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Cutting Torch

 
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njtarter
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 01 10 11:54 am    Post subject: Cutting Torch Reply with quote

Getting awfully tired of cutting everything with an angle grinder, think it might be time to invest in a cutting torch. Trying to decide on the best options. Since I am in the army I move quite frequently (about every two years) so I would like to avoid purchasing full sized bottles as I have heard many a horror story about trying to fill purchased tanks at a new shop.

So... my two options: purchase a medium duty Victor torch set and rent full sized bottles, or buy a smaller portable torch. Never used the porta torches before, so my main concern is how long the tanks would last. Would I have to refill them every other cut, or do they last a decent amount of time for an occassional welder?

Hopefully some of you welders with more experience than me can help me out here...

This is the kind of porta torch I would be looking at.

http://www.weldfabulous.com/Cutting-Torch-Equipment/Victor-Equipment/Outfits/Victor-0384-0936-Genuine-Portable-p4543451.html?gclid=CNDL_-yzyaICFQLHsgodUwZrwA
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watchado
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 01 10 12:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Those little bottles aren't going to last you anytime if you start anything very big. We have a couple sets of them to carry around in the pickup out to the field if we need to cut off a bearing or something light. The rental bottles are the way to go and when you get ready to move just take them back and your done. We've had rental bottles for years. Don't own any of the larger ones.
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Wreckless
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 01 10 5:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Full size rentals. Mine are actually just on a $$ deposit system with no other cost incurred regardless of how long I have them in between fills. The full size will run out fast enough, the porta size will leave you paying on your Exxon card for refill trips.
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k.a.m.
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 01 10 7:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would also go the rental route.I use what I consider the medium size bottles the Acetylene is a 75 which is about 2' tall and the Oxygen is a 110 which is a bout 4' tall. If you plan on doing rose bud work then you need larger bottles as the Acetylene bottle I use will not support one. But they are small enough to handle and will last a good while. I practice always shutting off my bottles after each cut just in case a leak occurs. I can get two bottles of Oxygen to one bottle of Acetylene and on the R/F build I believe I used six oxygen and two Acetylene , not bad for a six month build and I had a lot of long plate cuts to make. All of my small cuts were done with my porta-band.
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purplewg
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 01 10 8:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I own my tanks because of the problems of here one day gone the next. I had rentals and the dang people around here would only refill their own tanks. Once a rental place left you were stuck. I bought my tanks. My acetylene is a number 2. 8x30 inch and my oxygen is AL? 8x53. I probably wouldn't go any larger than that for normal use. Someone who uses them for their work might use larger.

I would stay away from the small tanks. Too much running and they empty quick towards the end.

I would keep my eyes open on Craigslist. I see stuff out there all the time. I have seen Victor torches, gauges, and "owner tanks" for $300. Make sure you get "owner" tanks if you buy from an individual.

I also have a Harris and a Mastercraft torch and really have no complaints with them. They are much cheaper than Victor. You can always upgrade later. DO NOT BUY ANY CHINA CRAP!

So that is my $.02.
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Smoked Up
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 01 10 9:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

purplewg wrote:

I also have a Harris and a Mastercraft torch and really have no complaints with them. They are much cheaper than Victor. You can always upgrade later. DO NOT BUY ANY CHINA CRAP!

So that is my $.02.


Good advice.

I use Victor torches, and use the journeyman series gauges. They are rebuildable and reliable. The worst money you can spend is on cheap tools. Buy it once and forget about having to replace it.
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pyronoel
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 01 10 9:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is a plasma cutter an option? No tanks to rent.

....this coming from someone who doesn't know how to run a torch worth a crap, and got a plasma cutter this year and wonders how he got by without it.
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12TH AV SMOKERS
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 01 10 9:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

pyronoel wrote:
Is a plasma cutter an option? No tanks to rent.

....this coming from someone who doesn't know how to run a torch worth a crap, and got a plasma cutter this year and wonders how he got by without it.


Plasma is what I was gonna suggest. As long as your not needing to cut really thick steel straight thru.
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purplewg
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 02 10 12:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Plasma is a great idea if he has a compressor to supply the air. I always end up needing to bend something so the torch comes in handy.
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k.a.m.
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 02 10 1:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I guess mine are owned. My W/S store does what is called a 99yr. lease. They will exchange any Acetylene bottle brought in because they do not fill them on sight. The oxygen they will exchange if there is no other name on the bottle.
Mine might be the same size as purples if not they are real close. I miss having my large bottles because I cannot use my rosebud tips for heating.
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njtarter
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 02 10 2:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

well, looks like renting tanks will be the way to go once I scrap the funds together to buy a torch.

Plasma isn't really an option to me, substancially more expensive, and I prefer the portability and flexibility of a torch. Takes an awfully long extension cord to run power to a back field..;.
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purplewg
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 02 10 6:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

njtarter wrote:
well, looks like renting tanks will be the way to go once I scrap the funds together to buy a torch.

Plasma isn't really an option to me, substancially more expensive, and I prefer the portability and flexibility of a torch. Takes an awfully long extension cord to run power to a back field..;.


Ah, exactly why I am looking for one of those utility vehicles (Gator- Mule). Mount a generator, small compressor, MIG, and Plasma in the back and I have a rolling repair shop. lololol
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seattlepitboss
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 03 10 6:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There's slightly more to the cylinder size story. If you plan to do any heating (as opposed to cutting) then your capability will be severely limited with little tanks. You simply cannot draw much acetylene from a small cylinder. You need to know the capacity of a cylinder and divide by 7, that's the max cubic feet per hour you can draw from that cylinder. On the tiny one, you'll only get a cut or two, that's it.

If you want to do a glass furnace, on the other hand, you need several 350 cubic foot tanks all manifolded together.

You could get round this problem by using oxypropane. Everywhere you go, you should have access to propane. Same regulators. You do need grade T welding hose (most is grade R) and you will need propane cutting tips and rosebud. If you buy an oxypropane setup, though, you should get all that.

I own my own tanks. I don't use them often enough to justify paying a bill every month. I watch craigslist and wait when I want torch gear. Someone's always selling something they found in the basement of a rental house or something. I make a couple hundred $$ a year just buying and selling torch gear.

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njtarter
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 03 10 6:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Seattlepitboss - never used an oxypropane torch, but the idea is definately interesting. Is a special tank required, or do you just run it off a standard propane tank and an oxygen tank? Will a oxypropane setup cut as well as an AO torch?
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