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Thread: Oxy/fuel,choices for fuel

  1. #1
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    Oxy/fuel,choices for fuel

    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.
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    Re: Oxy/fuel,choices for fuel

    Forget it. Acetylene or a hair dryer

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    Re: Oxy/fuel,choices for fuel

    Caveman,

    Back when I had my shop, I kept two torch set ups. One was a set of A/O bottles that was used for a variety of welding and brazing and the other was a set of LPG/O used for heavy heating and most cutting. The LPG was considerably cheaper than Acetyline but the increased oxygen cost nearly brought the overall cost to even with the A/O cost for the same amount of work. Add the expense of buying LPG hose and replacement tips for the torch and it could actually end up being a losing proposition for a small or hobby shop. The only thing that made it practical for me was the fact that I acquired all the needed tips and such in a bulk surplus buy I made.

    If I were to chose one over the other, I would go with the A/O set up.

    Just my $.02 worth. YMMV
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    Re: Oxy/fuel,choices for fuel

    I’ve ran both oxy/ace and oxy/propane set ups in my rig. Currently running propane due to price. It works decent but not near as fast to heat metal up as acetylene. Takes a little bit longer, and I noticed it’s less resistant to wind, propane takes a little more effort to light if there’s a slight breeze. The only reason I made the change from acetylene was due to me already having everything I needed, so there was no extra cost to switch. If I would’ve had to buy new stuff, I would’ve most likely stayed with acetylene. I don’t know how well it works for things other than heating/cutting so I can’t give input on how it does with brazing. Acetylene costs more, but imo it’s worth it depending on how often you use it. Propane will get the job done, just slower.


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    Re: Oxy/fuel,choices for fuel

    Acetylene or your just lighting farts in a hurricane !

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    Re: Oxy/fuel,choices for fuel

    I explained Propelyne in another post. It's Mapp with a new label.

    Only advantage to propane comes in cutting multilayer or rusty metal.

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    Re: Oxy/fuel,choices for fuel

    Quote Originally Posted by levimeloy View Post
    Acetylene costs more, but imo it’s worth it depending on how often you use it.
    That's my feeling, too. I tried propane-oxygen, and bought all the special hoses and special cutting tips you need for it, and I could never get it to run in a way that I liked. It was like it always seemed as though it was on the ragged edge of running right. Also seemed like you needed to run it at such godawful high oxygen pressures that it was wanting to blow itself out. And even when it was running "right," it sounded like a flogging Atlas rocket engine.

    Plus, propane gobbles up oxygen like you wouldn't believe. I think it takes a minimum of three 200 cf bottles of oxygen just to burn up one BBQ bottle of propane, and that's with a neutral flame like for heating. If you're hitting the oxygen to cut with, better throw on another one or two bottles of oxygen.

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    Re: Oxy/fuel,choices for fuel

    Welding steel to steel is generally considered a no-go with oxy/propane.
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    Re: Oxy/fuel,choices for fuel

    Quote Originally Posted by Rog02 View Post
    Caveman,

    Back when I had my shop, I kept two torch set ups. One was a set of A/O bottles that was used for a variety of welding and brazing and the other was a set of LPG/O used for heavy heating and most cutting. The LPG was considerably cheaper than Acetyline but the increased oxygen cost nearly brought the overall cost to even with the A/O cost for the same amount of work. Add the expense of buying LPG hose and replacement tips for the torch and it could actually end up being a losing proposition for a small or hobby shop. The only thing that made it practical for me was the fact that I acquired all the needed tips and such in a bulk surplus buy I made.

    If I were to chose one over the other, I would go with the A/O set up.

    Just my $.02 worth. YMMV
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    Re: Oxy/fuel,choices for fuel

    Quote Originally Posted by Bonzoo View Post
    AMEN. Nothing else to add

    Ditto. I have both. The oxy/propane is only used for cutting and heating. Welding, brazing, soldering is a bit of a pain with propane. O/A is best if you only have one setup.
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    Re: Oxy/fuel,choices for fuel


    CAVEMANN


    Quote Originally Posted by CAVEMANN View Post
    Basically I need something cheaper than acetylene & appreciate your input.
    The Propane/Acetylene debate hinges on two points - Economy vs. Broad
    Utility.

    What are you doing that requires such high Acetylene consumption . . . ?


    Opus

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    Re: Oxy/fuel,choices for fuel

    In 2003 I was Mapp gas but just cutting
    Today I use acetylene only I can weld or braze too.

    Dave

    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.

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    Re: Oxy/fuel,choices for fuel

    If you don’t braze, you don’t need acetylene. In that case, it would be more cost effective to use Oxy/Propane instead. I cut and heat all the time using oxy/propane and it works beautifully for every thickness I can imagine. I have a Victor set-up with various propane cutting tips for everything from 1/8” thick, to 3” of mild steel (but I’ll NEVER cut anything 3” thick).

    I can’t imagine anyone having a “hard time” with O/P for just heating and cutting. I cut in the winds routinely and I just adapt to lighting off the propane by positioning the nozzle behind some cover of some type. Then I add the 02 and it takes off like a rocket engine. Yes it’s loud, but that the correct sound one needs to hear when cutting with O/P. O/P is pretty easy to use once you understand how to quickly get a neutral flame.

    I’ll give in on this fact however: Fine tuning for a neutral flame with O/P is a little different than with O/A. But once you learn how it’s done, it’s a sinch. There’s probably a good YouTube video on how to get a neutral flame with O/P.

    As far as O/P “cutting too slow,” that’s basically hogwash. Well, let me correct myself. Where it may take O/A say, 30 seconds to cut an “X” length piece of mild steel, it will take O/P maybe 5-6 SECONDS longer on the same sized piece. It’s really that negligible of a difference. No big deal IMO.

    Yes O/P uses 3X more oxygen as someone else previously mentioned, but oxygen is silly-cheap! Acetylene on the other hand costs more than propane and doesn’t last as long either. So the trade off for price between O/P and O/A is also minuscule, if not irrelevant all together. Acetylene is less stable when storing it too. You can’t lay the cylinder on its side and if you do, you must wait 30 minutes while positioning it upright again, blah blah bla... Whereas propane, there’s no issue with the tank position, except upside down. Propane is so much easier to find too. A simple big box store and with a bbq tank, you’re back in business in no time.

    Also using O/P, you don’t have to worry about the “1/7 discharge” rule that you do with O/A. With O/P, you can run through the entire propane tank in one single light-off and until you run the tank dry. Not so for acetylene unless you want to suck up acetone and wreck your regulator.

    For me, if the material is 1/4” or thinner, I use plasma. Anything thicker than 1/4”, I use O/P for all cutting and heating needs. But again, if you want to weld with an oxy-fuel set up, you definately need acetylene. Propane doesn’t work for that. But for welding, I just use MIG or SMAW for that.

    For the novice garage weldor like me, O/P is the way to go. For a professional, I can understand the need for O/A, especially if brazing like in the HVAC business perhaps.

    Just my opinion.
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    Re: Oxy/fuel,choices for fuel

    You can braze with O/P just fine. Just use a cutting tip with a neutral flame and don't hit the extra-oxygen cutting valve.

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    Re: Oxy/fuel,choices for fuel

    Quote Originally Posted by Kelvin View Post
    You can braze with O/P just fine. Just use a cutting tip with a neutral flame and don't hit the extra-oxygen cutting valve.
    Boleshiit

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    Re: Oxy/fuel,choices for fuel

    Quote Originally Posted by Bonzoo View Post
    Boleshiit
    I only messed with propane/oxygen for a year before I gave up the oxygen bottle lease – but I'm pretty sure I've done it.

    You can't weld with it, though.

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    Re: Oxy/fuel,choices for fuel

    Id stick with acetylene. I run my own full time shop and honestly dont really use the oxy acetylene rig that much. A medium size bottle of acetylene lasts me 6 plus months and it was about 60 dollars for a swap out the last time i was empty. I think i have a 120 cf bottle???That was just a couple months ago.

    So i dont really see acetylene as being so expensive unless ur really using ur torch rig a lot.

    I have oxy propane btw and i really would suggest just sticking with acetylene unless ur going through bottles of acetylene at a crazy rate. Even then, if ur going though that much gas ur making money to pay for it....

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    Re: Oxy/fuel,choices for fuel

    No problems with the acetylene other than it being on the gold standard, but my neighbor came by yesterday to use my torch, the bottles nearly empty, he got his one little cut , loaded my bottles and said he would get em filled, I told to let me know how much n he said nope, I told you I would fill them, what a great guy, he got paid with one of the wife's special strawberry pies.
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    Re: Oxy/fuel,choices for fuel

    Unless you're doing a lot of cutting I don't see how you're going through acetylene like crazy, unless you have a small bottle, in which case you pay more per CF than if you had a bigger bottle

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    Re: Oxy/fuel,choices for fuel

    I can't imagine why all the haters. I switched to propane maybe 14 years ago, and never looked back. I don't gas weld or braze, I don't know how, but I kept a little 80 cu ft acet cylinder just in case I want to learn. That said, propane cuts better on rusty material, you only need sunglasses not shade 5, cheaper, available everywhere even on Sunday, cylinders are light when empty, better safety factor no psi limits, no withdrawal limits, is a liquid that off gasses so lasts so much longer (which is why people THINK they are using so much more oxy), more btu's for better heating........

    Cons - takes a LITTLE more preheat time, can't gas weld or braze.



    I never made cuts like this with acetlyene.

    https://weldingweb.com/vbb/showthread.ph...hlight=propane
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    Re: Oxy/fuel,choices for fuel

    Quote Originally Posted by Stick-man View Post
    I can't imagine why all the haters. I switched to propane maybe 14 years ago, and never looked back. I don't gas weld or braze, I don't know how, but I kept a little 80 cu ft acet cylinder just in case I want to learn. That said, propane cuts better on rusty material, you only need sunglasses not shade 5, cheaper, available everywhere even on Sunday, cylinders are light when empty, better safety factor no psi limits, no withdrawal limits, is a liquid that off gasses so lasts so much longer (which is why people THINK they are using so much more oxy), more btu's for better heating........

    Cons - takes a LITTLE more preheat time, can't gas weld or braze.



    I never made cuts like this with acetlyene.

    https://weldingweb.com/vbb/showthread.ph...hlight=propane
    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?

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    Re: Oxy/fuel,choices for fuel

    This thead got me looking into what the differance in oxygen consumption and I found this page https://www.wilhelmsen.com/marine-pr...ne-vs-propane/ very informitive. apparently I have been using the wrong technique for years, evan so I find I prefer propane for cutting

    I have always just used an acetlyene regulator on a propane tank and have even used a acetlyene tip with propane
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    Re: Oxy/fuel,choices for fuel

    Better mention the Multiplaz.

    Just get a multiplaz, throw everything else in the trash.
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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?
    The cutting and rosebud tips are definitely different. I've used both styles, and propane tips clearly work better with propane. I've used the same O/A regulators but had to change the inlet connection.
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    Re: Oxy/fuel,choices for fuel

    Quote Originally Posted by bcguide View Post
    This thead got me looking into what the differance in oxygen consumption and I found this page https://www.wilhelmsen.com/marine-pr...ne-vs-propane/ very informitive. apparently I have been using the wrong technique for years, evan so I find I prefer propane for cutting

    I have always just used an acetlyene regulator on a propane tank and have even used a acetlyene tip with propane
    Interesting read. Thanks for sharing.
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