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Thread: Harris Model 50 Automatic Torch Handle: experiences?

  1. #1
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    Harris Model 50 Automatic Torch Handle: experiences?

    In my research on torches, I came across this torch. Anyone use it? Bigger than I was looking for, but I'm curious anyway. It costs about the same as for Smith AW1A, welding tip and gas saver ($270).

    The description: The Harris 50-9 and 50-10 automatic torch handles feature a unique gas control system to reduce operating cost and improve safety and convenience. The thumb operated on/off gas control and adjustable pilot light eliminate relighting and flame readjustment each time the torch is used. The on/off feature can be used for cutting, brazing, and welding with all oxy-fuel gases. The pilot light feature is not recommended when using cutting attachments or heating tips. Select the Model 50-9 for acetylene/MAPP® and the 50-10 for other fuels.
    • Automatic on/off gas control
    • Adjustable pilot light
    • Equipped with Flash Guard® check valves
    • Capacity: cuts 3”, welds to 1/2”
    • U.L. listed
    • Length: 8”, Weight: 0.8 lbs"



  2. #2
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    Re: Harris Model 50 Automatic Torch Handle: experiences?

    I guess not, huh?

  3. #3
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    Re: Harris Model 50 Automatic Torch Handle: experiences?

    Buy the Smith! Even though IndoChina ThugWorks now owns Smith the torch's lineage remains Smith and the lifetime warranty probably won't be tampered with by ITW management. Smith supposedly will remain a standalone subsidiary. Hell, most of ITW still diesn't know they own Smith.

  4. #4
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    Re: Harris Model 50 Automatic Torch Handle: experiences?

    All,

    I have two harris model 50's and both work well. There is a lever on the top of the torch which actuates two gas shutoff valves which are located downstream of the flame adjustment valves. This lever has a button lock which allows you to lock to torch "on" when you are using it. You can then release the valve to stop the gas flow without readjusting your valves. This system is far simpler than harris' slide/cam-type auto-torches.
    Also, there is a screw-type needle valve on the left side of the torch which allows you to bleed acetylene around the acetylene shutoff valve when the lever is in the "off" position. This produces an acetylene "pilot light" which burns out of the torch tip and allows you to restart the torch without a striker. However, I find the pilot light feature to be messy, since you need a fairly large pilot flame to prevent it from popping out when you restart the torch. This results in a lot of soot around the shop and a messy tip after an extended period with only the pilot light on. This might not be a problem with the alternative fuel version.
    Also, the harris model 50 is roughly the same size as the model 15 and model 16 and uses the same mixers and tips. Thus, it is essentially an aircraft torch, but it has "B" fittings rather than "A" fittings. I know that both smith and meco made similar torches in the same size range, but these are no longer readily available.
    I imagine that the model 50 would be most useful in some sort of production work where you need to get around, in, and out of the part you are welding/brazing. Otherwise, a gas saver/mizer/economizer would probably be more practical.

    Sincerely,
    Christopher J. Mikesell
    taylorcraft1947

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Re: Harris Model 50 Automatic Torch Handle: experiences?

    Chris, I super appreciate the reply. I've actually bought a smith aw1-a torch, and have yet to set it up do to a very cold winter and 'spring.' I need a heated shop!

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