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buying a gas welder. any advice

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by gassersteve, Jun 20, 2013.

  1. I am buying a torch with 3 tips and hose, regulators, 3' tanks all ready to go for $250.00. He said the tanks were just filled. I am wondering what to look for. I am going to have the guy show me it works and whatever else I can learn in 15 minutes.

    I looked into getting a brand new set up, but at $930.00 its a little out of the budget right now. And since I don't have a clue what I am doing I think it is better to see if it is a tool I want to master before skipping a few mortgage payments

  2. What to look for-
    Gauled up threads in the regulators
    Flashback valves on the torch
    Cracked and dry rotted hoses.
    Clean threads on the torch head nut.
    Gauges that work and hold pressure setting with gas flow at torch on or off. In other words they don't creep down when on or up when off.
    Look for wrench burn and rounded off brass nuts.
  3. Hotrod1932
    Joined: Jan 20, 2007
    Posts: 227

    from Oregon

    I would make sure they are owner bottles..Or you cannot get the tanks refilled..
  4. F&J
    Joined: Apr 5, 2007
    Posts: 13,223


    They sound "hot".... that is too cheap, really.

    Anyways, some tanks and some sizes can be swapped for a refilled one, at a place that deals in gas/ox/etc. Some places might want paperwork, but I have never been asked in 45 years. Some places won't take a brand name tank from another company.

    I have had the same set of small Smith's , bought new in 71, never had them rebuilt, but had to replace some of the small O-rings on the tips

  5. Atomic Kustom
    Joined: Feb 5, 2010
    Posts: 226

    Atomic Kustom

    Of course there HOT there a torch set :rolleyes:
  6. Small bottles are owned, but traded out for full ones then you own those. So don't get them chromed or custom painted.
    There are no leases on small (3') bottles. You can also trade up to the next size (still small 4' 141 cubic feet) for the purchase difference & it ain't much. Possession is ownership on the smaller bottles.

    Lets say the bottles are out of date = 25.00 recert charge.
    Different company - 25.00 re Check/return/recert charge.
    At my place. But your mileage may vary.
  7. 1879 miles to Ohio from me
  8. Call whoever you are going to use for welding supplies in Glendale az and ask them how they do it.
  9. I went to a welding supply shop Wednesday and got the quote for $930. The shop has been there for years and years on central ave north of Broadway in Phx. The guy was very helpful and they have ppg paint, sandpaper, filler, spreaders, and just about everything for body shop needs.
  10. Sixshooter45
    Joined: Jul 1, 2011
    Posts: 53


    I would look for older victor stuff. I have a few different outfits and they are all great. The last set of regs and 2 torches I found on C-list for $200. And victor equipment can be rebuilt very cheaply.
  11. Thanks for the advice sixshooter, but I am young, dumb, and full of ....oh wait, wrong board
  12. 33sporttruck
    Joined: Jun 5, 2012
    Posts: 532


    gassersteve, Years ago I bought a used Harris Torch set complete with owner bottles. I am sure that the gauges were single stage. I never had a problem with the setup and used them for over 12 years doing patch panels and custom fabrication.
    I did go to a welding shop and purchased a #0 and a #1 tip to allow for a smaller flame.
    I have noticed that the Lincoln Electric Torch Set carried by Lowes Big Box Home Improvement Store is made by Harris and appears to be similar to my older set.
    You may want to spend a little time looking at Lincoln Electric / Harris on the net. The set at Lowes in a kit is $243 and change. Hope this helps..... Jeff
  13. Hot Rods Ta Hell
    Joined: Apr 20, 2008
    Posts: 4,286

    Hot Rods Ta Hell

    I spent my money on a new Victor torch/gauge/hose set, then went with a 99 yr. lease (rather than a bottle purchase) on the bottles from my local welding supply co. I can swap them out for full bottles and don't ever have to worry about being responsible for recerts, valves, etc. on the bottles. This was years ago on the lease arrangement. You may check with your local welding supply to see what a lease/swap arrangement costs compared to buying bottles.
  14. Deuce Daddy Don
    Joined: Apr 27, 2008
    Posts: 5,167

    Deuce Daddy Don

    Forget all those other brands-----Stay with Victor---My advice since welding in 1951.
  15. Well just like any person with more nonsence than money I bought it. The oxygen bottle is praxair and the acetelene is phx welding. The guages are smiths, there are 3 different welding tips, 1 cutting tip, at least a 25' hose, bottles are almost full, has a bottle cart with 2 round wheels, chains to hold bottles and that's about all. If you ever seen a set up before, that's what this one looks like. Sorry no picture.
  16. Oh and 2 sparkers.
  17. Mindover
    Joined: Jan 18, 2009
    Posts: 1,625

    from England

    Safety should be your no.1 concern, after all if a bottle goes up its no joke. Someone gave you a good list to check above. The oxygen bottle can be just as dangerous as the acetylene keep all oil away from the oxy bottle it can cause explosions when under pressure.

    If you intend to weld the quality of the gauges is more important than the torch I have found but setting the torch correctly is the most important factor for a good weld.

  18. My neighbor plans to show me the ropes this weekend and check it all out for me. He looked at it tonight and fired up the torch. Quickly showed me how to turn on and off the bottles and which line is left thread and which is right thread.

    Most importantly he loaned me a book by Richard Finch called Welders handbook. He urges me to read it before even firing up the torch on my own which I plan to do.

    Safety and practice and practice and safety.
  19. And I can't get a single bite on mine for half the money:confused:
  20. Sixshooter45
    Joined: Jul 1, 2011
    Posts: 53


    Just remember if you have to lay the Ace bottle down for any reason (like transport) to let it sit upright a few hours before using.
  21. Mindover
    Joined: Jan 18, 2009
    Posts: 1,625

    from England

    Perhaps you have them up too cheap, people may think its too good to be true. Why sell such an asset anyway?.

  22. Mindover
    Joined: Jan 18, 2009
    Posts: 1,625

    from England

    The beauty of gas welding is it is so versatile, if you use the correct techniques you can get fantastic results, below is a weld by one of the people I taught to weld. I show a little gas welding on my youtube footage.
  23. I got my first panel replaced today. Back in the day someone cut a hole in the bedside to install a hoist or something on the right rear of the bed. I cut off the 1/4" thick 3" round pole that was there and left with the hole in the bedside, until today. I watched a video on fusion welding but I don't think it worked so good because I had 4 sides to weld instead of 1 like the video showed. I tried anyway. The patch piece is in and no more hole in the bed side.

  24. Nick Flores
    Joined: Aug 13, 2009
    Posts: 1,357

    Nick Flores

    Damn dude, that looks better than those tin cans I was stick welding on when you were at the shop the other day...
  25. frazzledsmythy
    Joined: Aug 30, 2009
    Posts: 70


    $930 sounds a bit steep.Is it for the big daddy kit ? A great kit to start with is the Victor Journeyman. I t goes for about $250 for the basic torch regulator cutting head, soldering tips and a hose. I bought my victor 20 years ago I use it every day and parts are available at any decent hardware store (so yer not F@#!ed on a sunday!). Buy/Lease your tanks from a decent gas supply company. I have found in my experience the local gas/welding supply guys are a better deal than the big chains like praxair, red arrow, AGA..... Do some homework first cuz once you invest in the tanks yer stuck with them
  26. Thanks Nick. Its my first panel replacement.

    $930 was the big daddy bottles, new torch kit with the ball of wax.

    $250 out the door for what I got to try it out and see if an average village idiot could figure out without blowing up a shop.

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