“Hand” shields vs. “machine” shields: setting torch height

TIL that my Hypertherm900 has a drag shield on it, used for hand cutting.

A drag shield is meant to rest, and be dragged on, the surface of the material. So the drag shield sets the torch height at 0.060” when it’s resting on the material (via those three tall flat bits). So, I realized I was setting 0.120” by using the 0.060” shim with this shield. I had a bit of a problem with dross as a result. Off to the lathe to cut this one down 0.060”!

There is a “machine” shield for my unit, but it’s a special order part. Who has time for that? Anyway, I thought I’d share my head slap here as I stumble slowly forward in the plasma realm. There are “hand” shields and “machine” shields. I’m sure many knew this. Only today am I among them. :slight_smile:


Hypertherm part # 120602

Good catch! We have a Hypertherm 1000 that’s very similar to your 900. Great machine, cuts very well. We installed the Duramax retrofit torch on ours. The consumable life is excellent.

The retrofit kit is the way to go, the refined consumables will bet quite a bit more life. And there’s also a long life electrode that will far outlast the conventional one. Every arc start shortens the life.

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