Donate!
Welcome, Guest. Please Login or Register :: View Members
Pages: 1 2 
Send Topic Print
Plasma cutter? (Read 93 times)
JLC
Senior Member
****
Offline

SuzukiSavage.com
Rocks!

Posts: 261
Black Forest, Colorado
Gender: male
Plasma cutter?
01/12/18 at 12:36:47
 
I am running a local Gun Club Silhouette Program, and every so often I have to fix the metallic targets. That usually means cutting metal pieces to be welded, and welding steel from 1/4" to 1/2" thick. I do have a good welder, but no way to cut metal, except for a couple of trusted hacksaws! I was thinking of buying a plasma cutter. Any suggestions?

Back to top
 
 
  IP Logged
Dave
YaBB Moderator
ModSquad
*****
Offline

SuzukiSavage.com
Rocks!

Posts: 13692
Camp Springs, Kentucky
Gender: male
Re: Plasma cutter?
Reply #1 - 01/12/18 at 12:43:20
 
If you can find a local metal fabricator with either a plasma, laser or waterjet cutter - they might be cutting shapes out of the parts they are building that are scrap that could be OK shapes for you to use.
Back to top
 
 

Someday I will be old......But not today!

  IP Logged
badwolf
Senior Member
****
Offline

Ridin' my Lil'
Bagger

Posts: 484
Palm Beach County, FL
Gender: male
Re: Plasma cutter?
Reply #2 - 01/12/18 at 14:08:27
 
I used to cut-up old bed frame angle iron with a hack saw till I looked over at my masonry gas saw and said ''Duh!''. Cut-off wheels work much better than hacksawing. You can get them for a 4 1/2'' hand grinder for less than a buck apiece in a 10 pack.
Unless you really WANT a plasma cutter... and are looking for a excuse.
If you are cutting out entire targets, you need to do it under water to not take the temper out of AR500 steel. So many shops are making them now the shipping might cost more than the targets. Find someone nearby you can pick-up from and normally the stands and holders need more repairs than the targets.
Remember, EVERYTHING you put downrange WILL GET SHOT-UP.
At our range we make things tough as we can to last as long as possible, or cheap and easy to replace.
We got sick of repairing the overhead wood/ pea stone/ wood baffles, and on the new rifle range we put-in $38k in 1/2'' AR500 steel baffles. We hope it lasts a REAL LONG time!  
Back to top
 
 
  IP Logged
JLC
Senior Member
****
Offline

SuzukiSavage.com
Rocks!

Posts: 261
Black Forest, Colorado
Gender: male
Re: Plasma cutter?
Reply #3 - 01/12/18 at 14:30:04
 
I have been running the silhouette program for 7 years, so I do know everything on the range will get shot up!  Right now I have enough targets, and I just finished welding/cleaning/painting them all for this coming season.  I might need to cut some entire targets in the future. Up to now most of the repair work has been welding.

I saw a plasma cutter being used, and was impressed how neat the cuts were.  A quick search online showed they are expensive, and a saw might be much cheaper. I'll check!



Back to top
 
 
  IP Logged
badwolf
Senior Member
****
Offline

Ridin' my Lil'
Bagger

Posts: 484
Palm Beach County, FL
Gender: male
Re: Plasma cutter?
Reply #4 - 01/12/18 at 14:38:38
 
Harbor Freight normally has 4 1/2'' grinders for $15-$20. A cut-off wheel on them will do a lot. Also the grinding wheel comes in handy.
I just picked-up some free angle iron. ( neighbor threw out a bed frame ) My grinder/cut-off wheels will cut out the rivets and make some useful iron to have around.
Back to top
 
 
  IP Logged
JLC
Senior Member
****
Offline

SuzukiSavage.com
Rocks!

Posts: 261
Black Forest, Colorado
Gender: male
Re: Plasma cutter?
Reply #5 - 01/12/18 at 15:13:07
 
Thanks, I'll check the grinders at HF. They also have a motorcycle lift I am interested in. Smiley
Back to top
 
 
  IP Logged
Dave
YaBB Moderator
ModSquad
*****
Offline

SuzukiSavage.com
Rocks!

Posts: 13692
Camp Springs, Kentucky
Gender: male
Re: Plasma cutter?
Reply #6 - 01/13/18 at 04:32:20
 
And......could be that if you find a local fab shop and they like shooting - maybe they will cut your pieces free in exchange for shooting privileges.
Back to top
 
 

Someday I will be old......But not today!

  IP Logged
DieselBob
Junior Member
**
Offline

Thumper - One Who
Thumps

Posts: 89
Goshen, IN
Gender: male
Re: Plasma cutter?
Reply #7 - 01/13/18 at 06:15:27
 
-
Angle grinder's a great tool that I've used for decades. Indispensable for building bikes. And mine taught me a few things last month.
  1. Wear a face shield. Not just your glasses
  2. Don't remove the handle. Use it.
  3. Keep the guard in place.
  4. Avoid re-entering an existing kerf.

If you forego 1-4 above, I'd offer alternative suggestions
  1. Check your health insurance coverage
  2. Check your dental insurance coverage
  3. Keep some red towels around the shop
  4. Have a driver or ambulance standing by
  5. Stock up on some natty eye patches

I could explain how I know these things, but a picture tells it better.







Back to top
 
 
  IP Logged
Ruttly
Serious Thumper
*****
Offline

Thumpers Rule

Posts: 2810
Manteca , CA
Gender: male
Re: Plasma cutter?
Reply #8 - 01/13/18 at 07:40:03
 
Bob , there are shelters for men who have been beaten by their wives !  Grin

Get well and be careful , dam lucky not to loose a eye.
Back to top
 
 

The Topic Terminator
  IP Logged
JLC
Senior Member
****
Offline

SuzukiSavage.com
Rocks!

Posts: 261
Black Forest, Colorado
Gender: male
Re: Plasma cutter?
Reply #9 - 01/13/18 at 09:38:39
 
Wow, scary.  Not sure I want to use an angle grinder now!
Back to top
 
 
  IP Logged
ArkansasBrian
YaBB Newbies
*
Offline

SuzukiSavage.com
Rocks!

Posts: 33
Little Rock, AR
Gender: male
Re: Plasma cutter?
Reply #10 - 01/14/18 at 21:03:14
 
Can you cut 1/4-1/2 inch steel with an angle grinder? Certainly. Is it a good way to cut 1/4-1/2 inch steel? Not really. Not a lot of it anyway. At those thicknesses it's time consuming and you'll burn through wheels quickly. If you do use one, take all of DieselBob's advice. I've seen pictures of people who came out much worse than he did.

Plasma cutter are awesome. They're also expensive and require a fairly serious air compressor to keep up.

Oxy-acetylene torches are much cheaper, more durable, less finicky and equally effective, if somewhat slower. Potential quality of cut is the same and up to operator skill. If I were you, it's what I'd be buying.

Carbon-arc cutting is also a thing that exists, although I haven't done it since welding school and have never priced it. I'm pretty sure it still requires a sizable air compressor.
Back to top
 
 

Still looking...
  IP Logged
JLC
Senior Member
****
Offline

SuzukiSavage.com
Rocks!

Posts: 261
Black Forest, Colorado
Gender: male
Re: Plasma cutter?
Reply #11 - 01/15/18 at 07:32:14
 
Thanks for all the advice and suggestions... I do know the owner of a local metal fabrication shop. He has more work than he can take, even after hiring more personnel. He is not an exception and I doubt I can get someone to fabricate targets for the lure of free shooting.

I have a large and fairly well equipped workshop, with some glaring gaps - such as the lack of tools for cutting metals, and no lathe (I don't know how to use one).

I do have an air compressor (Craftsman 1.9 HP, 27 gallon, twin cylinder oil lubricated, 7.2 scfm at 40 psi, 5.8 scfm at 90 psi, 150 psi max). I don't know if that would be good enough for a plasma cutter. I know some plasma cutters come with a built-in compressor.

I have a grinder (air tool) and I ordered a face shield. It should arrive tomorrow, courtesy of Amazon Prime. I do have safety goggles, and I use them all the time, but the photo posted above prompted me to get a full face shield!

I thought of an Acetylene/oxygen cutting torch, but I am wary of the acetylene gas. The only gas bottle in my shop is for the MIG welder, and I might want to keep it that way. That being said, I read online that you can replace the Acetylene with propane, and I'll do more research on that.
Back to top
 
 
  IP Logged
justin_o_guy2
Serious Thumper
*****
Online

What happened?

Posts: 44502
East Texas, 1/2 dallas/la.
Re: Plasma cutter?
Reply #12 - 01/15/18 at 08:00:02
 
You don't have near enough compressor to be cutting metal.
Get a torch. And an electric angle grinder.

Bob's picture finally opened. Dude, that's awful.. but it's extremely rare. And some safety considerations weren't followed.

Propane and oxygen works fine. Lots cheaper. If you have a propane tank that has a wet line you can fill them yourself.
I do.
Back to top
 
 

The people never give up their liberties but under some delusion.- Edmund Burke.
  IP Logged
JLC
Senior Member
****
Offline

SuzukiSavage.com
Rocks!

Posts: 261
Black Forest, Colorado
Gender: male
Re: Plasma cutter?
Reply #13 - 01/15/18 at 13:36:39
 
I have been checking cutting torch kits online, and I came upon several comments such as this one : "The problem with products like this is that regardless of the quality of the tanks, local gas suppliers will NOT fill nor "swap" the tanks unless you have a Business License and proof that you operate from a NON-RESIDENTIAL location. This is true just about everywhere within the USA."

Do those of you who use cutting torches with acetylene and oxygen tanks have this problem?

Back to top
 
 
  IP Logged
batman
Serious Thumper
*****
Offline

SuzukiSavage.com
Rocks!

Posts: 2355
osceola new york
Gender: male
Re: Plasma cutter?
Reply #14 - 01/15/18 at 14:30:29
 
If you rent or buy your tanks from a welding supply house (I did) I'm sure you will have no problem getting them filled. If you have bought them elsewhere they may decline ,not knowing there age /condition/or the last time they were pressure tested. Mine were for home use.
Back to top
 
 

my old work mates called me MacGyver
  IP Logged
Pages: 1 2 
Send Topic Print


« Home

 
« Home
SuzukiSavage.com
07/15/18 at 19:43:38



General CategoryThe Cafe › Plasma cutter?


SuzukiSavage.com » Powered by YaBB 2.2!
YaBB © 2000-2007. All Rights Reserved.