Whoever reading this article must have or will soon own a powerful plasma cutter to cut hard metals, right?
However, with such a modern and powerful machine, the assembly stage is not easy at all, especially for beginners.
In this article, I will guide you on how to set up a plasma cutter step by step so that you can get both productivity and safety.
Keep reading to learn!
Table of Contents
How To Set Up A Plasma Cutter
Step 1: Things to bear in mind before operating a plasma cutter
- Examine the leading rails regularly to make sure that it is clean and dry.
- Apply grease on couplings for smooth operation.
- The airflow must be enough to run a plasma cutting machine. Your air pipe should be at least 12mm.
To warrant the airflow, you can cut down on the length of the gas wire while increasing its radius. Alternatively, I recommend using air compressors or pressure vessels.
- When pushing the compressed air into the plasma cutter, it must have a water and oil separator, or a screw machine with a water and oil system.
If there is water or oil in the air pipe, it will get dirty and can not ignite. In this case, you will need to remove the cutting tube and the electrode to clean and re-install later. Also turn off the plasma power to reset before operating again.
- Take the Y-axis in parallel and push it to the head of the plasma cutter. When the machine reaches the stroke peak, turn off the control source and pull the X-axis hand to the latch point to take parallel.
Turn on the power and push the X-axis up. If your machine does not run, press and hold the Reset button. Then you should push the arrow to move through the handle before releasing the Reset button.
Step 2: Prepare to use a Plasma cutter
You must check the cutting torch carefully before using your plasma cutting machine. It must be straight and perpendicular to the cutting table so that the cut with the electrode can be used and handled promptly.
Next, you should fasten the cutting torch to the shelf. This is to avoid deviant cuts, which can directly affect the quality of the cutting lines.
A cooling fan and a nozzle to quickly cool down the metal after the cut is optional.
Step 3: Set up the Airflow
Connect the external air compressor to the plasma cutter to ensure that the stream of plasma is always under high pressure.
To attach the fittings, you have to recede the outer flange of the negative (-) connection and insert the positive (+) connection.
Turn on the airflow by turning the lever ninety degrees from the position perpendicular to the air pipe to be inline.
Step 4: Adjust the cutting head height reasonably
The plasma ray has the shape of a drop of water in the center, so if you put the cutting head too near or too far away from the metal, it will tilt your workpiece.
Once the cutting head is at a suitable height in comparison with the surface of the material, your workpiece will be straight or not tilted much (under 3 degrees).
The problem is how to know which height is appropriate? To solve this question, you must follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the plasma power supply.
Depending on the type and thickness of the target material, you can select the appropriate cutter types and set parameters as shown in the Cut Chart.
Install a THC (torch height controller) to maintain the cutting head height automatically.
If your plasma cutter does not have a THC equipment, the cutting line will be uneven, and the cutting edges will be quickly damaged.
(Because of the distance from the cutting head to the unstable material, there will be too many cutting heads near the material, then the melted metal part flowing from the cutting line will splash and stick to damage the cutting edge).
After setting the parameters according to the Cut chart, you can cut and watch your workpiece to fine-tune the cutting head height if necessary (use the THC unit).
Step 5: Choose the cutting direction
The compressed air will blow from the cutting head in a spiral shape from left to right, so the right side of the cut will always be less prone to the left side.
Therefore, always select the cutting direction so that the main part of your product (the heat-affected zone) is on the right side of the cutting direction and the wasted part is on the left.
Remember to set the metal on the table and attach the ground clamp close to where you will cut with your plasma torch.
Step 6: Operating your Plasma cutter
Make sure that the electrical charge is off before plugging it in for an electrical charge.
On average, you should set the current amperage to 25 for an 18-mm piece of metal.
Turn on the machine by flipping the switch behind the unit into the ON position.
Completing this step means that you have done setting up your plasma cutter. Let’s press the trigger and cut the metal now.
Finally, I have guided you on how to set up a plasma cutter in 6 steps. However, apart from setting up the machine, you should also care about other parameters such as types of material, the thickness of metal, cutting patterns, etc.
Thanks for reading!