Oxy fuel welding continued - Which welding process should I try first? Part 4

Oxy Fuel Welding continued...

There are a lot of really good reasons to start with Oxy fuel including the fact that it is very inexpensive to get into, and tanks can be found anywhere.  Surely though, one would guess that that there are some disadvantages to Oxy fuel welding.  There are. First,  it takes longer to get a puddle going and you can’t get that “punch” of heat as you can with a TIG pedal.  Once you adjust a torch, you have to leave it alone or stop the heating process long enough to readjust the preheating flame.  Second, maintaining an inventory cylinders can be expensive over the long run.  You may be able to find and purchase true “customer owned” cylinders, but typically any decent sized cylinder is usually leased or rented only.  If an Oxyfuel torch is not needed for it’s cutting capability, it doesn’t make sense to keep and use Oxy fuel exclusively for welding due to the expense of the lease.  Third, regulators can give problems from time to time, and a replacement regulator may cost over half the cost of a new complete torch kit, if one were to fail.   Torches contain o-rings, and seals which wear from time to time and can cause dangerous leaks.   Fourth, acetylene when not properly handled can be dangerous.  It can’t be carried in enclosed vehicles and will “hang” around for some time if something begins to leak.  It can cause an issue with insurance providers as well, if they know it’s present in a home garage or small facility.  Finally, as we previously stated in an earlier blog about this, Acetylene is expensive.  Other fuels are available for oxy fuel cutting, but most aren’t considered “hot” enough (BTU output) to weld with.   Propane is one such example. 

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