Big dreams little shop in VT

Hello all! I am in VT. Admittedly and sadly… i have never used a cnc machine or a plasma cutter…I am curiously considering a cnc through langmuir and have been trying to find the right plasma cutter. I am a small metalworks shop and am thinking the 2x2 model might be the right size for me, but its the plasma machine that has me confused. I was looking at langmuirs compatible list and noticed some plasma machines come with air compressors built in, but i am struggling to find one compatible for cnc. Does anyone have one? Any recommendations? I looked into hypertherm 30 air, which is listed on langmuirs site, but confirmed with hypertherm its not cnc compatible…am i just headed down the wrong path and should just consider an air compressor? My shop currently only runs 110v so i was thinking one less machine to plug in, smaller footprint a combined plasma cutter with compressor would be a good idea…no?
Thanks
-MatsMetal

Welcome to The Forum.

You’re going to have a really hard time doing actual work with your limited power supplied to the shop.

What thicknesses of material do you plan on cutting and in what kind of quantities?

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Welcome to the forum.
As @TinWhisperer says, it takes a lot of power to produce a good plasma cut, 120 volt is just too anemic to do a good job on anything but thin metal. Also, you need lots of dry air. A plasma cutter with built-in air might do a quick cut off a rod or plate, but you won’t be making patterns with one, the duty cycle will be way too low.

It’s good that you’re asking these questions before you start building out. You need to assess what you want to make and let us know. Lots of good support on this forum will provide plenty of guidance.

Where in VT? I love the Green Mountain state!

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Looking to cut mostly 16 guage sheet metal, the occasional 1/4 in plate steel or rebar, i do not foresee needing to cut anything larger than 5/8 inch for thickness. Quantities for sheet metal would be lots of small cuts…as an example i was looking to cut lots of metal petal shapes out of 16 guage.

I really do appreciate the feedback! I am in washington county (central VT) i love the green mountain state!

Personally I think you are going to need more power in your shop.

You might be able to do some cutting on the 16 ga using 110 but you may not get the best results. 1/4 inch and 5/8 are definitely out of the question.

I dont know what Plasma cutter you are looking at but if you reference the specs for the Primeweld Cut60 (because it is the machine I am using, I have the specs handy… and it is a dual voltage machine).

Rated output at 110V is 20- 30 amps with 100% duty cycle at 23 amps 60% duty cycle at max rating(30 amps)

Primeweld’s recommended feed and speed rates for cutting 16 ga is 30 amps at 110 ipm

That being the case you would need to either go down to 23 amps and find a speed that works or you as running at 30 amps you may run into your duty cycle.

There may be machines that perform better on 110 then the CUT60 but I really don’t think I would plan on doing CNC plasma cutting on 110 V.

You will also be allot happier with a larger compressor. I used a smaller compressor for a couple of cuts(6 cfm) until I was able to get my larger compressor up and running. Using a small compressor will cause you issues. The minimum cfm for the Cut60 is 5cfm at 80 psi but you really need double that to do CNC plasma. The best cfm I have seen out of a 110 air compressor is 6 cfm and most are 5 or less. The trouble with operating at the minimum cfm is that it is difficult to the the clean dry air you need for plasma cutting.

Personally I haven’t done any plasma cutting with 110 power, there may be some people on here that have and have had good results… if there are any hopefully they will chime in and set me straight.

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As for the plasma cutter. Stay away from the Lincoln machines. I bought the Tomahawk 1000 at $2600 and found out could not get it to work because it has a 20 second post air that is hard wired into the machine even though it was on Langmuirs recommended list, so cutting stops between cut loops due to this. Ended up buying a Hypertherm 45 which works great.

@72Pony May i ask what your running for a compressor?

I have a 5hp pump with a 60 gallon tank and a 20 gallon tank… kinda a Frankenstein. Cobbled it together from old compressors from my dads farm.

The pump is from harbor freight

Welcome to the forum!! Personally and pretty sure most people here will agree you really need to get your shop up 240 volts as you will be severly limited in what yiu can do. Also being at 120 volt then you alos have to lokk at how many amos hou have available at 120 volts. Then factor in table, cutter, compressor, lights etc. You will probably find yourself very underpowered at 120 volts.

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If you wont be plasma cutting often, maybe a generator could get you the power you need when you want to cut? A new 9000 watt generator from Harbor Freight with 240 outlet runs about $900. Maybe you already have a genny, or can find one for a reasonable price.

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Hey Mat
you have 240V in your panel you just have to run a circuit to use it. Check and see what size main breaker you have in you electrical panel that will shed some light on you limitations.

If it’s a standard, code approved sub-panel, that would be true. But we don’t know how his shop is wired. Could be just 10/2 Romex.

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In this part of the country there are still houses that don’t have 240V at the panel never mind shops or out buildings. Knob and tube wiring and old style fuses are not unusual. More information would make this easier for people to give advice. I don’t think I’d invest in plasma cutting unless I had enough power to at least run a smallish plasma cutter on 240 volts.

Scott I did not know there were homes in the US that did not have 240V split phase. You are correct the OP would need to supply more info.
I was just going with the norm in my area

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LOL! I removed a lot of that from my house in Maine when I rewired it in 2010. But even now, this house has only 100A service and only a 30A subpanel in the garage. No plasma cutting here!

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It is easy to thibk all homes have enough power to them but surprisingly there is a significant number of older homes that have like 100 amp panels. I thibk some old old ones only had 60 amp. But pretty much all new homes will typically have 200 amp service.

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So good news have a 200amp panel and i believe i have space to run 240 to garage. Better news i know a master electrician that will help me out in exchange for sandwhiches and beer :slight_smile: …i have been looking at plasma cutters and came across the lotus vs primeweld…anyone familiar enough with why Lotus supreme LTP5500DCNC has two CNC ports but primeweld cut 60 has 1?
Attached screenshots below? Wondering if this allows you to do more with the Lotus???

Heres the other one…

If you are a budget, go with the primeweld or Everlast. No budget purchase Hypertherm.

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