Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 11-14-2014, 05:38 AM   #1
New Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 5
Acetylene Torch?

It's time for me to learn how to weld, so I have to figure out what sort of torch is right for me.
After watching youtube tutorials on mig welders, tig welders, plasma torches, etc, until my brain started to bleed, I began to wonder why I shouldn't just get a cheap simple acetylene rig like my dad always used.
I seem to need a college degree in welding to fully understand all the other torches, which cost a fortune btw.
And they have enough dials, settings and accessories to reanimate a corpse.
An good old fashioned acetylene torch just has two valves and a couple different tips.
I heard they take a bit more finesse, but as a fairly good artist I'm not daunted.
So why not?
What would be my limitations with only a cheap simple acetylene rig?
All my welding would probably just be customizing my bus (if I get one) and light tinkering around the house.
thanks for your time.
OylinMcGashole is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-14-2014, 07:39 AM   #2
Bus Nut
 
bapos's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Cleburne TX
Posts: 646
Year: 2001
Chassis: International Amtran RE
Engine: DT466E/MD3060
Rated Cap: 78
Re: Acetylene Torch?

I think I can shed some light on your issue.

For a torch…. specifically acetylene torch…. that is more for brazing (type of welding mostly with pipes) and possible metal cutting (requires cutting tip) although useful for certain things I would imagine this is not what you need.

Most people with the needs of conversion will get the most out of a mig welder. They make them in 220v and 120v versions. This is used to weld 2 pieces of metal together. Very easy to use and the cost isn't super bad to get in to but keep in mind bigger/thicker the metal the larger amperage you may need.

Simular to above is a arc welder aka stick welder. unlike the mig that feeds its wire automatically this welder has a electrode you stick in and as you weld it melts to the metal and gets shorter. Although this is a good choice for some things its learning curve to make good welds with it takes a bit more time and experience. It is VERY difficult to weld on sheet metal with but can be done.

A tig welder is a very precision type welder. the cost of this will not be reasonable for what i think you would need.


If you just doing some simple fabricating the mig welder is the one for you. I would suggest the 220 voltage one if you can get and or have a electrical outlet for it. The 120 volt version has a lower duty cycle (this is how long you can weld with it continuously) as bigger welders usually have longer and higher duty cycles.

Not sure where your located but I know home depot and lowes both have mig and stick welders. Here is what most entry level people look at http://www.homedepot.com/p/Lincoln-E...1vZc8lsZ25egxh

That should do pretty much all you need unless your building things like trailer hitch mount

If you have any more question let me know. I am not the best welder but I have my moments.

I have all these types of goodies…. 2 mig welders, stick welder, plasma cutter, acetylene cutting torch


Let me know if I can help you any more
bapos is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-14-2014, 08:16 AM   #3
Bus Geek
 
EastCoastCB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 19,088
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freighliner FS65
Engine: Cat 3126
Rated Cap: 15
Re: Acetylene Torch?

I agree with what bapos said.
I've worked in steel and fabrication for most of my life. I'm ok at welding never actually did a ton of it by hand. I ran a huge plasma cutting table and a bank of robotic welding machines. Also have a lot of experience with saws, torches, iron-workers, and shearing.
I'd definitely agree that a mig is really your best bet. Don't let the dials and settings be discouraging. They're easy to fine tune and figure out with just a little practice on some scrap. Once you get things dialed in you wont need to change things too often anyhow.
Look on Craigslist for a good used Lincoln or Hobart and find some scrap steel to practice on would be my advice.
Stick with it- fabrication skill will be something that you will always be able to use, and it feels great to build your own stuff.
__________________
.
Roll Your Own Build Thread
EastCoastCB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-14-2014, 09:00 AM   #4
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Virginia
Posts: 533
Re: Acetylene Torch?

Check your local community college or trade schools. Most community colleges offer welding courses and it's not hard to learn. And it's not as mind boggling as you think, there are really only 3 main types of welders: Stick, Mig and Tig. If you get lucky you can get a machine that will power all 3 types with the correct attachments. This is if you are hard core and want the ability to weld pretty much anything.
dgorila1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-14-2014, 09:27 AM   #5
New Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 5
Re: Acetylene Torch?

Holy Snot you guys! You all just taught me exactly what I wanted to know, but couldn't find online. And I looked hard.
THANK YOU! I now feel totally confidant about what to look for on Craigslist, down to the brand name.
Also, I remembered later, my dad didn't do ALL his welding with acytolene. He had this big old arc welder too that he would roll out sometimes. That sucker looked like it was army surplus from the frickin' Third Reich. It may have caused the great blackout of 2003. It will still be welding after my bones have turned to dust, I'm sure.
I just have one more question though, if you don't mind.
My main reason for finally getting a welder is because I need to replace a small body panel on my VW bus before I can sell it to buy a real bus.
The seam is probably only about 2ft long.
I've read how to do it with acytolene. Weld a bit and hammer it flat while its still red hot, weld a bit more, and so on.
Or I'll just try a mig.
Or do you think it would be best if I just let a pro handle it?
Thanks again.
OylinMcGashole is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-14-2014, 10:20 AM   #6
Bus Geek
 
EastCoastCB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 19,088
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freighliner FS65
Engine: Cat 3126
Rated Cap: 15
Re: Acetylene Torch?

Quote:
Originally Posted by OylinMcGashole
Holy Snot you guys! You all just taught me exactly what I wanted to know, but couldn't find online. And I looked hard.
THANK YOU! I now feel totally confidant about what to look for on Craigslist, down to the brand name.
Also, I remembered later, my dad didn't do ALL his welding with acytolene. He had this big old arc welder too that he would roll out sometimes. That sucker looked like it was army surplus from the frickin' Third Reich. It may have caused the great blackout of 2003. It will still be welding after my bones have turned to dust, I'm sure.
I just have one more question though, if you don't mind.
My main reason for finally getting a welder is because I need to replace a small body panel on my VW bus before I can sell it to buy a real bus.
The seam is probably only about 2ft long.
I've read how to do it with acytolene. Weld a bit and hammer it flat while its still red hot, weld a bit more, and so on.
Or I'll just try a mig.
Or do you think it would be best if I just let a pro handle it?
Thanks again.
I was welding up VW's in my teens using mig welders at the high school vocational shop and friends' garages. If you're in a hurry to get the job done I'd shop around let someone do the welding if its not expensive. What panel are you replacing? most are just spot welded. Spot welds are easy.
The shop I worked in for 12 years had lots of old govt surplus equipment and tools. we even had a 30 foot long lathe off a navy ship. We used a 50 year old surplus unit for stud welding. One ironworker for cutting up scrap rebar is a suplus unit from ww2 made by Buffalo Forge. It sits uncovered in a field and is used every day with virtually no maintenance. I love old surplus stuff.
__________________
.
Roll Your Own Build Thread
EastCoastCB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-14-2014, 10:50 AM   #7
Bus Crazy
 
turf's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Colorado
Posts: 1,599
Year: 1993
Coachwork: bluebird
Engine: 5.9 Cummins, Allison AT1545
Rated Cap: 2
Re: Acetylene Torch?

i learned on an acetylene torch in high school 30 years ago and that was the first one i bought, almost as long ago. the mig is is the way to go, i picked up a used mig and i havent pulled that torch out in years, not even for cutting. chop saw and a mig will do your job easier, faster, stronger, better.
__________________
.
Turfmobile Build Thread
turf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-14-2014, 12:36 PM   #8
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 718
Year: 1998
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: TC2000 RE
Engine: 8.3l Cummins
Rated Cap: 78
Re: Acetylene Torch?

Get a 120 volt mig welder with a gas bottle. Don't buy a flux core only machine.

A hobart will do great:
http://www.amazon.com/Hobart-500549-Aut ... art+welder

Then, find a local welding supply store and buy a small argon/co2 tank.
Pick up a cart for your welder and tank from harbor freight.
Get an auto-darkening helmet. HF will do just fine for beginners as well.

You'll lay out approximately 6-700 bucks for the setup, but with practice you can build so many different things I can't even list them all. That welder would be the correct tool to replace the VW panel, all the way to raising the roof on a skoolie.
aaronsb is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-14-2014, 04:31 PM   #9
Bus Geek
 
EastCoastCB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 19,088
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freighliner FS65
Engine: Cat 3126
Rated Cap: 15
Re: Acetylene Torch?

Quote:
Originally Posted by aaronsb
Get a 120 volt mig welder with a gas bottle. Don't buy a flux core only machine.

A hobart will do great:
http://www.amazon.com/Hobart-500549-Aut ... art+welder

Then, find a local welding supply store and buy a small argon/co2 tank.
Pick up a cart for your welder and tank from harbor freight.
Get an auto-darkening helmet. HF will do just fine for beginners as well.

You'll lay out approximately 6-700 bucks for the setup, but with practice you can build so many different things I can't even list them all. That welder would be the correct tool to replace the VW panel, all the way to raising the roof on a skoolie.
Yes this would be what I'd go with.
__________________
.
Roll Your Own Build Thread
EastCoastCB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-14-2014, 07:56 PM   #10
New Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 5
Re: Acetylene Torch?

Hey thanks again everyone.
I'd love to shell out $700 for a welder but that money would come out of my bus budget. I may need that $700 for oh, say,... a tire. I'm shooting for something under $200 from Craigslist. (It could happen)
Yeah my VW is in great shape except I had a blow-out that tore the hell outta the back of the rear quarter.
So I have that and a cracked windshield to deal with before I can sell it.
It's so weird. Buses like mine can go for over $20,000, but if they need $2500 worth of work you're lucky to get $9000.
What kinda math is that?!
Whatever.
I sure wish I could keep it. It has the deluxe Westfalia camper conversion with a side tent, but it has no climate control or generator and it was made for people much smaller than me.
It's sad. I always wanted an old beetle. When I finally bought one, I sat in it and my knees hit the steering wheel. I could LITERALLY reach out and adjust both side mirrors at the same time without even stretching.
I owned it for about 12 minutes and it had to go.
So I thought I'd try a '79 bus.
Nope.
I don't even fit in their bus.
Come on! It's a VAN for crap sake!
So yeah.
I figure a school bus aughtta 'bout do it.
OylinMcGashole is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-14-2014, 09:02 PM   #11
Bus Nut
 
bapos's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Cleburne TX
Posts: 646
Year: 2001
Chassis: International Amtran RE
Engine: DT466E/MD3060
Rated Cap: 78
Re: Acetylene Torch?

I disagree with some of the posters here…. Unless you are doing very very very small gauge metal I would not go with a 120v model. Most of them won't get enough penetration to make a good weld on some thicker stuff that you will need to do on some conversion stuff on a bus.

To me the only thing a 120v model mig is good for is sheet metal work. Yeah you can do some bigger stuff with it but I feel you can always turn a bigger machine down or change wire size to do smaller stuff but you can never make a smaller machine any bigger than it is capable giving you at its max.

I am sure you can find one sooner or later but you need to plan on spending a good 3-400 on a used unit. I would also stick with a major brand…. miller, lincoln, hobart (which is made by miller). If you buy a major name you will be able to have it serviced… parts…. and well have a quality product.

My smaller mig is a miller challenger 172 model. I think it was made in the mid 80s….and its still working and going very strong. I use it more than the miller 250x that I have for really big stuff.

Just curious what all do you think you will use it for?
bapos is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-15-2014, 10:04 AM   #12
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Iowa
Posts: 120
Year: 1996
Coachwork: Honey Badger RV Co
Chassis: tc2000
Engine: 5.9 cummins
Rated Cap: 74
Re: Acetylene Torch?

Not sure of what your local town/city has available. Around here we have rental yards that you can rent small mig welders from. Usually by the hour day or week type rates. Way better than rushing to buy a machine your not sure of. Learning on somebody elses machine will teach you what to look for in your future purchase.
wauto is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-17-2015, 09:55 AM   #13
New Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 2
Actually hobart is parent company of miller
btrNabus85 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-17-2015, 10:03 AM   #14
Bus Geek
 
EastCoastCB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 19,088
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freighliner FS65
Engine: Cat 3126
Rated Cap: 15
Isn't that backward?
I thought Miller was the parent company...
Either way- if buying an acetylene torch, I'd highly recommend the Radnor kit from Airgas.
I got the medium duty, but I wish I'd gotten the bigger one.
EastCoastCB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-17-2015, 11:05 AM   #15
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Stony Plain Alberta Canada
Posts: 2,937
Year: 1992
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: TC2000 FE
Engine: 190hp 5.9 Cummins
Rated Cap: 72
The most common and biggest mistake people make when buying their first welder is buying a 120 volt model.

Buy a entry level Hobart 240 volt.

Around $1000 Canadian, and is able to still use 120 volt if the 240 is not available.

Also forget about cutting torches. Plasma is the only way to go.

By the time you pay for the tanks, buy the torch, and the cutting gas, your at the cost of a plasma.

With the plasma you will never buy gas again.

Nat
__________________
"Don't argue with stupid people. They will just drag you down to their level, and beat you up with experience."

Patently waiting for the apocalypses to level the playing field in this physiological game of life commonly known as Civilization
nat_ster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-17-2015, 11:21 AM   #16
Bus Geek
 
EastCoastCB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 19,088
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freighliner FS65
Engine: Cat 3126
Rated Cap: 15
Most hobbyists like myself have very definite reasons why they WANT a 120v. For anything on a bus, a $500 Hobart is PLENTY of welder...
Plasma's aren't as versatile as acetylene torches.
My torch setup was 500 with tanks and gas... Refills for the gas are pretty cheap.
The torch is uber-portable and can be used almost anywhere. The plasma requires electricity and air.
EastCoastCB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-17-2015, 04:22 PM   #17
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Stony Plain Alberta Canada
Posts: 2,937
Year: 1992
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: TC2000 FE
Engine: 190hp 5.9 Cummins
Rated Cap: 72
Your gas and bottles must be half the cost we pay here.

Like everything else.

Nat
__________________
"Don't argue with stupid people. They will just drag you down to their level, and beat you up with experience."

Patently waiting for the apocalypses to level the playing field in this physiological game of life commonly known as Civilization
nat_ster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-17-2015, 04:29 PM   #18
Bus Geek
 
EastCoastCB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 19,088
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freighliner FS65
Engine: Cat 3126
Rated Cap: 15
Yeah to buy the gas and the bottles at my local Airgas was around $200. But refills are around $35 for oxygen and acetylene combined.
I'd love to get a small plasma, but I find the oxyacetylene to be the "essential" of the two.
EastCoastCB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-21-2015, 11:57 AM   #19
New Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 2
Hi all! I been reading skoolie over 2 yrs now, computer stuff frustates me still learning. Awhile back I was lookN to buy a welder after much research and lookN up history I ran across Hobart being the parent company of miller, this surprised me as I remember Hobart being big in resturant equip. so after reading this thread I thought I would share that Info. After figuring out how to post, alil while latter I heard a noise from this puter, this morning I figured out that noise was an e-mail alert. Thanks Y'all I'll keep readN I've learned alot here.
btrNabus85 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
School busses cut with torch and sold as scrap Texas proconsul100 Conversion General Discussions 23 08-19-2012 10:41 AM

» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:30 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
×