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  #1  
Old 08-07-2015, 05:58 PM
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Cutting torch question

I need my own cutting torch and am looking at buying new gear, not used. I've been using propane to cut but am open to OA, if there's a compelling reason for it.

Also, I have been told that one can buy a torch that can use both with just a tip and regulator change.

What's your opinion on either or both?

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Old 08-07-2015, 06:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Botnst View Post
I need my own cutting torch and am looking at buying new gear, not used. I've been using propane to cut but am open to OA, if there's a compelling reason for it.

Also, I have been told that one can buy a torch that can use both with just a tip and regulator change.

What's your opinion on either or both?
What have you been cutting with a propane torch???
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  #3  
Old 08-07-2015, 06:39 PM
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Umm, let me get this straight. You want a combo Oxy-Acet/propane torch which can use either gas as a fuel? So all you'd need to do is switch nozzles, regulators and gas bottles?

Because that would make more sense than having a dedicated set-up which wouldn't entail the extra labor and tools for the change?

There's a flaw in the reasoning process here somewhere.
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Old 08-07-2015, 06:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Botnst View Post
I need my own cutting torch and am looking at buying new gear, not used. I've been using propane to cut but am open to OA, if there's a compelling reason for it.

Also, I have been told that one can buy a torch that can use both with just a tip and regulator change.

What's your opinion on either or both?

How much and what materials you're cutting will impact the overall costs, so differences and advantages of maintaining some dual fuel option might not be worth it if one isn't placing greater value on the novelty or some specific reasoning to keep the propane fuel capability.

If someone it ever looking at doing real steel cutting and having plenty of that to do I would suggest a set-up that used liquid fuel-gasoline, where the cost will be lower over a larger longer run.

If you like cutting with gases you'll get a woody once you go PLAZMA BABY! Depending on the materials of course, with steel plasma for the home owner and small shop usually tops out at about 1/2" thickness, maybe a little more for the higher end machines and less for the lower end machines.

Last edited by BatteredBenz; 08-07-2015 at 07:12 PM.
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  #5  
Old 08-07-2015, 06:55 PM
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Once saw a settling torch for sale on Craiglist.
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  #6  
Old 08-07-2015, 07:10 PM
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Originally Posted by panZZer View Post
What have you been cutting with a propane torch???
Oxygen-Propane has numerous advantages over Oxygen-Acetylene
for some aspects of metalwork/welding/cutting/treating.

With real steel fabrication; not the local podunck sticking together trailer hitches and railings, such as structural steel, ship building, heavy equipment stuff; likely most if not all preheating is undertaken using 02- Propane because propane is less expensive and has a significantly higher BTU output. It actually burns differently than Acetylene so it's not as good for certain uses but better for others.
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  #7  
Old 08-07-2015, 08:17 PM
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Get a plasma cutter B.
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  #8  
Old 08-07-2015, 08:43 PM
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[QUOTE=BatteredBenz;3506167

If you like cutting with gases you'll get a woody once you go PLAZMA BABY! Depending on the materials of course, with steel plasma for the home owner and small shop usually tops out at about 1/2" thickness, maybe a little more for the higher end machines and less for the lower end machines.[/QUOTE]

You're right, I definitely felt a twitch right around the 1/2" thickness part.
Those run on 220V or what's the deal there? The fourth state of matter!
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  #9  
Old 08-08-2015, 04:26 AM
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My community college welding teacher raved about gasoline-oxygen cutting torches. Compact, cheaper to use, powerful. He said you won't see them on the shelf at the welding supply stores because those stores are owned by companies whose main gig is bottled gasses.

Never did use one. I see they can be found easily enough online. They's a whole lotta steel cutting goin' on here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SabpLuqd2ZA
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  #10  
Old 08-08-2015, 10:05 AM
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Mild steel, mostly under half-inch. Basic farm equipment fabricating and repair. I have lots of 1/2" plate and what looks like maybe 1/4" plate that is somewhat rust-pitted but serviceable. Also mild steel pipes of various sizes, angle iron various sizes and some light-weight steel in a "C" shape. Also aluminum pieces of this and that. And don't get me started on how much thin corrugated roofing sheets there are! Yeah, I'm looking at MIG down the road.

It is by no means a production/industrial use, so I just don't see getting into plasma (but dang!).

I've got a pretty good Miller (Bobcat) welding machine on semi-permanent loan from an in-law who's getting on in age and has been teaching me stick welding. I'm competent at butts and fillets and am learning how to weld in a vertical bead, but it looks like a bad case of dribbling diarrhea, so I have a way to go on that. I have 40# of 7014 sticks and a couple of tons of steel and I'm retired.....

I've been thinking about OA because in farming there's lots of cast parts. OTOH, I watched my in-law stick weld a couple of mild steel straps onto a broken cast piece (where the tie rod end attaches to the hub, the point of attachment was broken) and it's holding up just fine nd will likely serve until the factory sends me a whole new piece (under warranty and they admitted the design is defective and are redesigning it, so replacement part is on loooong back-order).

My only experience with cutting has been with propane and I am competent with that. I just don't like limiting options through my own ignorance.
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Old 08-08-2015, 01:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BatteredBenz View Post
Oxygen-Propane has numerous advantages over Oxygen-Acetylene
for some aspects of metalwork/welding/cutting/treating.

With real steel fabrication; not the local podunck sticking together trailer hitches and railings, such as structural steel, ship building, heavy equipment stuff; likely most if not all preheating is undertaken using 02- Propane because propane is less expensive and has a significantly higher BTU output. It actually burns differently than Acetylene so it's not as good for certain uses but better for others.
I agree. We use OP in our shop for cutting and preheating. It will cut through thick plate with ease( several inches) assuming it's set up correctly. It's not good for welding IMO. It's more stable than acetylene as well. And uses the same torch/ regulators as OA. Just need correct tips and CGA fittings. Easily converted back. Plasma is great but portability can be an issue... Needs air and electricity.

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  #12  
Old 08-08-2015, 01:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Botnst View Post
Mild steel, mostly under half-inch. Basic farm equipment fabricating and repair. I have lots of 1/2" plate and what looks like maybe 1/4" plate that is somewhat rust-pitted but serviceable. Also mild steel pipes of various sizes, angle iron various sizes and some light-weight steel in a "C" shape. Also aluminum pieces of this and that. And don't get me started on how much thin corrugated roofing sheets there are! Yeah, I'm looking at MIG down the road.

It is by no means a production/industrial use, so I just don't see getting into plasma (but dang!).

I've got a pretty good Miller (Bobcat) welding machine on semi-permanent loan from an in-law who's getting on in age and has been teaching me stick welding. I'm competent at butts and fillets and am learning how to weld in a vertical bead, but it looks like a bad case of dribbling diarrhea, so I have a way to go on that. I have 40# of 7014 sticks and a couple of tons of steel and I'm retired.....

I've been thinking about OA because in farming there's lots of cast parts. OTOH, I watched my in-law stick weld a couple of mild steel straps onto a broken cast piece (where the tie rod end attaches to the hub, the point of attachment was broken) and it's holding up just fine nd will likely serve until the factory sends me a whole new piece (under warranty and they admitted the design is defective and are redesigning it, so replacement part is on loooong back-order).

My only experience with cutting has been with propane and I am competent with that. I just don't like limiting options through my own ignorance.
Oxyfuel cutting will not work on aluminum it just melts the metal. Oxyfuel citting works through rapid oxidation( Google it). It doesn't work very well, if at all on SS as well.

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  #13  
Old 08-08-2015, 02:29 PM
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Sorry my random thoughts were so jumbled. I meant to say there is a whole lot of different kinds of metals and alloys scattered around this old farm, some of it requires this or that different technologies. I'm starting with mild steel plate and working my way to other alloys and metals as I gain experience and proper tools.

I just read that conversion of OA to propane should include a change to Type T hoses as propane can degrade Type R. Another random complication! I was looking at a Harbor Freight OA kit that doesn't spec the hoses. But name-brand kits aren't but $20-$50 higher than HF. Worth the price saving?

Also, eBay has 50 ft of Type T hose (double) for under $100. That's a lot of hose to stumble over.
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  #14  
Old 08-08-2015, 03:08 PM
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Personally I would never go with Harbor Freight for something like an OA setup. The quality control on so many of the Chinese junk tools is so poor it would not surprise me if the thing fell apart while you were using it. I had leak-down tester from them that the instant I coupled it to the air supply the purge valve popped free and flew across the garage. The machining of the brass body into what that valve attached looked like it was done with a hammer and a chisel.

For things like hammers and dumb tools, you might get by with inaccuracy and low quality of materials. Explosive gases pure o2 requiring things like high pressure regulation, accurate fine adjustment of gas mixture, crisp O2 throttling on the cutting torch, I'm just not feeling it. I'd bee looking for some decent used quality equipment, maybe even ask around at the local gas supply places back in the day they used to take trade-ins as an incentive for people to up grade.
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  #15  
Old 08-08-2015, 05:08 PM
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Good points. I have a lot of stuff rom HF. It's variable. I had to go through several hammer drills until I got one that worked. They were good about trading them back in. The manual tools have been reliable. The electrical, not so much. But dang, that ChiCom slave labor can sure save some cash!

The price difference between name-brand and HF oxyacetylene tools just isn't so much that I'm gonna risk a glowing ball of hot oxygen chasing me out of the garage to save $20.

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