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jcleland
06-02-2008, 02:37 PM
Hi Everyone,

New to the forums and considering this unit for general frame brazing/welding. Does anyone have experience with this equipment?

http://www.harrisproductsgroup.com/equipment/port-a-torch.asp

I know the tanks are a little small, what kinds of issues might I have using this unit for mild steel work?

Thanks!
James

jcleland
06-02-2008, 07:15 PM
Hi Papa,

Thanks for the information! I appreciate the pointers regarding the handle and hoses. I don't see that the outfit comes with backflow checkvalves or flashback arrestors. What do you think?

I think I'll visit my local shop (http://www.airgas.com/) and see about additional equipment. Would you expect a business such as this to be fairly knowledgeable about rods, flux, brazing and welding, or should I seek guidance elsewhere? I have very little experience with welding, zero with gas, but I have been reading extensively on the subject.

Also, would you feel comfortable using a gas welder in a garage shop, or do most people use these AWAY from their homes? :) I know outdoors with a breeze is a no-go, but my wife is a little freaked out about having this stuff in the house. Plus, I hear that you're not supposed to store acetylene above 130F. While I doubt that my garage would be that warm, it does get pretty hot during the summer.

Sorry for the beginner questions, thanks again!
James

savarin
06-02-2008, 09:13 PM
Given the option I would have an oa set but here we have to pay rentals on the bottles. It is not possible to own and refill. (except co2)
My existing gas rentals on a "D" size CO2 and an "E" size argoshield is $380 (which does not include a fill) a year and she who must be obeyed goes ape at that.
A one off hire is possible for a short period of time but the hassles make it unrealistic for more than once a year.
Its not even possible to swap bottles (if by some strange chance you had some) with someone else who has a business account as they now bar-code read each bottle to ensure you bring back the same ones.:mad:

54'C is dammed hot, I live in the tropics and my garage never gets that hot even in the middle of summer.
Safety is as safe as you want it to be. Always keep the bottles upright, securely fixed so there is NO chance of them falling over.
Weld away from the bottles, dont let any sparks from grinders welding/cutting get anywhere near the bottles or hoses.
Never use any type of grease on any of the fittings.
A big problem when learning will more than likely be the huge sooty wisps that float around when you first light up. Be prepared for the resulting explosion if they float indoors through an open window :rolleyes:

jcleland
06-02-2008, 11:42 PM
A big problem when learning will more than likely be the huge sooty wisps that float around when you first light up. Be prepared for the resulting explosion if they float indoors through an open window :rolleyes:

Not sure I understand what you mean here, can someone explain? Thanks for the reply!


If not, then PM me and I'll send you a pair of in-line units... NC
Thanks for the advice and your offer, I'll ask the manufacturer if this is built-in. BTW, I tried, but could not PM you.

By the way, I just dug a little deeper on the port-a-torch equipment. The 15 handle is definitely lighter at .5 lbs vs .9 lbs. The specs on the 16 include "Equipped with FlashGuard(tm) checkvalves". This spec is not present for the 15, I guess I could ask about it. I'm not sure if these are FB arrestors as well as backflow checkvalves or what. The outfit does, in fact, come with 3/16" hose (12'), I'm glad you pointed this stuff out.

James

Richie Rich
06-03-2008, 12:12 AM
A big problem when learning will more than likely be the huge sooty wisps that float around when you first light up. Be prepared for the resulting explosion if they float indoors through an open window :rolleyes:Only those of us with a wife can truly understand 'savarins' reference...!! :eek:

...RR

TheKid
06-03-2008, 02:19 AM
Never been married, but I caught that one right away. Comments like that are why I never got married. Some guys say I was smart. I say I was chicken.

locolarry
06-03-2008, 08:30 AM
Nothing to being married! My wife and I were married 39 years on the 24th of last month...You just have to let her know **WHO'S BOSS ** right from the beginning!......$$$ SHE is $$$$.....(and don't you forget it!!!):o

LocoLarry (I'm Crazy...NOT STUPID... !)

savarin
06-03-2008, 08:34 AM
Only those of us with a wife can truly understand 'savarins' reference...!! :eek:

...RR

Ha Ha,dare I say "Bang on Richie":D

TheKid
06-03-2008, 01:18 PM
RR once mentioned that wives are good for beer runs, knowing his wife wouldn't see it in the forum. Now we're being warned not to let fumes in an open window. From what I gather by my married friends, If you mention either one of those things in public and your wife finds out about it, you get clobbered. Saying she's good for beer runs makes her look like a servant, being afraid to let fumes in the house, you make her look like a monster. Either way, you're doomed. I'll stay single.

jcleland
06-03-2008, 01:49 PM
I guess I got lucky, my wife is actually pretty cool! She's easily frightened, however, so convincing her to allow compressed flammables in the garage is a tough one. I tend to be pretty cautious as well, but she's much worse :) She hates the fact that I solder in the house, if that gives you any idea as to what I'm dealing with.

Having said that, I think it might be easier to convince her to allow oxy-propane. Isn't this what you weld with Papa? I've read here and there about using propane fuel, but often it's in the context of cutting, not welding.

Checking the documentation again on the Harris 16 handle, it states that it can be used with "other" fuel gasses. After reading up on acetylene, I'm wondering if MAPP may be a better choice for welding. Hose/regulator/handle issues, or should this all work fine regardless of the fuel?

Also, I've noticed that the rule seems to be that you don't use more than 1/7th of the contents of an acetylene cylinder per hour, due to instability. I've also read that it's difficult to determine how much gas is left by pressure due to the nature of the filler material or chemical. So how do you know when you're using 1/7th of the acetylene content of the cylinder? This is of particular concern when considering the equipment I've posted as the cylinder is rather small and I'm sure 1/7th of its acetylene would go quickly. Finally, how far will one MC acetylene and 20 cu. ft. oxygen cylinder get me in terms of hours when delivered at an average welding pressure/rate? Which runs out first (I'm guessing fuel).

Sorry for all the questions, thanks for the feedback!

jcleland
06-03-2008, 03:10 PM
Sure, here's what I'm thinking:

I'd like to build the SF trike, or at least something close to this. Having just purchased the plans, it sounds like this would include 1/16" steel tube as well as some miscellaneous welding of scrap and existing bike frame. The heaviest material in the plans seems to be 1/4" plate that I'm guessing would be brazed first, then the edges welded. I would probably never use the equipment for cutting.

I have lots of hobbies, so I don't expect to be in the shop with the torch burning constantly. I would like to be able to fabricate as the need arises, this is how I work. I don't, however, expect that I'm going to be doing any high-volume work with the welder, which is why the idea of using gas and the costs associated with this type of equipment doesn't bother me a whole lot. Having said that, I'm sure I will start to figure out ways to use the equipment if I buy it, I like to build things. So far, this has been limited to electronics, software, etc, but being an avid cyclist, I can only imagine the fun I would have building bikes.

That's kinda broad, I hope I've conveyed my intentions :)

Thanks!

jcleland
06-03-2008, 04:10 PM
I just got off the phone with a local distributor, in fact. They said that MAPP gas was hard to come by and they've been selling propylene in it's place. Apparently, it has properties similar to MAPP with respect to stability, etc. An MC cylinder fill is $43, compared to $25 for acetylene, but I'm guessing that the latter won't get you as far due to filler material, acetone, etc.

savarin
06-03-2008, 05:14 PM
Is oxy-propane doable in your area? I've not heard of this, do you have any references stating such that I could confirm? There is a simple cure if you experience too much infamous soot during lighting, but I'd rather not go there at the moment.

Yep,but still the oxygen bottle problem.
I should have explained the reason for the soot.
If annealing aluminium for bending or whatever I always coat in a heavy layer of soot, them heat till the soot dissapears. This anneals the ally so it can be bent easily without cracking.
Sometimes needs a couple of anneals per bend.
I've also hammered out dents in a m/cycle wheel by this process.
I also coat parts with soot when casting.
ie, well soot up a shaft, cast the liquid aluminium around the shaft.
tap/hammer out the shaft when all is cold and voila, a smooth bore hole.
Some finishing required but usually ok to leave as is.
I've also cast coarse threads in lead castings this way. Just unscrew the bolt out when cold.

savarin
06-04-2008, 04:36 AM
Then use an medical oxygen concentrator.

thought of that till I priced the unit.


The application of soot is used solely as a temperature indicator and has nothing to do with the annealing process.

yep, know that, heat till it disappears. Works for most alloys of aluminium (ok, not every one but the common varieties.)


When heating shiny steel, you'll see color changes (http://members.optushome.com.au/terrybrown/HeatTemperChartEtc.html) as the temp rises. Specific colors are specific temperatures, so you have a reasonably good idea how hot the piece really is. Heating aluminum, however, there's no visually accurate way determine temperature, so you use soot or temp crayons. (http://www.omega.com/pptst/OMEGAMARKER.html) I prefer the latter because it's much more accurate.

Didnt have the crayons available which is why I used the soot method.
Easy for the initiated

babelloyd
03-01-2010, 05:13 PM
RR once mentioned that wives are good for beer runs, knowing his wife wouldn't see it in the forum. Now we're being warned not to let fumes in an open window. From what I gather by my married friends, If you mention either one of those things in public and your wife finds out about it, you get clobbered. Saying she's good for beer runs makes her look like a servant, being afraid to let fumes in the house, you make her look like a monster. Either way, you're doomed. I'll stay single.

I haven't been on AZ very long, but it seems to me that the two people who make all of AZ possible are married to each other and that they are both totally, undisputably excellent.

I'm not sucking up. I'm just making an objective observation from the newbie perspective.

In my marriage, I'm good for the wine runs, scooping cat litter, being on the condo board, and minor repairs, mostly. My wife is good for making money, keeping track of bills, and well, most of everything else. She is totally awesome. She even supports me trying to set up a bike chopping workspace and getting to the chopping and building . And, of course, we're both good for all of the great mushy stuff like unconditional love and all that.

Sorry, didn't mean to get inappropriate. I just wanted to balance out the discussion about wives. (And my wife will likely not ever see this. ;) )

Cheers,

Dave