Can Bernzomatic MAPP (without Oxy) actually braze anything thick?
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  1. #1
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    Can Bernzomatic MAPP (without Oxy) actually braze anything thick?

    Hi,

    Anyone had any experience with these Bernzomatic MAPP gas (by itself, not combined with oxygen) - can you get any decent brazing done with it - on steel 1/8" thick let's say?

    I'd like to add brazing to my capabilities but an oxy/acetylene setup is way too expensive as it is a hobby only - also I have the propane one but it is much too weak to braze

    Here is a pic of one

    And details: under Gas Types doesn't seem a big difference in temperature: http://www.bernzomatic.com/resources/gas-types.aspx
    Butane Propane Max Power
    Propylene
    Flame Temperature in Oxygen (ºF) 4,925 4,579 5,193
    Flame Temperature in Air (ºF) 3,200 3,450 3,600
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  2. #2
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    Re: Can Bernzomatic MAPP (without Oxy) actually braze anything thick?

    Never used mapp gas, but I'm going to go with "no".
    Unless flame is much hotter than my acetylene plumber's
    torch,you'll never get 1/8" steel to the temp.
    needed to make brazing filler flow freely.
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  3. #3
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    Re: Can Bernzomatic MAPP (without Oxy) actually braze anything thick?

    It depends on the size of the weldment and the torch. It should be OK for small stuff like brazing on a nut or a tab. Some of the newer "turbo" or "swirl" type torches are quite a bit hotter than the old style. Bernzomatic has a couple models, like the TS8000.

  4. #4
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    Re: Can Bernzomatic MAPP (without Oxy) actually braze anything thick?

    What about those little oxygen/MAP torches that use the small bottles like you have in the picture? $60- 70 I believe.

  5. #5
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    Re: Can Bernzomatic MAPP (without Oxy) actually braze anything thick?

    I have the torch in the picture. It's a great torch. I have not had any luck brazing with it. You can silver solder with it. I think you'll need something with oxygen to braze.

  6. #6
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    Re: Can Bernzomatic MAPP (without Oxy) actually braze anything thick?

    quick note: that Bernzomatic chart does NOT list MAPP in the fuel choices. It is listing propane, butane, and propylene (their "Max Power" gas).

    Yes MAPP burns hotter than propane and adds a bit more overall heat in the same/compatible torch head.

    Depending on what torch head you are using and what fuel and oxidizer (air or pure oxygen) and the overall size of the item to be brazed and the exact brazing alloy filler being used all determine whether or not you will be able to braze something.

    So, the answer is "It all depends."

    But in general, the small 'plumber-type' propane/butane/propylene/MAPP torches using air do not get hot enough to braze steel. The little oxy-MAPP (now oxy-propylene) torch does, but those tiny oxygen cylinders are pretty darn expensive for the amount of oxygen that you get. It's like ~$10 for ~1 ft3 of oxygen. Which only lasts about 10-20 minutes or so of use IIRC.

    IMNSO, spring the $$ for a 'real' oxy-fuel set-up.
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  7. #7
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    Re: Can Bernzomatic MAPP (without Oxy) actually braze anything thick?

    I have the same gas bottle (identical to the one in your picture) but I have a different torch setup I think mine is what they call the turbo, it's an old one I've had for twenty years or so.

    I have never tried it on anything as thick as 1/8 but I bought it for quick braze jobs on hydraulic lines and injector lines on tractors mainly where two lines have rubbed together and worn a hole, and it works like a champ for that. I just use the general purpose brazing rod that they sell at the auto parts stores.
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  8. #8
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    Re: Can Bernzomatic MAPP (without Oxy) actually braze anything thick?

    Quote Originally Posted by shortarc View Post
    I have never tried it on anything as thick as 1/8 but I bought it for quick braze jobs on hydraulic lines and injector lines on tractors mainly where two lines have rubbed together and worn a hole, and it works like a champ for that. I just use the general purpose brazing rod that they sell at the auto parts stores.
    Good to know that it works with thin stuff. I tried brazing a part today without any luck. I couldn't get it hot enough. I even used a piece of insulation which got it darn close. Maybe with a piece of k-wool it would work. After heating for a long time I gave up and tig welded it. I was too lazy to pull out the OA to finish it. In the second photo you can see just a touch of brass was deposited... to it was almost there.
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  9. #9
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    Re: Can Bernzomatic MAPP (without Oxy) actually braze anything thick?

    Quote Originally Posted by forhire View Post
    In the second photo you can see just a touch of brass was deposited... to it was almost there.
    Maybe a little pre-heat with the O/A torch next time.

    Good demo photos.
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  10. #10
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    Re: Can Bernzomatic MAPP (without Oxy) actually braze anything thick?

    Quote Originally Posted by duaneb55 View Post
    Maybe a little pre-heat with the O/A torch next time.

    Good demo photos.
    Yeah it was barely hot enough to melt the flux. For me the question is answered.

  11. #11
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    Re: Can Bernzomatic MAPP (without Oxy) actually braze anything thick?

    rand7819: In Australia it's really hard to track down those Oxygen bottles in the hardware stores - they just don't sell them. I asked and the guy said something about "regulations" about selling Oxygen.

    forhire: thanks for the demo! my question is answered

  12. #12
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    Re: Can Bernzomatic MAPP (without Oxy) actually braze anything thick?

    Quote Originally Posted by flashburn View Post
    forhire: thanks for the demo! my question is answered
    Before I tried the insulation I could get the nut hot but the bar didn't show much heat. After backing with the insulation (which a lot melted away because it's fiberglass ) the bar began soaking up the heat. If you were to use some high temp insulation (k-wool) or even fire brick to contain the heat I'd bet you could get it hot enough. Play around with it and post some pictures of your results.

    Ideally you should find a welding supply house and pick up a small oxygen-acetylene setup.

  13. #13
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    Re: Can Bernzomatic MAPP (without Oxy) actually braze anything thick?

    If you're using MAPP cylinders, check this recall notice:
    http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml12/12117.html
    Worthington seems to be the provider for most of the brands.

  14. #14
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    Re: Can Bernzomatic MAPP (without Oxy) actually braze anything thick?

    Quote Originally Posted by papaof2 View Post
    WOW a recall of over 30 MILLION CYLINDERS!
    ??? I don't get it. In my hands-on experience over the last 14 years, all these small schaeder-valve type propane, map gas cylinders have had this same problem - maybe a 20% chance of leaking after disconnecting the torch. This is not new and not restricted to Worthington.

    It was such a normal occurence that I made it a standard practice after disconnecting the cyclinder to hold the valve end up to my ear to listen for a hiss - signalling a leak. I caught a few and would just re-attach and de-attach the torch and check again.

    I'm not too impressed; it took them darn near 15 years to take action on this problem!
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  15. #15
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    Re: Can Bernzomatic MAPP (without Oxy) actually braze anything thick?

    Quote Originally Posted by MoonRise View Post
    quick note: that Bernzomatic chart does NOT list MAPP in the fuel choices. It is listing propane, butane, and propylene (their "Max Power" gas).

    Yes MAPP burns hotter than propane and adds a bit more overall heat in the same/compatible torch head.

    Depending on what torch head you are using and what fuel and oxidizer (air or pure oxygen) and the overall size of the item to be brazed and the exact brazing alloy filler being used all determine whether or not you will be able to braze something.

    So, the answer is "It all depends."

    But in general, the small 'plumber-type' propane/butane/propylene/MAPP torches using air do not get hot enough to braze steel. The little oxy-MAPP (now oxy-propylene) torch does, but those tiny oxygen cylinders are pretty darn expensive for the amount of oxygen that you get. It's like ~$10 for ~1 ft3 of oxygen. Which only lasts about 10-20 minutes or so of use IIRC.

    IMNSO, spring the $$ for a 'real' oxy-fuel set-up.
    Yes, the MAPP flame in those torches (I have 3 or 4 of the similar model which has the flame adjustment valve) does get hot enough to melt brass, it just doesn't put out enough heat to braze anything larger then heavy steel wires. As stated earlier, the torches are great for lots of other things including silver soldering small stuff, and the MAPP gas is an improvement over propane for the bigger jobs; IIRC, Rick V did a comparison thread showing the gain.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick V View Post
    WOW a recall of over 30 MILLION CYLINDERS!
    ??? I don't get it. In my hands-on experience over the last 14 years, all these small schaeder-valve type propane, map gas cylinders have had this same problem - maybe a 20% chance of leaking after disconnecting the torch. This is not new and not restricted to Worthington.

    It was such a normal occurence that I made it a standard practice after disconnecting the cyclinder to hold the valve end up to my ear to listen for a hiss - signalling a leak. I caught a few and would just re-attach and de-attach the torch and check again.

    I'm not too impressed; it took them darn near 15 years to take action on this problem!
    I've had hundreds of propane, and many dozens of MAPP cylinders, and only recall seeing a few propane cylinder valves leak after being disconnected. I do, however, usually leave the cylinders attached until they're empty, and in any case, I don't need the Gov't to baby-sit me or my equipment, (e.g. alarms for low tire pressure!).

    I do recall reading, last year or so, that distribution of MAPP cylinders had been discontinued, (possibly in part due to that recall?). I haven't seen any MAPP recently, but few propane have recently showed up at my 'free' source either, so I expect this is just the "luck of the draw" in my situation. I did get some R-12 last month, and a case of SD-SE class oil last week for my older engines!

  16. #16
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    Re: Can Bernzomatic MAPP (without Oxy) actually braze anything thick?

    Sorry I missed the fact that you where not in the USA. They are not a popular item as they are not to be refilled and not to be store near the flammable gases in stores.

  17. #17
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    Re: Can Bernzomatic MAPP (without Oxy) actually braze anything thick?

    An update, I did end up buying one of these 'just to give it a go' and got the Ultra Swirl Flame Torch power propelyene style one (expensive and has small cylinder)

    It didn't get hot enough to do any real brazing, even on 1/16" and even 1/32" - with the Bernzomatic Brazing filler rod (both the Nickel and Bronze versions). It did melt if I put the torch on it directly but it went mushy and didn't "flow" and mostly just burnt off the flux and dropped off a mushy bit of metal onto the piece. Maybe it would do silver solder a bit better but definitely not the filler brazing rod

    Also it ran out of gas very very quickly (only bought it yesterday afternoon)

  18. #18
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    Re: Can Bernzomatic MAPP (without Oxy) actually braze anything thick?

    Here's one slick way to go oxy-propane for brazing with a used medical oxygen concentrator. Note the pics, bend test, and other details:

    http://www.chaski.org/homemachinist/...p?f=12&t=87931

  19. #19
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    Re: Can Bernzomatic MAPP (without Oxy) actually braze anything thick?

    I scrounged up some k-wool today. It definitely heated up a lot faster with the insulation. I ran out of gas when I was really close to the correct temp.

    I'll pick up some gas in the morning and give it another go.
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  20. #20
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    Re: Can Bernzomatic MAPP (without Oxy) actually braze anything thick?

    I picked up a new bottle this afternoon. With the insulation I was able to get this 1/2 bolt and nut hot enough to braze. Once I hit the butter zone it took the brass well.
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  21. #21
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    Re: Can Bernzomatic MAPP (without Oxy) actually braze anything thick?

    Thanks for doing those tests forhire.
    So, it is 'just' possible to braze small items if you use insulation to retain the heat.
    Rick V

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  22. #22
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    Re: Can Bernzomatic MAPP (without Oxy) actually braze anything thick?

    Thanks forhire - think I'll pick up some insulation!

  23. #23
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    Re: Can Bernzomatic MAPP (without Oxy) actually braze anything thick?

    Only in a furnace. I have a hard enough time brazing thick castings in open air starting with a large rosebud and following up with a #3 O/A tip.

  24. #24
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    Re: Can Bernzomatic MAPP (without Oxy) actually braze anything thick?

    Props to forhire for real world testing!

    May save someone in a pinch.

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