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Oxy propane torch for the hobbyist

Chris

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Let's face it, welding gasses and such can be very costly. I'm lucky enough to be on a low tariff for my Argon but it's still not a cheap thing to have lying around not doing anything for months on end. One thing I have always wanted was a hot spanner. I've looked at electrical induction heaters and I will have one eventually, but the versatility of the gas axe is pretty legendary. But they take up room, aren't cheap in the first place and of course you've those rentals to pay for. Some folk are lucky enough to be able to 'sort' something where it costs them very little of course. Well done you.

So I came across this little set up. Sub £200, highly portable and sufficient run time for tackling quite a few stubborn nuts and studs. Having had a quick play, it is not a toy. It's not another bodge like a Clarke gasless MIG welder. It's proper hot. I got mine through Cromwell tools. There's enough O2 to run on full for 30 mins. That's not too bad. Refills are variable in price and I'll have to shop around but not snapping a stud is worth how much? On a Sunday afternoon? Small enough to stick in the truck to take on an expedition too. Handy to straighten stuff. You can gas weld and braze with it too naturally. Comes with 5 different nozzles, striker, rods, goggles and some crappy spanners. Here you go..

This is the smallest nozzle lit. I tried the largest too and it's decent. Certainly enough to get a big nut glowing properly in a very short time. There's plenty of You Tube stuff on these.Screenshot 2021-04-30 at 13.26.35.jpgScreenshot 2021-04-30 at 13.26.45.jpgScreenshot 2021-04-30 at 13.26.59.jpg
 

Towpack

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That looks a useful piece of kit at a decent price. I had a Portapack Oxy-acetalene set years ago with the bottles on rental from BOC which wasn't cheap and in the end I couldn't justify the rental price when I used the damn thing maybe 2-3 times a year! I have a standard Propane torch and cylinder (as most of us do I guess) but it just isn't hot enough for some jobs. I thought it wasn't possible to weld with oxy- propane, something to do with the flame front?

Edit......Just looked at the spec on the Cromwell website and see it uses Mapgas not propane! Might have to add one to the garage. Cromwell Tools is just down the road from us.
 
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Gary820

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We had to lose our hot spanner due to someone in an office telling us its too dangerous!
I've Got an induction tool and it's OK but there's times when you just need to turn that seized bolt to liquid haha.
I've got a Mapp gas blow torch too but it's frowned upon!

There's a guy who goes to the local auto jumble and sells welding supplies, I get my argon from him. £40 to swap the bottle over, decent size one too. Haven't had a rental for years now.
 

Chris

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Yes should have said Mapgas but wasn't clever enough to work out the difference.
 

Towpack

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I've always used CO2 for welding mild steel with the MIG and get refills cheap at the local car spares by bottle swap. I've never actually asked them about Argon but I'd be surprised if they do it. There are suppliers who do various gases, including oxygen, rental free with a refundable deposit on the bottle.
 

Chris

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I'm on a legacy gas programme with BOC from the old Volksgas scheme they had running but it's still not for free. But in terms of this torch, £20 for 30 mins of O2 is fine by me. I weld with Argonlite and wouldn't use anything else really. But welding uses a whole lot more gas than this process. If I was still running the welding shop down south, I'd be able to get gas much cheaper - but I still would be using any more than I am already. So it's a null argument I guess. Getting these little canisters cheap would be nice though so I can just go heating stuff up for fun. Best thing to have at least one spare of each on the shelf and just make sure I turn them off when I've done!
 
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Towpack

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I've seen the "do not refill" warnings on some of these "disposable" canisters but are they really throw away? Surely some one some where must fill/refill them.
 

Towpack

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On a refill-related theme I bought one of these .... Refill Pipe .......to refill the small camping stove canisters from a large propane bottle. I like the advice, "After charging please shut the valves and be careful" !
You connect the tube, turn the large propane bottle upside down and open the taps and liquid propane flows into the small camping canister, in theory. Some gas does flow making the canister useable but it nowhere near fills it. I'm assuming that when they're filled commercially the liquid gas is pumped in under pressure as they do with CO2 cylinders.
 

chapel gate

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we have starting using the hobby weld oxy/acetylene bottles after using BOC has become more difficult than it was back in the day. available from the local service station.

the creme brulee's are looking good again..
 
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