Converting arc welder to plasma cutter

  1. fizzle Member

    Memmeddu likes this.
  2. barking mat

    barking mat Barking at Pigeons

    Brittany, The Arz Valley.
    Interesting idea.
    fizzle likes this.
  3. 123hotchef Member

    similar to gouging is it?
  4. Rig Pig

    Rig Pig Member

    Narrwich! U.K.
    I think the voltage is too low on a stick set to work as a plasma cutter, I read up on it a few years ago. Plasma sets are getting cheaper all the while on eBay etc but factor in the cost of a compressor too.

    I'm almost tempted, despite having no use for it at the moment!
    fizzle and Memmeddu like this.
  5. earthman Member

    Yes, my thoughts too.
  6. Paul.

    Paul. Moderator Staff Member

    Northampton. UK
    Air arc cutting, uses a carbon electrode to melt the metal and a focused compressed air jet blows it away, used for gouging rather than cutting, quite common in heavy fab work / shipbuilding etc. not much use for, cutting of thinner materials unless you want to make an almighty mess and probably set the garage on fire!!

    Plasma is an entirely different technology in which the compressed air is ionised and is part of the arc, ie it becomes a plasma stream, hence the name
  7. Ashley Burton

    Ashley Burton Member

    Especially the one Lidl recently sold
  8. Memmeddu

    Memmeddu Member

    Italia Sardegna
    Carbon arc air
    This is interesting and I have few questions about because I've never understood how it works because I found various and discordant opinions about
    About current , peoples say that is required a huge amount of current and I found that is not true
    Because Arc-Air charts say that smaller rods don't require too much current
    For example 4mm requires between 90 and 150A
    And the gouge will result 7mm wide and 7mm deep (Arc-Air invented it so what they said must be true)
    It does require an hudge amount of air and that might be true , but essentially I think that a smaller torch doesn't require the same amount of air that a bigger torch does.
    So someone might buy a cheap Chinese K3000 torch and tune it to be used with smaller electrodes
    The power source , this is the biggest question
    Everyone say that must be or a big engine driven welder or a big transformer based welder.
    But there are inverter stick welders capable to carbon arc ,there are people who use to put two welders in parallel to achieve the task
    I think that I've read something about antistick and duty cycle
    My welder doesn't have antistick and it has 100% duty cycle at 194A

    Can it work?
  9. dannyp Member

    air arc is no alternative to plasma, plasma is a relativly refined neat tidy prosses think of it as the knife, then there is air arc its the sledge hammer or the thug that just smashes its way through with raw power, its a fantastic prosses for unwelding stuff or simply just making metal go away and the ticker the metal and the more power the neater it seems to get within reason.

    as for power its usally the case smaller rods mean less power but air arc as i said is a thug at low power levels i cant see it honesty doing anything other than making a mess. and power sorce wise its not nice to them, inverters don't like it at all it needs a big heavy transformer or engine drive really thats desinged for it, it'll just kill anything else
    Memmeddu likes this.
  10. Grey Trucken New Member

    It would seem you might be able to make an adaption that you could plug and play. This Lincoln post describes the process at the torch end very well. Would just need an official EE to help.

    Since consumables and torches are so specific and might not be able to be had during the ----------, it would be nice to make something that is generic and switchable between welding machines and torches.

    Additionally, since alot of these Plasma Cutters come with welders as part of the electronics bundle, the electronics might already exist in the welders and need some external modification to alter the voltage to attain the initial pilot arc. Just imagine a 5lb box instead of another full blown piece of equipment.

    Plasma Torch Pilot Arc Conversion Easy

    DC-NEG at 3:33
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2020