Decided to revisit this thread cause it is so interesting and of course -- since I have been on my basic welding course
I am learning just enough to be dangerous
I don't think I have taken a course that has impressed me as much nor kept my interest at such a high level since I first took my Architectural Design Tech course back in the early - very early 70's. This is one of those courses where you cannot wait to go and dread the end of the course each evening. We are halfway through our 30 hour program and I have to admit, I have learned so much.. and we are only touching the surface. I already know that I want to take the advanced course down the road after I get some decent fabrication practice under my belt. So far I am pleased and my instructor is pleased with my progress. I hope it continues. Did I mention I really am enjoying this course
Thought I would share a little of what I learned and what I have acquired since I started my course.
In another thread I asked for opinions on different torch setups and who preferred what. Got some interesting and I guess rather expected results. I added that to my cranial library and then played with a couple sets at school. By far my favourite from the outset had to be the Victor torches. I haven't gotten to the Harris as they do not have a set of those, but I did get to play for an evening with the Smith set. It became rather clear to me immediately and as the next 3 hours passed -- frustration piling upon frustration that I really did not like the Smith torches at all. Just not for me. Way too finicky and way to touchy on the valves. That may be primarily a cause of the number of students using the set, so I took that into account. The big kicker had to be the feel
of the Smith combination torch. Balance just wasn't there. Hand fatigue set in rather quickly. Compared to the Victor torches the Smith set just did not cut the mustard.
I set in my mind that I would try to find a set of Victor's or at the least a decent quality level of Victor Style torches. So I started scanning my local Kijiji. Boy is that an under utilized venue
A number of hits after an initial search led me to a set that intrigued me. So I did the research on them. This is the set I ended up buying.
These are original Union Carbide/Linde torches -- one is a dedicated cutting torch the other is a brazing torch. Blew me away when I saw them cause they were advertised for $75.00. I looked them up on the net .. Purox Type E Torches
- and found out that these are still being made today -PUROX® Type "E" Cutting Torch
and that they are one of the best on the market -- made by ESAB. My instructor was just blown away as these are the same class of torches he apprenticed with. Oh -- they are NOS -- never have been used.
I ended up with a cutting nozzle and one set of regulators for them, so I only have to buy a few things. I wanted about 50 feet of hoses, so those are on the list along with a new striker and another set of regulators. Flash suppressors are also on the list -- I guess I need two sets now as these are dedicated torches. I wasn't sure about getting dedicated but -- I guess this is the best way to go if you can. Combination torches like anything else that combines 2 uses into one tool is a compromise.. (as we learned in class) so maybe this is a bit better. I know I certainly could not have afforded dedicated torches on their own if I had to buy them new or even at normal used prices.
Oh, and no..
are as cool as can be. I checked.
One of the other things I learned .. is safety. Proper setup up is critical and the correct fittings, regulators, hoses and suppressors are essential. Ventilation is also an essential ingredient in playing with flame. Acetylene gives off a lot of carbon .. C2H2 - even when set correctly. There is off-gassing and particulates to be concerned with (especially if like me you suffer from some form of PF or COPD or both) so ventilation is critical. Wearing a respirator is a wise thing especially if you are compromised. So.. now one of my searches will have to be for a comfortable yet safe respirator. I may end up using one similar to my finishing respirator - but with appropriate cartridges. The other item will have to be a respirator that will fit nicely under my Auto-Darkening helmet for the other welders.