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Spectrum 375

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  • Jetmekdc-10
    replied
    I used my 375 for about 2 months with a 1.5 hp 20 gal compressor and got frustrated with it. I switched my air supply to a 5hp 80 gal comp with 2 in-line dryers and it was like getting a new cutter. I was shocked at the improvements. It stinks but Plasma Cutter's are air hog's. It also has more to do with volume than pressure in my opinion.

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  • NewMexSmoke
    replied
    Have to agree with previous posts. Air quality is very important. I've got a buddy who runs a welding supply store. He has a Thermal Dynamics power pack 350? plasma cutter with an 80 gal IR compressor in his shop. We use the heck out of that plasma cutter and even though his consumables are basically free, he is always harping on air quality. He also has two air dryers.

    As for a compressor I too work out of a two car car garage. Don't have a plasma yet since I can't decide on a compressor. I have 230v 30amp circuit for my mig but really can't park a compressor in the same location. Looking at one of the 30 gallon pulley compressors for garages. Lowes carryies one (Kobalt), so does Home depot (Husky?) I believe. IR makes one called the garage mate although I beleive the motor has less hp and flow rate than the other two. All work on 115v circuits.

    Anybody have a similar setup?
    Last edited by NewMexSmoke; 09-23-2007, 10:58 PM.

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  • M-Tech
    replied
    Spectrum 375

    Originally posted by HiHo View Post
    60 psi at the cutter, as per manufacturer's instructions. Compressor set at 80 psi.

    The parts container door built into my spectrum 375 has a diagram on it showing the exploded view with part no. for the drag tip.
    The guys are telling you right: the cutter will do all of what you want it to do. A couple of things have been said that I'd repeat:

    Clean Air - using an inline drier is essential. The drier will cause a pressure drop, so you'll have to "up" your source pressure. Search for TS-OffRoad's post on this for some insights. My compressor has a drier on it, but after 50' of hose it wants another one close to--or on the back of--the machine. A little moisture makes the arc unstable, and creates unnecessary slag.

    Speed of Cut - Practice makes perfect. Scrap sheets, trying different stand-off distances, different speeds, different power settings, etc.

    Duty Cycle - It really does matter. Treat the machine right and it'll treat you right.

    Auto-Darkening - Works great. Mine doesn't trigger when the work blocks the arc itself, and turns on as soon as the arc is in view. Speaking for myself, this works well when I'm destructing and don't know what will open next.

    Your neighbor's car? I'd suggest a welding blanket hung on a cheap wooden clothes rack.

    I don't use a drag tip with my 375 because it increases the arc length enough to lose a little cutting power. For thinner materials than what I've been cutting, though, it might help.

    I also don't understand your wiring situation. I have the Extreme, which has two plugs: 110/120V and 220/240V, auto line and auto volt sensing. I've taken the unit to remote sites and plugged into 110V and had the unit work just as sweetly as in my shop. Did your unit come hardwired for a single voltage?

    A little promo for Miller here: Other cutters may be better/more powerful, etc., but the Little Blue will do the job. I needed an engine for my Toyota pickup, and it was cost effective to buy a whole rollover vehicle and strip it. Last weekend I pulled the engine and put it on the engine stand to rebuild. I then set about putting the rest of the truck on the bed of my Toy pickup for the trip to the recyclers, a piece at a time. A couple of frame pieces with internal reinforcement needed help from the sawzall ("S" shaped, too far inside for the arc to reach), but everything else . . . including the torsion bars . . . succumbed to my Little Blue. By pacing myself right I never once heard the cooling fan kick in. (I'm waiting for the last payment on my insurance policy before I cut up the gas tank, though.) The tip, by the way, is still clean and round.

    Give yourself some time to play with the machine, and I think you'll love it!


    Joe

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  • HiHo
    replied
    spec

    60 psi at the cutter, as per manufacturer's instructions. Compressor set at 80 psi.

    The parts container door built into my spectrum 375 has a diagram on it showing the exploded view with part no. for the drag tip.

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  • wldrman
    replied
    How much psi are you running? I found on my thermal dynamics running it around 70 psi was best for 1/8th inch.

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  • wb5jhy
    replied
    I don't think they make a drag tip for the 375. I've never seen one.
    Just do some practice on some scrap and it will get better. Concentrate on uniformity in cutting speed and keeping the torch flame perpendicular to the workpiece. For straight edges on plate I usually cheat by clamping down a straight edge to ride against. I even used a old bearing race as a hole guide on a job and it worked great.
    Just practice and it will get easier.

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  • HiHo
    replied
    plasma

    anybody out there use miller plasma cutters and live in Philadelphia, Pa?

    Went to my local welding supplier and couldn't get any drag tips for my spectrum 375. In fact, they didn't really have any consummables for miller plasma cutters. Salesman told me that, although you'll find plenty of Miller welders, you won't find many places in this area that deal with Miller plasma cutters. He said Hypertherm is the most popular in this area. He even called a few of his buddy competitors as a courtesy and even those guys didn't have anything. This place is a pretty big operation so I kind of believe what he said.

    Guess I'll have to settle for mail order. Funny - I see Miller welders all the time. Who'd a thought the plasma cutters are an exception in this area.

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  • wb5jhy
    replied
    I have used a good wrap-around pair of sunglasses with UV protection and they work fine. About like a #5 lens.
    Now I use a full face shield with #5 tinted lens and UV protection. A little pricey but works great. It gives the added protection needed when piercing a starter hole.
    Of course, you can wear the glasses under a regular face shield too. Just one more item to put on though.

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  • HiHo
    replied
    375

    I glad you said that because my cuts have been terrible. I can't seem to keep a steady hand, there's alot of jagged metal probably from me not keeping the torch tip close enough to the metal, and I can't see what I'm doing with a #9 shade. I think the manual says I can go down to #3 or #4 or so for cutting provided i keep my head above the workpiece. Doesn't look like it came with a drag tip either. Have only cut 1/8" or so metal so far.

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  • Miller John
    replied
    Spectrum 375

    Hi Ho,

    I think the machine you chose will work just fine for what you are using it for. This unit cuts 3/8" very well and can actually cut up to 5/8" if absolutely needed.
    Regarding the air compressor, If you already own the small 1 hp compressor, it should work OK. A large tank would actually help out when using this small of a compressor. If you are shopping for a compressor, you would probably want to choose a larger one.
    Air quality is actually more important than the size of the compressor. I recommend a good quality air dryer. When using a good air dryer the cutting performance is much better and your consumables will last much longer. Miller offers two such dryers that can be purchased at your local distributor.

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  • Sundown
    replied
    I went the other way with my 375, I replaced the coordset with 20' of #10 SOO and a 240V plug. Now when I get around to it I need to make a adapter from the old coordset to go back to 120V, so far I havn't needed to use 120V so the coord so the adapter still a future project.

    I am using a Sanborn Blackmax that is 3hp with a 25 gal tank and puts out 8.5 at 60. While it works ok the problem is that after a few long cuts on 8 X 10 or 12 sheet the motor does a thermal shutdown and then it's 10-15 minutes before it will run again. Oh well, I wanted a bigger compressor anyway ... but for now it will have to wait as there are other priorities in the way.
    Last edited by Sundown; 07-08-2006, 07:55 AM.

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  • MAC702
    replied
    The trick to smoother freehand cuts is a steady hand and a fast travel speed. To get the fast travel speed you need a plasma cutter that is bigger than you need to cut the actual thickness.

    For example, the Spectrum 375 is capable of a rated cut of 3/8" but you have to be good to do it smoothly freehand. If you had a Spectrum 625, you could do it much more quickly and more easily do it smoothly.

    Of course, practice plays a part as well, but you see what helps.

    Your adapter idea is fine. Just to clarify the terminology, the female end is a receptacle, not a plug, so you want a 20A 125V receptacle (NEMA 5-20R) on the cord and the appropriate 250V plug on the other end. Since you're going through all the trouble to make the adapter, feel free to make it longer and have an extension cord at the same time. I have tons of these adaptors for virtually any receptacle configuration I find. Some are short, the common ones are usually as long as whatever handy piece of scrap cord I had handy.

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  • HiHo
    replied
    yo yo ma

    I want to make an adapter to use my stock Spectrum 375 110V run off of 220V without cutting the stock cord. It's easy enough. All's I have to do it get: a 20A, 125V plug , about 1 foot of #12 stranded wire, and a 220V plug all with the right NEMA configuration. If I wire the adapter right, I think I'd be in good shape. This way, I can use it on both 110V and 220V circuits. I would just have to plug in the adapter when I want to use 220V

    Aside from the obvious fact that I have to make sure the switch behind the welder is on the right voltage setting, is there any other reason why I shouldn't to this?

    I just want to maintain portability. I have 220 in my garage, but everywere else I use this thing is 110V.

    Oh and by the way, I have no skill in plasma cutting. My cuts are so jagged that I spend alot of time at the grinder smooting things out. Freehanding these cuts is tough. How'd you guys do it? Jigs? Fences? Straight cuts seem to be the toughest.

    Thanks.
    Last edited by HiHo; 07-07-2006, 08:41 PM.

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  • HiHo
    replied
    spec

    cool, I just ordered the cutter today

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  • Danny
    replied
    Originally posted by MAC702
    Oops, good catch. I haven't had that machine for so long I actually forgot. I was reading and typing "1/4" and thinking "1/2". That machine does very well with 1/4". You really only need to even think about upgrading if you know you need a bigger duty cycle.

    Mac, you had me worried there for a moment, because my Hypertherm 380 has no problem with 1/4", and actually does quite well on 3/8" MS too.

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