• Introduction to Damascus

    Damascus - the ancient art of folding iron to make steel, with delicate watermarks like woodgrain. This is a one day introductory course, suitable to beginners,  where you will make your own 180 layered billet that you keep  for use in future projects. Read More
  • Damascus Knifemaking

    This intensive three day weekend course immerses you in the world of Pattern Welded or Damascus steel. You will learn techniques in welding, folding and patterning beautiful and unique steel. We'll be using a hydraulic power press and rolling mill to make the welds and draw down the billets. You will then make two knives with the steel. Read More
  • Bladesmithing and Knifemaking

    Always wanted to make a knife but didn't know where to begin? This extensive weekend workshop will give you the opportunity not only to learn these skills, but to put them into practice making two hand forged knives of your own. We will show you techniques, tools and hints on how to get started making your own knives. Read More
  • Folding Knives

    The black art of folding knives. Creating a folding knife adds a level of complexity and precision to knife making. Learn about a few of the common mechanisms used locking and non locking folding knives before going onto making your own single blade slip joint folder. Read More
  • Knife Sharpening

    A sharp knife is much safer than a blunt one. It cuts cleanly and does not slip, causing fewer accidents. Yet most people don’t know how to sharpen a knife and keep it sharp. This evening course  shows you the secrets of getting and maintaining a fine edge. Knife care and storage will also be covered to ensure your knife stays sharp. Read More
  • Longbow Making

    In this comprehensive weekend long workshop you will fashion a longbow of sustainable Australian hardwood and beautiful bamboo, custom crafted to your own specifications. You will learn the theory, science and art of turning dead timber into dynamic and fearsome longbows. You will also learn how to craft bowstrings, and if you don't already know - be introduced to the rewarding pursuit of shooting a longbow. Read More
  • Japanese Kitchen Knives

    Japanese kitchen knives have distinct elegance in both form and function. In this intensive weekend course you will build two traditional style Japanese kitchen knives. Options include hammer finished or polished blades, chisel grind or V grind and a variety of handles choices. These blades will provide you with years of excellent service in your kitchen. Read More
  • Kamisori - Japanese Razors

    Traditional Japanese straight razors, Kamisori, have been used for centuries to provide an outstanding shave. Their off-set hollow ground blade make a very keen edge. This one day course takes you theough the process of making two kamisori as well as cases and a strop. Read More
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multiplaz08The Multiplaz 3500 is a new kind of plasma machine from Russia that has some interesting potential for knifemakers. What is unique about the machine is that it welds, cuts, brazes and heats using only electricity, water and sometimes alcohol (metho). There are no other gasses used, saving a significant amount in consumables and running costs. It is light portable and versatile in its application. It can replace three separate machines in the workshop - oxy/acetalyene torch, welder and plasma cutter.

This is the first in a series of articles reviewing the Multiplaz 3500 - Unboxing.

I bought the Multiplaz 3500 from Fisher Discounts in Canberra, which is the sole supplier in Australia. One of their very keen staff members spotted it in a trade show overseas, brought it back in her hand luggage and the spent two years getting permissions to import these to Australia. They have only been on sale since October 2010 and going as fast as they can be imported. Mine was on special for $2350 (RRP is currently $2495, but is likely to go up in the future), which is about the price of a decent plasma cutter.

Opening the box

Mine been opened by the courier and then resealed (everything was intact). What surprised me on opening the box that there was minimal packing and the unit was neatly packed in its carry bag. The bag is a robust design, with pockets for everything and easy to carry. The full bag weighs in at only 9kg, making it easy to move around.

What is included

The Multiplaz 3500 comes with a full range of accessories, plus some generous spares to keep you going. There are no additional bits to buy, it is complete, something of a rarity with tools these days. The pieces seem well through through and well made. There is one odd looking tool that can take apart every part of the torch.

  • Power Supply - this automatically works on between 110V and 253V. It comes with a 15A plug, but the unit only draws 9.8A so can be used on a normal house hold supply.
  • 2 x Torches - to save you getting the two "fuels" mixed up, two torches are supplied. One for welding (which takes a water/metho mix) and one for cutting (which takes only water). They are identical except for some labelling on the side.
  • Protective tip
  • Combination wrench - which takes everything apart
  • Filler holder - for welding filling rods
  • Syringe  - to fill the torch with water or water/metho combination. 50ml water lasts about 30 minutes of cutting
  • 2 Torch holders
  • Plunger
  • Mode II Wire clamp
  • Specialised Graphite Lubricant
  • Ball support - for cutting along a guide
  • Support
  • Compass - for cutting small holes
  • Clamp bracket
  • Spare parts box - Nice little box with spares for the torches 
    • 2 Cathode assemblies
    • 3 Quartz tubes
    • 5 Cathodes
    • 6 Nozzles (with different sized holes)
    • 2 Springs
    • 1.1 drill bit for drilling holes in the nozzels
  • Case - Everything goes in
  • Operating manual - not too bad, with clear instructions and tables
  • DVD - really good and clear on how to use the Multiplaz 3500

See the gallery below for pics of the contents

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  • multiplaz10

Part two of the review is here.  Also have a look at these videos on youtube

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Npg3Mn2x450

 

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tb2wRSw-Ylg

 

Workshop Tutorials

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  • Knife Vice MKII tutorial

    Mark II of our knife vice is much stronger and easier to adjust, thanks to some nice knurls with M10 threads. Simple to make - a strong piece of angle iron, a scrap of 10mm flat bar, 200mm of rectangular section, an M10 nut (or what ever suits your bolt), a
    Read More
  • How to re-handle a knife

    I spend a lot of time re-handling knives that have not been looked after. The most common form of abuse is the dishwasher. The harsh chemicals, hot water and steam will crack a plastic or wooden handle over time. It also corrodes the rivets used in fixing the handle slabs
    Read More
  • Gas Forge Usage

    Some thoughts on using the LPG (propane) forge, is it not meant to be a definitive guide and it is to be used at your own risk.
    Read More
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