What is this acetylene burner for?

Look at the tank and torch in the top right corner of this picture:
http://igor.chudov.com/tmp/Blacksmithing-Stuff.jpg
This is a little acetylene tank, regulator and torch. This is clearly something that was never meant to use oxygen.
My question is what is this item for? Weedburning? Does the tank look like I can exchange it at the usual places?
i
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Ignoramus31989 wrote:

That's an air/acetylene torch , commonly used by plumbers to sweat solder copper pipe fittings . You don't really have anything in the photo for scale , but that looks like a "B" tank - note the male threads on the valve , most larger acet tanks have female , which just happens to be the same one used for propane tanks ...
--
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Snag, the item for scale is a torch striker. Thanks, I have a better understanding of this now.
i
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Plumber's torch. Used for soldering joints in copper pipe.
Pros don' fool 'round wit' no propane, man. d8-)
--
Ed Huntress



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Iggy:
You can look up "Turbo Torch", and that will give you some insight as to what that torch can be used for.
_kevin
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Iggy:
You can look up "Turbo Torch", and that will give you some insight as to what that torch can be used for.
_kevin
What Iggy has is called a Prestolite torch. The turbo torch has a different sort of mixer that allows it to produce a hotter flame but with less control.
The prestolite torch is plenty hot enough to melt small amounts (>1oz) of brass, gold, silver and has plenty of heat for silver brazing moderate size items. Bronze brazing would be pushing it on all but the smallest objects.
It is one of the common tools in the jewelery industry.
It will soft solder 3" copper pipe fittings without much trouble.
Paul K. Dickman
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Paul, not really knowing anything, besides some google searches, it looks a little bit different from prestolite torches. I will look at it closer tonight. In any case, a regular O/A set is better than this torch.
i
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wrote:

They have been making them for dogs years and there are several minor variations. The handle though, will be an inverted tear drop of red bakelite. The old ones had the valve at the top of the torch body. The new ones have the valve screwed on at the bottom of the handle.
An O/A rig will do more things than this, but there are times when the softer flame or the portability of one tank is useful.
Paul K. Dickman
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Ignoramus31989 wrote:

It's a fairly common "plumber's torch" ... it uses acetylene with plain air ... not much different than portable propane torch, but a bit hotter. Without bottled oxygen, or even compressed air, it can't generate the heat needed for welding. I've got one just like it in my shop at school. Dates from the 1950's at least, but still works fine. I see these same cylinders all the time at the welding supply getting refilled, so apparently they're still much in use.
At the bench I use a compressed air plus natural-gas torch for most heavy soldering and similar work ... I seem to have more control over the flame with that torch, but it's not portable. I've never compared the relative heating capacity of the two torches.
Dan Mitchell ==========Dan Mitchell ===========
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If you go back a lot more years, you will find this was used for acetylene headlights on motorcycles--hence it was called an "M tank." There was a smaller used for cycle headlights, called a "B tank."
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You have them reversed. The "B" tank holds 40 cuft. The "MC" tank is the small one. It holds 10 cuft and has an angled connection.
Paul K. Dickman
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I thought B tanks were used on buses, and such.
i
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Leo Lichtman wrote:

My tank, which looks just like the one in the OP's photo, is stamp-labeled only "40 cu ft, TW-23-8, DOT-8", plus a serial number; and it has a stick-on label saying "Acetylene, Dissolved". It has a valve in the tank stem ahead of the regulator, and another on the torch itself.
I have it mounted in a wooden stand, still quite portable, that adds some stability to the vertical cylinder (our safety department doesn't like any unstabilzed cylinders). The stand's about a foot square.
The torch is a "Prest-O-Lite" with the typical teardrop shapped maroon plastic body. It has several interchangeable tips. The thing was here when I first came to the university in 1964, and it looked old then. It still works fine. I've had the cylinder refilled/exchanged a couple times in the last 30 years.
Dan Mitchell ===========
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And in general thinking - you could heat metal with it. Expand rings or balls as needed.
Martin
Martin H. Eastburn @ home at Lions' Lair with our computer lionslair at consolidated dot net "Our Republic and the Press will Rise or Fall Together": Joseph Pulitzer TSRA: Endowed; NRA LOH & Patron Member, Golden Eagle, Patriot's Medal. NRA Second Amendment Task Force Charter Charter Founder IHMSA and NRA Metallic Silhouette maker & member. http://lufkinced.com /
On 6/25/2010 2:13 PM, danmitch wrote:

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Yep, my balls do expand in hot weather.
i
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That looks like a brazing unit for compressor copper pipes - e.g. out side of the house - the input cold an output hot units. Interesting on mine - Heat pump. The hot line is small and bare. The cold one covered and big.
Odd - when they switch - I suppose (have to check this year) the hot is in the cold one and so on. Those pipes.
Martin
Martin H. Eastburn @ home at Lions' Lair with our computer lionslair at consolidated dot net "Our Republic and the Press will Rise or Fall Together": Joseph Pulitzer TSRA: Endowed; NRA LOH & Patron Member, Golden Eagle, Patriot's Medal. NRA Second Amendment Task Force Charter Charter Founder IHMSA and NRA Metallic Silhouette maker & member. http://lufkinced.com /
On 6/25/2010 9:20 AM, Ignoramus31989 wrote:

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Used for AC or water pipe soldering. Uses ambient air instead of O2.
Steve
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Yes. Air Acetylene, often called a "plumbers' torch". I have one, with small and large tips. I prefer air acetylene for many things, as with a small tip it is is gentle and precise. It is quite able to silver-solder (braze) things up to a few inches in diameter (the largest I've tried).
I have a big air propane turbotorch run off a 10# picnic bottle for bulk heating.
Joe Gwinn
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On Jun 25, 8:20am, Ignoramus31989 <ignoramus31...@NOSPAM. 31989.invalid> wrote:

Looks to be a much older Prestolite unit than the one I have. "B"- sized tank, B for Bus, not "Buick". The "MC" is the only smaller acetylene tank. Originally were for vehicle lighting, pre-electric generator days. Old as these things are, the plumbing and AC boys keep them in constant use, any decent supplier will swap them for filled ones. Air-acetylene is just so much more intense than air- propane, it isn't funny. I started silver-brazing with air-propane when I was a kid. When we inherited my granddad's Prestolite, my brazing improved a lot. The stuff actually wicked in to joints like it was supposed to rather than sticking things together in lumps. Makes short work of copper plumbing jobs, too. I've seen my granddad cut lead drain pipe apart with it during demolition and replacement with cast iron, worked great. Cost of running is the only drawback, fills have gotten a lot more expensive over the years. Kind of offset by the extra heat, you don't need to run it long to make a joint.
Stan
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Looks to be a much older Prestolite unit than the one I have. "B"- sized tank, B for Bus, not "Buick". The "MC" is the only smaller acetylene tank. Originally were for vehicle lighting, pre-electric generator days. Old as these things are, the plumbing and AC boys keep them in constant use, any decent supplier will swap them for filled ones. Air-acetylene is just so much more intense than air- propane, it isn't funny. I started silver-brazing with air-propane when I was a kid. When we inherited my granddad's Prestolite, my brazing improved a lot. The stuff actually wicked in to joints like it was supposed to rather than sticking things together in lumps. Makes short work of copper plumbing jobs, too. I've seen my granddad cut lead drain pipe apart with it during demolition and replacement with cast iron, worked great. Cost of running is the only drawback, fills have gotten a lot more expensive over the years. Kind of offset by the extra heat, you don't need to run it long to make a joint.
Stan
Thing is, too, Stan ....... they are easy to tote up on a roof to an AC unit, or drag around the inside of a half framed house and do copper solder sweating. That's the upside of the small bottle, hose, and torch.
Steve
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A fool shows his annoyance at once, but a prudent man overlooks an insult.
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