Reply To: Plasma tech discussion



I just wanted to give a quick update on my progress converting a chinese plasma cutter to use a machine torch. Or more correctly the lack of conversion required.

I bought the Simadre cut50DP and a P80 (panasonic style) machine torch assembly that I had linked to previously. Except I bought a torch assembly that came with the cabling also. This is a pilot arc machine that does not need contact between the tip and the workpiece to start the arc. The main reason I went with this torch is the availability and cost of consumables. I know that a plasma table is going to wear through tips pretty quickly and Im trying to do this economically. The P80 torch consumables are $1 or 2 each so keeping extras on hand isnt going to break the bank. I also found some posts on a welding forum that said that they seemed to have a lifespan similar to name brand american torches/tips.

Today I did some test cutting with the hand torch to make sure the machine is working correctly and everything works as it should. The machine torch has the same wiring configuration as the hand torch so it should hook up directly with no modifications other than possibly the threaded fitting for the air. I didnt have a chance to check that yet. Tomorrow I will pull the torch off and compare fittings. I wish there was a quick release plug I could use for this connection so that I could swap between torches easily. I havent found anything that looks like it is worth the effort or money.

One benefit of buying the machine torch assembly with the cord is that it came with the wiring and plug for the trigger switch of the hand torch still in the loom. I pulled that out and now have a prewired pigtail to wire to the relay for triggering the machine to cut.

One thing of note is that the manual for the plasma cutter gives this machine a 30% duty cycle that is based on 10 minute intervals. So nesting an entire sheet of parts and letting it go to town may make the machine just roll over and die. I guess I will find out soon enough.