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torch prices


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26 replies to this topic

#1 grossgary

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Posted 14 December 2010 - 08:47 PM

could i get a torch set up for $200? not at all? used? new? i don't really know anything about them. i'd like to just be able to cut metal, cut off rusted bolts, exhaust bolts, etc.

basic outfit is hardware, two tanks, and a cart i believe.

what makes the difference between a torch and a welder (since you can have a set up that does both right?)?

Edited by grossgary, 14 December 2010 - 08:49 PM.


#2 3eyedwagon

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Posted 14 December 2010 - 09:50 PM

Watch Craigslist.

You can probably pick up a decent set of bottles, a beat up cart, and a well used torch for that price.

I bought a set some while back for $300 out of the newspaper. The bottles were obviously just fine, they came with regulators, and a beat up old Victor. The cart still works just fine.

New stuff is going to cost ALOT more. You're looking at over $200 for JUST bottles of any size.

If you want to gas weld, you need what's called a combination torch. It has 3 valves. 2 at the bottom of the handle, and one further up.Posted ImageThat is a combo torch.

If you don't EVER want to gas weld, you don't need a combo torch. It will just have the two valves at the bottom, and a long slender neck. They are often called pool cues, because you can run them smoothly along your hand like a pool cue. They are far nicer for cutting, but, are more expensive, and less common.

I'd advise you to spend money on a larger set of bottles, and save up for a good torch. Even if it's a nice used Victor, you'll be happy.

Stick with name brand stuff like Victor. You can still get parts, and you WILL NEED some parts when buying a used torch.

http://seattle.craig...2111899660.html

http://seattle.craig...2111801999.html $375 is a little high, but, if it's in good shape it would be worth spending.

http://seattle.craig...2109802919.html

http://seattle.craig...2103043999.html

Edited by 3eyedwagon, 14 December 2010 - 10:01 PM.


#3 GeneralDisorder

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Posted 14 December 2010 - 11:49 PM

You are definitely in the craigslist ball-park for that stuff. Just make sure you don't buy someone's rented bottles.

I bought new bottles and a new torch then built my own cart - my Victor torch setup was $275, the small bottle (fuel) was $170 and the large bottle (02) was $200.... to give you an idea of the new cost so you can judge the used pricing.

Be aware that for cutting you will use about 4 times as much 02 as you do fuel. For that reason I run a larger 02 (2x as big actually) bottle than my fuel bottle. Even with 2x more 02 I still refill it more often.

You can heat/cut with Propane too - it's cheaper and easier to get and most people have a BBQ bottle or two :rolleyes:. Then you just need a used torch and an 02 bottle.

For most of what you will do you will want small stuff - a small rosebud and a #00 cutting tip should be all you need for now.

Read up on how to adjust a torch for proper use so you can try out anything you are considering buying. Especially important is the cutting torch setup. Inspect all threaded connections carefully for damage/abuse. You don't want any leaks and a dimple (from being dropped on the threads) or nicks and burrs will render the torch unsafe and basically turn them to expensive paper weights.

You *probably* do not want a gas welding setup. At least *I* do not weld with gas - almost no one does anymore except to learn it in school.... most welding is done with some form of electrical arc these days. MIG welders are the standard "hot glue gun" of the welding industry - you probably want to consider one of those. Especially for automotive work where things like overhead welding is commonplace.

GD

Edited by GeneralDisorder, 14 December 2010 - 11:55 PM.


#4 WRX2FFU

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Posted 15 December 2010 - 06:45 AM

^^^ pretty much what I would say.

You can go cheaper with a smaller setup. I went with one most likley about the same size GD has by the prices he quoted. I did get some different size tips when I got mine as well. Also made my own cart out of a dolly.

I went with a bigger setup because I did not want to be refilling that often.

I just ran mine out of o2 the other day so off to the welding store for me to get more gas and prolly spend way too much on other goodies.:lol:

I have used mine for brazing as well. It works great for that too with different tips.

I went with new because I looked and looked for used rigs and there was nothing worth it at the time. Since then I could have saved some $ buying used but thats how it always goes.

The key to getting good with a torch is to practice. You'll need to get used to the setup and how to cut. It's pretty eassy to just hack thru something but to do it efficiently can be a bit tricky - er.

#5 grossgary

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Posted 15 December 2010 - 08:03 AM

okay scratch the welder part then, i didn't know all that. i already have a MIG welder and rarely use it, so not necessary. perfect info, thanks.

i'll get to searching. i won't use it much at all....but i'm very far from anywhere to refill it too, so we'll see about sizes.

#6 davebugs

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Posted 15 December 2010 - 08:17 AM

Gary,

On my local CL I got a set of torches (large and small victor), a too large homemade cart I've since given away, a bunch of hose and some odds and ends for less than 200. Then I got a propane tip.

The tank game is something else. Apparently they can't (or won't)pressure test and recertify these - atleast not without sending them out. I ended up getting small bottles at tractor supply - cheapest and easiest for small stuff compared to my local welding/gas places. IIR for the small bottles you can swap in anything a lot of times - they aren't picky. The larger bottles I think they like theirs back when swapping. For a lot of bolt heating, etc I use propane. I'm hardly an expert and don't attempt to use them for welding. They work well for what I need - just need to get the time to learn to use them better.

In short used decent torches, then buy a tip cleaner kit and perhaps some tips will set you up. But a lot of the cost, and certainly ongoing cost is the tanks and gas. You can rent them but that means you're paying for them even when you're not using them. Therefore TSC is open weekends and eve's and I can swap them there and that's worth a few bucks to me.

#7 grossgary

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Posted 19 December 2010 - 08:55 AM

i'm "shopping". keep in mind - i'll probably use this like a couple times a year just to cut off an exhaust or rusty bolt.

a guy has a small 30CF oxygen tank, that seems too small. looks dinky, probably run out in a matter of minutes?

do the gauges give any indication on fuel level still left?

another guy has a craftsman torch/regulator set, looks older. junk or reasonable? good price though if it includes the tanks in the pictures.

does brand matter much if i'm not going to use it often?

Edited by grossgary, 19 December 2010 - 09:07 AM.


#8 WRX2FFU

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Posted 19 December 2010 - 09:20 AM

I have a harris combo torch and have had great luck with it. It's made by lincoln.

Victor is a really realiable good brand as well.

The thing about a used torch is to see if it works well. A lot of people sell them used and they need "work" which mostly ends up just being junk.

Also, my regulators have two guages on them. Tank presue and valve pressure.

IMHO the tank pressure is not really nessescary but I would not want to NOT have it. So yes you can see how much is left in the tank.

Just make sure the regulators are in good shape. It is possible to blow the diaphrams in them as well. This will be obvious when trying to set valve pressure for initial use. Also if it looks like they just throw the torch on the ground when they are done, walk away.

I would just make sure that whatever used set you buy, try it first. take a piece of scap with you to cut. If they won't let you test it, don't buy it.

I am probably overly anal with my torches but with the amount of money I have in the setup I don't like to fix or replace stuff becuase of my own carelessness.

Also no body uses my torches but me. Just my rule.

Have you ever used torches? If not you need to do some reading technique and initial setup for pressures.

Oxy/acetylene especially the acetylene can be evry dangerous if not setup properly.

Edited by WRX2FFU, 19 December 2010 - 09:33 AM.


#9 Scoobywagon

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Posted 19 December 2010 - 01:18 PM

I was just over at Lowes and they have a Lincoln/Harris set for $179. Everything but the bottles. Right next to that was another set WITH bottles, albeit small ones, for $280. Heck, for $60 you can pick up a small Oxy/Propane or Oxy/MAPP rig.

#10 SuBrat84

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Posted 19 December 2010 - 03:45 PM

I didn't really read everyones posts.. just sort of scanned them. If it was already mentioned sorry for :horse:
PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE DO YOUR RESEARCH for cutting/welding with Oxygen/Acetylene. If you misuse this equipment IT WILL BLOW UP AND YOU WILL DIE. It's the little things like never getting your Acetylene over 15PSI. NEVER NEVER NEVER get any oil or grease on ANY of the equipment!! In high school some smart rump roast sabotaged my uncles torch with grease and he is VERY lucky to have lived through the explosion.

There is some GREAT sites to learn about Gas Cutting and Welding. I don't remember them off of the top of my head, but there is forums and everything. They will help you learn pressures and techniques for clean straight cuts and good solid welds. What size tips to use for what you're doing and everything. I highly recommend spending at LEAST a few hours reading some basic "gas cutting techniques" before you go out and buy one. (Then maybe you can test the set-up before you buy it.. especially a used one. INSPECT IT with a fine tooth comb!!!)

#11 grossgary

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Posted 19 December 2010 - 05:00 PM

is this more "blow up and die" than doing a/c work? lots of folks preach gloom and doom about a/c, but it's really not hard at all. just asking, because i've yet to learn any torch stuff. seems self explanatory given it is Oxygen and Acetlyene in the tanks.....(insert nuclear smiley face):lol:

#12 lostinthe202

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Posted 19 December 2010 - 06:33 PM

is this more "blow up and die" than doing a/c work? lots of folks preach gloom and doom about a/c, but it's really not hard at all. just asking, because i've yet to learn any torch stuff. seems self explanatory given it is Oxygen and Acetlyene in the tanks.....(insert nuclear smiley face):lol:


The welding books I've read say not to run your acetylene at more than 5psi - 10psi from a single bottle as it can become unstable at higher flow rates. When larger flows are needed, I think a larger bottle is needed or several run in parallel.

I don't know if this is the same fire hazard as a cell phone at the gas pump but why mess with it?

Good luck!

Will-

#13 grossgary

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Posted 19 December 2010 - 06:40 PM

The welding books I've read say not to run your acetylene at more than 5psi - 10psi from a single bottle as it can become unstable at higher flow rates.

great, thanks will, that makes sense.

DUDE - you're in CA now and not DC any more? no kidding, i missed that or forgot?

#14 Scoobywagon

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Posted 19 December 2010 - 06:46 PM

Yes, this is SIGNIFICANTLY more dangerous than A/C work. Firstly, Oxygen and petroleum are REALLY good friends. In fact, whenever they get together, they have themselves a little party. Thus, you don't use ANY oil or grease ANYWHERE near your regulators because the O2 will react with it and you'll be lucky to remain in one piece. Also, acetylene is pretty nasty stuff. People have died because a bottle got hit hard enough to generate a pressure spike inside the bottle that blew the valve out (usually the valve core) allowing the acetylene to rapidly depressurize and throw a little going away party with its good friend oxygen. This is one of the reasons that MAPP gas was developed.

Mostly, you just have to be not stupid. Have a little common sense with it and you're golden.

As for the A/C stuff, I'm one of the people that tends to preach doom and gloom. The reason for that is that the pressures in those systems are high enough that it CAN seriously mess you up or even kill you. Also, its irresponsible to simply vent known pollutants into the environment. Kinda like pouring used coolant or motor oil in the street.

That said, the same dangers are present with Acetylene. However, it is MUCH less forgiving than TetraFluoroEthane. Just be careful, apply a bit of common sense, don't be stupid and you likely won't blow yourself up.

#15 grossgary

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Posted 19 December 2010 - 06:51 PM

a friend of mine said something about a tank (not sure what kind) falling, when it hit the top got knocked off and the pressure blew the tank straight through a concrete block wall. even if a little exaggerated it sounds a scary.

what's up with tanks - some folks are saying you can't even buy tanks...or you can but they have to be inspected, certified, "in date" to get filled and it's better to just rent them?

#16 Scoobywagon

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Posted 19 December 2010 - 07:16 PM

I'm a little fuzzy on this one. Yes, you can buy tanks. I own a set, though admittedly not for Acetylene. It may be that Acetylene is different due to its volatility. It may also be that different states have different regulations for it. But this is why I'm really thinking about buying a rig and running Oxy Propane rather than Oxy Acetylene. Propane is cheaper and it will still cut and weld, though not as well as Acetylene. Also, bottles and fuel are easier to get.

#17 lostinthe202

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Posted 19 December 2010 - 08:15 PM

great, thanks will, that makes sense.

DUDE - you're in CA now and not DC any more? no kidding, i missed that or forgot?


hehe, yeah. I didn't make an announcement about it or anything. I took a job out in Ca in the SF Bay (where I grew up.) The reasons are many, and I'm still not sure I made the best choice, but I've only been at it a couple of months so the jury's still out. Fortunately, our place in Va there is a family farm so it's not going anywhere so we can always go back.

what's up with tanks - some folks are saying you can't even buy tanks...or you can but they have to be inspected, certified, "in date" to get filled and it's better to just rent them?


You can def. buy tanks. But the reason that many people don't is that not all gas suppliers will fill any tanks but their own. Ostensibly, this is a safety issue for the gas company since they don't know how you're treating your tanks. I always wondered if it wasn't more about money since they can make much more of it off of you renting their tanks.

Someone earlier mentioned using propane. This might be a good option for you since your use will be limited. Propane is cheap and accessible enough to keep around year in and out so you don't have to drop what you're doing and run to the gas supplier in the middle of a project.

Will-

#18 grossgary

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Posted 19 December 2010 - 08:21 PM

i'm going to go with propane instead of acetylene. i won't need a cart, just use my grill :lol: :lol:

a guy locally has a victor torch set up with everything but bottles, including cart for only $175. said it's only been used once and is 5 years old.

i'd just have to get propane compatible hose and a propane tip.

what's up with these kits for $130:
http://www.northernt..._ven=Aggregates

everything is OA - i can't find any propane set up - which just need different hose and tips.

Edited by grossgary, 19 December 2010 - 08:29 PM.


#19 Scoobywagon

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Posted 19 December 2010 - 09:06 PM

I will bet you dollars to donuts that, for the use you've described, the $60 kit from Lowe's will do the job. It even comes with a bottle of MAPP and a bottle of O2. The MAPP is less than $9 a pop at lowe's and the O2 is just under $8. Same kit will run Propane, just comes with a MAPP cylinder. Once you've burned through the MAPP that the kit comes with, a 2-pack of Propane fat boy cylinders is under $6. For the limited us you're talking about (and its the same limited use I'd have), I suspect that'll work out just fine.

#20 grossgary

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Posted 19 December 2010 - 09:24 PM

okay thanks. i think i've seen them before in the store though they don't show up online.

they work for cutting?

what dictates how thick you can cut - size of the torch, or the hose size?
i'd like to be able to cut 1/2" steel or so if i need to.

#21 SuBrat84

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Posted 19 December 2010 - 09:42 PM

I don't know how it is for the rest of the country.. but here in tucson the welding supply stores just exchange your old tanks for their full tanks. And it's really cheap once you "own" tanks. $30 lasts me at least 16 hours solid of cutting 1/2" steel.

As far as using MAPP to cut 1/2" steel I would be surprised if it's efficient. The idea is that you get the steel glowing red and then when you blast it with oxygen it turns into steel oxide.. which has a melting point of about half that of steel. A good stable cutter can actually turn off the gas and cut with just oxygen after the initial heat up.
What you can cut with a torch has more to do with how hot the gas burns, what pressures you are using on your gas/oxygen mixture, and what size cutting tip you are using.

#22 grossgary

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Posted 19 December 2010 - 10:33 PM

What you can cut with a torch has more to do with how hot the gas burns, what pressures you are using on your gas/oxygen mixture, and what size cutting tip you are using.


yes, nice info! larger tips - are tips standardized - meaning one tip can fit on any torch...or are there "sizes" of torches (besides lengths - i've seen all different lengths).

so tank, regulator, hose, torch, doesn't make a difference in how thick of a metal can be cut? spent a good couple hours reading about it and didn't see any mention of that.

a Victor a guy has locally seems like a good bet right now - everything but tanks for a good price, but still want to be informed about what is what.

y'all are great, thanks for the input.

#23 GeneralDisorder

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Posted 19 December 2010 - 11:17 PM

what dictates how thick you can cut - size of the torch, or the hose size? i'd like to be able to cut 1/2" steel or so if i need to.


There's a number of factors - mostly it's flow rate. And as mentioned previously since the fuel flow rate can only be about 5 psi from any given cylinder of Acetylene you are limited in how thick you can cut by the size of the cylinder :rolleyes:..... strange as that sounds. Propane might not have that restriction.... but 1/2" should be no problem at all for just about any size cylinder and hose you are likely to get.

Then it's tip size - a #0 tip will easily cut 1/2" plate.

My torch (Victor) is a baby - the smallest combination torch they make. And I think it's still rated at something silly like 2.5" thick steel with the right size tip, hose, and flow rate. Totally rediculous for me but as I noted - smallest size they make :-\

I haven't had a need for Acetylene pressure over 5 psi. That's where I have mine set and it works great for everything I've used it for. I've cut through 3/4" plate like butter.

GD

#24 grossgary

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Posted 19 December 2010 - 11:35 PM

Great, thanks GD - not sure if you saw it but I'm going to go with propane instead of acetylene. You're right, propane doesn't have the flow restrictions of acetylene.

#25 GeneralDisorder

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Posted 20 December 2010 - 01:56 AM

Might take longer to heat the start of your cut but once you hit the critical temp of oxidation then the O2 stream takes over and as noted you could just shut off the fuel. So in principle at least the lower temp of the Propane should not matter for thin material. The thicker the work is the longer it will take to heat up and possibly cause issues by heating too much of the surrounding area. But for rusty bolts, exhaust, the occasional need to heat something, etc - propane is far easier and safer for what you are looking for I think. Plus it's way cheaper to get into.

GD




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