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socialtalker
07-22-2010, 03:25 PM
i am posting this as a warning to noobs like myself who are trying to decide which welding option to choose.
i have been holding off starting my first project until i have 95% of what i needed in tools and materials. thats just the way i wanted to do it. any way. i was nearly there in the important parts, and planning to set up practice welding. i have a flux core 90amp for tack welding and had decided on Oxy Acetylene for its versatility. i brought a Oxy Acetylene kit off ebay for 100 dollars.
well, i am doing my reading etc. when i went on weldingweb.com to read their Oxy Acetylene threads. some dude mentioned he wanted to get into welding as a cheap hobby
here is some of the responses
http://weldingweb.com/showthread.php?t=27598&page=1


http://weldingweb.com/showpost.php?p=259514&postcount=48

I aggree with Ian here, dont even think about the ebay or HF torches. "Steels" can only be welded with acetylene, and its not the temperature of the flame that makes it work. Oxy/acetylene,propane,hydrogen,NG can all be used for welding aluminum. By your lack of research, lack of budget, and the fact you want a "cheap hobby" would lead me to believe you arent going to take welding seriously. Welding is one of those skills where either you invest the energy,desire, funds,work and become proficient.....or make garbage. ......



makoman1860

""The knockoff came with flashback arrester already attached.

I haven't seen post of folk being blown up by using the knock-offs.""

"Usually people with no hands left find it difficult to type. Typically the older torches had nicer valves, mixers, and tips. ....
Now im nit picking between new and old domestic made tools, the junk from china isn't even in the same league. Not only are the valves horrible, solder joints questionable, and valve packings leakier then a corvair pushrod tube, but the tips and mixer are so horribly machined the flame quality is just....garbage. Torches are supossed ot be QUIET, no hissing, spitting or anything, just a gentle flame with a long slender outer envelope. ..."



To be safe you need to do one of the following,

A) Know what to look for in used equipment, and have the knowledge and skills to overhaul it yourself. Or have it sent in to be checked, however this brings you back to NEW price usually.

B) Spend the money on NEW, QUALITY equipment.

There is no "C" option. This is not a cell phone, cordless drill, kids toy, or some other thing thats just annoying if it fails.....this can be deadly or at least life changing."

you would have to read the whole thread, but this thread has scared me to death, alright not to death, but the old pros have so much as said you risking death or serious injury if you use these cheap, new torch kits. which means i have to start all over again. thats 400-500 dollars unexpected expense if i buy new. that might set my project back, and any chance for reliable transportation back for months. i think i have no choice but buy some old used equipment and hope for the best. i am pretty much out of money after this month for this hobby.
i would love to get this:
http://www.cut-like-plasma.com/
but dont have 500 dollars

but anyway, the guys on this thread say the cheap new kits are too dangerous to use

fultondp
07-22-2010, 07:35 PM
I would take some of the comments with a grain of salt. I've seen similar attitudes in other forums that basically take the position of "If you don't have thousands invested, you cant be in our club". You also have to consider these are usually professionals, that have to be able to work in harsh conditions, and with just about any size steel, from eyeglasses to warships. We are working with much narrower constraints, bikes in a garage or workshop, that's it.

Lots of people in the world (construction contractors, manufacturers, mechanics, programmers) have a vested interest in making the public think that what they do for a living is difficult and/or dangerous. That's how they get you to pony up your cash instead of doing it yourself. I wanted to build a carbon fiber bike frame a few years ago, and did my research and ran into the same attitude. Without tons of vacuums and ovens and other expensive gear, it was impossible. Then, I found a guy in England doing hand layup motorcycle parts without all the stuff, and they work just fine. They might be an ounce heavier than manufactured parts or take a bit longer to cure, but who cares?

This site is the opposite. Good stuff CAN be built by amateurs with limited tools and experience. While I would not consider using a cheap HF Acetylene rig for a profession, there is no reason you can't get good results doing what we do here. I just wouldn't expect it to last as long as the good stuff. Remember, this is the land of lawyers. If people were hurting themselves with HF rigs, they would be suing the pants off HF and they would not be selling them any more.

I do question your need to do Acetylene welding at all. You stated that you already have a fluxcore wirefeed rig for tack welding. Why can't you do all your welding with it? I guess it depends on what you are trying to get out of the hobby, are you building bikes to learn how to weld, or are you learning to weld so you can build bikes? If you really feel the need for using a torch, I would just use it to braze instead of weld. But that is just one opinion.

--darren

savarin
07-22-2010, 11:13 PM
I agree whole wholeheartedly with Darren here.
A cheap setup does work, we used O/A without flashback arrestors and all the other safety gear for donkeys ages. Yes, this gear can be dangerous but so is everything in life, you just take the necessary precautions. Personally I wont use it without flashbacks these days.
And what is with that garbage about "its not the temperature of the flame that makes it work"
Of course it is, the other gasses dont get that hot. Propane/air flame burns at about 2,000C, a propane/oxygen flame burns at about 2,500C, and an acetylene/oxygen flame burns at about 3,500C. You need the extra heat to ensure you pump enough in to take account of all the heat losses from conduction and radiation that cool the melt down.
This rabid condemnation by Americans of all Chinese tools as being total rubbish is pathetic and totally unfounded. Maybe many years ago such was the case but it sure aint now.
That being said there is a heap of crap out there irrespective of what country made it.
I buy ultra cheap electric drills ($15-$20 Aus), they have a 12 month guarantee, If they burn out before 12 months I get a replacement. 2 years for $20 bucks seems very cheap to me.
Cheap and nasty? possibly, gets the job done? definitely. Would I use it as a professional? no way, too wimpy.
Sorry, couldnt help ranting but the lies offered up as gospel truths really burn me up.

Locutus
07-23-2010, 11:46 AM
So far I've built a Marauder and Street Fox using a $70 stick welder. I had never welded before then. No problems with the welds so far. They just needed a bit of grinding and filling to make them look pretty. Your 90 amp flux core welder will do just fine for bike building, with at little practice. No need to spend a bunch of money on an additional welding setup.

imamedik
07-23-2010, 05:51 PM
SocialTalker, the fluxcore welder will work just fine as Locutus and Fultondp said. I did not have any welding experience before building my Warrior trike, since then I have built the Highroller and Meridian.

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4118/4821683629_97dd2e8afc_b.jpg

this is the welder I used, I bought it from a pawn shop for 90 dollars.

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2639/4003990931_59eabb50ba.jpg

socialtalker
07-25-2010, 12:57 PM
thank you darren. its a relief to know re-buying tools is probably unneccesary, lol.. at first i just wanted to make the one bike, now i think it would be nice to make at least one for a relative and a couple of others, the thing is i would have no room for them...lol.
i choose oxy/act 'cause i want to weld, braze,bend also maybe for casting too. also its supposed to make quality welds albeit slower, i also wanted to weld away from the house, i bought that 90amp flux kind of at the last minute-almost 2 months ago..lol. but i am going to need to change the outlet outside and make sure its a 20 amp outlet first. i went back and forth whether to use flux core for the whole bike, but i think oxy/act might be better for welding the main structure, probably wont decided until i have been practicing and testing with both of them.
thanks for posting


I would take some of the comments with a grain of salt.....
....I do question your need to do Acetylene welding at all. You stated that you already have a fluxcore wirefeed rig for tack welding. Why can't you do all your welding with it?

--darren

socialtalker
07-26-2010, 02:04 AM
thank you for the responses. i knew many beautiful bikes had done with cheap welders as i have read on this forum. the postings in the forum has just un-nerved me.
(i used multi-quote for the first time! very handy tool!)


SocialTalker, the fluxcore welder will work just fine as Locutus and Fultondp said. I did not have any welding experience before building my Warrior trike, since then I have built the Highroller and Meridian.

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4118/4821683629_97dd2e8afc_b.jpg

this is the welder I used, I bought it from a pawn shop for 90 dollars.

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2639/4003990931_59eabb50ba.jpg




So far I've built a Marauder and Street Fox using a $70 stick welder. I had never welded before then. No problems with the welds so far. They just needed a bit of grinding and filling to make them look pretty. Your 90 amp flux core welder will do just fine for bike building, with at little practice. No need to spend a bunch of money on an additional welding setup.


I agree whole wholeheartedly with Darren here.
A cheap setup does work, we used O/A without flashback arrestors and all the other safety gear for donkeys ages. Yes, this gear can be dangerous but so is everything in life, you just take the necessary precautions.