Sorry to hear about your situation. Just my 2 cents here. I have been a professional welder/fabricator for nearly 20 years. If you are planning on a do it yourself, then no, the plasma will not weld. It is for cutting only and will not warp metal like a torch. But cutting in straight lines are no as easy as just starting at one end and finishing at the other if they are long cuts. Better to do them in 12 inch or so increment with a 1/2" spot thats uncut and go back to it later and cut them spots. A plasma is the greatest too made, but metal will have a tendency to pull to one side when cutting all in one pass so that is why you make it in steps on long cuts. Next, if you buy a welder, I would say get a MIG (Wire Feed) welder like BBQ Engineer has. Much easier to use, and a much cleaner weld. But with all this said, if you are unfamiliar with any of these tools, especially the welder, you may be better off finding someone who can do it for you. Now here is something that may help you. If you are next to a trade/vocational school, many of them offer welding classes for the students. Im not saying to sign up, but rather offer to pay one of the students to do the work for you. Most of them need the money, know what they are doing and you can get the welding done for very little money. I would use them for mechanical work years ago when I did not have the time to do it myself. Just and idea. Simply go to the school and maybe even talk to the welding instructor and ask him which students he would reccomend.