If you’re in the metalworking industry, a plasma cutter is an indispensable tool to own. It’s accurate, efficient and easy to use, just to mention but a few advantages. Selecting the right model though is essential so you may want to visit Cuts Like Butter for in-depth reviews to help you narrow down your options. But, even with the best unit, you still need to figure out ways to maximize its ability. Here’s how;
Setup the Work Table Correctly
As a rule of thumb, you need to make sure that your workstation is ready for the task ahead. The work table should be firm to handle the demands of plasma cutting. It doesn’t have to be expensive. In fact, a wood table will do, as long as it is sturdy. Also, ensure that the station’s height allows you to work in comfort.
Secure the Ground Clamp Properly
Safety should be your primary concern when using a plasma cutter. Make sure that the metal to which you lock the ground clamp is clean at all times. Never clamp on corroded or painted metal to avoid an interruption flow of electricity.
Note – You will get a better cut if you clamp close to or on the work piece.
Also, keep the checking the electric cables to ensure that they don’t get tangled up. Before you start cutting inspect the entire system for anything that may interfere with the flow of electricity. Other than that, the template should be correct as is the cutting tip.
Making the First Cut
You shouldn’t have a problem making the first cut once you’ve arranged everything. All you have to do is to position the tip of the torch on the metal and pull the trigger. This technique, however, works for thin metal sheets. If you’re cutting relatively thick sheets, start on the outside, holding the torch at a forty-five degrees angle and pull the trigger.
If the metal sheet is uneven, mark it before cutting. Start with the thicker areas and finish with the thin ones. As for the holes, use the torch to pierce through the metal and adjust the size as per your needs. As you become used to your plasma cutter, you may practice with bevel edges for better results. Don’t forget to grind the edges of the sheet to remove any chippings.
The Bottom Line
Learning the ropes of plasma cutting isn’t that hard for a beginner. However, you may need the guidance of an experienced workman, especially during the first few uses. We recommend that you practice on scrap metal as you perfect your art.