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Help with Plasma Cut Aluminum

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  • #16
    Bert,

    Campbell Hausfeld makes a nice combo Air Cleaner/Dryer (Model PA208501) which is a nice little unit. Includes both a filter element (replaceable) and a desiccant element (replaceable granules). I had my local hardware store (CH Dealer) order one for me. Runs about $100 retail.

    I use this unit at the plasma cutter and it seems to work fine. My air is filtered by a Binks (Paint Grade Filter) prior to going into the 50' 1/2" line feeding the plasma.

    If you're using the Motorgard filter (I think that's what Hypertherm recommends), I can't imagine that moist air is what is causing the problem. For 3/16" material, I would try the fine cut tip.

    Although I have never used it, several posters here have used Nitrogen rather than compressed air. It's about the cheapest gas you can buy and supposedly, works great with a plasma cutter. I can definitely see the advantage in portable work.

    Hope this helps.
    Syncrowave 250 DX Tigrunner
    Dynasty 200 DX
    Miller XMT 304 w/714D Feeder & Optima Control
    Miller MM 251 w/Q300 & 30A SG
    Hobart HH187
    Dialarc 250 AC/DC
    Hypertherm PM 600 & 1250
    Wilton 7"x12" bandsaw
    PC Dry Cut Saw, Dewalt Chop Saw
    Milwaukee 8" Metal Cut Saw, Milwaukee Portaband.
    Thermco and Smith (2) Gas Mixers
    More grinders than hands

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    • #17
      Cut with Router

      Bert - Have you thought about cutting out a templet of wood and cutting the alum with a router with a fine down cut bit and a collet?... If you try it let me know how it works for you...
      Just a thought but it would leave you with a very fine finshed edge...
      Millermatic 210 w/3535 spoolgun
      Dynasty 200DX
      Thermadyne plasma

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      • #18
        SundownIII and dbcfr, thanks for the tips
        Sundown, I'll try the fine cut tip this evening. I'd rather NOT use nitrogen if I don't have to and exhaust all the other resources/tips everyone else gave me, but I'll put that one in my books if the others fail...I forget the name of the filter I bought and hooked up, I'll get the name later tonight. I'll check out the CH combo filter later also! Sounds like a good thing to have

        dbcfr, are you talking about a regular/normal router with a metal cutting bit?
        thanks again guys, and all the rest: KEEP THE TIPS COMING!!!
        BERT
        I'm not late...
        I'm just on Hawaiian Time

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        • #19
          Bert,

          I have used regular carbide bits in my table mounted router to trim thin (up to about 1/4") aluminum with great success.

          What I have found though, when the bit is fully buried (ie. drill a 1/4" hole and try to mill a slot--even in 1/8" material) it gets dang hairy. Don't think I'd want to try it with a hand held router.

          Just based on my own experience.
          Syncrowave 250 DX Tigrunner
          Dynasty 200 DX
          Miller XMT 304 w/714D Feeder & Optima Control
          Miller MM 251 w/Q300 & 30A SG
          Hobart HH187
          Dialarc 250 AC/DC
          Hypertherm PM 600 & 1250
          Wilton 7"x12" bandsaw
          PC Dry Cut Saw, Dewalt Chop Saw
          Milwaukee 8" Metal Cut Saw, Milwaukee Portaband.
          Thermco and Smith (2) Gas Mixers
          More grinders than hands

          Comment


          • #20
            Originally posted by SundownIII View Post
            Bert,

            I have used regular carbide bits in my table mounted router to trim thin (up to about 1/4") aluminum with great success.

            What I have found though, when the bit is fully buried (ie. drill a 1/4" hole and try to mill a slot--even in 1/8" material) it gets dang hairy. Don't think I'd want to try it with a hand held router.

            Just based on my own experience.
            Thanks Sundown, yeah, I only have a handheld router, and the thought scared me too!!! Actually, I think I'll stay away from that idea after all...
            My other patterns have more tight curves in it, I'd hate to lose a body part with a flying router or material!
            I'm not late...
            I'm just on Hawaiian Time

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            • #21
              Finally got it!!!

              Well, had time to run some tests, short of changing my tank to nitrogen, buying a new HC filter (might do that soon though if you still think I have to from the pics)
              and MAN OF STEEL WINS THE PRIZE!!!!!!!!!!!
              My tip still looked really good, but since it WAS used, I changed it anyway...
              well....it worked better I made a LOT of practice cuts, all the same swiggle
              (is that a word?) moving fast, as how I want to cut my leaves. My torch is 60amp with the shielded drag tip and I went from the lowest 20A to the highest 60Amp in 5 degree increments. Each of those increments on the amp setting, I went through 65psi to 80psi in 5psi increments. Believe it or not, 60A at 80psi worked best!!! (ok Man of Steel, you can gloat) I tried the unshielded lower amp tips like JWSREP and SundownIII said and it worked as good at 40amps and 65pse, but since it is unshielded, HOW THE HECK AM I SUPPOSED TO HAND HOLD IT AT 2mm???? I just dragged that sucker, worked good, but I'm afraid I'll ruin that tip fast!!! Below are pics of my worst and best and my filters on my plasma cutter.
              I'll practice later when I have to move slower, to find what the best amps and psi I will need...
              THANKS GUYS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
              bert
              Attached Files
              I'm not late...
              I'm just on Hawaiian Time

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