Join Date: Nov 2000
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Oxyacetylene welding is a very good method, probably the most versatile of all methods, requiring a fair bit of skill and practice. Because you control the heat independently of the addition of filler metal, you have a great deal of control. Very much like TIG. Its fairly practical for welding of sheet metal and tubing. You can also do cutting of steel with it. Its also very handy for a source of heat to loosen fasteners, bend metal, heat treat, shrink metal. You can braze as well, using a bronze filler. Its the first method I learned, and I learned by taking a course at the local technical college. You typically lease tanks. Cost around $40 to fill the oxygen bottle, $50 for the acetylene. If your not doing any cutting, you use around 2 oxygens for every acetylene. It all of course depends on the bottle sizes.
I bought all used equipment. Old airco stuff from a welding repair shop. Works very well. I've heard but not experienced there are problems with some cheap regulators. The settings may creep and alter the mix. That would be annoying.
Mig has advantages of convenience and speed of welding. If you are too slow at oxyacetylene and apply too much heat, you will distort sheet metal. Mig lays down more pounds per hour at a lower cost, so its cost effective in todays world.
In the old days it ruled. It was portable, and you could do everything with one setup, weld, braze, heat, cut, solder, apply lead, even weld aluminum and cast iron. Warning, if you get one, everyone you know will want to borrow it.