Tips, Tricks & News
Save your knees with the Revco SmashPad Flame Resistant Welding Mat 0
We'll be the first to admit that we were a little skeptical about this project when it was introduced to us by our friends at Revco (Black Stallion), but we've had nothing but great feedback from welders working in tough environments looking for a way to save their knees from damage while on the job. This is a great option if you hate wearing kneepads, but don't want to have a knee replacement.
Click here to view the product page: https://shopweldingsupplies.com/products/black-stallion-smashpad-ap3015-rg-flame-resistant-welding-knee-pad-mat
- Matt Hurd
How to Choose Your MIG Welder 0
MIG (or metal inert gas) welding is considered one of the easiest welding processes for beginners to learn (once machine settings are dialed in by a knowledgeable welder). Buying your own gear is a good investment if you want to develop your still and will be welding often. Choosing the right MIG welder for your needs will set you on the path to success.
- Matt Hurd
How to Choose a Plasma Cutter 0
Plasma cutting is growing in popularity as an efficient, increasingly affordable alternative to mechanical cutting tools or oxyacetylene torches. The method uses ionized gas force through a nozzle under pressure and at high velocity, producing the power to cut various types of metal. The plasma heats and melts the metal and blows it away from the workpiece. The result is a cut (though it can also be used to punch holes).
Plasma cutting is a very versatile choice when you need to cut any type of conductive metal. While oxy-fuel solutions are limited to iron and steel, plasma is much more versatile and a good choice for a number of industries (particularly those using thin metals, such as automotive and HVAC). It is also efficient, generating a relatively clean edge requiring little cleanup work, portable, and relatively easy to learn and master.
Plasma Cutter Considerations
When choosing equipment, determine your needs based on your workflow and the materials you’ll be cutting.
1. Material Thickness
What types of materials will you be working with, and how thick? Heavy-duty plasma cutters can manage material thicknesses just over 2”, but if you’ll be working with lighter gauges, it is likely unnecessary to buy a more powerful (and costly) model. If you’ll be working with ferrous metals that are significantly thicker, oxyacetylene will be the necessary method.
2. Cut Quality
Simply choosing to work with plasma arc cutting means you’ll have less work to do after severing your material. The process clears away debris during the cut, leaving a relatively smooth edge. It also doesn’t produce the curling effect common with some light materials and other cutting methods. Even if edge finishing doesn’t matter as much in your project, the method still has its benefits for quick jobs, especially with the reduced curling and warping.
3. Durability and Reliability
As you make the investment in plasma cutting equipment, you’re looking for a machine you’ll be able to work with for a long time, in order to justify the investment and reduce downtime. Reliable time-tested equipment from a well-known brand, and manufactured with high standards, is in order.
4. Continuous Use
How you use your plasma cutter greatly impacts which model you should select. Brief stints? Hours on end? Longer use throughout the day, as well as longer, slow cutting mean you should select machinery with a higher duty cycle so it can handle continuous cutting without overheating. And if speed is important, you’ll need adequate amperage to handle the material. A rule of thumb is to choose a plasma cutting machine capable of cutting twice the thickness you ordinarily work with. (For example, 1” if you regularly cut ½”).
The most important expenses associated with a plasma cutter are:
- Initial equipment investment
- Consumable costs (versus how long they last)
Choose a machine that uses relatively few consumables that last a good amount of time to reduce operating costs.
Consider Hypertherm Powermax
Considering all the important aspects in choosing a plasma cutter, the ideal solution is a reliable machine with long consumable life and available in a variety of models to meet specific workflows (material thickness and length of usage). Hypertherm, one of the largest manufacturers of plasma cutters, offers a full line of Powermax plasma cutters to cover an array of use scenarios, and is well regarded for excellent reliability and consumable parts life. Check out the models we carry, and take your plasma cutting work to the next level.
- Matt Hurd
Do I need the 215ic or 235ic ESAB Rebel? 0
If you're trying to decide which ESAB rebel machine is right for you, we're here to help! At ShopWeldingSupplies.com, we carry two extremely popular ESAB Rebel machine packages. We've got the ESAB Rebel EMP 215ic as well as the ESAB Rebel EMP 235ic. These are excellent packages that come with just about everything you'd need to get started welding. We've had a lot of customers that are brand-new to welding purchase these machines, and we've also had seasoned welders pick these machines up so we thought it might be helpful for beginners to know why you might need to step up to the 235ic machine.
In short, we think both machines are fantastic, but the main factor is whether or not you're going to need to weld 3/8" material or thicker. If you are, you'll need that extra amperage and spray transfer mode that you'll find in the Rebel 235ic. If everything you're welding is thinner than 3/8", you should be safe getting the formidable ESAB Rebel 215ic.
In addition, we found this excellent video from Ian Johnson over at ESAB that discusses this topic as well:
- Matt Hurd
Which Portable Welder? Dewalt DCW100K vs. Fronius AccuPocket 0Your welding job can’t always come to you, but when you have to go to it, it’s not always practical to transport heavy and bulky gear. Thanks to battery-operated technology, you now have the option to carry a powerful portable stick/MMA and TIG welder—and save yourself an aching back.
- Matt Hurd
Introducing Santa's Welding Wonderland: 25 Days of Savings 0Each day, a new welding, safety or janitorial item will be featured on our 25 days of savings Santa's Welding Wonderland event! Be sure to check out our social media pages and our homepage every day to save $$ on the supplies you need.
Starting on December 1st, we'll announce a new discounted item on our website. Happy Holidays!
- Matt Hurd