miller Spectrum 375 X-Tream (plasma cutter)
    Miller Bobcat 225 8000 watt Generator Welder
    Miller Big 40 Diesel Welding Power Generator

  • #2
    It will still produce an arc without the ground - but wont cut. Keep doing that and it will be a door stop before too long I've been told that is hard on the tips etc...

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    • #3
      actually it will cut without the ground clamp connected i did it yesterday .
      i cut a 2 inch line of 1/8" stainless before i realized it was grounded to something else. but the reason it will still cut ,is that the arc melts the metal and the air blows it away. it just dont work that well.
      my daddy always said i was IRONHEADED....
      feel free to P/M me

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      • #4
        Sounds like you may be just seeing the pilot arc, not the main
        cutting arc.
        Dave

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        • #5
          Thats the pilot arc, cutting power is GREATLY reduced until properly grounded.
          Dynasty 200 DX
          Millermatic 175
          Spectrum 375
          All kinds of Smith OA gear

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          • #6
            Yeah, and you can cut steel with your chainsaw.

            Actually, what was already posted about the pilot sounds about right.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by welderman23 View Post
              actually it will cut without the ground clamp connected i did it yesterday .
              i cut a 2 inch line of 1/8" stainless before i realized it was grounded to something else. but the reason it will still cut ,is that the arc melts the metal and the air blows it away. it just dont work that well.
              I did that with my tig, seemed it wasn't welding up to par and thought it might just be me, then I realized I never connected the ground. But it was welding, poorly.
              I was wondering at the time if you could actually weld very thin stuff like that. Never tried it though.
              To all who contribute to this board.
              My sincere thanks , Pete.

              Pureox OA
              Westinghouse 300 amp AC stick
              Miller Syncrowave 250
              Hexacon 250 watt solder iron

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              • #8
                ???Not the pilot???

                At first I thought the pilot arc was what I was seeing. I am not sure, but I shouoldn't be able to cut 1/4" mild steel with the pilot arc. Should I? I have also noticed that the air compressor seems to be pumbing oily goo through my plasma cutter.

                If you all say this is right, I will keep on keeping on.

                Thanks for you help.
                Rob Starke
                Lincoln Square Wave TIG 175 Pro (broke)
                Panasonic PANA-Auto KR350 (like the Deltaweld, but old)
                Shindaiwa SMAW welder/Generator X2
                Hobart portable spot welder LG013747
                Miller Spectrum 375 X-Tream (plasma cutter)
                Miller Bobcat 225 8000 watt Generator Welder
                Miller Big 40 Diesel Welding Power Generator

                Comment


                • #9
                  That is the pilot arc you are seeing and yes it will cut stuff but it will wear the **** out of your tips since the arc is travelling from electrode to tip instead of electrode to gnd clamp. The cut is also not nearly as smooth or straight.
                  I wouldn't make a habbit of it.

                  Happy cutting

                  A-

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    If your compressor is putting goo out to the plasma torch you may want to put a filter on the air line. I was told we had water free air, no need for water separators or filters, took about 6 months for the air solenoid on our cutter to stick open. And yes they were talking out their...
                    Last edited by Steve; 06-18-2008, 10:52 PM. Reason: English

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                    • #11
                      actually it will cut without the ground clamp connected i did it yesterday .
                      i cut a 2 inch line of 1/8" stainless before i realized it was grounded to something else. but the reason it will still cut ,is that the arc melts the metal and the air blows it away. it just dont work that well.
                      You may have an alternate ground loop here, several ways it could be going places it shouldn't.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Grounded without the ground hooked up it could be. Our Pac Master 35 just pilots till it get close to the metal then the real arc starts. If your machine puts out the real juice when the tip is nowhere near the metal, I would think your machine is malfed.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Steve View Post
                          If your compressor is putting goo out to the plasma torch you may want to put a filter on the air line. I was told we had water free air, no need for water separators or filters, took about 6 months for the air solenoid on our cutter to stick open. And yes they were talking out their...
                          FYI on compressor systems.
                          moisture free air doesn't exist on a compressor system. I don't care what kind of water separator, cycling air dryer, what ever there will still be a given amount of moisture in the air.
                          The problem is not in the moisture removal system the problem is in the piping design. the typical lay out of pipe in an air system is only though about enough to figure out where to pipe the air. What is always neglected is the minor amount of water that will condensate and where it will flow. Air line piping needs to be designed as a drain pipe. High on one end and low on the other. Also all the tap should be made from the top of the pipe not the side or the bottom.

                          Yes your air is dry but not completely dry and the little bit of moisture will build up if not given a place to collect and water trap type filters don't work well enough to fix a bad pipe job. The water needs to flow down hill and collect in a plumed in 5 gal tank with an auto drain.
                          Miller Syncrowave 200 W/Radiator 1A & water cooled torch
                          Millermatic 252 on the wish list
                          Bridgeport Mill W/ 2 axis CNC control
                          South bend lathe 10LX40
                          K.O. Lee surface grinder 6X18
                          Over 20 years as a Machinist Toolmaker
                          A TWO CAR garage full of tools and a fridge full of beer
                          Auto shades are for rookies
                          www.KLStottlemyer.com

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by burninbriar View Post
                            I did that with my tig, seemed it wasn't welding up to par and thought it might just be me, then I realized I never connected the ground. But it was welding, poorly.
                            I was wondering at the time if you could actually weld very thin stuff like that. Never tried it though.
                            this I GOTTA SEE!!!!!!!! electric welding w/o a return. defies the laws of physics you know.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by PUMPKINHEAD View Post
                              this I GOTTA SEE!!!!!!!! electric welding w/o a return. defies the laws of physics you know.
                              I'll take the egg in the face on this one. It seemed like it was welding off the high frequency arc.(the high frequency arc start) I since went out and tried it again, this time I made sure there was no ground, and got nothing. Even though my ground clamp was not connected the first time it happened, I must have been picking up some residual ground somehow.
                              Last edited by burninbriar; 06-20-2008, 03:13 PM.
                              To all who contribute to this board.
                              My sincere thanks , Pete.

                              Pureox OA
                              Westinghouse 300 amp AC stick
                              Miller Syncrowave 250
                              Hexacon 250 watt solder iron

                              Comment

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