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Repairing plasma tips?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by prewarcars4me, Jun 27, 2013.

  1. Ok, maybe this is a completely foolish question that I just dont know the answer to.

    Every time I look at a worn electrode on my plasma cutter, I'm looking at $20 or so hitting the trash can.

    Has anyone ever tried to fill in the worn out electrode?
     
  2. F&J
    Joined: Apr 5, 2007
    Posts: 13,217

    F&J
    Member

    :eek: i have wondered that myself lately:eek:





    Figure out how, then put it up on tech week. Winner.
     
  3. VoodooTwin
    Joined: Jul 13, 2011
    Posts: 3,455

    VoodooTwin
    Member
    from Noo Yawk

    Nah. I just pay the toll. The electrodes are pretty cheap, $15 or so for a nickel bag at my local supply store. Why do yours cost $20? Each? Are you referring to the electrode or the cone?
     
  4. Hot Rod Grampa
    Joined: Apr 25, 2011
    Posts: 83

    Hot Rod Grampa
    Member

    They are called consumables for a reason. Maybe we just add it to the cost of doing business. Can't see repair being cost effective in the long run. Scrap it and move on.
     

  5. Lincoln Pro Cut 55 electrodes are right around $100/5. Hats are only $30 or so per 5 hats/tips. I can find them online for less, but doesnt do me any good when I need them that second.

    I use a Hypertherm on my cnc, and the lincoln for hand cuts. The hypertherm is much better on burning consumables than the lincoln is. I have used both on my cncm and there is a reason the lincoln was demoted,lol.

    Just wondering if anyone has tried it?
     
  6. repeater
    Joined: Aug 20, 2012
    Posts: 60

    repeater
    Member

    My Lotos plasma cutter's consumables are 20.00 for a bag full. Had the darn thing 4 years now, use it almost every day, not a single issue with it.
     
  7. Because Im thrify/tightass/cheapskate, whatever you want to call it. I also wash my dishes rather than buying new ones each time, same as my clothes,,,,, not TP though :D

    Not looking for answers like "they are consumables". Ive owned a cnc table for 10 years plus, I kinda have that pricing part down ;)

    I just want to know if anyone has ever tried?
     
  8. VoodooTwin
    Joined: Jul 13, 2011
    Posts: 3,455

    VoodooTwin
    Member
    from Noo Yawk

    I like your signature. lol.......
     
  9. Yup, wire my own cars too :D
     
  10. From what Ive read on the reviews on those,,,, you got REAL LUCKY. They seem to get the same great reviews as Central Electric :rolleyes:

    I would destroy most cheap machines in a couple days as hard as we run that table of ours.
     
  11. VoodooTwin
    Joined: Jul 13, 2011
    Posts: 3,455

    VoodooTwin
    Member
    from Noo Yawk

    :p:D
     
  12. I build much of my own stuff. Sure time vs. money, sometimes it would actually be cheaper to buy parts. Some guys get it, some dont.
     
  13. dreracecar
    Joined: Aug 27, 2009
    Posts: 3,076

    dreracecar
    Member
    from so-cal

    Wait till you step up to a water-jet
     
  14. Nice to have, but not needed for me(or rather cost effective), same as laser. Right tool for the right job.
     
  15. F&J
    Joined: Apr 5, 2007
    Posts: 13,217

    F&J
    Member

    Then have you found out what the elecrode is made of?

    If you could find a fast way to mass-repair a few dozen tips, you might be better off not running the virgin one to the point where it was harder to repair?

    Meaning, catch it before the tips erode too much.
     
  16. dreracecar
    Joined: Aug 27, 2009
    Posts: 3,076

    dreracecar
    Member
    from so-cal

    Didnt finnish my statement, Not only are the nozzles expensive,so is rebuilding the pumps and the slurry left behind has to be carried off as hazmat.
    20 skins for a tip thats makes you money-not too shabby
     
  17. Really has nothing to do with the original question. Was just curious, if you dont know, thats cool too.
     
  18. J scow
    Joined: Mar 3, 2010
    Posts: 489

    J scow
    Member
    from Seattle

    I don't have a plasma cutter (yet) but I'll be watching. I like fixing stuff.
     
  19. Blue One
    Joined: Feb 6, 2010
    Posts: 10,799

    Blue One
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Alberta

    Why ask the question if you don't want the answer ? You were told they were consumables and that is the way it is.

    There is really no way to restore them.
     
  20. 28TUDOR
    Joined: Jan 25, 2007
    Posts: 419

    28TUDOR
    Member


    You can get electrodes at weldingsupply.com for 44.95 for 5 of them.
    28
     
  21. I think the situation is this,when they are"done" they burn slightly in the inner electrode tip resulting in additional clearance between the electrode and the "cap".

    This is the end and if filed you will just get more gap-correct?
    I feel like they are truly just the one time useage type products.....

    Mine is a Thermal DynamicsPk3,and they are not cheap nor readily available everywhere,so I wish you were on to a solution as much as you do.

    I feel that making sure your air supply is good and dry and not lifting the arc too high at end of cut and just releasing the trigger instead will extend life somewhat......I drag the tip right on the sheet a lot so maybe not maintaining arc distance at all is better?? just opinion here....
     
  22. When I was researching a plasma cutter, one of the things I checked was the cost of consumables. HyperTec was the least costly, @ $45 per 5 sets. (electrode and cup)
    These are called consumables for a reason, they burn up/erode, there is no way to fix that.
    Buying the consumables is still cheaper than buying oxygen and acetylene for a cutting torch.
     
  23. Is this in a professional shop? If so, the cost of consumables should be worked in and charged for.
     
  24. BashingTin
    Joined: Feb 15, 2010
    Posts: 270

    BashingTin
    Member

  25. toreadorxlt
    Joined: Feb 27, 2008
    Posts: 733

    toreadorxlt
    Member
    from Nashua, NH

    I have a CNC plasma table too.. Hypertherm 65 cutter. I can get 5 electrodes for $25 online. I literally go through 4-5x as many nozzles as electrodes. Tips are about $5 a pop too... Cost of having a CNC plasma table IMO.
     
  26. To me, 1/8 inch drill bits for sheetmetal are consumables, too cheap to buy rather than to take the time to resharpen them, but I know lots of people that do.

    You guys really arent getting the question. Yes, I know they are consumables and they wear out. That wasnt the question.

    I do cut a lot on the table, and yes, thats figured in on my costs as consumables. AGAIN, wasnt the question.

    Yes, I have dry clean air and get lots of use out of tips,,, AGAIN, wasnt the question.

    The question is simple, and more curiosity, has anyone ever looked into fixing an electrode? Even if its not cost effective, not time effective,,,,, CAN it be done? Has ayone ever tried?
     
  27. tinmann
    Joined: Nov 11, 2005
    Posts: 1,589

    tinmann
    Member

    I'm a high school metal shop teacher. Our Thermal Dynamics plasma gets used a lot. Tip and electrode run $25 ish each time we change out. I can't see how an electrode could be restored but the Scottish side of me, tried to braze up a tip and re-drill the hole. Labor intensive and poor results.
     
  28. VoodooTwin
    Joined: Jul 13, 2011
    Posts: 3,455

    VoodooTwin
    Member
    from Noo Yawk

    I haven't tried to, no. I'm still busy trying to weld up a welding rod. :)
     
  29. Drive Em
    Joined: Aug 25, 2006
    Posts: 1,748

    Drive Em
    Member

    I keep my tips going as long as I can by squaring up the edges, and keeping them clean with a wire wheel, but when the hole gets too big, they are junk, as you already know. Mine are made out of copper, so I would assume that TIG welding the hole closed with silicon bronze rod or maybe brazing the hole shut with silver solder would work, but you would still need to drill the hole. I am going to try to repair one and I will get back to you.
     
  30. The hole is very small, and trying to drill that is very difficult. Not sure how you could do it economically or even accurately enough that it is improvement over the old worn out tip.
     

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