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Thread: acetylene torch

  1. #1
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    Default acetylene torch

    I recently ran across a good deal on a Craftsman acetylene torch set and couldn't let it pass by. It has a cutting tip but no other tips came with it. I was wanting to try a little braising as well as welding some light steel. I would mostly be tinkering around and trying to learn new things.
    Is a braising tip and welding tip the same? Also what size tip/s should i get? I would be attempting the size steel that a lot of replacement body parts are, maybe 22g? Also any tips on setting the flame for cutting, welding and braising would be very helpful.
    Thanks for any advice

  2. #2
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    Yes one tip will do both jobs.What you want will be the victor double 0(00) or triple 0(000) for welding sheet metal,these work extremely well and I have seen old timers weld sheet metal that looks like it was tig welded,very high skill level needed but with practice it will work.Once you start you will understand why the mig welder replaced the torch.

  3. #3
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    To weld sheet metal with a torch requires some knowledge of metal stretching with the hammer and dolly. I took a one semester body course at a community college back in the early 70's and the first lesson was torch welding sheet metal 4 hours a day, three days a week. After a couple weeks I could fuse the metal without filler rod and no burn throughs, so it just takes practice and lots of scrap metal. I don't know if Len has them or not, but a long handle 6 inch shrear would be great for this, or sheet metal shop would cut pieces for you. You could also start out by just running a puddle on a piece of metal until you can get good penetration and no burn throughs.

    You need two pieces of scrap and it takes less than a minute to weld them, then you're looking for two more pieces. The scrap needs to be cut very straight so you have a good butt joint without any space between. If your seams have a gap, then you will be burning through, so try and practice with no gap. Once you get the hang of it, then you will be able to fill any gaps in the joint. Filler rod is cheap at the welding supply store.

    But actually the welding part is easy (with practice) the harder part is stretching the weld area back out after welding. I use a tig for sheet metal welding and it can be a continuous weld across the panel then grind down the bead and stretch the whole weld. But torch welding uses so much heat and causes so much shrinking, that you have to stretch after each inch of welding or it will get out of hand.

    Once you get into welding panels, keep in mind that the distortion is coming from the weld, and working the weld will remove almost all the distortion. If you start chasing the distortion and bulges, then it will cause a lot more trouble.

    To let you know what is possible, there are two welds here, and the panel required no filler at all, but it did have to be removed from the car.







    Check utube for tips, and let us know how it goes.
    Last edited by Chevman; 09-12-2011 at 06:49 AM.

  4. #4
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    I have three tips with my oxy-acetylene set and thats all you should ever need. For brazing sheet metal you'll need a (0) single ought tip. Then for more serious brazing and general heating of rusty parts to get them apart etc a (2) number two tip works well. I also have a rose bud tip that puts out some serious heat for heating larger chunks of metal, frame straightening etc. You can add the rose bud later as you will probably rarely use it. Mine gets used maybe once or twice a year.

    As far as telling you on this forum how to set your torches for brazing, steel welding, heating, cutting etc its a whole lot easier and faster to just have someone show you how to adjust the torch for different uses.

    I have been doing auto bodywork full time professionally since 1971 and of all the different shops I worked in I never saw a bodyman butt weld sheet metal panels (other than windshield pillars) with the rare exception of butt welding using the backing strip method. 99% of all the sheet metal gas steel welded or brazed was done with the lap weld. Everyone has heard of people who butt weld sheet metal without warping the shit out of the metal but the story always comes from " a friend of a friend told about this guys that can oxy/acetylene butt weld a new quarter panel on without warping the metal" but never knew or saw that person actually do it. Here is whats going to happen when you go to butt weld sheet metal, you are going to blow holes all along the weld line and in areas that you don't blow holes in the welds are going to look like bubble gum and the metal around the full length of the weld will be heat warped to the point that many panels will have to be thrown away. OR you can heat shrink dolly on/dolly off with a hammer and work that waped metal to the point that its so brittle it can crack even before you can load copious amounts of bondo on it to hide the still seriously warped sheet metal.

    If you have many hundreds of hours to spend learning the fine art of gas welding (not mig or tig) sheet metal without destroying the metal in the process and nothing better to do with your time then you probably can get good at gas welding sheet metal. Gas lap welding is much faster, a stronger weld, and generally a lot less heat warpage than screwing around trying to do a butt weld.

  5. #5
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    We rarely use our torches these days, back before the MIG welders we used to braze metal together but now we only use the torch for removing frozen or rusted nuts.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by tcoop View Post
    I was wanting to try a little braising as well as welding some light steel. I would mostly be tinkering around and trying to learn new things.
    What they say is correct, its not so easy, and everybody can't learn it. But there is nothing wrong with trying new things, and the personal satisfaction is rewarding.

  7. #7
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    First off if you are talking about a "cutting tip" like this.



    With that tip you can not weld or braze (well maybe if you were really hard up ) it is only for cutting.

    At the bottom of is the "butt" or "mixer" that the cutting torch goes on. In the photo it has a welding or brazing tip on it.



    The bad thing is if your Craftsmen is anything like mine (very old, about 35 years) the tips won't enterchange with a Victor or any other brand that I know of. So unless you get a new butt you will have a hard time finding tips that will fit.

    Brian

  8. #8
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    And I agree getting some hands on experience with acetylene welding. To me it is almost moving for me to pull out the torch and "gas" weld, I love it.

    Brian

  9. #9
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    If you are still interested in gas welding, here is a guy that teaches it all the time. He has several videos that you can learn all that you need to know to get started. Its not something you do to make money, its just fun.
    http://www.tinmantech.com/html/trainings.php

    Phil V said;
    Everyone has heard of people who butt weld sheet metal without warping the shit out of the metal but the story always comes from " a friend of a friend told about this guys that can oxy/acetylene butt weld a new quarter panel on without warping the metal" but never knew or saw that person actually do it.

    Phil I'm certain that no one can weld sheet metal without warping. The heat causes it to shrink, but the key to having straight panels after welding is stretching the weld area back out to its original shape, and the torch leaves the weld as soft as the metal.

    Metal work is a slow process, but most of us here are hobbiests and it is what some of us like.
    And metal workers don't do lap welds, because you can't work the metal after welding, so there are people out here that do butt welds with a torch, just like the one in the picture I posted. Like I said earlier, welding it is the easy part, working the metal is when the fun part begins.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chevman View Post
    Metal work is a slow process, but most of us here are hobbiests and it is what some of us like.
    And metal workers don't do lap welds, because you can't work the metal after welding, so there are people out here that do butt welds with a torch, just like the one in the picture I posted. Like I said earlier, welding it is the easy part, working the metal is when the fun part begins.
    I have a little "Jewelers torch" that I weld using 0.23 mig wire for filler. With a perfect butt and this tool you can get REAL close to welding without any warping.
    It doesn't take much at all to get it back in shape. I call it "The poor mans TIG".

    Brian

  11. #11
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    If you know the Tin Man (Kent White), he uses one just a little bigger than that. I saw one of his tapes and he is very good, I think he lives out your way.

    I didn't use the torch all that much and when I learned about the tig welder, then that was it for me. Its just a little Miller Max Star 150 but all I ask of it is sheet metal.

    You amaze me Brian, for a professional body man to know torch welding, you must be older than the hills.

  12. #12
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    i have been doing body work for over 50 years. we did not have mig welders back then. i still would be lost without my acetylene torch. i cant imagine doing without it to heat something to bend it and for cutting when nothing else would do. i do a lot of building things from scrap metal and i cant do without my acetylene torch. acetylene has gotten pretty high tho. if i fill both of my tanks at once i dont have enough left from a one hundred dollar bill to buy lunch.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chevman View Post
    You amaze me Brian, for a professional body man to know torch welding, you must be older than the hills.
    I'm 52, what are you going to make of it punk?

    Brian

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by MARTINSR View Post
    I'm 52, what are you going to make of it punk?

    Brian
    Just a youngster, you must be an undercover hobbiest.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by MARTINSR View Post
    I'm 52, what are you going to make of it punk?

    Brian
    You look much older then 52 .

    Mooch

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