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How to Gouge With a Plasma Cutter



Kevin is about to do some metal gouging.

Why would you want to gouge something? With metal, it might be to take a weld off of two pieces of metal such as when you want to remove a weld from the bottom of an angle bracket. You can just gouge that weld out. If you have a piece of metal that's welded together in a butt weld, you can also gouge that weld out. It's just removing a weld or removing steel.

To show how to gouge with a plasma cutter, Kevin is going to use the ESAB Cutmaster 60i “beast” of a plasma cutter. He’s going to cut a channel in a piece of 5/8” steel that he had marked out. He is going to gouge it out halfway, then poke a hole through one end as if he were going to lay a wire or cable in it.

Before Kevin can do that, though, he has to change the tip and cap. He unscrews the cap that’s on the Cutmaster 60i, removes the cutting nozzle, pulls off a ring and pulls out the electrode. It's a nice new electrode, so it'll still work for gouging - there's no difference in them. He puts the electrode back in and its cap over it.

Next, Kevin puts on a gouging nozzle, which has a bigger orifice in the end of tip than the standard nozzle. Then he puts on the gouging cap, which is obviously different than the standard cap he had been using. Last he adds an additional ring that screws in on top of the cap. That recesses the tip down inside the cap.

Kevin sets the plasma cutter at 40 amps so doesn't have quite as much heat coming off the end of it - he doesn't want to blast all the way through just yet. He has his safety glasses and other welding safety equipment and has set up a backstop for all the sparks are going to be created. Then he warns viewers: "Remember, I've never done this before. So you're learning with me."

Kevin gouges the 5/8" steel easily. "That's not bad for a first timer," he says, "but I think I can do better. Let's take another whack at it." He goes through the channel again, weaving slightly. The channel looks cleaner, but, he says, "Practice does make better or perfect." He likes the look and thinks about using the tip to actually sculpt something.

Now he has his channel gouged out, it's time to cut the hole that a wire might feed through. Kevin uses the ESAB plasma cutter to cut a nice square hole in the end. "That's for all of us round pegs in the world," he says.

Kevin is impressed with the machine. But all this talk of gouging has made him think of gorging, and now he's hungry and ready for lunch. He reminds viewers to subscribe to see more free how-to videos, and this is a good time to learn more about this "beast" of a plasma cutter.

Well, you might want to stick around for another moment and see him face the harsh realities of creating videos ....


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