Oxygen/Acetylene torches, tanks, welding options - Ford Truck Enthusiasts Forums

Go Back  Ford Truck Enthusiasts Forums > General > Garage & Workshop
Reload this Page >

Oxygen/Acetylene torches, tanks, welding options

Notices
Garage & Workshop Tips & Ideas for the garage or workshop. No Truck Tech Discussion

Oxygen/Acetylene torches, tanks, welding options

 
  #1  
Old 08-05-2018, 12:38 AM
KC8QVO's Avatar
KC8QVO
KC8QVO is offline
Posting Guru
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 2,149
KC8QVO is a name known to allKC8QVO is a name known to allKC8QVO is a name known to allKC8QVO is a name known to allKC8QVO is a name known to allKC8QVO is a name known to all
Oxygen/Acetylene torches, tanks, welding options

I have been dealing with a local gas supplier for a couple weeks now and I am curious what others do...

Long story short, I bought a torch kit with a 10cu ft Acetylene tank and 20cu ft. Oxygen tank. All of the gas suppliers around work off of an "exchange" program. So, instead of filling tanks like propane tanks on-the-spot, you swap the tanks for already filled tanks.

I did not research much on obtaining gas before I bought my torch set, otherwise I would not have bought a kit with tanks. So since I had the tanks I have been jumping through hoops trying to get them filled. So far only the Oxygen tank is filled. I had to take a loaner Acetylene tank because they didn't have mine filled as it turned out. Not the end of the world, but just another headache trying to line up all my tools/supplies for my steering system replacement.

In the future what I really want is a nice Miller power supply that I can run all common welding processes with - gmaw/mig, gtaw/tig, smaw/arc/stick. I specifically want a gtaw/tig set up, but mig is easy for general stuff and heavy framing might be best suited to smaw.

Since I already have the set up for oxy/acetylene, minus tanks and regulator adapters, for gas welding I am trying to figure out if it is worth it. I need the gas for heating purposes, regardless, so I need the torch outfit, period. What I can't do, or much/heavy use of, is cutting and welding - the tanks I have are too small, namely the dissolved acetylene.

For welding and cutting purposes I am going to need significantly more gas = bigger tanks = more expense.

The local gas place has both a lease program and a rental program available. The benefit is that every 7 years tanks need to be re-certified. With the lease/rental the swapping of the tanks for re-fills means the tanks received are always certified, and there is no time delay in getting the gas (I've been waiting over a week for my acetylene now... and have a loaner tank for the mean time). The down side is the tanks aren't customer-owned and there is a monthly charge for the use of the tanks. There is a deposit that is required ($45/tank for the sizes I was looking at) in addition to the monthly fees.

The other route would be to purchase tanks outright. These could be one of two categories - like what I am doing with my set now, where I own a specific set of tanks. All I pay for is the gas fill and the re-certification every 7 years. The other route is to buy a set of swapped tanks. This would get around the monthly rental/lease payments, however would not get around the 7 year re-certification fees unless I use more than that amount of gas in that time period = need to swap tanks before the 7 years. The drawback to owning a specific set of tanks (like what I have now) is the time and headache of getting them filled. The other aspect is the upfront expense of buying the tanks - $300/ea or so, plus the gas on top of that.

Looking at the numbers, even $6-700 for a set of higher capacity tanks would be more affordable than a quality multi-process power supply and welding outfit (guns, spool feedrs, shielding gas, ect). No matter what, for heavy mechanical work where heat is required an oxy/acetylene torch will be required - so I need it. I guess what I am thinking about is if I am set up for that already, what would it take to make that more versatile, and what is the best/mos cost effective method to do so?

What do you do? What works for you? What have you had headaches with?
 
  #2  
Old 08-05-2018, 08:06 AM
tjc transport's Avatar
tjc transport
tjc transport is offline
i ain't rite
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: NOT CALIFORNIA!!!
Posts: 48,291
tjc transport has a superb reputationtjc transport has a superb reputationtjc transport has a superb reputationtjc transport has a superb reputationtjc transport has a superb reputationtjc transport has a superb reputationtjc transport has a superb reputationtjc transport has a superb reputationtjc transport has a superb reputationtjc transport has a superb reputationtjc transport has a superb reputation
i bought a set of exchange tanks form the local supplier. when empty i return them for full tanks. they pay for the recertification.
only drawback around here is the suppliers will only fill their tanks. so if you are out on a job and run low on gas, you will have to go back to your supplier to get refills, you can not go to the nearest supplier unless it is a branch of the company you deal with.
since we have 5 major gas suppliers in a 25 mile radius, it can get to be a pain in the asterisk to find gas in a hurry if you are out on the road and not familiar with the area.
 
  #3  
Old 08-05-2018, 12:17 PM
KC8QVO's Avatar
KC8QVO
KC8QVO is offline
Posting Guru
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 2,149
KC8QVO is a name known to allKC8QVO is a name known to allKC8QVO is a name known to allKC8QVO is a name known to allKC8QVO is a name known to allKC8QVO is a name known to all
Thanks for the info Tom. That rings a bell with what a buddy of mine said last week. If getting a set of purchased tanks get a set that does not have a gas company name on them. When I was talking with the guy at the store Friday that came up also. There is a gas supplier that was in town under a different name that went out of business. They have people that have bought those at garage and estate sales bringing them in trying to get them filled. The place I was working with will not take them/fill them.

I don't for see needing gas on the road, aside from trips to my cabins perhaps or helping out friends/family.

If I relocate again, though, and am way out then that would become a bigger consideration.

Figure $9/month for a tank, $18/month for a pair. In 2 years that will amount to $216/tank or $432/pair. 3 years would be $342/tank and $648/pair.

I think they said the re-certification was $18 a tank, but the bigger issue is the wait - it may be a month or two to get the re-certification through.

Cost-wise it looks like, over time, the better route is purchased tanks.

With what ever tanks I use I will have to have a good method (either weight or tank pressure) to determine the fill status. If I have a job to do and end up with low tanks starting I could plan ahead and get the tanks in line to fill up. Or, if I do a job and run the tanks low just knock it out and have them re-filled so I don't have to worry about it when I need them next.
 
  #4  
Old 08-05-2018, 01:26 PM
tjc transport's Avatar
tjc transport
tjc transport is offline
i ain't rite
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: NOT CALIFORNIA!!!
Posts: 48,291
tjc transport has a superb reputationtjc transport has a superb reputationtjc transport has a superb reputationtjc transport has a superb reputationtjc transport has a superb reputationtjc transport has a superb reputationtjc transport has a superb reputationtjc transport has a superb reputationtjc transport has a superb reputationtjc transport has a superb reputationtjc transport has a superb reputation
look for the largest supplier in your area. the four big players in the New Jersey area are
GTS/Welco
Praxair
SOS gas
and Industrial Welding Supply.
GTS and Praxair have locations all over the NJ//NY area, but not near me. closest is 45 miles away.
SOS gas is 20 miles away. i have a set of their small bottles, given to me around 30 years ago i use for portable/on road work.
i mostly use Industrial Welding Supply because they are 5 miles up the road.
they only have one location, but deliver all over the tri-state area to most of the large construction companies.
the other advantage of using Industrial is if i need bottles when the store is closed, all i have to do is go to any of my construction contacts and swap tanks at their shops because most have 10-15 bottles of both oxygen and acetylene full in storage racks at all times.
 
  #5  
Old 08-05-2018, 02:24 PM
PupnDuck
PupnDuck is offline
Elder User
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Staten Island, NY
Posts: 969
PupnDuck has a very good reputation on FTE.PupnDuck has a very good reputation on FTE.PupnDuck has a very good reputation on FTE.
Originally Posted by tjc transport View Post
i bought a set of exchange tanks form the local supplier. when empty i return them for full tanks. they pay for the recertification.
only drawback around here is the suppliers will only fill their tanks. so if you are out on a job and run low on gas, you will have to go back to your supplier to get refills, you can not go to the nearest supplier unless it is a branch of the company you deal with.
since we have 5 major gas suppliers in a 25 mile radius, it can get to be a pain in the asterisk to find gas in a hurry if you are out on the road and not familiar with the area.
Essentially the same thing I did. When I bought my gas welding equipment 30+ years ago I bought a set of tanks from the local gas supplier. When a tank gets empty, I just bring it in and swap for a full one. Presumably, the cost factors in the cost of recertification. I've never had a problem bringing in a tank with an expired inspection. I'm fortunate in that I live in an area with a number of ship yards and dry docks so they move a lot of gas but as mentioned previously, they'll only exchange tanks with their label on them.
I used to use a lot of Oxy and Acetylene but now most of my welding is done with Mig so I get my C25 from the same supplier with the same tank swap set up, but I do keep a spare C25 tank on hand so I don't have to go running for a replacement and I can run the connected tank dry. I don't use a lot of Oxy/Acetylene anymore except for heating things up.
 
  #6  
Old 08-05-2018, 02:41 PM
tjc transport's Avatar
tjc transport
tjc transport is offline
i ain't rite
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: NOT CALIFORNIA!!!
Posts: 48,291
tjc transport has a superb reputationtjc transport has a superb reputationtjc transport has a superb reputationtjc transport has a superb reputationtjc transport has a superb reputationtjc transport has a superb reputationtjc transport has a superb reputationtjc transport has a superb reputationtjc transport has a superb reputationtjc transport has a superb reputationtjc transport has a superb reputation
i have been saying i am going to get my oxygen tank refilled for the past 8 years. and constantly forged to do so. i have not used the torches in since winter 2009/2010 when i redid the 1979 F350. all my cutting is done with the plasma cutter. i have only used the torches for heating metal since getting the plasma cutter 20+years ago.
the worst part is, there are at least 4 full oxy bottles sitting at the body shop, and i always for get to bring the empty bottle when i go over there.
 
  #7  
Old 08-06-2018, 03:07 PM
Beechkid
Beechkid is offline
Moderator
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Southern California
Posts: 4,355
Beechkid has much to be proud ofBeechkid has much to be proud ofBeechkid has much to be proud ofBeechkid has much to be proud ofBeechkid has much to be proud ofBeechkid has much to be proud ofBeechkid has much to be proud ofBeechkid has much to be proud ofBeechkid has much to be proud of
There are a few suppliers that will not exchange customer owned tanks....and it is really BS IMHO as they are just getting you to spend up front $ with them.....I had a supplier do that to me once....and walked out never to go back. Over the past 40 years I have always just brought my tanks in a swapped them out for filled ones...this also relieves you of the issue of hydro test dates..... on an exchange they don't care and will always make sure you get good tanks (always best to check though) and they just hydro those with all the rest of the tanks that need it.
 
  #8  
Old 08-09-2018, 10:50 PM
KC8QVO's Avatar
KC8QVO
KC8QVO is offline
Posting Guru
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 2,149
KC8QVO is a name known to allKC8QVO is a name known to allKC8QVO is a name known to allKC8QVO is a name known to allKC8QVO is a name known to allKC8QVO is a name known to all
Well my escapade with gas continues...

I got a call early this week that my tank was ready to be picked up. I delayed a couple days until this morning. I figured I would swap the tanks before I get going on things. So I drove out to the gas place. Long story short, I swapped the tanks and ended up leaving my note book on the counter down there. I realized it when I was getting out of the car at the house. So I drove down there a second time. By the time I got home it was 2:30. I started in on my project and reciprocating saw gave up the ghost. I needed it to cut parts for a special tool. So my back-up plan was my oxy-acetylne torch. I started prepping the torch cracking cylinders. Oxy was good. Acetylene - no go. Not an ounce of pressure of Acetylene.

The guy I have been working with at the gas place has really been great to deal with. I appreciate his patience, and I'm sure he has pulled some strings to get this far (I did talk to the manager of the operation earlier today for a good while - the manager was assisting with the tank swap as it turned out). But when a tool quits and the torch is the back up - and theres no gas! - $#t gets frustrating.

I've had a long day. Although I bypassed the necessity for the gas for my job today I still need it on-hand (again - just in case - and it's already fallen short in that department today) before I take the truck apart. Tomorrow I'm going in with the whole torch kit and am going to ensure it works before I leave. I was on the road for 3 hours today with my 2x trips to the gas supplier. Thats a lota work time!
 
  #9  
Old 08-10-2018, 12:10 AM
85e150six4mtod
85e150six4mtod is online now
Moderator
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 21,497
85e150six4mtod has a superb reputation85e150six4mtod has a superb reputation85e150six4mtod has a superb reputation85e150six4mtod has a superb reputation85e150six4mtod has a superb reputation85e150six4mtod has a superb reputation85e150six4mtod has a superb reputation85e150six4mtod has a superb reputation85e150six4mtod has a superb reputation85e150six4mtod has a superb reputation85e150six4mtod has a superb reputation
I recall seeing a guy using a propane/oxygen torch. My dad said acetylene had gotten so expensive some folks were using propane. Slower to cut of course.

Anyone heard of that or was that a passing fad?
 
  #10  
Old 08-10-2018, 05:38 AM
tjc transport's Avatar
tjc transport
tjc transport is offline
i ain't rite
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: NOT CALIFORNIA!!!
Posts: 48,291
tjc transport has a superb reputationtjc transport has a superb reputationtjc transport has a superb reputationtjc transport has a superb reputationtjc transport has a superb reputationtjc transport has a superb reputationtjc transport has a superb reputationtjc transport has a superb reputationtjc transport has a superb reputationtjc transport has a superb reputationtjc transport has a superb reputation
the local muffler shops here years ago used propane because they had a 1,000 gallon tank behind the building. no tank changes, just had the propane supplier come once a month and fill the tank.
 
  #11  
Old 08-13-2018, 11:51 AM
1979 Ford's Avatar
1979 Ford
1979 Ford is offline
FTE Chapter Leader
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Not as far west as I want
Posts: 3,414
1979 Ford is a splendid one to behold1979 Ford is a splendid one to behold1979 Ford is a splendid one to behold1979 Ford is a splendid one to behold1979 Ford is a splendid one to behold1979 Ford is a splendid one to behold1979 Ford is a splendid one to behold
I’m almost thinking the route to go is plasma. Then propane for heating things that need to be removed or pressed. Use the plasma for cutting.
 
  #12  
Old 08-13-2018, 11:59 AM
PupnDuck
PupnDuck is offline
Elder User
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Staten Island, NY
Posts: 969
PupnDuck has a very good reputation on FTE.PupnDuck has a very good reputation on FTE.PupnDuck has a very good reputation on FTE.
Just remember, you can't weld with oxy/propane - if that's a consideration.
 
  #13  
Old 08-26-2018, 12:20 AM
jetjockey99
jetjockey99 is offline
Elder User
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 958
jetjockey99 is gaining momentum as a positive member of FTE.jetjockey99 is gaining momentum as a positive member of FTE.
You can weld with oxy/propane, just not as heavy a material or as fast because propane has a lower BTU than acetylene. I also weld aluminum sheet with oxy/hydrogen for less warping and better control.
 
  #14  
Old 08-26-2018, 09:11 PM
PupnDuck
PupnDuck is offline
Elder User
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Staten Island, NY
Posts: 969
PupnDuck has a very good reputation on FTE.PupnDuck has a very good reputation on FTE.PupnDuck has a very good reputation on FTE.
Originally Posted by jetjockey99 View Post
You can weld with oxy/propane, just not as heavy a material or as fast because propane has a lower BTU than acetylene. I also weld aluminum sheet with oxy/hydrogen for less warping and better control.
Nope. When acetylene burns in oxygen it produces a reducing flame which cleans the metal to be melted. Propane does not produce a reducing flame when burning in oxygen. You may be able to melt the metal but the weld will be very weak.
 
  #15  
Old 08-30-2018, 11:14 AM
monckywrench
monckywrench is offline
Posting Guru
Join Date: Apr 2001
Posts: 2,158
monckywrench is a splendid one to beholdmonckywrench is a splendid one to beholdmonckywrench is a splendid one to beholdmonckywrench is a splendid one to beholdmonckywrench is a splendid one to beholdmonckywrench is a splendid one to beholdmonckywrench is a splendid one to behold
I have far more industrial gas cylinders (argon, MIG mix, nitrogen, oxygen, acetylene) than I need by keeping an eye out on Craigslist and auction sites. I know what I can exchange and with extra cylinders if a recent buy needs hydro testing I can afford to wait for it to come back.

You can normally exchange small cylinders for larger (but still "customer owned") sizes for a modest fee. I really like OA welding for thin sheet but I also cut and braze with propane. For low flow rate use modern acetylene regulator soft parts are rated for both fuels ( I rebuild my own regs and flowmeters) so you can use an acetylene regulator with LP but not the other way round. Reason is LP regulator output pressure is much higher and you don't want to go boom. (Study welding safety for why.) If in doubt, call manufacturer tech support. BBQ cylinders have CGA-510 internal threads to support older regulators and those fit CGA-510 regulators or adapters. The OPD valve limits withdrawal rates so if doing heavy cutting get a larger cylinder without the OPD valve.

Buying cylinders for anything other than exchange purposes is a pain. I swap them out and call it good. I look for cylinders with blank neck rings when buying used but "owner size" cylinders of suitable brand (the industry consolidated over the past 100+ years) can be swapped too.

The best place to learn how to hunt used cylinders and equipment is the Weldingweb forums which are to welding what this place is to Ford trucks. The Miller forums are second but still outstanding and cover more than just Miller/Hobart/ITW equipment.
 
 


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us About Us Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service

© 2019 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.