In dealing with a plasma cutter, one should consider the importance of its proper usage. Not only can an active effort in taking care of your tool helps create some of your marvelous works, it also gives you the assurance that your machine will run like a clockwork the next time you use it. Professionals and amateurs alike should take appropriate measures in ensuring that their plasma cutting systems function flawlessly.
Are you one of those who are having a hard time figuring out how to better use the plasma tool? Do you find it difficult to clean your machine because you do not yet see its benefits? Or do you simply want to learn more about this dependable device? If you are among these people, then this guide is for you.
This is a quick guide is divided into three sections, namely:
- Techniques to Boost Your Plasma Cutter’s Performance
- Helpful Tips on Safety and Setting-Up
- Proper Handling and Maintenance
Precision and careful preparation is imperative when performing plasma cutting. Equally important factors are maintaining the machine to optimal performance and taking a conscious effort on your safety while on the job.
Techniques to Boost Your Plasma Cutter’s Performance
- Trace the path of your cut without pulling the trigger. This will familiarize your muscle memory on making straight cuts which is particularly useful when dealing with long cuts. A stop and go routine creates an uneven slice which may compromise the quality of your work
- Support the cutting hand with your non-cutting hand. The initial spark of the plasma causes some people to flinch and more often that not this derails your work. Your non-cutting hand should support your other hand to gain freedom of movement for a straight cut.
- Avoid backsplashes of molten metal as they quickly degrade consumables. Backsplash happens often when you cut thick metals. You can avoid this by angling the torch at around 45 degrees (make sure that it is angled away from your body).
- Maintain the optimal distance between the torch tip and work piece. This is approximately 1/16 of an inch to 1/8 of an inch. Having enough space will give you enough room to move your torch in all directions while keeping your hand steady.
Helpful Tips on Safety
- Read, review, and reread your Owner’s Manual. This is the most important tip when dealing with safety and in getting to know your machine. There are a dozen types of plasma torch system in the market. It will help you a lot if you start familiarizing with yours.
- Ensure that your plasma torch has enough gas and proper coolant flow. Regularly check the flow and pressure of gas and coolant. Avoid having low or excess gas pressure as it causes the torch to fail. Likewise, coolant levels should be maintained to prevent adverse effects.
- Secure your work environment to avoid accidents. When putting ground clamps, place it on the work piece as much as possible to prevent it from moving. Inspect if there are any loose connections, worn spots or anything that could be do potential damage to your machine and yourself.
- Always wear protective gears when using your plasma torch. This could not be stressed enough. Wear the proper safety equipment to avoid injuries or accidents. Plasma torches are extremely hot and will cause permanent damages if not used with proper protection.
Proper Handling and Maintenance
- Replace your torch’s consumables accordingly. Check if your consumables are worn out or needed replacement to prevent sub-par performance. Your consumables will eventually get worn out so it is best that you replace them before they damage your machine.
- Do not use your torch as a hammer. Avoid banging your torch on the work piece to remove slag. Improper usage will eventually break your tool. There are proper tools for cleaning your work piece and your plasma torch is not one of them
- Use the right parts for the job. Different types of consumables and plasma gas are used for each job. Operating the machine with incorrect parts will deteriorate the tool. Review the owner’s manual to determine which consumables to use for the appropriate setting.
- Clean the torch regularly. Your torch is an invaluable tool in aiding you in your work. Keep it clean and in top condition to make sure that your machine will last. Pay particular attention to the electrode and nozzle as these are the parts that are easily contaminated.
Treat your plasma torch as an extension of yourself. The more you use the machine, the better your performance will be. Familiarize yourself with some of the neat tricks that professionals use in the craft. When operating your plasma torch, remember that proper maintenance saves you the grueling hours and expensive cost of repair. By spending a few minutes of your time in taking good care of your machine, you save yourself so much trouble. By following these practical steps, you’ll feel like a professional and work like a professional in no time!