Oxy-acetylene starter recommendations

I have a project or two that I think require a better heat source than mapp gas.
( Silver soldering or brazing 1 3/8 copper tubing for starters )

I’m wondering what the lowest cost path into an oxy-acetylene rig would be.

Suggestions ?

For simplicity and lower cost, you may want to consider oxy-propane. But no cost of acetylene tanks and propane easy to get. Perfect for brazing and soldering but not welding (has to do with chemistry of flame). One safety advantage of acetylene is it is lighter than air, so leakage does puddle on floor like propane.

When done brazing, fire up the BBQ. But Oxy-acetylene gives you the option of welding.


Gas Welding – Acetylene vs Propane

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Pawn shop for an oxy/ace. Or you could go with a turbo torch. I brazed 3.5” copper to a valve with one.

Know your limitations though. No more than 1/7th of volume in an hour of use. Do not put too much pressure on the output of the regulator, or lay the tank over. The acetone will cause problems.


What Tim is talking about becomes very important if you are using the smaller portable Acetylene tanks.

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Ok, supplemental question: What does it take to use a pawn shop oxy/ace rig with oxy-propane ?

I have propane bottles for the grill already, so I know I’ll need an oxygen bottle.

Is the acetylene regulator and hose compatible or adaptable to propane ?

No, the acetylene regulators are not compatible with propane. You would need a propane specific regulator. A Pawn shop you might get a better deal. Regulators have gone down in prices in the past 10-15 years. The last singular regulator I bought was less than 100$

Just the regulator is different ?

Considering trying for a used torch and regulator set, then adding a propane regulator ( used if I can find one or new if not ).

Highly recommend something like this.

It’s easy to move, if you need larger bottles they can be had from cylinder services for about $100 per bottle. That includes a new hydro test and paint job. Be sure to know the kind of torch you have. Some of the low end port a totes dont take victor tips, etc.

Bernzomaric makes a mapp oxy torch that uses small disposable canisters which works great for small jobs, but the oxy canister can really only get maybe 10-15 minutes of good torch time, or Home Depot sells a setup 2 bottles oxy and acetylene, Hoses regulators torch and tips for 250$ but my recommendation would be propane oxy cause max temp is capable of pretty much everything a acetylene oxy torch can do but is incredible more stable and safer. Acetylene is an extremely unstable chemical compound, so much so they can t just fill cylinders with it, they have do use a solvent and what’s called monolithic mass honey comb structure in the tank to try and keep it stable, so working with something that takes that much effort to “control” is always fraught with risk, but propane, hell they sell fill your own propane bottle setups so much safer easier and Easily capable of doing acetylene level jobs

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Some regulators are actually comparable with both now a days except type b bottles

I use a Sievert Pro 88 torch set that connects to a BBQ propane tank. It is made in Sweden and of very good quality brass. The Pro 88 has dual adjustments, one for a pilot flame which allows for you to pulse the main flame for greater heat control. The Pro 86 does not have the pilot flame. You can get different tips for various uses. I have done silver soldering with aluminum, sweat copper plumbing, and fine jewelry work. A very nice pin-point flame for doing precision work whether soldering or brazing.


To be honest, I didn’t realize you could interchange regulators. I was always under the impression you needed propane specific regulator. I seem to remember the torch head themselves being different as well. One thing to remember is in acetylene, the smaller tanks have different fittings. The MC has a different fitting than the B tank. In addition they are left handed threads, vs the regulators for 60CF tanks & larger.

Not all are, but some are interchangeable except for mc and b some are interchangeable except for just but some are like you’re saying gas specific, and torches too some are both some are specific just depends most of the higher end high quality ones are specific but some medium range hobbiest grade ones can operate with either

What pressure do you run propane at on the torch side ?

So before you spark the torch I’d recommend finding a couple very detailed articles that cover everything you’ll need to know to use torches safely and have knowledge of all possible dangers and possibilities that way when you do go to spark it you’ll not run into a situation that could potentially send you 50 feet away from where you were standing

I learned how to use oxy acetylene in 1986.

Oxy propane is new to me. And I have never owned my own equipment.

I saw a hack recently where the guy was using a portable oxygen concentrator (like the kind people with emphysema use) for the O2 source. In the long run, cheaper than the small bottles.

You could also invest in a TIG (GMAW) rig, even one that was a multiprocess with a plasma cutter. But, that might be more money than you want to use to solve this problem.

From what I read, it depends on what your doing. I saw some saying 5psi & others going all the way to 30 psi.

First project is to build a couple of magnetic loop HF antennas. I got a great deal on the pipe, but have to braze in 45 degree couplers to make it into a pair of octagons.

Having a decent gas rig seems a good thing for future projects.

Sounding to me like at the low end, an acetylene regulator will work ( up to 10 psi ), but that it may be better to get a purpose built regulator that will go higher just to get more flow rate.

Hacking something to get the tool to start the project is a recipe for never getting it done.

Interesting perhaps, but pass.

I have a MIG machine. No idea how a TIG would fit into brazing copper.