Oxy-acetylene alternative

Hello all, General model engineering usage ie boilers and fabrication. With British Gas Oxy-acetylene set-ups costing more than an arm and a
leg, what is the best alternative? What are those small O/A and Oxy-gas kits like, and cost of consumable? Metal fusion welding will be done by either MIG or TIG, probably the latter as I have years of experience with O/A. Regards GeoffH Norfolk - UK not VA
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I should stay clear of those oxy/gas canister kits. I used them for a while way back and they cannot produce any decent heat for a period of time as would be required for say a boiler the size of a 1" scale traction engine. Even supplementing it with a propane background heat the torch size is just not adequate in my view. The gas canisters run out very quickly too.
BOC do the small starter kits for about 220 which is a far better bet. The slightly larger kit is about 300 I think. The down side is the bottle hire and the gas costs. I have the slightly larger kit (X oxygen and M acetylene) which is just about right for most work I tackle with propane background heat as well. Talking to my local BOC outlet I find that quite a few modellers only hire their bottles when they have something big to do rather than keeping them on annual hire. This saves on the pennies but is slightly short on convenience not least of course any gas you send back unused ..... no refund!
Alan
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In the past I have used oxy-propane using an old oxyy-acetelene torch with the nozzle opened up. Background heat was provided by a large propane torch so that the oxy-propane torch just needed to provide the local heat. The oxy-propane torch could be run anywhere on the boiler, even inside the firebox without any problems.
The cost of the equipment, gas and hire of the bottles makes a professionally made boiler look like a good deal - unless you intend to make a lot of boilers in quick succession.
GeoffH wrote:

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