welding/cutting torch questions

Discussion in '<a href=http://www.lawnsite.com/buttons/jump.php?i' started by Shady Brook, Nov 29, 2001.

  1. Shady Brook

    Shady Brook LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Indiana
    Posts: 1,517

    I am thinking of getting a welding/cutting torch, but have little knowledge about it. I wonder if someone could explain the difference between an oxy propane setup verse oxy acytalene? I have a large propane tank now, and may have access to another, and if propane is a good setup, I would like to save money, and use my current tank. Also, does oxygen require a different type of tank, or can you fill a propane tank with oxygen.

    One more question pertains to types of equipment, could someone reccomend a brand, and essential welding cutting tips. I have seen Victor and Harris, but do not know anything about either's quality. I will probably not need to cut anything thicker then half inch steel, but who knows. Thanks in advance.

    Jay
     
  2. 75

    75 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 992

    First off, oxygen DOES require the proper tank (around 2,000 psi in a full bottle! :eek: ) which you would get on a rental/exchange basis (need to set up an account with them first) from a welding supply outlet. Same thing with acetylene if you choose to go that route.

    I'm most familiar with oxy-propane, the two setups are very similar: Oxygen side is the same for both. You need the proper regulator for whichever fuel gas you choose, acetylene or propane. The torch itself is the same but the tip is different: Propane tip will not work with acetylene.

    Oxy-propane works fine IMO, I just use it for cutting though, not brazing/welding.

    There is one thing it doesn't do too well: Sometimes you want to take a piece with a bolt hole already in it (example: brace for conveyor legs) clamp it to another piece (example: the conveyor legs) and blow a hole using the existing one as a guide. Oxy-propane takes a bit longer to preheat the cut area than oxy-acetylene, typically by the time the metal is hot enough to cut the heat trapped by the hole in the other piece has heated the tip up to where it melts! :( Solution to that problem is to mark the hole, then take the other piece off.

    Both Victor and Harris make good stuff, I have a Harris medium-duty set for my "home" torches. Medium-duty will handle up to 3/4" plate no problem, as far as tips go again I only cut with 'em but for most of what I do a #2 tip works fine. (#1 is for finer work, #3 for the bigger stuff)

    I'd say for what you'll be doing oxy-propane will work well, get a good set of medium-duty torches and an extra tip or two "just in case". You'll probably get about 25' of hose when you buy the torch set, I suggest getting a cart so you can wheel them over to where you're working rather than a bunch of extra hose. Also, bolt a good ABC fire extinguisher right to the torch cart so no matter what happens, you're no more than 25' away from fire protection!
     
  3. Shady Brook

    Shady Brook LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Indiana
    Posts: 1,517

    You sure have some great posts Rob, I really appreciate it! Looks like I will go Oxy propane then. Seems like most of the kits I've seen are Oxy acetylene, any suggestions on companies that sell Oxy Propane kits?

    Thanks

    Jay
     
  4. 75

    75 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 992

    If there isn't a complete kit on the shelf for oxy-propane, your welding supply outlet should be able to order one or sell you the oxy-acetylene kit and exchange regulator/tip for the propane ones. Since you'll need to set up an account for oxygen anyway, ask about oxy-propane at the same time. Might be a bit of a "regional" thing too, perhaps oxy-propane isn't as common in your area.

    I'm sure you're already aware of this, but I'll repeat it: Careful with that oxy bottle! If the valve gets knocked off, which could happen if the bottle/torch cart falls over and clips the edge of the workbench, the bottle can become a 2000 psi torpedo. Also, your torch kit should come with check valves to prevent any backfire/flame from the torch working its way back to the gas bottles. If it doesn't, make sure you get them. And use proper #4 or #5 shade cutting goggles/glasses (not just regular sunglasses) when cuttin'! Gotta make that one pair of eyes last a lifetime...............
     
  5. Shady Brook

    Shady Brook LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Indiana
    Posts: 1,517

    Rob

    Again thank you for all your information. I feel like I have my own private tutor. To bad you are not closer, I could come by and pick up some pointers from ya. :D

    I sure hope this forum really takes off, cuz I will benifit a great deal.

    Take care
    Jay
     
  6. 1grnlwn

    1grnlwn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,261

    Don't forget about proper footwear and pantleg styles (no cuffs) that way the extinguisher can stay on the cart.
     

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