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"I especially like that you share your how to approach to your own discovery process ...."
--David Searl, artist/architect, Weatherford, Texas

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Tools for the Studio, Part 3

The Voice: Hey, Kevin. What do you have there?

Kevin Caron: Another important tool in my studio. In keeping with this series of how-to videos on how, and in what order, I acquired my metal working tools, this one changed the way I do my work as a metal artist.

For the longest time I was using the oxygen acetylene cutting torch for all my steel cuts; that or a hacksaw. I had a little cut-off blade on my little 4-inch grinder for awhile. Then I broke down and bought a plasma cutter. Do you know what a plasma cutter is?

The Voice: No.

Kevin Caron: This is the plasma cutter that I bought to replace the oxygen acetylene rig. I still keep that for bending, or if I've got really thick steel to cut. But this will work up to about a half inch. It cuts a quarter; it'll shear a half.

The difference between those terms: "cut" is a nice, straight, even, smooth line - you hardly even need the grinder to it; "shear" looks like a chainsaw did it, but you can still clean it up.

That's why I got this machine: to replace the oxygen acetylene. It cuts a thinner kerf, so I waste less metal. It's quicker and easier. It has less heat; I think, because you're cutting in such a fine little area.

It's a very hot little flame, but you cut so quickly. You're not putting that great big flame from the oxygen acetylene on there, so you get a little less warpage off of it.

And that was my next piece of equipment. Let me make a little cut for a contemporary art sculpture that I'm working on over here and we'll move on. [using cutter]

So much easier. See you next time.

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