Tool Tips - Plasma Cutter Pace

Tool Tips - Plasma Cutter Pace

Rachel Schutt

Mar 4th, 2019

Best Pace For Cutting with The Plasma Cutter

Hey Makers! I’m Rachel, the Idea Foundry Metal Shop Instructor! Today we’re going over “Best Pace For Cutting with The Plasma Cutter”

  1. Make sure to attach the ground clamp to the work table or piece to complete the circuit. Grounding is part of arc welding safety because the ground keeps the plasma cutter and the workpiece at the same potential. Here is an article from thefabricator.com that explains grounding in depth.
  2. Prop up the workpiece on stilts to avoid fusing the workpiece to the metal work table.
  3. As mentioned in our previous blog post, “How to Get Smooth and Clean Cuts with The Plasma Cutter” remember to wear protective eye gear with at least shade 5, along with leather gloves. The workpiece does retain heat while it’s being plasma cut, so please handle with care!
  4. Set the appropriate amperage on the machine for the material that is being plasma cut. We also covered amperage settings in our pervious plasma cutting video, “How to Get Smooth and Clean Cuts with The Plasma Cutter”. Check it out!
  5. While plasma cutting, keep an eye on the sparks! Make sure the plasma cutter’s  travel speed is a slow enough pace for the sparks to shoot below the surface of the workpiece. If the plasma cutter torch is moving too fast, the sparks will create a “rooster tail effect”, which results in an unsafe work area as well as simply scoring the surface of the material, not cutting through.  (I learned this tip from Gavin Bruce at SculptNova. Gavin's team is creating monumental bronze sculptures by fusing new world design with traditional methods. The results are truly moving.) Traveling extra slow will create additional slag and more post clean up work on the workpiece will be required.

Thanks for watching my intro to pacing your plasma cut! Next we’re going to cover “Plasma Cutting On The Line”, see you there!