Can I heat with Propane (cross posted)

I do some minor metal work and automotive work in my shop and was wondering
if it is possible to heat parts with propane? I mean realistic to try and do
this. Since my shop has a very large propane tank I thought it might make
sense to just try and use the propane to heat up parts that are stuck or
need to be expanded slightly. I was thinking of trying to cut with it. Is
there anything I can do to get more heat out of the propane?
OR do I need to just go get a set of acetylene and oxygen tanks? What am I
looking at for regulators and tanks (filled?)
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You can certainly pre-heat with propane, a regular back yard gas grille makes an excellent pre heat oven for small parts and in some cases can be used as a heated welding table. You might need to add fire brick, depends on what you want/need to do and how. I've used mine for heating up parts to expand them and get them apart, aluminum cases with steel bearings in, etc. You can also cut with propane and oxygen.
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It is possible to use propane with oxygen, similar acetylene. It has a lower heat capacity, but is a lot cheaper. You need to use "dual fuel" hose though. Regular acetylene hose will break down with propane use.
I don't remember, but I think you can use the same regulators.
Do a search in the archives on oxy/propane.
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Does adding the fire bricks to the grill conserve heat or increase the heat? Also can I mix propane and oxygen just like acetylene and oxygen? Or am I still just better of getting Acetylene? The reason I don't want to splurge for the tanks is because my shop can literally go months with use since I'm away or working offsite on other projects.
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You could easily build an awesome hand-held torch using Ron Reil's plans. I would suggest the improved design using a 1 1/4" to 3/4" T(elbow?)-adapter and a MIG tip for an orifice. I don't have his URL, but a google search will find his website. Good luck.
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AAAAARRRRRGH! Steel anything in aluminum! AAAAAAAARRRRRRGH!
Blasted Quickie wheelchairs, curse them!
Some of the best wheelchairs in the world, except it can be damn near impossible to work on one. Why? Because they habitually use hardened, black oxided, fine thread, steel Hex Head Cap Screws in aluminum assemblies! Dat's Why! :)
Let those parts go for a couple of years and the aluminum and steel both corrode and bond to each other stronger than a weld. It has too often become necessary to drill out the steel screw and replace it with a through bolt--Or just replace the entire assembly--If it can be taken off at all-- dying--alone--in the rain. (Oops. Disregard that last: Hemmingway Syndrome. Sorry.)
Can't heat them because they're usually in places on the wheelchair where doing so would ruin some other vital subassembly.
And they've never heard of Never-Seize, either!
I tend to think of Mobility Device Engineer as an oxymoron much like Automotive Engineer. :)
If there is _any_ way to overcomplicate an assembly or subassembly, Quickie will find it, use it, and perpetuate it.
Damn shame their equipment is otherwise so excellent.
Oh, yeah, On-Topic: Damn good idea about the gas grill! How many minutes per side, any marinade? :)
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John Husvar
You would probably be happiest with an oxy-propane torch system. This would enable you to heat, cut, and braze, but not weld. Ask your local welding shop about it. Very portable, you can focus the heat very narrowly, very versatile.
I have a "Red Dragon" propane-air torch. Good for heating up sheet copper to anneal it, but not enough heat to get steel bar red hot for bending. Spreads the heat widely, several inch area.
I also have a homemade propane blacksmith forge. This works fine, gets steel red hot for bending or forging.
I have an oxy-acetylene torch, but my understanding is that the oxy-propane torches are very similar.
Out of the three heating appliances described above, the oxy-acetylene torch is the most versatile, which is why I suggest an oxy-propane torch for your use.
HotRod wrote:
Reply to
Richard Ferguson
Get a hold of a copy of " Gas burners for furnaces, forges, and kilns " It has plans to build various sizes of propane burners.
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Oxypropane heats well, and propane is considerably cheaper than acetylene. Oxypropane has higher heat content though lower flame temperature than acetylene. It's useless for welding steel, but it work fine for heating, cutting, brazing and soldering. Most oxyacetylene (aka oxyfuel) torches work fine with oxypropane.
A 40 cu ft oxy bottle will run a bit less than $100. Figure $50 to $75 for a single-stage regulator with gages. You can get torch kits (torch, tips, regulators and gages) from a number of places.
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Don Foreman
ARRrrgh !!! Stoppit ! Thats JUST what I don't need (-:
Fire brick will slow the heating, but retain heat and slow the cooling - either of which might be good or bad according to what you're trying to do. Yes, the acetylene regulator plugs right into a 20 lb propane gas grille tank, at least the older ones that have the internal left hand thread. I didn't know about the dual use hose issue, thanks, I guess I'd better update my equipment )-:
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I don't know the whole story or applications you want to do but the "weed" burner that horrible freight sells (I think it's on sale for 20 bucks now) is is like a flame thrower and puts out a LOT of heat fast. It'd probably make a good pre-heater for large parts on the cheap. If nothin else, it's a fun toy to have around to light the BBQ with :)
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Can anyone tell me if I can use propane instead of acetylene with an oxy/acetylene torch kit. Or do I need to buy regulators specific for oxy/propane? Also does anyone know how many PSI the propane needs to be? I'm trying to figure out if I splice into my propane line (at shop) before the regulator or after?
Any Canadian sources for oxy/propane torch and regulators?
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great article about MAPP, might help.
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good luck, walt
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No, not really. Using air/propane anyway.
My vote is also for a Reil burner. I use a 3/4" water pipe EZ burner with 0.030" MIG tip for damned near all heating.
It will braze 3/8" steel rod just fine in the open, but a firebrick or three really gets it going. Something about reflected heat...
-- "California is the breakfast state: fruits, nuts and flakes." Website:
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Reply to
Tim Williams
In article , John Husvar wrote:
IIRC, nitric acid dissolves steel and not aluminum.
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Nick Hull
The bricks store heat and provide a better transfer function to the work. They work by IR radiation not a smaller flame but now the whole inside or surface.
Once the bricks are red hot, the flame can be turned off and heating will continue. But to be sure - keep the flame on for heat losses to the 'work' and world.
Reply to
lionslair at consolidated dot
Sorry, I misspoke in the OP: They are socket head, not hex head.
Don't know about that myself, but I might try it as an experiment. Problem is usually time. Often the user is in the chair while we work, God help 'em! :)
So far we've tried every oil and penetrant we could find, from the (virtually useless for this) WD-40 to PB Blaster and a number of CRC products, Gunk Liquid Wrench, etc, etc.
Once that corrosion occurs, it's tough to get the metals to separate. Somehow a 1/4-28 Socket Head screw in aluminum can be nearly impossible to loosen. We have numerous twisted Allen wrenches to witness. :)
We usually put some anti-sieze compound on the screws when we reassemble. So far that hasn't caused us any problems with screws staying tight, but loosening easily when needed.
Any ideas more than welcome, Thanks. The factory just shrugs the problem off.
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John Husvar
You have discovered something that motorcycle folks have known about for a long, long time. That steel fasteners in aluminum don't mix well when they get wet.
Stainless fasteners are a good approach, and of course moly-based anti-sieze is a good preventative. If you are worried about loosening then nyloc nuts are nice. As for loosening up stuck items the difference in thermal expansion rates can sometimes be used to advantage, I use an industrial heat gun for this.
Reply to
jim rozen
Good thought! Thank you. Might help a lot.
Reply to
John Husvar
ANYONE KNOW if I can use an Oxy/acetylene setup with Oxy/Propane? or do I need to buy a special rig?
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