How To Cut Straight Line When You Don’t Have Drag Tip?
Drag tip plasma cutting is a great way for cutting light and thin metal pieces with precision. However, for thicker steel and higher amperage cutting, the slag build up can be an issue especially on the consumables. Though this technique is user friendly, the limited visual of the actual arc can be somewhat a hassle for experienced welders. So how does the professionals do it if they don’t have a drag tip, especially when cutting a straight line?
In the following demonstration video, Michael will show you the exact step by step instruction he used to cut a straight line on his metal plate with a plasma cutter. In case you don’t know who Michael is, he is an instructor from the Georgia Trade School teaching welding and fabricating so I guess we can all agree that he is fairly qualified in doing what he is about to show you here. Check it out.
Michael made a valid point of using a welding hood of at least a shade 6 or higher when operating a plasma. The one he used in the video was suitable for this operation because it actually has a torch setting of shade 6. By the way, did anyone notice he also wore a sunglasses? Perhaps for extra protection? Well…in terms of safety, one can never be too safe no matter what kind of machinery you’re operating. Always better to be safe than sorry!
He goes on to show us the metal work piece which is 4 x 10 1/4 that he has marked and measured out with a tape measurer. Next, you will need to prepare a long piece of straight angle which Michael had already cut up earlier and clamp it down with at least 1 clamp on each end tight next to the work piece, leaving a slight gap in between the marked line and the angle. You want this angle piece to be of 90 degrees angle and set it so that when the plasma cutter torch is pushed against it, the tip will be at the center of the line.
Basically you are only using the angle piece as a guide or a reference to support your handheld torch and prevent your hands from being shaky, which we all know what the end result will be like. This is no doubt a simple, quick and effective way to cut a straight line using a plasma cutter and we thank Michael for showing us this clear and concise video. So there you have it people, if your machine or if you’re not the type who like using a drag tip, then this is a great method that you may consider when doing your cutting for a straight edge finish.