I've noticed that I seem to be going through less consumables than I used to. It used to be, whenever there was a problem, and it wasn't cutting all the way through, I'd replace the electrode and nozzle, even after I may have replaced one or the other not too much earlier. I'd be cutting and didn't like the quality, so I'd replace either or from time to time. I felt like I was going through more consumables than I should have been.
Now, when I have an issue, I make sure to zero out the height of the machine (it seems I wasn't doing this and when changing material thickness, the ohmic sensor wouldn't properly work if I didn't "zero Y axis on next cut").
The other thing I do, is replace consumables as a set only. When say going from 45a nozzles to 65a nozzles, I pull the nozzle and electrode out at the same time and put them in the 45a nozzle bin and put the 65a nozzle and electrode in. When after verifying the machine settings and air supply, then and only then do I replace the nozzle/electrode as a set.
So when I want to go from 65a to fine tip, I'll keep the 65a nozzle/electrode set together until the electrode is pretty much trash. At that point I'll get out a new set.
It may not be the best way, but it's what I do now, and I seem to be using less consumables though I'm cutting more... that and not doing bonehead things like putting a 10 gauge sheet on thinking it's 11 ga. or something. I now also have a little sheet metal gauge checker I keep by the cutter at all times. With all this, i seem to have a lot less scrap/consumable use. Anyone who has been cutting much probably already knows this, but for someone starting out, this is what I have learned to help save money.
Information on plasma cutting nozzles, electrodes, and other consumables.
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