Tag Archives: versa cut

  • 5 tips to make your Plasma Cutter work better

    Plasma cutting seems easy right? Pull the trigger, make some sparks, cut some metal, easy as pie! Well it can be quite simple, but there are a few things that can cause your plasma to underperform. Below we cover 5 tips to allow you to cut any metal with ease.

    1. Clean your ground location- Some of the modern plasma cutters like our Versa Cut Plasma Cutter have a "high frequency start" that allows the plasma arc to blast through rust, paint, and years of grime to cut metal without the need to clean the area you are cutting. This is great for those who hate cleaning metal; but one thing that people often forget is that they need a clean, solid ground to help create a strong arc to easily cut through metal. With a subpar ground you will find that your arc is unstable and will often result in inconsistent cuts. Take the extra 2 minutes to find a good ground location, or grind yourself a clean clamping area. It makes a world of difference!

    2. Keep your torch "Slag-Free"- When cutting with a plasma, you have molten metal splattering and slag goes flying; especially when cutting with the torch below the work surface. The slag can inadvertently make its way onto your torch electrode or nozzle. The build up of slag on the business-end of your torch can create an unstable arc and block airflow out of the nozzle. That buildup leads to poor cutting ability even on the most expensive machines. We suggest that you check the end of your torch after each cut to make sure there isn't a build up of slag that can decrease the performance of your plasma cutter.

    3. Dry Air is Friendly Air- Plasma cutters need a constant flow of clean, dry air to allow it to "punch" through the metal when cutting. This is another reason we can't stress enough how important it is to make sure your compressor has an adequate dryer and water separator system installed. For that reason we integrated a "last chance" filter in our Versa Cut plasma to make sure clean, dry air reaches the plasma torch. When you introduce dirty or moisture-rich air into the plasma arc you will notice that it will be difficult to get a stable arc going as the moisture in the air coming out of the torch will cause the arc to wander. You NEED clean, dry air to create a stable, focused arc!

    4. Avoid extension cords- We put a 20' torch lead and a 10' ground lead on our Versa Cut for a reason; you need to keep the machine as close to the power source as possible. The same as using a welder, the longer and skinnier the extension cord, the more it drops the voltage your machine is receiving. This means you could be "maxing out" your machine cutting something that should only require 3/4 power because the drop in voltage at the machine is so low by the time it goes through that 20 foot extension cord. We suggest (especially on the 110V setting) to keep your plasma plugged directly into an outlet. If you do need to use an extension cord, get a dedicated heavy gauge extension cord that will have the least power drop possible. By heeding this warning you can get the most performance out of your plasma. Remember, move the work surface or torch and ground, not the entire machine!

    5. More Air= More Punch- Like the amperage adjustment, we have an adjustment for air pressure along with a built-in pressure gauge. You need to make sure that you have adequate air pressure going to the torch to allow the plasma arc to properly "punch" through the metal. "Too much" air isn't as much of an issue as "too little" air, although you do want to dial the air down a bit with thinner metal to reduce the amount of slag and sparks from flying across the room.

    Hopefully by following these 5 tips you can streamline your plasma cutting jobs, and keep your machine function properly.

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  • Project Pile House has a Floor

    Today is a big day for Pile House. It has probably been 20 years or more since this truck has had a solid floor. Since I decided to choose a less-than-common truck, there isn't much for replacement panels, and since it is a bit of a "mutt" anyways, I opted to just fabricate my own floors with some sheet metal from our friendly local metal shop.

    The floor from first glance didn't look that bad, I mean most of it was still there, which is pretty commendable for how this truck sat for 20+ years. But what you can't see well in a picture, is how thin the metal left was. So thin it would start to tear if you put any weight on the floor. Because the cab mounts are tied into the front floors, I choose to weld some new pans in. I made sure to tie it into the parts of the truck that are solid, like the firewall and B-pillar.

    After some work with the Angle Grinder and the Versa Cut Plasma Cutter I had the old floor out, and I was fabricating the replacement floor.

    After cutting out the metal to fit around the transmission and the back of the engine, I got it all welded in place with help from the Eastwood MIG 175. Now that it is tied into the cab mount plates I made, and the firewall, the floor is much, much stronger than before. Once the final drivetrain is in place I'll be making covers for the openings in the floor and firewall.

    Next I will be burning out the holes in the cab mount plates in the floor and in the cab mount towers so that I can bolt the cab on and off of the chassis, then make bolt-on mounts for the front end. Stay tuned!

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  • More Cab Mount Fabrication

    It seems like an endless cycle all I have been working on is these dang cab mounts! But it is the basis for how the rest of the body will be situated, so I guess even though it is boring, it is necessary to make sure it is all done right. Today I worked on the towers I fabricated in the last posts. I mocked up them up on the brackets and marked and drilled them for the bolt that will attach everything to together. I used our Drill Index Set to drill the hole large enough to fit the bolt through. I will be using our Hole Saw Kit to make a larger hole in the top plate in to allow an extension and socket to fit down into the town and tighten the bolt down.

    Next I used our new Prototype Plasma Cutter Attachment and the Versa Cut Plasma Cutter to cut out a replacement piece for the left front cab mount bracket. This made the cut super clean, and left almost no slag to clean up!

    Thanks for watching!

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  • A Sneak Peak at the Next Must-Have Plasma Attachment

    Here at Eastwood we are constantly look for ways to make jobs you do in your shop easier, quicker, and cheaper; but at a price you can stomach. This neat little tool is due to launch in early 2012, and when coupled with your Versa Cut Plasma Cutter, you will be able to make cuts that make most think they were done on a professional plasma table. Check out the video and watch this space for more info as we launch this great tool!

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  • The welding has begun

    Busy with some other projects, I haven't touched this for almost a week. We got back into it today. After cutting the firewall open even more for added space, we were able to roll the chassis back into place so the wheels are centered in the wheel wells. Our next job is to tackle making plates in the cab for where the mounts will rest. The front mounts are the main concern as the floor around the original points is quite crunchy...

    We decided to cut some steel plate and tie the cab mount plates into the front door pillar for added strength. It may be overkill, but at least I can rest easy when driving the hell out of it! Below is the first plate we added with the help of the Eastwood MIG 175 and the Versa Cut Plasma Cutter. More to come this week.

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