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Oxy/Acetylene Rig for All-Around Shop Use?

Metal cutting - oxyfuel cutting, plasma cutting, machining, grinding, and other preparatory work.

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

Postby Poland308 » Sun Jun 11, 2017 10:09 pm

You can't really weld with propane. It's great for heating and cutting.
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Re: Oxy/Acetylene Rig for All-Around Shop Use?

Postby Chips O'Toole » Mon Jun 12, 2017 1:07 pm

I see now they have a thing called HGX propane which is nearly as hot as acetylene.
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Re: Oxy/Acetylene Rig for All-Around Shop Use?

Postby Poland308 » Mon Jun 12, 2017 5:07 pm

From what I've read on welding steel with oxy is that it's more than just the heat input. Acetylene and oxy burn in a way that acts like a shielding gas as you weld. But propane and oxy create a hydrogen rich environment that can make the welds prone to cracks.
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Re: Oxy/Acetylene Rig for All-Around Shop Use?

Postby Chips O'Toole » Mon Jun 12, 2017 5:22 pm

I just like the idea of more heat, whether I can weld with it or not.
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Re: Oxy/Acetylene Rig for All-Around Shop Use?

Postby Poleframer » Mon Jun 12, 2017 10:08 pm

Tho I agree with dave that oxy/propane would fill 90% of shop needs, I think it would benefit you to start with oxy/acet. A bit hotter, and you can learn to weld with it, and have an easier time brazing.
Even if there's a mig, tig, stick, and plasma box, no shop is complete without a basic oxy torch in it, so versatile, a tool ya just need once you are used to having it.
Dont get fancy, just get a basic cutting torch, and a couple welding tips, and a rosebud if you feel adventurous.
If you do go the propane route, go ahead and make a propane forge burner, there are plans on iforgeiron, or I could point you the way, sure is nice to be able to get a chunk of iron red hot in a hurry in a simple brick forge, and reshape it.
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Re: Oxy/Acetylene Rig for All-Around Shop Use?

Postby Chips O'Toole » Tue Jun 13, 2017 3:21 pm

I am somewhat drawn to acetylene for the same reason I got a Harley. I am interested in seeing what the old-fashioned technology is like. When I got my Harley, people said a Japanese V-twin or a Victory would be mechanically superior. No doubt about that, but you would never know what it was like to ride the real thing.
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Re: Oxy/Acetylene Rig for All-Around Shop Use?

Postby ldbtx » Tue Jun 13, 2017 6:37 pm

I've always said that "I've never regretted the money I spent on good tools", and I definitely feel that way about acetylene over propane. I've worked a couple places where oxy/propane was mandated by the beancounters. Everybody cussed it for being "cold", and we spent more time per cut than we would have with oxy/acetylene. To me, propane is a false economy, and especially in a home shop where you just might decide to weld or braze something. Obviously, from some of the other posts, some of the folks here prefer propane. That's the beauty of what we do -- there's always more than one way to get the job done.
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Re: Oxy/Acetylene Rig for All-Around Shop Use?

Postby MinnesotaDave » Tue Jun 13, 2017 7:23 pm

ldbtx wrote:I've always said that "I've never regretted the money I spent on good tools", and I definitely feel that way about acetylene over propane. I've worked a couple places where oxy/propane was mandated by the beancounters. Everybody cussed it for being "cold", and we spent more time per cut than we would have with oxy/acetylene. To me, propane is a false economy, and especially in a home shop where you just might decide to weld or braze something. Obviously, from some of the other posts, some of the folks here prefer propane. That's the beauty of what we do -- there's always more than one way to get the job done.


As far as economy goes, there is a reason scrappers use propane instead of acetylene - that's when I first switched, right after my first tank of acetylene while scrapping.

A little demonstration from Harris torches:
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=1VrdLaMLqq

Screen shot from the video:
image.jpeg
image.jpeg (44.5 KiB) Viewed 144 times
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Re: Oxy/Acetylene Rig for All-Around Shop Use?

Postby Poleframer » Tue Jun 13, 2017 10:16 pm

School me if I'm wrong, it seemed to me, no actual numbers, that it took a lot more oxy for cutting with propane than acet when I was using it. Granted, propane is way cheaper than acet, but I got a drive to town, then hopefully my lws (Valley hitch and Muffler!) has the oxy bottle I need (he will give me whatever size he has on hand, good guy), and when I averaged out the cost, a faster cut with acet cut my oxy use considerably, and I have a 250(?) and a 150cf oxy tanks. But then also have a 25 gallon tank of propane for forging work.
Just seems like propane/oxy burned way more oxy, and for the amount of cutting I do I prefered acet.
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Re: Oxy/Acetylene Rig for All-Around Shop Use?

Postby MinnesotaDave » Tue Jun 13, 2017 10:23 pm

Poleframer wrote:School me if I'm wrong, it seemed to me, no actual numbers, that it took a lot more oxy for cutting with propane than acet when I was using it. Granted, propane is way cheaper than acet, but I got a drive to town, then hopefully my lws (Valley hitch and Muffler!) has the oxy bottle I need (he will give me whatever size he has on hand, good guy), and when I averaged out the cost, a faster cut with acet cut my oxy use considerably, and I have a 250(?) and a 150cf oxy tanks. But then also have a 25 gallon tank of propane for forging work.
Just seems like propane/oxy burned way more oxy, and for the amount of cutting I do I prefered acet.


Yes, oxygen use is higher, cost still works out in favor of propane.
In the above video and pic you'll see they were comparing the same cutting speed.
This is because the oxygen does the cutting, not the fuel gas.

Preference is a different issue however and we all like what we like :D
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