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Thread: Oxy/fuel,choices for fuel

  1. #26
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    Re: Oxy/fuel,choices for fuel

    Ok, for the record, I never said I was using large amounts of acetylene, I'm retired and on a fixed income and was wondering if there was a cheaper option, I think everyone can appreciate cheaper, as long as we're not compromising quality. I laid out my needs, I do very little gas welding, never did do much, I do some brazing and silver solder, more cutting and heating, I would just like to cover those processes. I will generally use 2-3 bottles of oxy, to one bottle of acetylene. I think the last time I filled them was around 20 years ago, but I was doing my torch work on the job, I need to get the torch valves freed up. I was also looking at downsizing the bottles , but a friend dropped by and made a little 5 minute cut , loaded the bottles and is taking them to get them filled, I offered to pay him when he gets back , but he's like "nope, I said ai would fill them".
    Last edited by CAVEMANN; 11-24-2018 at 09:21 AM.
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  2. #27
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    Re: Oxy/fuel,choices for fuel

    Really guys, it's about BTUs when heating, and temperature + BTUs when cutting or welding.

    I won't even get into molten iron becoming the heat producing fuel once the cut is established.

    Heating is cheap, Propane + air = HOT. The only question is how many pounds of what you want to get to a known temperature to decide which torch gets screwed onto the propane hose.
    Heating with a torch that employs Oxygen is wasting money unless the heating required includes melting metal.

    hydrogen 2,660 °C (oxygen), 2,045 °C (air)
    MAPP 2,980 °C (oxygen)
    methane 2,810 °C (oxygen), 1,957 °C (air)
    natural gas 2,770 °C (oxygen)
    oxyhydrogen 2,000 °C or more (3,600 °F, air)
    propane 2,820 °C (oxygen), 1,980 °C (air)
    propane butane mix 1,970 °C (air)
    propylene 2870 °C (oxygen)

    Propane/air will take a slight increase in time over propane/oxygen but is it really sufficient time to recover the additional cost?

    Heating with a O/A rosebud is wasting money, even if you ain't paying the Hobby guy price for Acetylene. Leave the rosebud home hanging on the pegboard before you do more damage than you can fix.

  3. #28
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    Re: Oxy/fuel,choices for fuel

    Quote Originally Posted by Virgil5 View Post
    Really guys, it's about BTUs when heating, and temperature + BTUs when cutting or welding.

    I won't even get into molten iron becoming the heat producing fuel once the cut is established.

    Heating is cheap, Propane + air = HOT. The only question is how many pounds of what you want to get to a known temperature to decide which torch gets screwed onto the propane hose.
    Heating with a torch that employs Oxygen is wasting money unless the heating required includes melting metal.

    hydrogen 2,660 °C (oxygen), 2,045 °C (air)
    MAPP 2,980 °C (oxygen)
    methane 2,810 °C (oxygen), 1,957 °C (air)
    natural gas 2,770 °C (oxygen)
    oxyhydrogen 2,000 °C or more (3,600 °F, air)
    propane 2,820 °C (oxygen), 1,980 °C (air)
    propane butane mix 1,970 °C (air)
    propylene 2870 °C (oxygen)

    Propane/air will take a slight increase in time over propane/oxygen but is it really sufficient time to recover the additional cost?

    Heating with a O/A rosebud is wasting money, even if you ain't paying the Hobby guy price for Acetylene. Leave the rosebud home hanging on the pegboard before you do more damage than you can fix.
    Virgil, most of my work is 1/4"-3/8" wall pipe. I use 000 or 00 cutting tips for that. I have tried the propane thing and I just couldn't get the fine cuts that I wanted. But I can milk a set of cylinders for all they have.

  4. #29
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    Re: Oxy/fuel,choices for fuel

    Let you in on a secret 12, I can't cut worth a dam with propane, and I've had lessons from men who could cut with propane well enough to put a cutting edge on a brushhog blade. I've also watched those same men cut Stainless with O/P torches.

    My money says unless the job is big enough to locate a 6pac or a Dewar on for cutting it ain't propane cutting time.
    The fuel/Oxygen ratio is dictated by the Laws of Physics, be it acetylene or gasoline, and no man is going to change it.
    Economy of operation when you look at Oxy/fuel or Plasma comes out about the same on cost of cut per foot regardless.
    Since Plasma came along torch cutting has dropped off considerably as well.

  5. #30
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    Re: Oxy/fuel,choices for fuel

    I own a both a Hypertherm 45 and 65.
    Anything over 1/2 inch in smaller pieces get's the Victor in action. O/A
    The 65 will eat 3/4 but there's no point. The cleanup is similar..........unless its a full sheet 8 foot long. Then the plasma comes out

  6. #31
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    Re: Oxy/fuel,choices for fuel

    Quote Originally Posted by Virgil5 View Post
    Let you in on a secret 12, I can't cut worth a dam with propane, and I've had lessons from men who could cut with propane well enough to put a cutting edge on a brushhog blade. I've also watched those same men cut Stainless with O/P torches.

    My money says unless the job is big enough to locate a 6pac or a Dewar on for cutting it ain't propane cutting time.
    The fuel/Oxygen ratio is dictated by the Laws of Physics, be it acetylene or gasoline, and no man is going to change it.
    Economy of operation when you look at Oxy/fuel or Plasma comes out about the same on cost of cut per foot regardless.
    Since Plasma came along torch cutting has dropped off considerably as well.
    I didn't think stainless of any grade would oxidize to cut with oxy/fuel of any kind.
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    Re: Oxy/fuel,choices for fuel

    Quote Originally Posted by CAVEMANN View Post
    I didn't think stainless of any grade would oxidize to cut with oxy/fuel of any kind.
    Put a stick of 6010 in the flame before it contacts the SS and it will cut. Otherwise, it just lights up like a supernova and you'll need a #99 shade to prevent scorching your eyebones.

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    Re: Oxy/fuel,choices for fuel

    Quote Originally Posted by Kelvin View Post
    Put a stick of 6010 in the flame before it contacts the SS and it will cut. Otherwise, it just lights up like a supernova and you'll need a #99 shade to prevent scorching your eyebones.
    Or you can clamp any hunk of scrap iron on top with a slight overhang. Then burn away.
    Remember once you have a cut established the iron becomes heat producing fuel to the cut.

  9. #34
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    Re: Oxy/fuel,choices for fuel

    I'll have to try to poke that in my measly 640 k memory banks. LOL
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    Re: Oxy/fuel,choices for fuel

    Quote Originally Posted by CAVEMANN View Post
    I'll have to try to poke that in my measly 640 k memory banks. LOL
    Should be plenty of room if you have the dual 5¼ floppys. If you need spares I got some left.

  11. #36
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    Re: Oxy/fuel,choices for fuel

    Might be pushing it Virg... remember some guys didn't get the HD 5 an a quarters... might be 360k's or worse 180's

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    Re: Oxy/fuel,choices for fuel

    Quote Originally Posted by MetalMan23 View Post
    Maybe I should try it then, I use oxy-acetylene for cutting mostly, heating secondly. Does one have to get a different torch, or just the regulator?
    Just get a propane tip for your torch. If you buy new hoses, get the grade T. That said, I have a set of grade R hoses I have been using for years, just not often.
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    Re: Oxy/fuel,choices for fuel

    Quote Originally Posted by CAVEMANN View Post
    I am considering an upgrade to my oxy/acetylene torch, I plan on replacing my current torch and changing my fuel gas from acetylene. I still need to have the ability to cut, heat gas weld, braze, silver solder etc and heat if I need to. I'm considering Propane or propylene, but I've heard that propane gives up some functionality but don't know about the facts with it. Basically I need something cheaper than acetylene& appreciate your input. Thanks guys.
    Quote Originally Posted by CAVEMANN View Post
    Ok, for the record, I never said I was using large amounts of acetylene, I'm retired and on a fixed income and was wondering if there was a cheaper option, I think everyone can appreciate cheaper, as long as we're not compromising quality. I laid out my needs, I do very little gas welding, never did do much, I do some brazing and silver solder, more cutting and heating, I would just like to cover those processes. I will generally use 2-3 bottles of oxy, to one bottle of acetylene. I think the last time I filled them was around 20 years ago, but I was doing my torch work on the job, I need to get the torch valves freed up. I was also looking at downsizing the bottles , but a friend dropped by and made a little 5 minute cut , loaded the bottles and is taking them to get them filled, I offered to pay him when he gets back , but he's like "nope, I said ai would fill them".
    Don't get the need for a fuel change. You last filled the tanks 20 years ago. If the tank cost $100 sure you can come up with $5 a year to put towards the next refill in another 20 years if anyone is still using acetylene then and your still alive. You just got them filled for free so sounds like your good for 20 years again.
    Last edited by danielplace; 11-25-2018 at 08:46 PM.

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    Re: Oxy/fuel,choices for fuel

    Quote Originally Posted by danielplace View Post
    Don't get the need for a fuel change. You last filled the tanks 20 years ago. If the tank cost $100 sure you can come up with $5 a year to put towards the next refill in another 20 years if anyone is still using acetylene then and your still alive. You just got them filled for free so sounds like your good for 20 years again.
    The bottles have been stored because I had access to a torch at work, I'm hoping that I'll have time and feel like doing more in the shop, I've got several projects going right now, and was just hoping to not have to "budget" for a bottle of gas.
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    Re: Oxy/fuel,choices for fuel

    Go with A/O and then buy yourself a weed burner to use for larger heating only jobs.

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    Re: Oxy/fuel,choices for fuel

    I have a weed burner somewhere but had no idea it would get that hot.
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  17. #42
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    Re: Oxy/fuel,choices for fuel

    You can always build a venturi forge burner about 20 dollars worth of pipe and it gets real hot

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    Re: Oxy/fuel,choices for fuel

    Nice shop!
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    Re: Oxy/fuel,choices for fuel

    Thanks it's more like 25 years of hoarding yard sale and flea market finds

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  21. #45
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    Re: Oxy/fuel,choices for fuel

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Westbrook View Post
    Thanks it's more like 25 years of hoarding yard sale and flea market finds
    I built a forge for the guy I used to work for in 2011, I really need to build one for myself

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    Re: Oxy/fuel,choices for fuel

    I switched to propane in the 90's when cutting scrap iron for money.
    There is a reason all the scrap guys were using it - it was cheaper per ton of cut iron than running acetylene.

    I've run the actual fuel usage math a few times too and propane won each time.

    Welding with propane is a no-go.

    But I heat and cut with it solely and have used it up to railroad track thickness.

    Last weekend my 20lb tank was up in the garage, so I just hooked on a full 5 lb tank
    Tank got a little frosty, but not bad. I was bending 1/4" flat bar and the heating was measured in seconds, not minutes.

    I do use the correct hoses. Bonus, the hoses are propane and acetylene rated.

    After initial lighting and adjustment, I relight with both knobs on. It makes a good pop, but is ready instantly with no fussing around
    Last edited by MinnesotaDave; 11-29-2018 at 07:28 AM.
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  23. #47
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    Re: Oxy/fuel,choices for fuel

    You have to make your own decision, but I’ll say again that ‘lack of cut quality’ is not a reason to stay away from propane. It takes a little getting used to the different techniques for lighting and cutting with propane but it can do a fantastic job.

    If you’re preheating for a cut and it seems to be taking too long, try varying the mixture slightly with the fuel knob while heating....you may find there’s a much sweeter spot within the neutral flame window that can only be obtained by observing the flame’s interaction with your metal.

    The picture below is from last week. 1.5” steel plate cut at about 15ipm. No cleanup, just how they were cut. If I had more than 7-8 seconds of preheat on an edge start, I’d be surprised. For cutting, you can debate fuel/oxy ratios all day, but once you nail the cut lever you’re using plenty of oxygen with either fuel gas...I doubt the preheat oxygen use is very significant in the big picture if you’re mainly cutting.


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    Re: Oxy/fuel,choices for fuel

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Westbrook View Post
    Thanks it's more like 25 years of hoarding yard sale and flea market finds
    My Granddad was a blacksmith in Missouri, he had a nice shop, he did a lot of work for the farmers in the area. It's nice to see that some people are trying to keep a lost/dieing craft alive. It's definitely something I wish I'd have gotten into when I was younger.
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    Re: Oxy/fuel,choices for fuel

    Back in the day, we had a sales rep that came in the plant trying to sell gasoline fueled cutting rigs, I guess they gained a little foothold in the scrap industry but were so limited that they never gained a market elsewhere.
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  26. #50
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    Re: Oxy/fuel,choices for fuel

    Oops...this is the picture I meant to include earlier



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