Converting to Oxy/Propane

Anyone use this torch? Much cheaper than the Victor j-28. Wondering if it is any good.

SÜA® - Ligth Duty Welding/Brazing Torch Handle Compatible with Victor Series"J" https://a.co/d/18QjsWK

My acetylen ran out and getting it filled is difficult so I was thinking of switching to propane. If i get regulators and hoses for propane should that be fine? above i read about tips and torch bodies for propane but the ones I used for acetylene should work too right?

Yes. If you stick with propane you could experiment with adding the counterbore to the end of the tip that reduces flame detachment. I can provide photos.

Victor doesn’t make propane specific tips for the small sizes (1 and smaller) so I use acetylene tips in those sizes. The mixer is also the same for propane and acetylene.

Check with a regulator service shop, but most acetylene regulators can be used with propane too.

1 Like

I think you are right about regulators, however my acetylene regulator does not just screw onto a propane tank i think, so might be worth just getting a new regulator rather than fussing about with connector bits, if you have less parts you also have a lower part of connections leaking.

1 Like

Yes, that makes a lot of sense. I started with an acetylene regulator that used the same fitting as US BBQ propane tanks.

1 Like

another quick question, For propane I see a lot of regulators with just one gauge, is this okay or do you really need one with gauges for tank pressure and hose pressure?

One is probably okay. Propane is liquid under pressure so the high pressure needle doesn’t move until the tank is almost empty (like co2). You could always add the second gauge later if you need it.

1 Like

Been playing around with my new Propane setup and it took some getting used to with reading the flame. Not to mention counter boring my tip. I couldn’t get a good flame with not counter boring it. Mind you I just did this with a cordless drill so my flame is a little…offset but now it’s actually usable. I picked up a #5 and #7 smith tip as I’m still currently using a #3. Just wasn’t actually sure what size drill these out to.

I also switched my line pressure gauge on my oxygen to a Acetylene gauge to read my pressure easier. Reading the notches from everything below 40psi with my bad eyes was a PITA. Not sure I’ll stick with Pro2000(LPG with their own special sauce to get close to Acetylene temps) my local shop when it needs refilling and just refill it with normal LPG.

1 Like

Harris makes some really good torches and a smaller torch that is comparable to the Smith and Victor torches a lot of framebuilders like, but I think you meant Victor J 28.

Holy smokes 3 bar(roughly 45 psi) on both gases?

This is the propane regulator I use – it screws directly into a standard 20lb propane tank. https://nationaltorch.com/?page_id=79#!/2300-510/p/37727818/category=9758330 When I bought it years ago the price was around $65, but it looks like now it’s $88.

1 Like

Another question more specific to using an oxygen concentrator. Is it necessary or useful to use an oxy regulator when using an oxygen concentrator? I have one of the the Phillips ones you see a lot that has a built in flow meter, & the torch i bought used came with an oxygen regulator. Are there any advantages to incorporating the oxy regulator or should I just skip it?

I always ask a simple question concerning propane. Someone please show me a killer fillet made with propane…I may have just seen my first propane fillet unicorn a short time ago but I cannot confirm. Acetylene is superior to propane when it comes to fillets, at least everything I have seen. Now, large section brazing of crowns/BB’s etc, I think propane may be an advantage and I want to explore that someday.

1 Like

Haha brutal!

Define killer fillet. Fat and smooth? Double pass? Dime stack? Tiny and precise? Single pass in-and-out?

Oxy-acetylene burns hotter*, nothing magic about it from what I understand. But my mind is open. Interested to hear your thoughts on why propane would suit large section brazing? For me this is where propane struggles, when there is lots of mass to heat up.

I’d class myself as beginner-intermediate. I’ve used both setups, and apart from slight alterations in process, I believe my resultant fillets are the same. Now, they not be “killer” though! XD

For me, once adjusted for process quirks, in-line gas fluxer vs flux paste is a bigger difference.

1 Like

The composition of the acetylene flame is different than the propane flame in that 2/3rds of the energy is in the primary cone of the acetylene flame whereas that is the exact opposite for the propane flame. With 2/3rds of the energy being in the outer envelope of the propane flame it is generally thought that propane is better for large section heating. Re… you have to heat up a large aluminum casting so that you can weld it, most would go for propane heating in that instance. Again. I want to see pictures! There are styles, sure but I am still of the opinion, until I see physical evidence that no matter the style acetylene works better for fillets than propane. I know that will piss off the Propane MAFIA but prove me wrong…Anyone?

2 Likes

Excellent information! thank you for that.

I’m most certainly not pissed off though :slight_smile:
Maybe I can post some LPG and acetylene fillets for critique in a bit.

1 Like

I am far from a decent fillet brazer, but I did OK with propane I think:


Main difference between propane and acetylene (apart from indeed the tiny very hot spot with acetylene) is the amount of bubbles I get in the fillet. Especially at the edges of the fillet I sometimes got these streaks of tiny bubbles. I always figured this might be because I run the flame fairly oxygen rich to get the temp up and the flame small, and with acetylene these bubbles have almost dissapeared.

6 Likes

As a home gamer I use Oxy concentrator and Propane for the convenience. No dealing with a weld shop that doesn’t want to deal some guy in his garage. Run out of gas on a weekend? Just steal the tank off the bbq and fill up the other without hassles.

1 Like

You probably don’t need the oxy regulator. If you open up the oxycon machine, there is probably a small holding tank with a mini-regulator on top of that. Both of the machines I’ve used have been like that.

I set the oxycon’s flowmeter to around 4 LPM and then use the torch knob to fine tune the flame.

UPDATE:

Here is the service manual for a Philips Everflo

The schematic does depict a holding tank and pressure regulator:

-Jim G

2 Likes

Cool, thanks!