The case for Oxy-Acetylene - part 1

Quite often, I’ve been faced with recommending start-up items for purchase for guys interested in welding. Of course, there is always the debate about whether he/she should get a TIG welder, MIG welder, a stick welder, or some sort of combination of the sort. I am glad to help provide answers to those questions by asking a few of my own to get the feel of what they will be doing. However, many people forget to address the issue of how they will handle cutting the metal and their metal cutting and handling needs. When I get into this subject, it usually involves a discussion of plasma cutting, or using a metal band saw to handle stock. But since many of these people are getting into the hobby, they often forget that Oxy-Acetylene or other forms of Oxy-Fuel cutting exist. I am quite ready to recommend that IF the only thing they can afford when getting into welding is one item, is for he or she to get an oxy-fuel or oxy-acetylene setup and the related oxygen and acetylene cylinders. This is mainly because an oxy fuel setup is self-contained, and does not depend upon having electricity or consumables to work properly and be of great value. Not only can oxy acetylene cut steel, it can weld, braze and preheat almost all kinds of metals. Often enough, in my shop my Oxy-Acetylene rig sits, but when it is needed, there is no substitute and I could not get by without it.


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