How To Set Up A Plasma Cutter In 6 Easy Steps

Plasma cutters are not a new buzz in the cutting industry. Those who are already in this field for a long time or are beginners are quite familiar with it.

If you’re a professional or a newbie, you must have the best plasma cutter for the money. Am I right?

Be honest and think for a minute, when you started this work, was it easy for you?

The truth is a No. Although a plasma cutter is the most effective tool of the modern era, it isn’t easy to set up. Most of the time, users fail in the first attempt. When I stepped into this field, I remembered it took two months to get hands-on with the tricks.

The annoyance and exhaustion I faced, I won’t let anyone go through it.

Thus, I’ve compiled this article that explains how to set up a plasma cutter in six stages. So, let’s bear with me. But, before that, briefly overview the things you need to consider before setting up a plasma cutter.

What are the parts of plasma cutter?

A plasma cutter is a special tool that has many different types of components. The components of a plasma cutter include the nozzle, the power supply, the arc shield and cooling system, and an electrode or nozzle tip. A nozzle is what feeds gas to the torch and cools the cutting area. An arc shield and cooling system helps protect both torches and operators from high-energy sparks and spatter that can cause injury.

The power supply

The power supply of plasma cutter is an important part of the machine that can’t be overlooked. It is necessary to have a steady and continuous flow of electricity in order to get the machine to work at optimal levels. The machine will not cut through thick sheet metal without a stable power source.

The torch

A plasma cutter torch can cut through a variety of metals, including steel, aluminum, copper, and titanium. It does this by burning a continuous jet of gas in an oxygen environment at temperatures in excess of 30,000 degrees Fahrenheit. The resulting flame is then guided through the work piece using a nozzle that produces a powerful stream of ions.

The oxygen supply

The oxygen supply for plasma cutters is a crucial component. Without it, the machine would not be able to function properly. It is important to get the correct size of gas bottle for your particular model and make sure you keep it full at all times.

Things to Consider Before Starting Work

plasma cutting setup

The plasma cutter is an effective and useful machine for cutting different types of compressed gases and metals. It consists of a simple handheld model with a torch and electric and gas inputs. Learn more about plasma cutting gas.

Here are four crucial things to consider before you set up the plasma cutter.

  • Apply grease for trouble-free operations.
  • The airflow and the air pipe should be of enough length that smoothly runs a plasma cutter.
  • Most of the plasma cutters have a built-in filter that dries and removes impurities present in the air feed. Do check if your machines have it and make fair use of it.
  • If you’re a beginner, then you should know about the travel speed and set it accordingly. You must be aware of the rule of thumb, which says the thicker the metal, the slower the speed. If you attempt to be fast here, then you will fail in your task.

How do you setup a plasma cutter?

You might be wondering!

Well! I won’t take much of your time. Let’s dive into the remaining part that explains six stages.

Stage 1: Adjust the Airflow

Firstly, to adjust the airflow, cut down the gas wire length, and increase the radius. However, you can also use air compressors for more convenience. I use air compressors, and I’m delighted.

  • Push the compressed air inside the plasma cutter. Make sure it has a lubricant substance like water or oil.
  • The lubricants clean the dirt present in the oil pipe. For this, you need to remove the cutting tube and the electrode. During this period, you can clean it and reinstall it later.
  • By considering the Y-axis in a parallel direction, push it to the head of the plasma cutter. As soon as the machine reaches the peak point, turn off the control source, and drag the X-axis to the striking point.

Now, turn the machine On, and in case it doesn’t run, restart it.

Stage 2: Get Ready to Use a Plasma Cutter

Before you start using a plasma cutting machine, check out the cutting torch.

  • Make sure it’s perpendicular to the cutting table. It is essential for the cutting torch to be straight so that the cut with the electrode effectively.
  • Fasten the cutting torch to avoid any deviant cuts that affect the quality of the cutting line.

Also, don’t forget to use a cooling fan to cool down the metal.

Related article: Plasma Cutting Templates Guide

Stage 3: Organize the Airflow

To ensure that the plasma stream is high;

  • Connect the external air compressor with the plasma cutter.
  • Now, moving a step further, you need to adjust the fittings.
  • Retrocede the negative connection of the outer flange and insert the positive connection here.

Turn the lever to ninety degrees to the air pipe and turn on the airflow.

Stage 4: Rearrange the Cutting Head Height

The plasma ray looks like a water droplet; thus, you’ve to hold your nerves throughout this step. Because if you don’t cut the head fairly, then it might result in a tilted workpiece.

  • The working object should be straight to adjust the cutting head height. Most users, especially the new ones, get confused because they aren’t sure about the accurate height. This is crazy. Isn’t it that you’d be using a plasma cutter and not sure about appropriate height. Think about it. Well! Not to worry much. A simple solution to a complex problem.
  • You need to follow the manufacturers’ guide. The guide has a cut chart that has set parameters based on the material and its thickness.

You can select the one that fits in your criteria.

Stage 5: Select the Cutting Direction

Selecting the workpiece’s cutting direction is essential because it ensures that either you achieve your result or not.

  • Ensure the heat-affected zone, i.e., the main part of your workpiece, should face the right side of the cutting direction during the wasted part on the left side.

Remember to set the metal on the table and fix the ground clamp somewhere near where you’ll cut with the plasma torch.

Stage 6: Set the Electrical Charges

In the last step

  • Check out that the electrical charges are turned off before you plug in for the electrical charges.
  • Set the current for your cutter. On average, it should be 25 amperes for an 18 mm piece of metal.

Now, turn on the machine, and by doing this step, you’ve successfully set up your plasma cutter. You can begin with the cutting process.

Final Words

The bottom line, how to set up a plasma cutter effectively; you need to apply grease on the couplings and check out the air pipe and airflow. Once both of these things are to the mark, follow the step by step guide as mentioned above for more productive results.