Arc/Tig to plasma cutter.

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JetSet
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Arc/Tig to plasma cutter.

Post by JetSet » Sun Aug 03, 2008 12:51 pm

Hey.
A couple of years ago I bought the cheapest arc welder I could find with a TIG attachment. It has served me well, but now I'd like a plasma cutter...

From what I've read, a plasma cutter basically involves striking an arc, then blasting an inert gas (or just air) at it to remove the molten metal. To me, this sounds like a tig torch (used without any filler) combined with an air gun. If this is correct, I'd assume it would be possible to turn my kit into a basic plasma cutter. I only really need it to rough-cut 0.9mm stainless so it wont need to be too great. I'm thinking about getting a plasma torch, and joining it all together and seeing what will happen.

Does this sound feasible? Does anyone know if it has been done/documented on the internet anywhere? google didn't help me much.

Thanks!

El-Kablooey
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Re: Arc/Tig to plasma cutter.

Post by El-Kablooey » Sun Aug 03, 2008 1:23 pm

No, it's not possible.

The output voltages are way different. Your welder operates around 20-30 volts, my plasma cutter has an output of around 200 volts and 30 amps.

Also, the plasma torch and it's consumables are much more complicated than you think.

Even if the above problems didn't exist, you would have to buy a plasma torch. You MIGHT could find a used one, otherwise you'll be shelling out around $600 for a torch, when you could get a complete used plasma cutter for around the same price.

metiz
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Re: Arc/Tig to plasma cutter.

Post by metiz » Sun Aug 03, 2008 5:03 pm

take a look at this and the rest of this guy his movies on youtube. Home build plasma cutter for 260 dollars, or about 5 euro's :P
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6W3tLDBdPQQ
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JetSet
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Re: Arc/Tig to plasma cutter.

Post by JetSet » Sun Aug 03, 2008 8:22 pm

Cheers,
After looking at that video I went back to google and found my thinking was more along the lines of an 'air-arc cutter', which seems more do-able. Air-carbon-arc looks interesting, although doesn't seem to be used much. I can find carbon rods on ebay, but not much else.

El-Kablooey
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Re: Arc/Tig to plasma cutter.

Post by El-Kablooey » Mon Aug 04, 2008 1:13 am

Yeah, you can air-arc with a constant current DC welder no problem. You need a big power supply though, at least 250 amps just to run the little 1/8" rods. I've even seen it done with a air-arc rod in a stick welding stinger, with an air hose just stuck on the back end of rod.

Air-arc is still used quite commonly in heavy equipment repair and such. It can be great for heavy steel work, but not good at all for thinner steel.

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