Hypertherm Powermax 65 | Forum

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UnderhillForge Curmudgeon
I just picked up a Hypertherm Powermax 65 today, seems to be a nice machine, definitely a lot lighter than my old Thermal Dynamics. I've been hearing a lot about Hypertherm's customer support and advances in technology being top notch so I decided spending a bit more (about $1000 more than an equivalent Lincoln cutter) was worth it. Just in the process of setting up the machine but after I get a few cuts under my belt I'll post my impressions. The end goal with this machine is to eventually add it to a CNC table and I'm leaning towards building my own, however in the meantime since I went with the handheld torch I can still make use of the machine around the shop for whatever I need.


-J

UnderhillForge Curmudgeon
First impressions, I'm happy with the unit. After getting everything set up, I did a test cut on some 4140 0.625" scrap I had laying around at 65 amps. My first go was a little slow and promptly damaged my electrode due to over heating the internal spring. Once I got the speed down the cut was nice. I did an 8" wave cut. I looked at my cut edge and noticed most of my lines were still almost vertical and a few larger puddles of dross underneath. For those of you without a plasma cutter, you don't necessarily want to see lines straight up and down on your cut, that can indicate that you're still moving too slowly. What you're looking for is lines at about a 15 degree angle, this indicates that you're pulling through the cut at a decent speed which should also help minimize dross and keep your edges smooth and flowing. If you can't speed up your cut, opt for a lower amperage tip or setting. Either way, 5/8ths 4140 cut like butter using the preset settings. While the Powermax 65 has it's own regulator controlled by the board inside the machine, you can bypass the presets and dial it in with very specific psi and amps in increments of 1 psi or 1 amp, respectively. I did another test cut on a piece of 0.125" 1095 at 45a on a prototype knife blank design I had sitting on the bench. I could see the benefits of doing it on a CNC table with a machine torch, but by hand it's just not my thing, although I think it will be used to make some steel templates we can keep by the forges for comparisons while doing production runs. All in all I'm happy and I'm sure I'll be glad to have it in the shop even if it doesn't get used every day.


-J

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