Bernzomatic Mapp/Oxy set useful for anything?
Other than lighting barbecues, that is...
I need to do some brazing and heat treating, but have also got a few projects where rudimentary welding/cutting capabilities would be useful.
The local big orange box store has a small MAPP/Oxygen torch kit for $50 like this one:
I am curious if anyone has experience with this sort of setup and just how limited it is in practice? I was figuring that for $30 more than a plain propan torch I might get a bit more utility out of it but if it's just a recipe for frustration I won't bother. I don't have the money to invest in a MIG welder or anything like that right now, and anyway those don't help with cutting.
FYI I have no experience with welding but I've always been pretty good at learning new things. I've looked into welding classes but the only ones I've found in my area (Boston) are wicked expensive--like $1000 and up--so I was figuring I'd get myself a pile of scraps and some books and teach myself like I've done pretty much everything else
I've had one of these for a number of years and it works fine for its size and my applications.
In the next building I've got access to mig/tig/gas etc. but it's setup for bigger jobs.
When I need something small (usually brazed) then using my Bernzomatic is quick and convenient.
A couple of caveats:
1. It is a small torch, intended for small items.
2. The oxygen does not last long (at most 30min) and is rather expensive (about $8/bottle). Bottles are NOT made for refilling.
3. There are no pressure gauges so its a guess if you have enough for a particular job prior to beginning it.
I usually use it for silver brazing or regular brazing - works good.
You could weld small steel parts using small diameter rod but it would be tricky.
It seems to be primarily more of a "high temp" propane torch for small jobs
If you are going to use it to learn to weld I suggest you get a unit with refillable, and much larger bottles, because you'll spend alot of time trying to perfect your skills.
Lottsa gas=lottsa bottles=lottsa $$
Here is my suggestion, buy yourself a cheap $100 dollar torch off of ebay. While you’re on ebay, buy some small MC tanks. You'll be out about $250 bucks, but you'll be glad you did spend a little more because you'll spend it anyway buying all those $8 bottles of oxygen with the other.