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  1. #1
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    Need help selecting an oxy acetylene setup

    I was thinking of getting the setup linked to below, the Smith VT-4T . It seems as good as any other kit and it contains the AW1A torch which most people seem to recommend for frame building (I think that I can use the small tanks and cutting torch for other things, also.)

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

    However, I'm not sure if its just the picture, but the regulators look sort of dinky compared to what I'm used to using. Does it make any difference in terms of functionality or safety?
    Also, I read on another forum that the welding tip with screw on nozzles that comes with it isn't really very good and was was wondering if someone would recommend an alternative tip/tips, sized for frame brazing. The chart below gives some of the available smith sizes.



    I also would like to get recommendations for flux and bronze. At this point I will just be practicing brazing, so I'd like to buy flux and bronze that could be used to build a frame but with the emphasis on economy.

    If anyone has any suggestions or advice on what else I might need, I would be glad to hear it. I know from reading the forums that many people have suggested buying things piecemeal, but I'd prefer to avoid any possible incompatibilites, worn equipment and daily ebay searches and to just get to the brazing.
    Last edited by horstjakob; 04-04-11 at 08:56 AM.

  2. #2
    tuz
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    Those regulators seem fine to me. And Smith is a reputable brand as far as I know.

    I use screw-on nozzles, I'm sure they are fine (I don't see why not?). As for the tip sizes, I use sizes close to the AW 205, 207 and 209 for braze-ons, fillets and lugs, respectively, using bronze filler. I need an even bigger one (#36 drill aperture) for BBs and thick fork crowns. BUT I use propane fuel so I'll let the acet. guys opine. You probably can go with smaller tips. Btw I couldn't find any info on the brazing tips outlined in the kit you linked.

    For bronze and flux there are a few options. Gasflux makes great paste flux (type-B) as well as bronze rod (low fuming, nickel silver and nickel bronze). Allstate and Harris have similar rods and paste flux.

    Otherwise those tanks may be a bit small for brazing frames. But no experience with them.
    homebuilt commuter, mixte, road and track (+ Ryffranck road)
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by tuz View Post
    Those regulators seem fine to me. And Smith is a reputable brand as far as I know.
    Thanks for the reply. I eventually want to get the medium sized tanks, so I was mostly wondering whether using these regulators on the medium tanks was possible or would raise any issues. And I also just wonder what the practical difference is between these gauges and the larger ones that I'm familiar with.

    I dug around a little and according to Smith's catalog the kit comes with the following screw on welding tips:

    lt103 drill sizes 63
    lt104 56
    lt106 52

    Could anyone answer on whether this will be enough to cover all the frame brazing jobs with oxy acetylene, or should I try to add another tip?

  4. #4
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    If you look around,you can buy Victor stuff for that price,including the pony bottles.With just a quick search,I found a setup on Amazon for $300.2 less tips but you can buy what you need from anywhere.I would look for 2 stage regulators also.(not sure if the ones you show are single or dual)
    Everything should be as simple as possible...But not more so.---Albert Einstein

  5. #5
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    Booger, Victor seems to be more popular around here, but I couldn't find any kits with their j-28 aircraft handle in my price range. I'm pretty sure the regulators in the Smith kit are single stage, but I'm kind of thinking that anything else in that price range will be also. Does it make that much of a difference between the single and dual?

    Could you recommend some welding tip sizes to start with, Victor's sizes or whichever brand?

  6. #6
    Randomhead
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    I would go to the local welding supply (LWS) and see what they can do for you. The problem with those tanks is that they are small, and the LWS might not touch them. My LWS will allow you to trade in your tanks for a bigger size for the price difference. My LWS is also pretty reasonable on their prices in comparison to Cyberweld or other internet brands. The advantage is they will fix the stuff they sell you if it has a problem.

    They really wanted to sell me a Victor J100, which really is a little too big for framebuilding. On the other hand, you can always get a smaller torch later and use the regulators.

  7. #7
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    Dual stage will keep the pressure constant,single stage will drop as tank pressure drops.Single will work,you just have to keep an eye on your pressures,and with small bottles,that means the pressures will drop sorta fast.

    I second buying from a welding supply.They will support what they sell.

    I'm not sure they sell a kit with that handle,you may have to buy it alone.

    Just for the record,I don't build bicycles,I do weld and braze in my automotive fabrication work.So as for tip size,I would think that they use a 2-3 to spread the heat around.Somebody will know better than I do.
    Everything should be as simple as possible...But not more so.---Albert Einstein

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    I would also recommend that if you are amateur, and quite possibly if you aren't, you might consider a concentrator propane system. That will leave you only needing one regulator, a propane one. You never need to buy oxy which adds up quickly. This is slightly more expensive, possibly, but will repay within the year. I wish I had done it from the outset, and not needed to convert later.

  9. #9
    Senior Member long john's Avatar
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    hey smith torches top notch and two stage regulator not ness a sary . I have the large purox torch and its two heavy for brazing one hand holding torch and the other the brass rod.. also most torches can use propane instead acetylene by changing tip. larger tanks 120 and 300 are best last longer and as above pressure drop etc.
    victor is great and every one copy cat the torches so tips that fit are at every welding store goss tips are good.

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