• Travis Gillin

After Cut Cleanup, Removing Dross

One of the major downsides to plasma cutting is the cleanup work that can be required after cutting. No matter how perfect you have your cutting recipe there's bound to be some dross some where on the part! But luckily there's a few tricks that can make this non-labor intensive.

First things first, If you don't have a water table, stock up on 40 Grit flapper discs and keep a spare angle grinder handy for when your other one overheats and melts... When cutting without water, the molten metal that results from the plasma arc piercing the work material has time to cool and really weld itself back to the work piece pretty well. Sometimes you can chip it off with a hammer and chisel but most of it will likely need to be ground away.

If you have a water table, watch this illustration below where I make easy work of cleaning up this part cut out of 1/4" HRS plate. I'm using a piece of square bar stock that has been hammered on to get a nice mushroomed head but a piece of scrap with some weight to it and a good edge will do just fine. After all the dross is chipped off, I sometimes like to hit the sharp edges with an 80 grit flapper disc. Really just depends on what the part is for. On thin sheet metal parts, I find a quick way to remove the dross is to tap the back side of the part against some smooth concrete or something nice and hard, you would be surprised at how much grind time this saves you!

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