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Author Topic: Education needed  (Read 778 times)

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iceopals

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Education needed
« on: January 29, 2015, 02:39:23 PM »

I had problems figuring which category was correct, so this is what I landed on.   I need an education on compressors.   We have had a pancake compressor for years.   Will do 90 psi@ 2.6cfm.   Ok, so I got that and it makes sense.   Until.   I have always wanted to do some simple welding, and we purchased a used Mig welder from a friend whose husband had died.   We also purchased his plasma cutter.   Ok, it requires a compressor that will deliver 66 psi@ 3.8 cfm.    I cannot compare the two, and I cannot find anything on the net that does a direct comparison either.   I figure that within a group that will do ANYTHING to find the best rocks, there MUST be someone who can tell me if what I have will work.   

 And BTW, has anyone else noticed how much the topic buttons on the forum look like rutilated quartz over a dark background within the "new" dark theme??   :hello2:
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Enchantra

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Re: Education needed
« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2015, 02:44:54 PM »

When my hubby gets home I'll ask him about compressors.  He has an airbrush for his models that we have been looking for a new compressor for, so he may have some input for you.
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drnihili

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Re: Education needed
« Reply #2 on: January 29, 2015, 04:10:12 PM »

I've never used a plasma cutter, but for most tools cfm is the limiting factor more than psi.  Psi will determine how much air your tank will hold, and how high you can inflate a tire, but tools work on the volume of air coming out of the nozzle.

The plasma cutter works, by blowing air across an electrical arc.  Some of the air turns into plasma, creating the focused heat, and the rest blows the molten metal out of the cut.  You'll need a lot of air to do this for very long.  If you try to use the pancake compressor, it won't be able to keep up with the needed cfm.  It may start putting out enough, as the flow out is controlled at the nozzle, but the compressor will be putting less air in than is coming out.  So at best you'll be able to cut for short bursts in between waiting for the compressor to fill back up.  If this were a standard pneumatic tool, you could do a little bit, wait, do a bit more, wait, and so on.  Whether even that is doable with a plasma cutter, I don't know, it depends how long they take to start the cut.

In short, you'll very likely need a higher cfm compressor if you're going to do much cutting.  Whether you can do a little cutting without one, I don't know.
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Phishisgroovin

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Re: Education needed
« Reply #3 on: January 29, 2015, 04:30:46 PM »

whatever you do, stay far away from harbor freight tools when looking for a compressor.
I would look into sears for the purchase actually, they carry a better warranty.

what brand welder & model?
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iceopals

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Re: Education needed
« Reply #4 on: January 29, 2015, 04:51:42 PM »

Oh wow!  Thank you for the information.  I don't know the brand or spec's offhand, and it is 30 degrees outside, I am already in my Jammie's, and I am NOT going out there!   :glasses9:  I will check on more tomorrow, but it is what I suspected.  We had our suspicions.  Don't know if we will sell it now or get the bigger compressor...  Hmmmmm... I have a small airbrush compressor I have only used a few times, wish you weren't so far away.
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Itsandbits

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Re: Education needed
« Reply #5 on: January 29, 2015, 04:57:24 PM »

The higher the pressure for a given compressor pump; the lower the cfm output. Your 2.6 @90 psi will do close to the output you need at 66 psi but come up short. I would use a 1 hp; old standard, compressor. This will put out twice what the arc cutter needs but will keep up well. An ; old standard, 2 twin, hp puts out 14cfm in good shape at 90 psi
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iceopals

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Re: Education needed
« Reply #6 on: January 29, 2015, 05:04:46 PM »

Ha!  It's... Wow, I need that put into simple.   :notworthy:  no,give me time, I just need to read it a few dozen times, very slowly.  Thank you.  If I can figure it out I will see about looking into the appropriate compressor.   I used to have a behemoth, two tank, huge,massive to keep up with deep carving in glass.  Don't want anything that large anymore.
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