How To Make A Homemade Plasma Cutter

How To Make A Homemade Plasma Cutter - When I first started to put together the cutter I started by looking at the parts list.

After that I would go through each of the diagrams of the parts to get acquainted with the various components and parts, then the parts would be arranged.

How To Make A Homemade Plasma Cutter

It was then time to analyze my sketch and then create an outline diagram. 

The diagram for my board layout is the most valuable part for constructing, repairing and altering the process of my cutting machine.

When I started mounting my parts, I divided the boards into 4 sections. 

The sections include power Control as well as High Current DC Low Voltage DC, as well as High Voltage Start.


Power Control

3KVA step down transformer as well as contactor. 

The transformer is mounted on the board due to its size in weight and bulky, as you observe on Section 13. 

The contactor became my initial component that was on my board. 

I wired it in a way that, when the trigger for the head is pulled and the contactor is turned on, it switches on, allowing the DC components to join in line. 

Then I set about another system called High Current DC.

  • High Current DC
  • Bridge Rectifier
  • Large Capacitors

Reed Switch (which I used to measure current) What it does is permit the high-voltage arc system ignite and when the high current begins to flow to the head and cutting begins, it will shut down this high-voltage arc device during cutting, since it's not required at this moment. 

If the fire is cut off, it will restart the arc and get the system back up and running automatically. 

The next system I used was put on the board.

  • Low Voltage DC

The low-voltage DC components are combined along with power switches and 120-volt terminals.

  • Power Switch
  • 120-volt terminal blocks
  • 12 volt transformer
  • Bridge rectifier with low voltage


Auto relays

Terminal strip 4 positions is all I need, however 5 position was the only thing I found in my toybox.


High Voltage Arc Start

Microwave capacitor, also known as run capacitor, which is a household Dimmer switch that can handle 15 amps. 

It is a Ford or Chevy ignition coil. 

I chose the Chevy for this cutter. 

As you can observe, I have terminals to all the parts that have an external connection outside their system, so all I need to do is to run the wire. 

When I wired all my components I made use of the Chevy design diagram of the board in order to wire my wires.

I checked and rechecked the wires prior to mounting any external components. 

If you look in the last wiring section there are images of the rigging I did for the components. 

It could have been done in several ways, but this is the way I went at the moment.

It took me around three hours of delaying to complete the project. 

You've seen it happen with a project. 

When you're finished with all your pieces and your mind is flooded with ideas, it gives you an endless number of possibilities for accomplishing something. 

Then, finally you choose the best option and then go with it.

After I had everything in place I connected my hose to the air tank and set the pressure at 28 for a secure place to begin. 

I started it and a scream! 

That baby did not require any further adjustments. 

This was literally cutting!

Imagine the joy and relief feeling when I saw the plasanator got started to kick me in the back.

I hope that you enjoyed the ride with me on my journey.

Be careful and stay safe. 

There are risks when working using welding tools. 

If you decide to construct such a Plasma Cutter you do so at your own risk.


The Plasma

Parts Pictorial

Parts List

  • 3 switch boxes , covers and cover for switches
  • 2 house switches
  • 1 dimmer switch 15 amp rating
  • 1 Contactor, 40/50 amps rating
  • 1 bridge rectifier 700 volts and 60 amps or more (3 phase is great)
  • 2 electrolytic capacitors that are at or above 350 Volts or 2500 microfarads
  • 1 Transformer 120V primary secondary voltage 12 volts, Rated at 2 amps
  • 1 bridge rectifier with low voltage 50 volts, 25 amp rating
  • 3 universal auto 12 volt dc relays
  • 1 ignition coil for cars, Ford or Chevy
  • 1 microwave capacitor or any other run capacitor, at a minimum of 120 volts from 1 to 15 microfarads
  • 1 squeeze clamp, similar to the jumper cable clamp to work clamp
  • 1 Reed Switch, 12 Volt 1 amp rating Wrap 5 times of 10 gauge strands around it, secure it by zip ties or tape
  • 1 air valve, 120 volt
  • 1 Air filter regulator (plumb to begin working on the set-up)
  • 1 plasma head, with two pin leads that are rated between 30 and 80 amps

1.120 volt fan for cooling, similar to the ones in computers or microwave. 

Great to cool a large rectifier (optional)

1 5500 watt 220 volt water heater element. 

Make use of two in parallel to get more amps or when you are using a 220 volt system.

1 step-up/step-down transformer. 

  • 3 kva 240/120 for the best protection
  • Miscellaneous Parts
  • Wire ties
  • various terminal ends
  • various wire nuts
  • electrical tape

plumbing fittings to allow air regular setup.

Your setup may differ from mine.

approximately 10 '' of 16/14 gauge wire 12-foot of polyproelene tubing 1/8'' of tip wire cover

approximately 12 feet of 10 gauge strands

1 . Large paper clip to connecting the wire at tip to tip of plasma head

3/8 plastic tubing is used for head hose connections to separate from electrode.

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