oxy-acetylene gas welding rigs of different sizes
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  1. #1
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    Default oxy-acetylene gas welding rigs of different sizes

    I've currently got two oxy-acetylene gas welding rigs of different sizes. I use the smaller set as my "portable" rig if I'm off-site, while the larger one stays local. I don't use a lot of gas and I'm not sure I really need both sets. I'm trying to decide if I should part with the larger set just to conserve some room.

    The smaller set is maybe one step larger than the "tote-sized" portable tanks, and the larger rig is one or two steps larger than that. Here's pics:

    Smaller set is a little over 2 feet tall:


    Larger set is about 4 feet tall:


    Other than not being able to bubble acetylene out of the smaller tank at the same rate as the larger one and of course obviously having to refill the tanks more often, is there any other reason I would want to keep the larger tanks over the smaller ones?

    Am I forgetting anything? I'm just trying to keep from kicking myself in the ass a year from now.

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    When you run out on a weekend.. There will be self ass kicking

    Those are small, Keep em both... Save space elsewhere... Piggy back both on one cart.. Mount the small cylinders above axle to save room..

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    Your smaller rig uses the "B" size acetylene cylinder. They are very common as many plumbers and A/C folks carry them. OTOH, they are also the scarcest (among the common sizes) at my local Airgas supplier. The "MC" size tanks (port-a-torch size) are almost impossible to swap out right now, whereas the larger tanks seem to be readily available. Keep what you got, you aren't going to get much for them anyhow, and it is nice to have a smaller set around. I got 3 different size rigs at 2 locations.

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    Thanks guys. That's what I figured I would hear back, but I just had to ask.

    Jim, My smaller acet tank is stamped "40 cu-ft", and I believe it is a "B" tank. You're saying empty smaller tanks (like the B and MC) are sometimes trouble to swap for filled tanks because they are in high demand?

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    Acetylene is a bit scarce since the explosion at the Calcium carbide plant in KY back in March. I believe they were the sole US producer.

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    I have no idea what the demand is for "MC" tanks, but the Airgas supplier says they get very few (if any) of them from their supplier. Right now, they get whatever someone puts on their truck, not what they request. They only get 4 or 5 "B" cylinders per week, but they seem to have adequate stock of the larger cylinders.

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    Default Using acetylene with a rosebud tip

    Also remember that when you use a rosebud, you need to make sure your acetylene gas cylinder is big enough to support the extra volume of gas coming out so you don't start heating with the acetone in the bottle. Really bad results there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jonfritch View Post
    you need to make sure your acetylene gas cylinder is big enough to support the extra volume of gas coming:
    Haha! Yeah, that's what I was talking about when I mentioned bubbling the acetylene out of the tank. You try and do that too fast, and well... You know.

    So you've overtaxed a B tank with a rosebud? I've never tried to draw that much out. The highest rate I've used is probably cutting 1/2 plate.

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    Cool

    There is plenty of Acetelyne at good prices unless you shop at Airgas. The shortage is a myth comming straight from Airgas and only Airgas. I caled everywhere i could and asked a while back. Then the Airgas guy comes in the shop and said its going to be 5 years before things settle down. Fooey on him...Bob
    Bob Wright Metal Master Fab
    Salem, Ohio Birthplace of the Silver and Deming Drill, all others are copies.

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    I'd keep both. Torch setups are good to have.

    Mine are also set up to run LP. CGA-510 regulator adapters are cheap and usually in stock at local welding suppliers, and being able to grab a BBQ cylinder is nice for running rosebud tips and cutting.

    Propane is cheap and there is no slosh or overdraw hazard as with acetylene.

    Adapters for disposable cylinders are available from Uniweld if you want an ultra-light LP option.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails fv600.jpg  

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    Thing is though, if you are using propane, you need special hoses and tips. Without the tips, it won't cut worth a crap, the hoses...I'm not sure. I guess the propane just wears on them faster.

    I would ditch the small cart and chain the tanks to the wall as extras. The extra set of regulators go on craigslist or storage. I never get rid of a tank, and my garage is proof of that. I have two acetylene that size, and an assortment of oxygen as well as CO2. The nice thing is that my supplier will let me trade any similar sized tank for another, as long as they don't have too many. For example, I hear the exact opposite re: acetylene. I wanted to trade up for an extra oxygen and they said they've got too many of the "B" tanks and won't trade me.

    I ran out of welding gas once...I'll never do it again if I can help it.

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    Check the prices you paid to have those tanks filled .
    The smaller the tank, the more you will pay per cubic ft of gas .
    In some cases , you are paying twice as much per cu/ft to fill up the small ones .
    FBBob

    I tend to agree with the myth of gas shortages perpetrated by airgas .

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    I don't remember how much I paid when having the tanks filled, but I have no doubt that as the tank size goes up, the unit-price of the contents goes down. I just don't use that much gas, and even with the smaller tanks it's probably a fill every two years.

    Quote Originally Posted by snowman View Post
    I would ditch the small cart and chain the tanks to the wall as extras. The extra set of regulators go on craigslist or storage.
    Actually that's a big part of the convenience of having two rigs. I can load up the small rig and not have to worry "Did I get everything?" It's complete as it stands. From tank to tip.

    I figure the largest part is the tanks themselves. Once I've donated that amount of shop space for the tanks, the rest is gravy.


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