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  1. #1
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    Default thermal dynamics pak master 50xl

    does anyone have opinions or experience on these? there's one for sale on craigslist in my area listed at $500. from what i can see that model appears to be 10+ years old but from the pictures the unit seems to be in good shape. i know that technology in torches and consumables has been one of the biggest changes in recent years, so i'm curious how this model would be. it looks like it's a 1/2" rated 3/4" severance model, which will cover most all of my needs. i've got a 50a circuit wired in the shop, so i assume that is more than enough - i can't find anything about what the maximum draw is.

  2. #2
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    Iseki TA 247. Husqvarna 54", Cub Zero Turn.Polaris 850 ATV's Stihl 018 026 Pro, 029, 034 Super AV, 039, 044 Mag. Stihl Pole Saw.

    Default Re: thermal dynamics pak master 50xl

    The XL series were very good units. You will want to ask if it has a Sure-Loc torch on it. It should. Or it may have been upgraded to the 1-torch of today. Many have been converted because the main problem with all brands is that when the torch goes, It's expensive to replace. If it has the Sure-loc torch it will be a High Frequency start. May mess with a computer or CNC if you have one on the same circuit. If it has been converted to the 1-torch, It will not be HF start. Good Luck.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: thermal dynamics pak master 50xl

    my question now is one that i'll probably regret asking because i think it's going to be a matter of opinion and luck, and i'll apologize in advance if i create too much trouble...

    i've been looking at a plasma cutter for the last couple of years, and this unit is close to what i'm looking for, though it may not have all of the features i'd like. i've looked at the hypertherm 45 for many reasons: good brand reputation for service and support, supposedly great consumable cost/life per use, and it operates in the range of material that i'm usually working with. the main drawbacks that have kept me from purchasing one are the $1500 price and the fact that i still have torches. the price is not at all unreasonable, but this is mainly for personal use and i still have a year or more left on my last oxy/acetylene contract, but the increasing cost of gases is making me lean toward the plasma sooner. i still have a 20cf oxy & mc acteylene setup that i can use when i need to heat or cut away from the shop, so the large gas bottles aren't too important.

    i used to work for a large fabrication company, and i've seen the wonders of cnc cutting, and i've had some ideas of building a small cnc plasma setup when i get a plasma unit. the thermal dynamics unit or a comparable imported cutter are both likely to be high frequency start, which seems to be an issue with cnc computer systems, though i don't have any experience to know whether that can be dealt with or not. at the $500 or less price point, i think i could live with that issue since it will likely be a while before i got a cnc setup working anyways. i could always sell and get a bigger unit then, since i'm going to be severely limited on pierce capability anyways.

    i'm looking at this unit and the price is pretty much the same price as a new imported plasma cutter that operates in the same material range. i understand some people have a great bias against imported equipment, and some of it is probably justified, and some if it is not. i hate to single out any one manufacturer or product, but the everlast supercut 50p looks to provide pretty much the same specs as the 50xl, and at about the same cost. the difference is that one is new and the other is 10-15 years old. i assume the 50xl must have retailed in the $1000-$1500 range when new. i'm also assuming that if a circuit board or other part inside were to go it could likely cost me $500 to repair it, if parts were even available. a new imported unit will at least have a warranty so i'm likely to have a few good years with no trouble, and maybe a lot longer. based on stated weights, i'm assuming the thermaldyne is a transformer and the everlast is an inverter? is there likely to be any lifespan difference here?

    all this said, is there a good valid reason to go with the much older name brand if the prices are the same? as i said, it's probably luck and opinion, but is there anything i haven't already thought of here?

  4. #4
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    Default Re: thermal dynamics pak master 50xl

    I repair welders and plasma cutters for a living. I don't know anything about the imports that are talked about all the time here but the packmaster xl series were very good units. The problem is it is too old if anything goes wrong with it. By that I mean major parts are no longer available or more expensive than you will want to pay. That said it may work just fine for a long time. It would be a $500 gamble. I wouldn't buy it with out at least being able to make about 20 6" cuts on 3/8" plate to warm it up good, make sure the fans run quiet and make sure nothing is going to act up.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: thermal dynamics pak master 50xl

    500 is a good price for a unit like that. Probably is fair given its age. I'd do as walsh says, take yourself a 3/8 x 6" x 24" piece of steel and cut it to ribbons to test it before you buy it. Tell the guy you will give him 30 bucks for consumables and time if you don't like it.

    Aside from that, an inverter based foreign machine is pretty tempting as well, especially with the warranty.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: thermal dynamics pak master 50xl

    I have a Pakmaster 50 I got as a gift, used w/out any externals like torch cables, powr cord etc. I have never used a PC before but have been looking forward to this, as I have seen the wonders these remarkable machines are capable of doing. I can make a power connect, no problem, but that won't solve my lack of the remaining stuff I need to even determine if this actually works, or is a boat anchor. As a retired (no $) individual, I am unwilling to simply go out and buy a torch and cable set up for $500, then discover the thing does't work. So if I make up a power cord, plug it in to my 220 circuit and it lights up and whatever else it does to indicate it's up and ready, that's a good thing right? I got that part OK. But suppose then I hook up all else needed to actually cut something and nothing happens? I am certainy not nearly experienced enough to do much more than basic maintenence and care taking around here at Rancho Deluxe. To do do more, I would need to know more. And if that were so, I likely wouldn't be bothering all of you good people here with my strange questions. I talked w/ myguy at weldoing supply and tank refill and he said there wasn't much he could do since they don't have 220 at the store. What? A retail sales welding
    store (selling everything) doesn't have 220? Maybe they use a generator off the shelf to demo other offered items for buying (potential) customers? Smells like bad pudding to me but what do I know? I am not in any way ready to part with asubstantial lump of cash to have some semi techie bench test my Pakmaster, if he actually knows how to do that. Sorry to come at you all with so much on my odebut, but I just can't help myself. That's how I found you all. Thanks everyone, Oggy

  7. #7
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    Default Re: thermal dynamics pak master 50xl

    You will need the Torch. The lights may turn on when you plug it in but this 50XL is a HF start unit that has a seperate HF board. It can fail on it's own and the machine will do everything except fire when the trigger is pulled. You can find a used torch on E-bay and if the machine don't work, You can re-coup most or all of your money re-selling it. I wish i had the 50XL for parts.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: thermal dynamics pak master 50xl

    i noticed this thread had been resurrected, and since i started it, i had to look.

    if it were me, this is what i would do in your situation: first, find out what torches it will operate with. after that, post on some other welding sites looking for someone who has a plasma cutter with a compatible torch that lives local to you. hopefully you can find someone within driving distance that has one and will test out your unit for you. Offer to take him out for a cup of coffee, lunch, a beer, or whatever afterwards. would be a good way to find out if yours is worth buying a torch for instead of gambling. you'll also meet someone new who could turn out to be a good resource.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: thermal dynamics pak master 50xl

    [QUOTE=lostcause;3110356]i noticed this thread had been resurrected, and since i started it, i had to look.

    Did you get the 50xl or did you get something else ??

  10. #10
    Veteran Member jimgerken's Avatar
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    Default Re: thermal dynamics pak master 50xl

    Why not drive to your local dealer and have them plug a torch into and test it for you? If its a wreck perhaps they would still trade it in on something you want. If it works, buy at least something from them. Just a thought, thats what brick and mortar stores are for, real customer service. I know, its an outdated idea.

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