Harbor Freight Plasma Cutter? - Vintage Mustang Forums

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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-15-2017, 12:31 PM Thread Starter
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Harbor Freight Plasma Cutter?

Hey gang. It's been a while since I have been on here. Work and side business has gotten in the way of progress. Anyway, has anyone used one of the plasma cutters from Harbor Freight? It appears I am going to need have to do a Thoroughbred GT floor/frame assembly for the Fastback and from what I hear the plasma will make quick work of cutting out the old assembly.

Thoughts, suggestions?

'65 A Code Fastback 2+2 (Late Father's car)
'67 S-Code 4 speed Coupe
'90 LX Coupe 5.0 5 speed ***SOLD***

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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-15-2017, 02:08 PM
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There's this thread: Home Depot Plasma Cutter
And a better one:
plasma cutter recommendations?
I've been looking at buying the dual voltage arc start one that runs about $500. I don't actually need it until this summer so I've been putting off buying one.
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-15-2017, 02:13 PM
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I bought my plasma cutter from Eastwood: Versa Cut 60 Plasma Cutter | Plasma Cutter | Eastwood
It has been an indispensable tool in my garage and has made a ton of cuts on my '68 coupe. I would definitely recommend this one to anyone looking for an affordable plasma cutter.
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-15-2017, 02:37 PM
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That was my thread- I bought mine from Home Depot online and couldn't be happier!! I've used the crap out of it and I'm kicking myself for not buying one a long time a go. I just used it a couple night ago to hot axe out the front suspension on a '66 F100 frame in prep for a Crown Vic front end. What I did in an hour would have taken 3-4X that long with a grinder and sawzall. I then fabbed up new radius arm brackets- scratched them up on plate steel and cut them out with the plasma, again saving tons of time. I blew out 8 frame rivits in under 5 minutes -grinding and drilling would have taken hours. The trick is to keep the tip off the steel so you don't burn it out. A bag of consumables was another $50 or so, but I've seen them for about $15 on FleaBay. This unit says it can cut to 3/4" thick, and yes- it does. No problems with mine so far- Huntingky had a loose tip, but I think it was operator error...LOL
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-15-2017, 03:00 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys, I have to save some $$$ now to get one. I can use it on the floor pans of the coupe as well as the fastback. I have to essentially do a complete replacement of the front and rear frame rails as well as the floor and possibly the lower part of the firewall. This was an Ohio car and has not been on the road since the early 80's. Good thing is that everything above the rear wheel arches is good, so I shouldn't need to do full quarters.

GypsyR, are you still in SC?

'65 A Code Fastback 2+2 (Late Father's car)
'67 S-Code 4 speed Coupe
'90 LX Coupe 5.0 5 speed ***SOLD***

DD 2011 F150 crewcab 5.0
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-15-2017, 03:34 PM
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I used a variety of tools to cut body panels...then I used a plasma for a school project...I need one of those in my life now. Once you use one that's it....
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eventually a 1969 Mustang Fastback--been in hibernation since 2011 due to school...
Now the time has come to resurrect her once and for all!
Currently on a body cart with a finished undercarriage.
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-15-2017, 05:48 PM
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So 5 responses and still no actual answer to the question asked.


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67 coupe with 5.0 and C4 (Viper GTS Blue, paint code PBE, since everybody asks)
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-15-2017, 06:21 PM
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Buy tools, harbor freight should never come into the equation. And while some have bought off brand and have enjoyed some success, I would suggest buying a name brand and you are guaranteed working unit that won't let you down.
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-15-2017, 06:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lizer View Post
So 5 responses and still no actual answer to the question asked.
The OP did ask for thoughts/suggestions. He's getting suggestions from members who have used plasma cutters other than the Harbor Freight brand.
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I've started a blog about my car and adventures: http://65mustangfun.blogspot.com/

1965 Fastback, 289, Toploader 4 Speed, owned by me since June 1980. Originally a C-code with a C-4. 5R09C16****
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-15-2017, 07:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lizer View Post
So 5 responses and still no actual answer to the question asked
Guessing you didn't read the threads I linked to.
(Complains about posts being unhelpful in a post which is also unhelpful, oy.)

Yes, still in SC.
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Last edited by GypsyR; 02-15-2017 at 07:42 PM.
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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-15-2017, 11:11 PM
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Originally Posted by GypsyR View Post
Guessing you didn't read the threads I linked to.
(Complains about posts being unhelpful in a post which is also unhelpful, oy.)

Yes, still in SC.
Did you read the threads you linked to? Because I was actively participating in them. And there wasn't a lot of talk of a Harbor Freight plasma cutter.

I'd be interested to know somebody's thoughts on their HF plasma cutter, primarily because I wouldn't let one 50 feet within my shop unless I heard some absolutely glowing (no pun intended) reviews.


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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-15-2017, 11:59 PM
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Score a technical win for Lizer.
I wouldn't even consider the one from HF at all because it's more expensive than a bit better one from Home Depot which actual people on this forum have found to be decent machines. Better?
$679 for a 40 amp pilot arc 240 volt machine or $433 for a 50 amp pilot arc machine that can run on 240 or 120 volts. I wouldn't be surprised if they came from the same Chinese factory but $246 for less machine from Harbor Freight? No way in hades, it's not even in the running. HF has some darn good deals, but not in this case. It's have to be 50% off before I'd even consider it. Hence the steering towards Home Depot.
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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-16-2017, 08:09 AM
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My boss has the HF plasma cutter. He used it when he restored his 65 fastback. He loves it. He said it works great . He even brought it to work to cut out a SS counter in the kitchen. No issues.

Tom

I'm not a complete idiot, pieces are missing.
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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-16-2017, 08:32 AM
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That was my thread- The trick is to keep the tip off the steel so you don't burn it out. A bag of consumables was another $50 or so, but I've seen them for about $15 on FleaBay. This unit says it can cut to 3/4" thick, and yes- it does. No problems with mine so far- Huntingky had a loose tip, but I think it was operator error...LOL
lol....they did send me a new handle. I did some experimenting around and decided to try out the first one with the loose tip. It would work but was hard to start out smooth because the tip would move forward just a little bit when you start out and close up the gap. I have found it to be very handy, I really, really wish I had had it when I was cutting out the floor pans, shock towers and quarters. I tried it out on some of the pieces I had cut out with disc and sawzall and it cut through like a dream. I still need to get my settings fine tuned for the thicker stuff....or get a little more patient and give it time to cut.

Coyote build in 65 GT Fastback on the rotisserie
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66 Emberglow Coupe first car,71 Torino GT, 82 Fastback slooooow 6 banger, 71 Boss 351, 85 GT all long gone
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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-16-2017, 08:45 AM
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lol....they did send me a new handle. I did some experimenting around and decided to try out the first one with the loose tip. It would work but was hard to start out smooth because the tip would move forward just a little bit when you start out and close up the gap. I have found it to be very handy, I really, really wish I had had it when I was cutting out the floor pans, shock towers and quarters. I tried it out on some of the pieces I had cut out with disc and sawzall and it cut through like a dream. I still need to get my settings fine tuned for the thicker stuff....or get a little more patient and give it time to cut.

It's pretty easy isn't it! The trick to the thicker stuff is to crank up the dial and angle the cut back towards the direction you started from- that way the slag doesn't pool up ahead of your cut. BTW- did you melt off the goofy 'stand off' spring on the tip yet?? LOL! It helped get a feel for it at first, but it's much easier without it now..
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