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Old 11-30-2013, 07:52 PM   #3781
Stan_R80/7
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As a bit of trivia, propane and oxygen uses a 1:5 ratio. So, the trip to the welding shop can't be avoided with propane and twice the oxygen is needed compared to acetylene.

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Old 11-30-2013, 10:33 PM   #3782
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Originally Posted by Stan_R80/7 View Post
As a bit of trivia, propane and oxygen uses a 1:5 ratio. So, the trip to the welding shop can't be avoided with propane and twice the oxygen is needed compared to acetylene.
I wasn't trying to say that the trip to the welding shop could be avoided. But acetylene is expensive these days, and propane is much easier to get.

FWIW, I feel I should mention that oxygen is a very dangerous gas in it's own right, and should be treated with at least as much care as acetylene. I don't have an oxy-acetylene setup these days, largely because I just don't feel comfortable with them stored in my garage (which is right underneath the two bedrooms of my small house).
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Old 12-01-2013, 04:56 AM   #3783
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I am not intending to 'defend' acetylene compared to propane, but pointing out the trade-offs. Some people are very uncomfortable with acetylene (e.g. it will explode, is dissolved in acetone, etc.), but handled correctly is safe. Oxygen should be treated with respect, plus it has no odor for leak detection. I rent oxy-acetylene bottles when needed, other than a Oxy-Acetylene tote with a MC and #1 bottles. But that is out of convenience since an Arcet shop is ~ 10 minutes away.

From my limited experience, acetylene is a versatile fuel gas. But propane is very convenient and may be less expensive for some jobs. It seems all bottled gases have more than doubled in price in the last ten years. Also, filling (swapping) the bottles costs nearly the same for a large bottle compared to a small. If I were learning to oxy-acetylene weld, I would get a Victor torch set and rent a big acetylene bottle and accompanying oxygen bottle - even if that entailed renting (or buying) a trailer. Once the learning phase was over, then consider buying bottles.
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Old 12-01-2013, 07:34 AM   #3784
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O/A Trivia

The gas supplier may even deliver for free..... When I bought my O/A rig about 12-14 years ago I bought the tanks and the gas supplier (either Holox or may have already sold out to Airgas) said they deliver free. They constantly run big flat bed trucks all over around here delivering industrial and medical gases, so its easy for them to combine deliveries in an area.

YMMV.
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Old 12-01-2013, 01:28 PM   #3785
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OA is a very versatile choice for a welding set up. It may not be as cost effective to use when figuring in the cost of gas and the extra time it takes to weld vs a point and shoot MIG set up. But in situations where you are off grid and only do occasional welding I think it is the smart choice.

For brazing silver you my want to look for an old presto lite torch. it is an acetylene only rig and may be chaper to use. It is not as fine of a flame as a mini torch with a small tip.

I have done several cast iron repairs with OA and vrass brazing rod. the key is to drill a hole at the end of any cracks and to grind a groove with 60 degree sides. If it is a clean break you need to bevel the edges and make a fixture to hold the parts together. pre heat both parts and then braze away. When done let the parts air cool, DO NOT USE WATER. I repaired a CI water pump with a spiral weld around the entire pump using a cutting torch and some flux coated brass rod. By the time I was done brazing the whole pomp as glowing dull red. I put a metal box over it to hold the heat in so it could cool slowly and the thing held until the bearings went bad 10 years later.
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Old 12-03-2013, 08:39 AM   #3786
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But dealing with the tanks seems a pain. I read that I should NEVER transport acetylene in an enclosed vehicle? Is a welding shop likely to stop me from doing so? I have no way of using a hitch mount, the best I could do is put it on the hood or modify the vehicle (for which I'd need the torch in the first place). I live past the end of BFE down dirt roads, I think the nearest air-gas retailer is about 2 hours away, the dirt roads are only a couple miles but it is a half hour to town IF I find someone who runs tanks back and forth between Taos and Santa Fe.
I used to carry bottles in my van. The welding shop discouraged, but allowed. After reading this article, I now hook up my trailer if I need to haul an acetylene bottle. If you absolutely, positively have carry in your car, leave all the windows open. If you've ever ignited a balloon filled with acetylene, it will give you a small idea of the explosive power of a car filled with gas.

Cutting steel with a torch leaves a ragged edge. When I built my trailer I put an abrasive blade on my circular saw and used that for all the cuts. I went thru a lot of blades cutting 700#'s of steel.
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Old 12-03-2013, 11:49 AM   #3787
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Cutting steel with a torch leaves a ragged edge. When I built my trailer I put an abrasive blade on my circular saw and used that for all the cuts. I went thru a lot of blades cutting 700#'s of steel.
Related to this, and thus, welding (kind of), I've been searching for a good way to cut steel tube (2x2 or smaller, both square and round) *somewhat* accurately without investing a bunch of money in a horizontal band saw or abrasive chop saw. Is there another way besides my angle grinder and cutoff wheel, or am I gonna have to pony up for a chop saw? I've never used an abrasive bladed chop saw that didn't take eons to make a cut...
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Old 12-03-2013, 12:11 PM   #3788
HellSickle
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Originally Posted by MiteyF View Post
Related to this, and thus, welding (kind of), I've been searching for a good way to cut steel tube (2x2 or smaller, both square and round) *somewhat* accurately without investing a bunch of money in a horizontal band saw or abrasive chop saw. Is there another way besides my angle grinder and cutoff wheel, or am I gonna have to pony up for a chop saw? I've never used an abrasive bladed chop saw that didn't take eons to make a cut...
Huh? A chop saw should cut thru smaller tubing in seconds. The horizontal band saw should take a lot longer. Cutting 6" channel with my circular saw took a bit of time.
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Old 12-03-2013, 12:31 PM   #3789
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MiteyF View Post
Related to this, and thus, welding (kind of), I've been searching for a good way to cut steel tube (2x2 or smaller, both square and round) *somewhat* accurately without investing a bunch of money in a horizontal band saw or abrasive chop saw. Is there another way besides my angle grinder and cutoff wheel, or am I gonna have to pony up for a chop saw? I've never used an abrasive bladed chop saw that didn't take eons to make a cut...
Perhaps this?

http://www.harborfreight.com/3-12-ho...saw-68104.html

Find a 20% off coupon in some magazine and it becomes real cheap.

Eric
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Old 12-03-2013, 12:37 PM   #3790
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Originally Posted by HellSickle View Post
Huh? A chop saw should cut thru smaller tubing in seconds. The horizontal band saw should take a lot longer. Cutting 6" channel with my circular saw took a bit of time.
It takes forever and a day to cut metal with a masonary blade.
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Old 12-03-2013, 12:40 PM   #3791
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Originally Posted by eric1514 View Post
Perhaps this?

http://www.harborfreight.com/3-12-ho...saw-68104.html

Find a 20% off coupon in some magazine and it becomes real cheap.

Eric
The only power tool I've ever bought from HF has actually done me very well. I've got their benchtop drill press... for $60 (plus a $20 2 year warranty = $80, highly suggested) it's given me no problems whatsoever in my 3+ years of occasional use... may just have to take a look. Although I'll factor a *real* blade into the price, since we ALL know the stock one will suck balls.
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Old 12-03-2013, 12:46 PM   #3792
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It takes forever and a day to cut metal with a masonary blade.
A good horizontal band saw will make an abrasive chop saw look like a children's toy.
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Old 12-03-2013, 01:51 PM   #3793
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MiteyF View Post
Related to this, and thus, welding (kind of), I've been searching for a good way to cut steel tube (2x2 or smaller, both square and round) *somewhat* accurately without investing a bunch of money in a horizontal band saw or abrasive chop saw. Is there another way besides my angle grinder and cutoff wheel, or am I gonna have to pony up for a chop saw? I've never used an abrasive bladed chop saw that didn't take eons to make a cut...
Do you have an O/A torch and bottles.......... cutting torch? I've seen some people that were really good with a cutting torch, Years ago thats all there was Learn how to use it. It's a lot cheaper than cutoff blades and ya arn't breathing all that dust or have it down the back of your neck.
Use a straight edge to help guide the torch when the length of cut allows
Cutting anything thinner than 1/4" plate is not recommended because of warpage, but sq. tube, channel and pipe are easily cut with a torch.
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Old 12-03-2013, 01:56 PM   #3794
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The people I have watched that appeared to know what they were doing (i.e. paid pipe fitters and welders) always used a portable bandsaw for such work. HF sells one (that I have bought - but not used much): http://www.harborfreight.com/power-t...saw-47840.html. I bought my portable bandsaw to use with a small generator to cut 20' sections of 1/8" steel angle to carry home.

I have yet to see a blade on a HF tool that was adequate. Milwaukee sells a more industrial portable band saw for ~ 2-1/2 times the price as the HF. Slow speed is needed for cutting steel. Having used abrasive blades, I found the bandsaw a huge improvement - and the lack of vibration, noise, and abrasive dust are appreciated also.
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Old 12-03-2013, 02:10 PM   #3795
David R
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2 x 2 steel tubing can be cut with a hack saw.
A grinder with a true (1/16") cut off blade will do the job, it may take a jig to get it to cut straight. Wheels are availabel at tractor supply for $2.00 each.

Chop saw!

Sawzall works on steel with the right blade and if it goes slow enough. Full speed on steel and the blade turns blue then the teeth fall off.

Portaband is great, but $300 is a little steep. I have one.

I bought a horizontal band saw from harbor freight in 1985 for $179. I now have a bigger one that circulates coolant. I still use the small one.

A good man with an ox acet torch can make a nice cut. You don't learn it in a minute.

Good luck
David
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