It is not enough to have an efficient plasma cutter and expect it to give you a super performance. Despite the fact that a plasma cutter is an easy-to-operate machine, it needs some hands-on experience to ensure the efficiency of your cutting, this requires skills and proper handling on your own part.
There is the part for you to learn the basics of plasma cutting, but still there are some techniques you must follow, most essential for you to improve your cutting performances, enhance your efficiency, and overall to prolong the consumable life.
Here you will find and learn about some effective, handy tips and techniques to make your plasma cutting works more fantastic but more also to increase your cutting performance. It doesn’t really matter if it involves in-home hobby, art, motorsports or DIY project, if you follow the right tips and techniques it ensures the efficiency of your cutting results with a plasma cutter.
Table of Contents
Tips & Techniques That Will Increase Cutting Performance
In order to get started with using your cutter especially if you are a new user is that you need to is to go through the owner’s manual to know exactly the requirements to get a very good cut
1. A workstation is the first thing or place you need with the adequate tools and for a good cutting to be possible. You cannot avoid the fact that you need a workstation, hence an ideal workstation indirectly effects on the efficiency of your cutting results. This doesn’t require that your workstation would be elaborate or expensive. You only need to make it comfortable and dedicated to your task. Make sure you get the right height of your work table that will help you to use the torch without stress or strain but comfortably.
2. Get a Clean Metal for clamping
Beyond just being a safety issue, securing the ground clamp increases your cutting efficiency too. Secure the clamp to clean metal only. This helps to provide the great cutting performances. Try not to bring any rusted or painted metal to clamp because it is quite possible to inhibit the flow of electricity. Take not that it is also important to place the clamp closer to the intended cut path. Always check out for the worn spots, cables for loose connections, or any other thing that might hamper the electrical flow.
3. Before you start any cutting project, get handy with your machine first.
Getting familiar with the functionality and inadequacies of your plasma cutter is important before starting to use it. You can take your time to read through the owner’s manual to familiarize yourself with the device very well, this will help you to operate the plasma cutter efficiently. Getting a good knowledge of how your device works really helps you to work with it skillfully.
4. Always check your ground connection to the workpiece that it is well connected. Even though the plasma can cut through any painted metal, it does need that you get a solid connection on a neat part of the workpiece in the closest practical to the work area that you have.
5. Cut through a sample first which will serve as a template. Making use of a template for your projects makes your cutting job easier.
There is what we call kerf which means that the cutting line will be greater than the actual cutting measurement. After you cut out the template for your project, determine and mark the radius of the cutting tip and then make sure that the template is larger than the actual cutting. Likewise, you should consider the thickness of the template. It should be big enough so that the drag shield can’t jump over it. Make use of a roller guide for a straight line cuts and make use of circle guides as standoffs for cutting of various sizes of circles,
6. You need to set the correct Amperage Setting for any cutting you do.
In order to get efficient cutting results, it’s very important to apply the correct tip for the amperage setting. Making use of the right tip will help you save your money and time. If you are working with less than 40 amps, place the cutting tip directly on the material. If you’re using the amperage which is above 40, you can use your hand or a suitable drag shield to hold tip- off the material. The lower – amperage tips have smaller opening to hold in control a limited plasma stream at lower settings. There are some effects for using improper tips. Such as; using a 40 amps tip at an 80 amps setting, this will disfigure the tip opening and lessen consumable life. Whereas using the 80 amps tip on the lower amp settings, it won’t be focus on the plasma stream properly and tend to a deep kerf. Making use of extended tips for cutting in tight areas or in corners will make your task easy.
7. For every cutting that you have to do, always brace yourself properly.
Don’t start any cutting without bracing yourself appropriately. Before you do any cutting, get yourself braced. To brace yourself, use your non-cutting hand to support your cutting hand. It’ll increase your stability while cutting. This will help to stabilize your cutting hand and give you freedom of movement in every direction.
Make sure you have all of your safety gear in place. Your owner’s manual will have more details, but generally, you want the same type of protective gear as when welding. If the table is wet and you lay your bare arm on it, you can become part of the circuit and receive a shock, so make sure you are wearing welding leathers, along with proper gloves and eye protection.
8. Starting The First Cut
The thing that matters most is just the way you start the first cut, which depends on the thickness of the metal you desire to cut. If you are cutting through thin metal, place the cutting tip of the torch on the metal before pulling the trigger.
However, if the metal is thicker, start outside your cut line. Place the torch at 40 degrees away from your body and pull the trigger, roll the torch along in a perpendicular position. Be careful while you move the torch cut the line and commence your work from along that line.
9. Learn to be versatile with different techniques that you might need for different cuts. If it is too small a cut, mark out the areas before you begin. Go for the larger cuts first. Cut the smaller areas by hand. When you are to cut boltholes, simply penetrate the metal and trace a small circle and make the appropriate sized circle. For beveling an edge, simply slope the torch head to a 30-40 degree angle and start cutting.