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Discussion Starter #1
a welder of some type is almost mandatory in a more advanced shop
Ill post several threads giving info on several types and the advantages of each

Im a HUGE FAN of OXY-ACETOLENE torches and what they can do...BUT, they have some limitations, they are far more likely to get a novice into trouble and start fires than an electric welder in semi skilled hands.
that bargin,your quoted, may or may not be a good deal, and condition of equipment and torch size , thread size, gauges,and accessories mean a great deal.
the first thing Id point out that many residential areas have ordanances that forbid storing oxy-acetolene tanks indoors in a building
next, tank rental fees and deposites on any tank size thats will allow decent welding time between fills tend to be far more expensive than you might think so check into that BEFORE buying a torch!
next, Id point out that gauges that fit the small (HOBBY) tank sizes won,t fit the standard professional tanks thread size.
Im not trying to dis- swade you just make you aware of the total costs.
next Id point out that torches come in differant sizes and types and youll probably want both a cutting and welding torch, and cheap gauges are a MAJOR P.I.T.A. so like most things you get what you pay for.
you could easily have $400 in deposites and $20 a month in a twin tank rental, or $500 in two purchased tanks , and tanks must be re-certified every 5-7 years at a cost of about $40 each or they won,t be refilled

VICTOR IS about the bench mark BRAND in torches

http://store.cyberweld.com/viwecuou.html

http://store.cyberweld.com/vijowecuou.html

http://store.cyberweld.com/cylindercart.html

personally ID suggest you buy NEW torches from the guy you get the tanks from, because youll be seeing ALOT of each other and youll want his advice and good will!! GET the VICTOR torches, theres support and parts readily available to rebuild them easily,and you won,t be having a small chance of getting JUNK that some guys unloading just to get some money from someone hes scamming

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I happened to go by the local welding supply store yesterday and just for grins inquired about the cost of a good welding torch and decent 5 ft twin commercial size tanks.
now Im not saying you can,t get a better deal, just that it gives you some cost referance to work from.

decent set of victor torches designed for auto repair with two torches and 6 types of tips, gauges , hoses ETC.
torches $325
tanks ran $330 each to buy
or rental at about $26 a month and $200 deposit each
so rental runs $400 deposit and $26 a month plus the $325 for the torch purchase
to buy the tanks runs $660 plus the $325 for the torch purchase
call it a $1000 or slightly more with taxes
you save about $300 up front to rent but you pay that durring the first year to year and a half , and that monthly charge continues FOREVER ,on a rental.
while its true you have the $400 deposit back if you return the tanks the torches are useless without them so buying the tanks becomes a better long term deal for a shop in some cases.
in either case rental or owner, the tanks cost about $35 EACH to refill

EXAMPLE

http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber=36983

brother in law bought these.....they were JUNK right out of the new box



BTW its very comon to see RENTAL TANKS , out of certification tanks, and deffective gauges and torches in pawn shops and the bargin traders type papers, yes you CAN occasionally get a screaming DEAL, but your taking a big chance on getting a set thats deffective
 

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Discussion Starter #2
welders helmets

http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber=46092

one of the VERY RARE... GOOD VALUES ...at harbor freight, (above)
I had a 15% off coupon in a sales flyer, I bought a second auto dark helmet from them for $44 ,I had the old one for several years with no problems yet, how can you beat a basically throw away price on an auto darkening helmet that works for that price//
Ive got $360 miller auto darking helmets that are only marginally better

the only advantages I see in my more expensive helmets is the degree of shading is adjustable and the screen areas larger.,and the sensors tend to work better at odd angles, but both features are of minor value in the welding Ive been doing, simply because the harbor freight helmets set up to fairly close to ideal as its out of the box settings. (thats why I bought a second one) and rarely use the miller brand helmets, if IM going to screw one up, get the screen scratched or burnt with framents of crud from welding over my head under a car, it may as well be a $44 throw away vs a $360 ID cry over
 

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Make sure to never oil anything on them also. High pressure oxygen and oil don't go together.

good point! Ive sometimes seen even the older guys slip up on that one!:thumbsup:
 

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Just to make sure this is clear, by "don't go together" That means its an explosive mix!
I personally saw a guy loose hig right foot by stomping on a small LOX ball with a boot that had oil on it, BOOM, no foot
 

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Great timing Grump! I just bought a used torch and tanks from a buddy for 100.00 and had no idea there was that much too it. I'll have to check mine and see what I really bought. I'll post ya back. Thanks


Edit: The components are Smith
 

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Discussion Starter #7
most of the better welding supply shops have rebuild kits with instructions and o-rings in the kit fot smith, victor and similar name brand torches (or at least you can order them on-line) but the imported torches Ive seen are mostly junk with little to no parts available
 
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