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Tons of dross with my new Spectrum 375

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  • vtwin4life
    replied
    Originally posted by Frank865 View Post
    I'm not trying to start anything here, but you may be dealing with operator error here. You just got this machine, granted you did have a problem with the first one, but Miller took care of that, but this is a machine that needs a certain level of skill. You wouldn't expect to buy a TIG welder,and the first bead you ran to look perfect would you?
    You've got a great plasma cutter, take the time to learn how to use it before you give up on it.
    The learning curve isn't as steep on this machine as a TIG, but you do need to spend a little time learning how to use it before you condemn the tool.
    No offense taken. I hear what you are saying. I would just assume my inexperience with the tool would come into play more towards the spec'd limits of the machine. At 1/8" and full power, I would think even a child could make a decent cut without diagonal cut lines and heavy dross on the underside of the cut? No?

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  • Frank865
    replied
    I'm not trying to start anything here, but you may be dealing with operator error here. You just got this machine, granted you did have a problem with the first one, but Miller took care of that, but this is a machine that needs a certain level of skill. You wouldn't expect to buy a TIG welder,and the first bead you ran to look perfect would you?
    You've got a great plasma cutter, take the time to learn how to use it before you give up on it.
    The learning curve isn't as steep on this machine as a TIG, but you do need to spend a little time learning how to use it before you condemn the tool.

    Leave a comment:


  • vtwin4life
    replied
    Air Dryer installed

    Well, I visited my local welding supply and dropped $130 on a Motor Gaurd M-26. I figure it's overkill, but at this point I'll try anything. I installed it and to my disappointment my results are only marginally better. I'm still just totally disappointed at the performance of this machine. I don't see how I could ever get a cut near to what it's specs are. I have no idea what to do with this thing, but I certainly don't want it in my garage anymore.

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  • harcosparky
    replied
    Hey man,

    You need to add some sort of dryer to the system.

    As I have read in the past moisture in your air can destroy consumables in minutes.

    Think of it this way, whatever the humidity level is in your ambient air it is increased in the compressed air. With your small compressor running all the time the air doesn't even have a chance to sit in the tank and cool down.

    I'm not an expert on the science of a plasma system .... but I know moisture is conductive and having it in the air cannot do anything but hinder the system.

    I have what I consider to be the MINIMUM drying system ... a Motor Guard filter.

    Read what MILLER says about Plasma Air Supply
    Q: What are the necessary air requirements?

    A: Compressed air is the most popular gas used for plasma cutting. You can use an air compressor or a bottle of compressed air. The CFM (Cubic Foot per Minute) is important because that is the amount of air that will be distributed per minute and will keep your Plasma machine running consistently. The PSI (Pounds per Square Inch) is the actual air pressure required to operate the machine. All machines need different PSI and CFM. For instance the Miller Spectrum 375 requires 4.5 CFM at 60 PSI to achieve a 3/8-inch rated cut, while the Spectrum 375 X-TREME requires 5 CFM at 90 PSI.

    The other gas used is nitrogen, but the only advantages to using it are when cutting stainless steel. You will get a cleaner cut but the cut thickness will be diminished a little. With some exotic metals a gas mixture may be needed.

    You will also want to have dry air when operating a plasma cutter. Miller offers a couple of Dryer/Filters that are designed to keep the air dry and clean. Dry air is important because if there is moisture in the line it will travel with the air and exit the end of the torch. This is not necessarily dangerous but will shorten the life of your consumables because the arc will follow the moisture in all directions and erode the tip prematurely.
    http://www.millerwelds.com/education...ingplasma.html

    READ THE LAST LINE --- Do you remember complaining about " the arc going sideways " It followed the moist air.
    Last edited by harcosparky; 11-22-2006, 11:01 AM. Reason: ADDED URL FOR QUOTE FROM MILLER

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  • vtwin4life
    replied
    I do not have an air drier installed yet. I can try adding one this weekend and see if it makes any difference. I find it hard to believe that it's going to make the magnitude of difference that would be needed to make this machine compete with my old way of cutting with an angle grinder and cutting wheel, but I will give it a shot.

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  • harcosparky
    replied
    Originally posted by JonnyTIG View Post
    I know some other posts have somewhat covered this point, but in my experiences moisture in the air supply plays a big roll in the quallity of the cut. I am currently having similar problems at work, due to an increase in air usage from other departments... The water seperators can't keep up with the demands.

    On another note, I have worked in a facillity that had poor air feed quallity to the point that the moisture content in the air supply caused the Thermadyne plasma unit to short out, costing hundreds of dollers to repair.

    Hope this helps

    That's why I have been asking about how he is drying the air.

    I know he is using a compressor that is not up to the requirements, so it is gonna be running a lot ... the running and compressing will heat up the air and increase moisture in doing so.

    We put a cheapo Motor Guard filter on ours, as well as a dessicant indicator that will change color after so much moisture has hit it.

    I want a refrig cooling unit at some point.

    If I am not mistaken you can use NITROGEN .... I may get a bottle to try it just to seee what a difference there is in dry air.

    Leave a comment:


  • JonnyTIG
    replied
    Dross

    I know some other posts have somewhat covered this point, but in my experiences moisture in the air supply plays a big roll in the quallity of the cut. I am currently having similar problems at work, due to an increase in air usage from other departments... The water seperators can't keep up with the demands.

    On another note, I have worked in a facillity that had poor air feed quallity to the point that the moisture content in the air supply caused the Thermadyne plasma unit to short out, costing hundreds of dollers to repair.

    Hope this helps

    Leave a comment:


  • harcosparky
    replied
    Originally posted by rmack898 View Post
    ????????? Do you have the ground attached to the piece that you are cutting, or is the piece being cut just clamped to your table???????? You need to grind a clean spot and attach the ground directly to the piece being cut. If you are already doing that than NEVER MIND. I just didn't see any clean spots on your sample in the pics.

    I've cut through painted sheet metal with mine and the clamp was stuck wherever I could get it to stick. Sometimes I get a bit of dross along the cut, sometimes not. If I could remember what I did when I got the cleaner cuts, all my cutse would be great!!!

    I need more practice.

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  • harcosparky
    replied
    I will echo what FUSIONKING has said.

    Those look like some of my 'cuts' at times.

    Try using a straight edge and running a cut along it. Also keep travel speed constant. Don't start the cut too fast. My best cuts come when I am using the stand-oo roller, a straight edge ... I have the wheels of the roller just off the edge of the piece being cut, fire up the arc and slowly bring it back over the workpiece to begin cutting.

    It's funny sometimes I get perfect cuts when I am just fooling around, and not so good cuts when I try real hard.

    Torch angle is important - should be " straight down " through the workpiece.

    It looks like the 375 you have is making the cut - you just need to try a little more practice.

    Sort of off topic - are you doing anything to DRY the air before it enters the 375? You never did say what you are doing in those regards.

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  • FusionKing
    replied
    Looks like normal now to me....not really sure what you expect??
    It isn't a laser! I use a straightedge and the drag technique and appearance improves a great deal.
    I believe after you work on your technique and log some real work time with it you will improve your results a lot.
    I have had people use mine and was suprised at the crappy results they were getting because I had not taken into account they really never had used a plasma cutter much and really wasn't that skilled with a cutting torch either.
    As for the dross I like to knock it off with a sliding motion across the surface...usually with an axe....from the cutting torch days!!
    Don't lose heart....

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  • vtwin4life
    replied
    Originally posted by rmack898 View Post
    ????????? Do you have the ground attached to the piece that you are cutting, or is the piece being cut just clamped to your table???????? You need to grind a clean spot and attach the ground directly to the piece being cut. If you are already doing that than NEVER MIND. I just didn't see any clean spots on your sample in the pics.
    I tried both with the ground clamp on the piece, and on the table. The pictures are just one example, I have other examples of perfectly clean steal. I tried the same thing with those. Clamp on the piece, and clamp just on the table.

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  • rmack898
    replied
    ????????? Do you have the ground attached to the piece that you are cutting, or is the piece being cut just clamped to your table???????? You need to grind a clean spot and attach the ground directly to the piece being cut. If you are already doing that than NEVER MIND. I just didn't see any clean spots on your sample in the pics.

    Leave a comment:


  • vtwin4life
    replied
    Pics of the cuts that aren't making it through 1/8" with dross everywhere.
    Attached Files

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  • vtwin4life
    replied
    Well, the new machine came today... I fired it up... This time I have tons of dross, but only on one side of the cut. I have tried new tips, etc, all with the same result. Help me out here - is 1/16" of dross along the entire cut line normal??? I'm so ridiculously disappointed. I have checked that the angle of the cut is perfectly straight up and down so there is no way that I could be leaning the torch one way or the other. I have good air flow, as we have ruled this out from the last run. The dross can be removed with a good pair of pliers, but it can not be taken off with a wire wheel, it's on there pretty good. I tried cutting two pieces of 1/8" stacked and the machine barely made a sever cut. What is going on here?!!!

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  • garth
    replied
    Glad to hear you got it worked out let us know how the new one works take care.

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