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Oxy/Acetylene Rig for All-Around Shop Use?

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Oxy/Acetylene Rig for All-Around Shop Use?

Postby Chips O'Toole » Sat Jun 10, 2017 3:29 pm

I would like to add an acetylene rig to my workshop. I am not very interested in acetylene welding, but a torch can be useful for heating things up, brazing, and cutting. Problem: when I try to figure out what I should get, I am faced with 9 million choices. Light duty, medium duty...no idea what's appropriate. I would like to get a decent American product that won't crap out next year. I am hoping to avoid chaining things to the wall, so I thought I would look for a torch kit and a cart. I would want something fairly big so I would not be buying gas every month.

I have a bunch of credit card points that are going to expire, so I thought I'd buy new instead of waiting for a used deal. Can someone give me guidance on a good choice for all-around shop use? I have a MIG, a TIG, and a plasma cutter with a 7/8" severance capacity.

Got any hints?
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Re: Oxy/Acetylene Rig for All-Around Shop Use?

Postby Chips O'Toole » Sat Jun 10, 2017 3:56 pm

Some dude on Youtube says he uses a Victor Performer for just about everything. Great. I looked it up. I found three different versions. Okay, back to Googling.
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Re: Oxy/Acetylene Rig for All-Around Shop Use?

Postby ldbtx » Sat Jun 10, 2017 4:35 pm

I've got a ProStar medium duty kit that's worked well for me. I don't use it a lot, but it's been a great rig. I've been told that ProStar is made by Victor for Praxair. Don't know for sure, but it's Victor compatible for tips.
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Re: Oxy/Acetylene Rig for All-Around Shop Use?

Postby Chips O'Toole » Sat Jun 10, 2017 7:07 pm

I think I'll just pick something someone else had success with and see what happens.
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Re: Oxy/Acetylene Rig for All-Around Shop Use?

Postby Arclight Ironworks » Sun Jun 11, 2017 7:13 am

Chips O'Toole wrote:....I am not very interested in acetylene welding....I would like to get a decent American product....


Based on your requirement to not/not OFW, strongly encourage you to consider Oxygen-Propane. Oxy-Pro is ideal in your situation, as you need the rig to preheat, cut, and shape. Oxy-Pro is less expensive to run over Oxy-Acet, safer to stow/operate, and easier to fill. Oxygen-Propane has been used for decades to sever steel 4+ in thick.

Although we prefer Oxy-Acet for Flame/Heat Straightening, Oxy-Pro does fine with the proper technique. Oxy-Acet also trumpfs Oxygen-Pro for Brazing due to the heat intensity and location of Acet's primary flame.

As far as manufacturers, we've ran lots of setups and still prefer the Smith/Miller torches. Solid construction and finish, three-tube design, SS ball valves. Supported by the majority of LWSs and online resources, lifetime warranty, and Made in USA.

Specifically recommend the Smith/Miller Medium Duty Oxygen-Propane Kit. The kit retails for ~ $400. With an extra Cutting Tip [MC40-0], Brazing Nozzle [MW411], and SafeMate FlashBack Arrestors/QDs from Western Enterprises the total cost of ownership should approach $550.

You can easily design/fabricate your own mobile cart, to include integration of a 50lb propane cylinder and 135CF Oxygen.

To support any follow-on discussions of flame "temperature" vs "heat capacity" in comparing/contrasting Propane and Acetylene, the images below show the adiabatic temps and heat concentration of commonly used oxy-fuel gases. Note, Propane has a higher stoicometric Oxygen requirement than Acetylene, and therefore Propane's consumption rate of Oxygen is roughly three times that of Acetylene. Thus, if you go will Propane definitely acquire a large O2 cylinder.

PM me if you have any specific questions regarding this setup.

//

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Re: Oxy/Acetylene Rig for All-Around Shop Use?

Postby Poland308 » Sun Jun 11, 2017 8:51 am

Isn't welding with propane bad? I know it's ok for heating and cutting. Do you go through much more oxygen?
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Re: Oxy/Acetylene Rig for All-Around Shop Use?

Postby Arclight Ironworks » Sun Jun 11, 2017 10:02 am

Poland308 wrote:Isn't welding with propane bad? I know it's ok for heating and cutting. Do you go through much more oxygen?


The OP stated that welding is not a requirement. Attempting to weld with Oxy-Pro is futile. You need Oxy-Acet to weld.

A truly Neutral flame with Oxy-Pro is not achievable. An Oxy-Pro's slight oxidizing/carburizing flames tends to inject surface contamination on the ferrous base metal. Acet's high primary flame temp is right where it needs to be relative to the base metal.

Stoiciometrically, we see the following reactions. Note, Acet more efficiently combines with Oxy and also produces an increased amount of CO2 over Pro.

Acetylene: 2*C2H2 + 5*O2 --> 4*CO2 + 2*H2O + HEAT

Propane: 1*C3H8 + 5*O2 --> 3*CO2 + 4*H2O + HEAT
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Re: Oxy/Acetylene Rig for All-Around Shop Use?

Postby Poland308 » Sun Jun 11, 2017 10:10 am

It's been so long since I've used propane I couldn't remember for sure.
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Re: Oxy/Acetylene Rig for All-Around Shop Use?

Postby MinnesotaDave » Sun Jun 11, 2017 10:48 am

Another vote for oxy/propane.

Been using propane since the 90's.

A standard 20 lb tank lasts a very long time.

The tall skinny 10 lb fits on carts a little better.
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Re: Oxy/Acetylene Rig for All-Around Shop Use?

Postby Chips O'Toole » Sun Jun 11, 2017 7:35 pm

Thanks for taking the trouble to provide all that information.

Is there any reason to get acetylene? Is there any type of welding that makes it worth it to have acetylene around?
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