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I tried a nice Plasma Cutter at welding class tonight, and it is very nice for cutting metal. For sheet metal, even at lowest settings, it is quite a bit of overkill. I could only get 1/8" wide cut, and ragged at that (lack of practice). I think a nice $200 air compressed die grinder would do much better than $1000 plasma cutter for working on cars. JMHO.

Getting much better at sheet metal welding. I welded up those nasty plasma cutter cuts as a butt joint. The instructor said if I could do that (and I was), then a nice, straight butt joint would be a piece of cake. Woohoo! Rusty frame rails: here I come!

http://clubs.hemmings.com/baymustang/platesmall.jpgLet me check your shorts! My multimeter is just a-waiting! Formerly known as Midlife in the old VMF.
King of the Old Farts *struts*
 

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Have a 68 CJ that needs a little welding done, you are welcome to practise on it if you wish, I am in the Pacific North West.

68 GT500
68 1/2 CJ Coupe

MCA# 18519
 
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On your way back from the NW, you could stop by and do the floor pans in the coupe. Congratulations on acquiring a skill I wish I had.

James

1965 convertible "White Pony", my own lesson in mechanical humility
1968 coupe "Jedstang" for the soon to be 16 y/o boy
 
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Overkill and crooked as an Alabama Politician, I'll take my plasma cuts over anything anyday. As far as the welding goes, Get you a welder and practice. It's not that hard. I took stick welding in highschool (1 quarter), but that was 18 years ago.

http://members.tripod.com/tangdar/
'67 Coupe project car (Did I say project car? I meant pile of rust)
http://www.americainter.net/~fevans/tangdar_flintstone.jpg
 

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I've seen plasma cutters cut a lot thinner than 1/8". Being that your in a welding class I bet they get a lot of the heavy duty stuff. Youve probably already found that the classes usually focus on heavy plate and pipe and not so much on thin rusty sheet metal like us sicko's.

And $200 for a die grinder! I know you can use IR and CP, but I got my die grinder for $28 (DIvilbliss at Lowes) and it's still going strong. Spend your big money on a good impact driver, spray gun and maybe a DA. With all the other air tools, the cheapies do just as good

http://albums.photopoint.com/j/View?u=1575122&a=11977248&p=43129084&Sequence=5&res=high.jpg
66 C-code convertible
66 C-code coupe
65 GTO hardtop
76 Nova hatchback
 

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Part of the frame on my gas grill has rusted away. I'll make burgers if you'll put it right.

J. Boggs

N0.. how bout steak then?
 

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I have one and that is the ONLY way to go. It cuts as straight or as curved as you can draw. And they're much faster than a die grinder. I used it to cut all the sheet metal on my car. If you use it on thinner metal like floorboards and quarters, you don't get the spatter you get when trying to go through plate.


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Discussion Starter #8
OK...I agree they are easy to use, and make nice cuts. I think I used a HD unit, not one designed for thin metal (settings only went down to 1/16"). If you use one with a guide fence, it would be great, but my freehand needs alot of work! I wonder if they make smaller units...

http://clubs.hemmings.com/baymustang/platesmall.jpgLet me check your shorts! My multimeter is just a-waiting! Formerly known as Midlife in the old VMF.
King of the Old Farts *struts*
 
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Miller makes a unit that'll 16 to 25guage, and it's a little smaller than a computer case. I think it sells in the 1500 range though.

http://members.tripod.com/tangdar/
'67 Coupe project car (Did I say project car? I meant pile of rust)
http://www.americainter.net/~fevans/tangdar_flintstone.jpg
 
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