Awash in gas torches

It seems like I have more oxy/fuel-gas torches in my life than ever before.
At South Seattle we have the wall manifold with 12 Smith torches for
oxy/acet welding/brazing, 4-5 rolling oxy/acet tank sets (Smiths and Aircos) for cutting, one Airco Camograph pattern cutter, and one Airco model 10 Radiograph track burner.
At the Divers Institute I have 3 Victor cuttings sets, one running Chemtane, my old Linde Cadet trackburner, a Victor 8" pipe cutter and 2 oxy/acet welding stations (victor 315's).
At home I have 3 full torch outfits, one based on a Victor 315, one on a Victor 100 and one on a large Airco combo torch.
I don't think I have ever had this many torches in my life at once. DIT is a few blocks from Hansen & Miller, the torch and regulator repair shop for Seattle. I stop by there almost every other day for parts, tips, or repairs.
I recently rebuilt my old Linde Cadet trackburner and gave it a new lease on life by making a new machine torch for it. The torch that was on it was a 40 year old bizzare German thing that nobody has any parts for. I replaced it with a new torch head made from an Airco machine torch. Harold , at Hansen & Miller talked me through the torch design. It works great. For a 40 year old beast it sure does a nice job on 1" plate.
BTW my favorite torch above all others is still the Victor 315. It has the best valves in the industry, and is one tough torch. Second favorite is my big Airo combo torch.
I have the Victor 100 set for a portable oxy/acet outfit.
Oh and I forgot to mention the prestolite torches, turbo torches, and the tiny Victor aircraft torch.
FYI I finally sold my large acetylene tank. I hadn't used iit in 5 years. Ever since I switched to Flamal as my fuel gas I never had a reason to go back to acetylene for my main home shop rig.
At SSWCC we are using Propylen on the trackburner. At DIT we are using Chemtane on one of the burning carts and LPG on the trackburner.
We were using MAPP at SSCC, but it has become difficult to get.
MAPP, Chemtane, Flamal, LPG and Propylene are all good cutting gasses. Cleaner cuts and the tips last a lot longer.
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Ernie Leimkuhler wrote:

Ernie, What gas would you recommend for an acetylene replacement for light welding and brazing in a home shop? After seeing the blowout plug fail on an acetylene cylinder at work, I got rid of my OA tanks at home.
Thanks, Bob
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Unfortunately there is no replacement for Acetylene if you want to gas weld. It is still the only gas that creates the right combustion atmosphere to create a good weld.
For heating, cutting, melting, and brazing, oxy/propane is really hard to beat for heat output per $.
MAPP, Chemtane, propylene, and Flamal are all hotter than propane, but quite a bit pricier, and propane can be purchased any time, at many gas stations.
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Ernie Leimkuhler wrote:

Is there still any actual NEED to gas weld anymore ?
Steve
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Not industrially, but it is still very popular in metal crafts like blacksmithing and sculpture. There are still a few neanderthals who insist on gas welding airframes, and for some reason they use it for welding refrigeration lines on ships. It is still fairly common in hobby shops and jewelry shops.
The gas supply companies would love to stop carrying it at all. The insurance cost to handle the stuff is horrendously expensive.
The only thing I really love it for is teaching welding. It is slow, easy to watch, requires no electricity, takes up little space, doesn't require big screens to protect others from the light, and demonstrates the welding process better than any other welding method.
Second to gas, for teaching, is stick welding. If a student can master gas welding and then learn stick welding to a middle level, there is little in welding that will really stop them.
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On Sat, 21 Jan 2006 19:27:47 GMT, Ernie Leimkuhler
What method would you recommend for the homebuilder?
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For airframes?
TIG. Hands down the best process for airframes, bike frames, car frames, motorcycle frames.
You can set up a DC TIG for around $500.
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Steve wrote:

I have been using GTAW and a plasma cutter as replacements for gas welding and cutting. I just finished a project where brazing would have been an excellent solution, and kind of missed my O/A torch. I have tried the GTAW setup for brazing and I don't get anything like the results with it that I used to get with O/A. Also, a very simple cutting torch will handle heavier material than a moderate sized plasma cutter.
Regards, Bob
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There is nothing more versatile than oxy/fuel torch, and they don't need electricity.
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Steve wrote:

I've got a MIG and O/A setup for working on cars, If I use the MIG I know the job's done. If I use the O/A I know the jobs done BUT I feel like I actually done something and I feel better for it ! BUT there again I still balence carbs with a pipe stuck in my ear :-) just call me old fasioned
Jim
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Jim,
Now I'm real curious. Could you explain the "I still balance carbs with a pipe stuck in my ear". Seriously!
Thanks in advance.
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herman munster wrote:

Carbs on my bike I balance by ear.
Piece of thin tubing, disconnect aire filters and run the bike/car up, place tube next to number 3 carb and listen carefully .... place the tube next to number 4 carb and the 'intake hiss' will (probably) sound a little different, adjust the balance screw until you can't discern a difference between 3 & 4, repeat for 1 & 2 so they all match 3. Hey presto, balanced carbs and you've saved the price of a set of vacuum gauges !
HTH Herman, it should also work on V8 Hearses !!
Jim
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Thanks for the explanation, I haven't heard that one before.
Don't tell anyone, but the engine in the hearse is a Ford industrial inline-6 from a old Versatile swather. The headers and intake are all fake.
Later ...
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Ernie Leimkuhler wrote:

Thanks! Bob
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Funny you say that -
I just got a medium Victor set and the tip set parts for use with Propane. So now Propane/Ox is doing a good job brazing Bronze.
I tried MAPP alone (with air forced intake) - but once it started it just didn't have it without oxygen. Small bottles of gas are cheap, but the Oxygen wasn't in line with prices.
My F size bottle of Ox was $13 to fill. My 33 gallon Propane tank I use for my furnace will now do double duty.
I can always use my Venturi torch for the furnace to heat a item while I braze it.
Now for a welding station - coke box... with wind protection.
Martin
Martin Eastburn @ home at Lions' Lair with our computer lionslair at consolidated dot net NRA LOH & Endowment Member NRA Second Amendment Task Force Charter Founder
Ernie Leimkuhler wrote:

-
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