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  • Plasma Cutters....the basics....

    Hello,

    I am very interested in getting a plasma cutter. I have been thinking about getting one for a few years now. I am very heavily into shooting precharged pneumatic airguns and want to make a line of knock down targets for fellow airgunners and perhaps a few rimfire guys as a kind of way to pay off the plasma cutter and make myself a killer set of targets. I am very new into researching all if this stuff and would appreciate a basic explanation of what is needed to get a plasma cutter going along with a few other questions.

    If you have a pattern traced out on a piece of metal, is it very easy to follow the design as your cutting the plasma cutter??

    I know that I need a source of clean dry air. Would a brand new aircompressor be the ticket??

    What kind of setup do I need to power the plasma cutter.

    If I wanted to cut perfect circles into the metal what kind of tool would I need to use to assist the plasma cutter in doing so?? I am wanting to be able to cut 1-2" circles out of the metal. If I need to do a smaller diameter, I can probably drill it out with no problem.

    Also when fusing the animal plate to a metal foot, what kind of welder or type of welding would I want to use to ensure a good strong weld??


    Thanks for your time.....

    Dutch

  • #2
    Dutch,

    Cool hobby. I used to shoot a little airgun competition at 10 meters offhand with single shot custom Walther. I like to air plink also and have made several swinging targets form 1/8" steel.

    I like to trace my patterns with soap stone. They are fairly easy to see if the sun is not behind you. If you are indoors, then you got it made on the visual deal.

    For cutting small patterns you can get away with a 20-30 gallon 5HP air compressor. Use water a separator and some sort of toilet paper or dessicant type dryer filter. Use a dedicated new airline and do not induce oil into the line. Check your local paint store for these type filters. Also MAC tools has a great line of moisture traps. Don't forget SEARS for water separators, etc.

    Most plasmas can be had in 230 volt single phase input power. Check the fuse and amp draw requirement from the mfg owner's manual before wiring.

    It sounds like the Miller MM210 mig welder would suit your needs nicely. Miller makes the best welders on the market today and always has. As for the plasma-check out the ESAB 550 rated to cut 1/2" steel and sever 5/8" steel. You will be impressed! JUST A PERSONAL PREFERENCE. ALL ARE GOOD MACHINES.

    A steady hand is the key to cutting patterns. Most manufacturers make a circle cutting kit. I am not sure they go that small in diameter. Check with plasma cutter mfg. I like ESAB the best. Thermal Dynamics also makes a good machine. I believe Hypertherm makes the Miller Plasma cutters. The Miller Spectrum 625 and the Spectrum 2050 are both nice machines. If high frequency starting may cause problems for nearby computers, TV's, etc., then check to see which machines do and don't use high frequency to start the arc. I think Miller does it without the use of high frequency.

    To get you started: Figure the max metal thickness you want to clean cut and get a plasma cutter that will do one size larger. Campbell Hausfield, Devilbiss, and Sears Craftsman are all good value compressors. Hunt one with a quick recovery rate. I use a 14.1 cfm at 100 psi Rol-Air for plasma and carbon arc gouging. Add water separator, dessicant dryer, new air line, get a few extra tips for the practice interval and start having fun. Most manufacturers advise torch glasses or welding hood for cutting. Check out the Miller 210 and do a demo of it and the plasma of your choice if possible.

    The ESAB 550 runs about 1400.00, a decent compressor about 300.00, filter and dryer about 65.00, and the Miller 210 Mig less than 1400.00
    Good luck and have fun!

    Comment


    • #3
      Thanks Hawk....

      Shootin PCP's is simply amazing. I have taken pigeons out to 120 yards with my career 707 carbine pushing a 14.3 grain crosman premier pellet around 1015 fps. I had to hold about 1.5-2 feet high for that shot. I have access to pigeons on a 400 acre horse ranch. So far I have 479 confirmed kills. I also shoot sparrows and starlings on my buddies hog lot. Its kinda like shooting varmits with high powered rifles. A buddy of mine picked up one of my guns and tagged a sparrow at 75 yards and then got another one at 75 yards when my career 707 long gun was set up for 30 foot lbs of energy.

      Thanks much for your response. I was looking at plasmacam.com's set up and found that very interesting. That kinda set up would really make mass producing targets a breeze. The trick is finding all of the market. I am going to get some 1/2" steel and see if .22 lr's can damage it any and also try to bring in the rimfire guys if its possible.

      Thanks much for your help. If you ever want to get into PCP guns shoot me an email at [email protected].

      Thanks

      Dutch

      Comment


      • #4
        Cool deal!

        1/4" mild steel will work fine on .22 rim fire from what I remember. 1/2" is overkill. If you want to go for bigger stuff like the .257 Roberts, 7 x 57, etc.,try using 6" or 8" pipe flanges on a swinging target. Check out MAC702 post on the plasma cam. It is kind on the lower end of the spectrum. I received a brocure from them, but they want $9.95 for a video and price list. If it's really that good, you would think they would give you the video and pricing-makes me a little leary.

        Comment


        • #5
          plasma cutters

          HI DUTCH HI HAWK I SHOOT EVERY WEEK AT MY GUN CLUB AND MAKE TARGETS ALOT AND I HAVE A HYPERTHERM 380 110/230 VOLT PLASMA CUTTER AND IT WORKS GREAT BUT BEING TRUE TO BLUE AM LOOKING AT NEW CUTTERS IN THE CUTS 1/2" AND SEVER 3/4" TO 1" NO MATTER WHAT YOU GET ITS THE COOLEST TOOL IN THE SHOP. ONE SUGGESTION IS GO ALITTLE BIGGER THAN YOU MIGHT THINK YOU NEED. SURE IS GOOD TO BE BACK ONLINE PISTOL8

          Comment


          • #6
            I wanna make a new airgunning sport....

            Pistol8

            I have been kinda thinking that I want to make a new airgun sport using knock down silhouettes out to 125 yards. That might sound crazy to some, but the airguns today can do such things. As I might have mentioned above, I hunt pigeons. I have 479 confirmed kills so far on this 400 acre horse ranch. I make some pretty long shots to say the least. I usually shoot them within 40-90 yards most of the time, but sometimes I make further (120 yards is the longest) and closer shots.

            The new game I have been thinking about would consist of having metal pigeon, sparrow, starling, and rat silhouettes placed at any given range from 10-125 yards. Closer shots would require free handed shots and further shots could be off the knee. Its a pure guessing game as far as hold over is concerned or if your talented, you can measure with the mildot. I wanna make it a game using hold over and not the click method. This way fellas can use mildot scopes with yardages already hashed out. That before mentioned click method is pretty cool. There is a computer balistics program that hashes out all of the yardages from 10 yards to XXyards. You simply focus the objective, get the yardage measurement, click the elevation knob, and shoot. Its dead on!!!!

            I guess you already know that reactive targets are the most entertaining. Just thought I would share some of this with ya being that your a shooter and all.

            Dutch

            Comment


            • #7
              plasma targets

              HEY DUTCH SOUNDS LIKE A GOOD WAY TO GET KIDS INTO SHOOTING SPORTS AND SHOP ACTIVITIES (cuting targets and building reactive targets to hone their shooting skills) this might be a good use of a plasma cam. I BOUGHT THEIR DEMO TAPE BUT THE SYSTEMS A BIT EXPENSIVE.FREE HAND SOUNDS LIKE THE BETTER CHOICE.I LIKE SHOOTING DISTANCE TO ITS MORE OF A CHALLANGE LET ME KNOW HOW IT WORKS OUT . I'LL SEE IF I CAN GET MY SON TO CUT SOME OUT FOR HIS SISTER PISTOL8

              Comment


              • #8
                TAPE

                IF HAWK OR YOU WOULD LIKE TO SEE THE PLASMA CAM TAPE LET ME KNOW AND I'LL MAIL IT TO YOU. TROPICAL STORM HENRI IS ABOUT 80 MILES AWAY NOW AND WE NEED MORE WATER HA. I THINK NOT.PISTOL8

                Comment


                • #9
                  PISTOL,

                  So what is a bit expensive? The demo videos on the web look good. Their catalog also shows good product being turned out. However, I've talked with 2 owners of such equipment who are "less" than satisified with thier results. Maybe operator learning curve or other variables. Both these companies have experienced fab people working for them with years of CNC experience. Now the cost cutting is not cutting the mustard. This is second hand information, but reliable in my judgement. Anyway I'd like to see the video. Email me for my address. I don't have anything else to do because my truck is in the shop with my Trailblazer and accessories right with it. Maybe a week or so will help matters.

                  Thanks,

                  HAWK

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    plasma cam

                    HI HAWK HOW DOES 9000.00 WITHOUT THE PC! OR THE PLASMA CUTTER.THE SOFTWARE ALONE IS 3000.00. A LITTLE STIFF FOR MY BUDGET. SORRY TO HEAR ABOUT YOUR TRUCK. WHAT HAPPENED? WE HAVE BEEN LIKE A ZOO DOWN HERE WITH THE TROPICAL STORM AND 7.5" OF RAIN THOUGHT I WAS GOING TO PUT PONTOONS ON MY MM210. JUST TO GET TO THE SHOP.THE NEW WELDER IS NOT HURT TO IS IT? I'LL E-MAIL YOU FOR YOUR ADDRESS AND SEND THIS TO YOU AND A COPY OF THE PRICE SHEET. HOPE EVERYONES OK PISTOL8

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      PISTOL8,

                      Sounds high. I'll keep the free hand or use the CNC at my buddy's shop. It's either free or 30/HR rent on his equipment if I do the work. You can burn a lot of parts in a couple of hours. Just depends on his AR I guess. Anyway it's a loss less than 9000. THE TRUCK AND WELDER ARE NOT HURT. WARRANTY WORK ON SOME SENORS AND HARNESSES FOR THE AIRBAG SYSTEM.

                      2000 give or take for a good free hand plasma and a few cutting accessories sounds much better!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Hawk,

                        Good advice! Except Miller makes the Hypertherm unit. Miller does use the Hypertherm style torch on our plasma.

                        Sounds like a fun sport. I was an alternate for the US Army shooting team at Benning in the 80's. Airguns seem like it would take off as national sport with the right sanctioning bosy behind it.

                        A-

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Andy,

                          I figured that out after I posted. I forgot to change it. Sorry!!!
                          Any luck on the Maxstar 200DX???

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