If you know how to use a plasma cutter, cutting metal will be a whole lot easier than ever. However, using such a powerful and modern cutting machine requires specific insights to achieve safety and efficiency.
In this article, I will show you how to operate a plasma cutter with specific steps.
Scroll down to know!
Table of Contents
How To Use A Plasma Cutter
Step 1: Select an appropriate workplace
As we are going to cut metal with plasma ray, it is crucial to put your workpiece on a suitable surface that is safe and wide enough.
A balanced table in a large workshop is the best choice.
Make sure that your workplace is well-ventilated and there is no flammable material near the plasma cutter.
Step 2: Set up the plasma cutter
There are many smaller steps in setting up a plasma cutter such as adjust the amperage, cutting speed, digital multimeter, etc.
As I have written about these parameters in the previous post “How to set up a plasma cutter” guide, I will not mention them here.
You can read it before you proceed to the next step.
Step 3: Prepare safety gear and equipment
You should stick to the following safety regulations:
- Wear a plasma or welding helmet to protect your head.
- Tie your hair or use a cap/hat to prevent your hair from catching fire.
- Use a welding jacket to protect your body and arms.
- Put on heat-resistant gloves and apron to protect your hands
- Wear work pants or jeans to protect your legs (you can also cover your leg with welding leather)
- Use durable work boots to protect your feet from sparks and dropping pieces of metal.
- Prepare a fire extinguisher in case anything catches fire.
- Wearing two earplugs and a respirator mask are optional.
- Keep your workpiece stable in a frame, or attached to the table.
- Clean the cut part with a wire wheel or a grinder.
- Outline your cut plan with marking devices or metal chalk.
- Hook the ground clamp of the plasma cutter on metal board for stability when you perform plasma cuts.
Step 4: Operating the machine and make cuts
1- Plug in both the plasma cutter and the air pipe. Switch on your air compressor and activate your plasma cutter by removing the safety trigger lock and pulling the trigger on the gun.
2- Try to keep your body at the furthest distance from the sparks. You should also choose a suitable position for a precise observation of your cut and keeping yourself safe from possible falling pieces of metal.
Besides, make sure that you can move the plasma torch easily at the full range so that you will be able to cut to the end of the metal without having to pause the machine and change position.
3- Move the plasma torch along your workpiece slowly and evenly. As you move the plasma arc, it should penetrate through the metal to the bottom. If no sparks drop from the bottom of the substance, perhaps the arc power is insufficient, or you are moving the torch too fast.
In such cases, you should slow down the torch motion until you can always see sparks at the bottom of the metal. Longer cutting time can help the arc beam to cut through the thickness of the substance.
4- Point the plasma torch toward the edge of the metal to cut it off. You should wait for 2 seconds before letting go of the trigger. This is to make sure that you have completed your project thoroughly.
Wait for the metal to cool down before you pick it up from the ground.
Notice: The smaller a piece of metal is, the hotter it is.
Now, after reading this article, you must have known how to use a plasma cutter safely and efficiently, right? So please bear the above tutorial in your mind before making any plasma cuts.
If you have any questions, please comment below, and I would like to answer you if possible.
Thanks for reading!