Plasma Cutting Tips Part 1

Recent events have turned my thoughts again toward plasma cutting issues the last few days. One of the common issues I have had to deal with working for Everlast is consumable wear. No, it’s not due to lack of good design or poor quality. It’s largely due to neglecting to follow a few basic steps to ensure maximum life from the consumable. One of the primary issues that most people most people face is chronic problems with moisture in their air lines. Honestly, most people have this issue sooner or later, either from forgetfulness or outright neglect. In reality, most people start off purchasing a plasma cutter and relying on the stock filter to do the job. On most plasma cutters, including Everlast’s PowerPlasma line, the filter is nothing more than a water trap designed to catch large slugs of water that may accumulate in the fitting or in the line when coupling and uncoupling. Sure it will remove some moisture, but it will not remove enough to prevent rapid wear of the consumables and long term damage to the torch. This is a problem that can be overcome economically though. Recently I was in a well-known discount store that sells tools and various items and came upon a brand new desiccant type dryer that is highly efficient at trapping and removing moisture from the air. It was only $8.00. This type filter has silica pellets inside that absorb moisture from the air, and turn colors when they are spent. These pellets can often be rebaked, but it’s simpler just to replace the silica in the filter. Another type of filter that I have found that works well is a large one that is put out by Motor Guard and features a removable element similar to a roll of toilet paper. It is efficient and it works. More expensive refrigerated systems work well, but aren't feasible for the average welder.