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View Full Version : Victor "W" versus "W-1" series question.



BillsBayou
08-30-2010, 05:02 PM
I'm a do-it-yourself person. I haven't done welding in 30 years since I helped out in a friend's garage for a couple of months. I'm looking to do some small jobs around the house and I'm looking to buy one of two Victor sets.

Weldfabulous.com has two sets that have caught my eye and kind of fit my budget:
Performer: Victor 0384-2045 Performer Cutting & Welding Torch With New EDGE Regulators (http://www.weldfabulous.com/Torch-Outfits/Medium-Duty/Victor-Equipment/Victor-0384-2045-Performer-p4543450.html) $195
Contender: Victor 0384-2050 Contender Cutting & Welding Torch With Edge Regulators (http://www.weldfabulous.com/Torch-Outfits/Heavy-Duty/Victor-Equipment/Victor-0384-2050-Contender-p8554066.html) $316

The sets are dictated by the handles. One will lead me to a "W" series of attachments, the other to a lesser "W-1" series. The lesser Performer set has a 12.5' 3/16" hose vs the Contender's 20' 1/4" hose.

Here's what I want to do (so far):
1) We have an wrought-iron fence with iron spikes topped with finials. 1 spike broke off at the weld and two other spikes lost their finials. To reattach the spike, I need to weld 1/2" square post to a 1-1/2" wide by 1/4" thick plate.
2) I carve flat bonsai tree slabs out of various rock material. I want to flame the surface of the stone to create a textured finish and was told to use a rosebud tip.
3) Modify a utility trailer to have higher side walls.

I'm leaning towards getting the more expensive Contender set, even without an included welding tip. I'm also looking to buy Victor because of all the sets which claim to be "Victor-Style". If figure if they all want to be like Victor, I'd rather spend more and just get the real thing.

Will welding supply shops sell me 40cf and 20cf Oxy/Acetylene tanks without an open bed truck? That is, for shipment in my SUV? I tried buying a filled CO2 tank some years back (for beer dispensing) and they wouldn't do it without an open bed truck.

Will they sell me the tanks if I say I'm a hobbyist welder?

I have a feeling if I go to Harbor Freight and buy their 20cf / 10cf Oxy/Acetylene tanks that no one will refill them. I'd rather buy from an established supplier for future refills. Plus, those smaller sizes will run out fast on me with all the stone flaming I need to do.

rlitman
08-31-2010, 11:27 AM
The "W" tips fit on the larger 315 series torches (there's a new part number now though), and the "W-1" tips fit the slightly smaller 100 series torches.

In the past, I posted a comparison of the two sizes side by side in this thread:
http://weldingweb.com/showthread.php?t=39842#6

I mostly use the 100 series (smaller torch), and find that the 315FC is oversized for my 140cf acetylene and 125cf oxygen tanks. Its WAY too much for the size tanks you're looking at, and a bit clunky.
On that note, a 40cf acetylene tank is too small for a rosebud anyway, BUT you may want to consider propane as the fuel for stone flaming. MUCH cheaper than acetylene, and you can adapt your acetylene regulator to work with propane (so long as your hoses are grade "T").

I've never heard of a 20cf acetylene tank BTW. I don't have any issues getting cylinders. And I just have a car (no SUV). No, cylinders never go in the trunk.
Other people's experiences I've read about vary greatly, but while I wouldn't consider a HF set, because the Victor torches are FAR superior to the Chinese knockoffs, the cylinders are all the same, and you will have no problem getting them filled (although I would stay away from such small cylinders).

gwiley
08-31-2010, 04:53 PM
The 100 series torches have enough muscle to handle 1/4" steel with no problem (OA is just slow at that thickness). I like the smaller torch because it is easier to manipulate the torch for detail work. OA is great for hobby welding because the welds can be made pretty enough to need no post-weld grinding and the kit is versatile.

A few comments on that setup: 12' hose is too short for working in a shop, you want at least a 20' hose to make sure you can keep the hose away from dangerous areas (like under whatever you are cutting). The short hose also can lead to tugging on the regulators/cylinders - if they aren't chained well this could go badly.

I picked up a great Victor set at Tractor Supply for under $200 that included cutting and welding tips, goggles, striker, 20' hose and the regulators. I would check the local farm supply store - the $195 sounds a little high for what you are getting.

rlitman
08-31-2010, 07:10 PM
The 315 series torches are sized larger so you can use much larger tips (say like a #5). With those larger tips comes much more heat, and so you'll want to be that much farther away from a hot workpiece, and will have thicker gloves where handling a baseball bat shank sized torch handle is acceptable.
Look up those large sizes in a chart, and you'll see that they're for heavy industrial cutting and welding, and are most likely beyond the range of both what you'll be doing, and what your cylinders are capable of.

I'm actually happy with my 12.5 foot hose, but I don't like my hose dragging on the ground, and my cylinders are on a cart that I can bring closer if things get tight. The cart is WAY too heavy for me to tip accidentally by pulling on the hose, and my hoses actually run to a gasaver that is bolted to a mount which I welded to the cart, so you're not pulling on the regulators, and there's an extra foot or so between the regulators and the gasaver.

gwiley
09-01-2010, 08:15 AM
The 315 series torches are sized larger so you can use much larger tips (say like a #5). With those larger tips comes much more heat, and so you'll want to be that much farther away from a hot workpiece, and will have thicker gloves where handling a baseball bat shank sized torch handle is acceptable.
Look up those large sizes in a chart, and you'll see that they're for heavy industrial cutting and welding, and are most likely beyond the range of both what you'll be doing, and what your cylinders are capable of.

I'm actually happy with my 12.5 foot hose, but I don't like my hose dragging on the ground, and my cylinders are on a cart that I can bring closer if things get tight. The cart is WAY too heavy for me to tip accidentally by pulling on the hose, and my hoses actually run to a gasaver that is bolted to a mount which I welded to the cart, so you're not pulling on the regulators, and there's an extra foot or so between the regulators and the gasaver.

I second your advice on the torch - I have used a #4 on my set for a few odd jobs. I can see what a #5 would be good for - but that doesn't include anything I am likely to get my hands on either - in spite of doing skid steer repairs.

My cylinders are chained to a wall in my shop - I guess I just got used to dragging air hoses and extension cords around so when I started welding I took the same approach. Maybe I should build a cart.

dyrvale
09-01-2010, 08:35 AM
also the two sizes u mention dont mean a quality difference victor's main line or heavy duty series are the same quality in either size. both are repairable and will be for a long time. they also make 2 other quality groups. lets say medium duty wich i believe is on there packaging. these pieces are also repairable. and internaly take the same replacement parts. the edge line is brand new regulator style with several added safety featurs. but u pay for that. and the older style victor regulators are premo lifespan wise also. i would suggest looking around finding the best price on the medium duty line.:alien::dizzy:

rlitman
09-01-2010, 12:35 PM
I've got a 100FC with matching 00, 0, and 1 tips (my LWS never has the 000 in stock), and a 315FC that came with # 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 tips.
I find that the 315FC is way too clunky to use with the #1, and its a still a bit big for the #2.
Honestly, I really don't touch the #3, #4, and #5 tips much, since I have a TIG welder, but the 100FC would have no problems running up to the #3 continuously (which should handle your trailer work), although above that I would tend to the 315FC for day-in/day-out work, but the 100FC is still fine for a couple of quick welds at those larger sizes.

Still, my 140CF tank is just big enough to run a #3 tip full out, or a #5 tip barely opened up, and the smallest rosebuds.

Look at:
http://www.hoopersupply.com/tipchart.html

My first setup was with a 40CF acetylene tank (B sized), and that would be maxed out with a #2 tip (which is still enough to braze your fence repair, but not really enough to weld on a trailer). My rosebud with that tank, was my cutting torch (hey, its just 6 flames if you don't push the handle).
I made my own cart starting with a $20 handtruck from Home Despot, welded 1/8 x 3/4 straps to it, bent in shape to hold the bottles, and welded washers to the top rail to hold my extra tips.

My current OA cart came with my cylinders, and I actually keep my cart chained to the wall.
I'm ok with my TIG hose dragging on the floor, since it has a cover (and my ground wire has an abrasion resistant wrap), but oxygen and dirt don't mix, and since I would want to see any damage to my gas hoses a cover isn't an option, so I do everything I can to keep my hoses off the floor and clean. With the placement of my bench, 95% of what I do is within reach of my cart as is, and for those two days a year, I just roll the cart to where it needs to be. One of those retractable hose reels is tempting, but the thought of leaks just scares me too much (I already check all of my connections with O2 safe bubble solution every time I connect something).