small/portable oxyacetylene rigs

What I can glean from past posts leads me to believe that most are
disappointed or frustrated with the MC sized portable rigs (Harris
Port-a-Torch, etc) on offer. I got a small rig because I can exchange
the tanks on foot if I have to. I'm trying to start/run a tiny
workshop in a major metropolitan area. Space is at a premium and I
have no car.
I'd like to hear if anyone is actually happy with their portable rig,
and from anybody that has advice on getting the most out of a
portable, but otherwise very limiting outfit. Any suggestions on
set-up, conserving gas, regulator quality, and safety, etc. would be
greatly appreciated. Thank you all.
Reply to
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What are you doing? Welding bridges is different from making jewellry or welding thermocouples.
Reply to
Don Foreman
This is the biggest problem I found. My small portable setup seems to work fine (but I haven't used anything else for many years and dont know if my torch etc is the same as what you are considering), however the gas doesn't last long at all. If you need to do ony cutting, hope your gas supplier is next door as you'll be going back a lot.
Hope this helps, Eric
Reply to
There are various size bottles available hear in UK. If you use the second from smallest you will find them a lot more economical on gas and not much heavier than the small ones. Bought my gas set many years ago. Since MIG came along, it's only really used for cutting and heating. Wouldn't be without it though.
Reply to
John Manders
I used to use a 'MC' sized rig for brazing up AC lines all the time, but that was about all it's good for.
A 'B' cylinder and 50CF oxygen rig doesn't take up much more room, can still be carried to a roof or basement for repair work like the Port-A Torch (Or get a 50 foot hose!) but they last a whole lot longer on a fill and do more useful work. I have two sets of cylinders, so when one goes flat I can switch and keep going for a while, and get refills later.
If you plan to go to the supply house on foot, get the special little hand truck for the tanks that has the safety chains for the bottles. You can roll the bottles to and from the supply house. (But leave the regulators and other parts at home, those little bits will bounce out of the tray if you go very far..) ;-)
If you plan to keep them for a while, go for good quality full-size equipment like the Victor Journeyman or Super-Range kits, as opposed to the mini-regulators on the Port-A-Torches or no-name Taiwan import regulators and equipment - buying cheap equipment often (when it breaks) can't beat buying good quality tools /once/ and using them in good health for 30 or 40 years...
You can get full-size two-stage regulators, and the adapters to attach them to MC or B cylinders. You can always get small tips and throttle down a big torch, but you can't crank the baby torch up past it's limits.
Or you get a set of quick-connects for your hoses, and rig a second mini-torch handle for those little jewelry jobs. The big regulators don't care if you use a small torch. I also have a quick connect on my Prestolite handle if I want to use Air-Acetylene for a bit of plumbing work, and save on the oxygen.
And remember that you need big tanks for O-A cutting, you can't use more than 1/7 of the acetylene cylinder contents per hour - meaning for all practical purposes cutting is out with a MC cylinder rig, and only small and quick cuts (hot-wrenching the occasional bolt off) with a B. And forget about any big boys like a Rosebud tip. You'll need to rent a set of full-size tanks if you want to do any heavy work - and the full-size regulators will fasten right up and handle it.
Reply to
Bruce L. Bergman
What has served me well for many years is this:
Full sized regulators Bottles next size up from MC Used little Victor "aircraft" torch with tips starting at 000 Old full-sized used Japanese torch and gas axe
I've done jewelry, sheet metal, brazing, welding, heat-treating and cutting and the limitation has always been my skill level rather than the equipment.
If you get used equipment, invest a few dollars in new tip o-rings and flashback preventers. The welding store will know what you're talking about.
I do look forward to getting a TIG someday and trading the oxy bottle for TIG gas.
Reply to
Jim Stewart
I worked my way up from Bernzomatic Oxygen tanks (about 10 minutes on their TINY torch) through 20, 40 and now 80 Cu Ft tanks. The 80 Cu Ft is about right for me. I can get a couple hours of light work out of it. I have a cuting torch, but never use it. Oxygen is just too expensive.
As for fuel gas, I'm using Propylene. I can get all the heat I want, and it is supposed to be much less likely to cause explosions, backfires, etc. I don't weld with it, although I really can't see any reason you couldn't, with the correctly adjusted flame. I braze and heat metal for bending, primarily, with it. The Propylene (generic form of MAPP) is stored as a liquid, so a small tank will last forever!
Reply to
Jon Elson
Don Foreman wrote in message
Well, let's say: sculpture in the expanded field. Jewelry, yes, on the small end. Small work, most of the time, in fact. Then again, artwork can get out of control, if you let it. I also find myself performing a lot of small-time heat-treat operations as well. Punches and chasing tools, etc. Major industrial applications are certainly out of scope for the space, not to mention the rig.
Reply to
Jon Elson wrote in message
liquid, so a small tank will
As far as I'm concerned, that tiny Bernzomatic set up got me into college. I never thought of propylene. What do you get that in, a b-tank? Have you been able cut with it?
Reply to
OK. I started out with an MC acetylene, R oxy (20 cu ft I think) and an aircraft torch. Even with light use I ran out of gas quickly.
I upgraded to a B acetylene (40 cu ft) and 40 cu ft oxy. Those fit nicely on a light hand truck you can buy for about $20. It wheels easily and you needn't be a gorilla to lug the rig up a couple of flights of stairs if necessary. I now also have full-size tanks, but I still use the little tanks with the "Lil' Torch" because they'e handy and last a long time with the Lil' Torch.
Those little rigs can be very handy. My son needed a car part (don't recall what), had located one at a junkyard but the proprietor of said junkyard was about as accomodating as his junkyard dog. "It's in that wreck, kid, if you can git it out."
Kev asked me for a quick training session with a cutting torch. Duly done, with safety training being most of it. He packed up the kit, returned to the junkyard. "Can I bring my tools in to remove the whatzit I need?" "They don't untie like a shoe, kid, and ya won't be borrowing any tools from me!"
Right, thankyouverymuchsir. He wheeled in the torch kit when the guy wasn't looking, torched a rear axel in half in two places, and returned to the counter with the still-smoking bit he needed. "How much?"
The junkyard guy went ballistic, but the Saturday hangabouts in the office were laughing so hard the guy finally said "Kid, take yer part, get the hell out of here and don't come back!" So he did.
Reply to
Don Foreman
So did I (back in '74) and, like you, added a Little Torch. I also leased big tanks and kept the small rig for carrying. I turned in the big tanks when we moved and haven't replaced them since I by then I had TIG and a plasma cutter. Still find use for the O/A outfit but not enough to warant investing in big tanks.
Especially when you a buy a couple 20' lengths of something too whipy for the car top rack.
Reply to
Ted Edwards
liquid, so a small tank will
Propylene is a liquid stored under moderate pressure. The tank looks pretty much like a propane tank. I'm positive you can cut with propylene to get it started. Oxygen is just to darn expensive for me to waste it cutting, when I have a lot better ways to cut metal. Also, the Oxygen-cut ends are impossible to work with other than grinding. So, I use a Hor-Vert bandsaw as my most preferred cutting machine, and have a few other methods for things that are not amenable to the bandsaw.
(I saw the rig they used to cut up our old Cyclotron at Washington University. Several hundred tons of magneto steel. They rolled in this huge thing with about 20 giant oxygen bottles on it plumbed to a manifold. They replaced the whole trolley every day, too. The floor of the room was ankle deep in cast-off bits of burning lances by the time they were done.
Reply to
Jon Elson

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