A bit OT: Oxy/Acetylene rig question

This is a bit off topic, but I figured someone here would know the answer. A neighbor has a 20 year old oxy acetylene welding setup I'm interested in buying, but I don't know much about these and a I want to make sure the tanks, regulators etc. are not obsolete (eg, they haven't changed the fittings since the mid '80's & I'll be able to get the tanks filled or exchanged). Anyone know?
TIA
Rick
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com says...

The fittings are still the same, but if they haven't been filled in a while, the cylinder's pressure check date has passed. They should have a date code stamped near the top, I forget how long it is good for, 5 years? Anyway, if the cylinders have a dealer's sticker on them(and you go back to the same dealer), they will usually just exchange them when you bring them in. If not, then you will either have to have your cylinders checked or they will give you new ones. Either way you pay for the testing, about $15 a cylinder the last time I had one done. If by some chance you have strange fittings anyway, they would just swap them out for a similar cost.
Dennis
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says...

It is 5 years. The last time I had it done it ran me $32!!
I would check fro dry-rotting on the hoses. If they are really dry and cracked, I may pass on it, unless of course it's real cheap.
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says...

The place I go to just exchanges the tanks for the cost of the refill - no questions asked. I even swapped a nitrous oxide tank for a CO2 tank once.
Bob
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you might want to repost this question in sci.engr.joining.welding.
What I can tell you is in Canada anyway most High pressure tanks have a finite life span and if the tank is past its life span you cannot get it re-filled untill it has been inspected. Or if the tank(s) are owened by a Gas company ie: BOC, Praxair, Air Liquide ect. you cannot own them but rather lease them from the company that is stamped on the neck of the bottle below the valve.
Most regulators can be rebuilt if the rubber diaphram is old and leaking and the pressuer guages can be replaced without much cost (approx $15-$20 per guage) There has been a thousand different manufactures of regulators so I cannot tell you if these ones are obsolete or not, however some of the common names are Victor, Praxair, Harris, Air Products. If they are anyone of these they are good equipment.
What you might want to do is ask at a local welding supply store or a Gass supplier and ask if there are still replacement parts for these items and if they are not going to cost mega dollars to repair. New stuff could cost less to buy than you would spend to repair old stuff. Over time the diaphrams in the regulators get hard and crack but most of the other brass or stainless fittings will not corrode if they have been stored in a dry area. I have some cutting torches that are almost 35 years old and they still work just fine.
hope this helps some but again I would suggest reposting your question in the above newsgroup. Someone there will be able to provide a better answer.

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Please be sure to learn how to use one. There is a proper sequence to opening the valves for lighting. There is a maximum safe pressure on the regulators also.
I attended a safety demonstration years ago. The instructor filled a small balloon with just acetylene. He put a match to it and it made an orange flame and some black soot. Not a bit deal. He filled another balloon and a little "pssst" of oxygen. Put a match to it and B A M, it made quite an impression.
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wrote:

I used one once or twice in highschool autoshop (the only non-"academic" course they offered) and about 14 years later I needed an auto front fender, and made a deal with the owner over the phone to buy his for 25 dollars. the cat was parked at a gas station between where he lived and where my mother lived, about 20 miles from me and 30 or 50 from him. I go back for the fender and realize the door can't be opened and i can't get to two bolts.
Thank goodness the attendant was 16 years old and so young he just lent me his torch without making sure I could use it.
I'd forgotten so much I started the gas and the O2, and when I tried to light it, the hot flame zoomed out!!!. At least I knew enough to hold my hand to the side!!
If I had hurt myself, I wouldn't have sued anyone, because I know what is my fault and what isn't. OTOH if I had no insurance or money to pay medical bills, I'm not sure what I would do. I think I would have lost though, since the guy was lending it to me for free. And since the torch wasn't defective. Only I was.
I got the fender off, carried it back to NYC in the back of the convertible, and replaced it with no problems. Same turquoises color, didn't require painting.

Remove NOPSAM to email me. Please let me know if you have posted also.
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It works something like this:
First, give me a hint. What brand name? If it's Victor, buy it with confidence. Any other, run.
Changing fittings? Fittings don't need to be changed. Hoses may. Bend them and look for cracking. If cracked, get new, not a lot of $$, and new fittings come with them. Look for anything broken or bent. Victor repairs are no big deal, but some things can cost a lot to fix. Look for neglect. Look for a greenish cast, meaning they have been used in a chlorine environment. Not good. Plain crud is okay, and will come off easily.
Depending on where you are, you will have either lease bottles or owner bottles. Or rentals. Look on the thick metal collar at the top of the tank, and take it to that supplier IF one is on there. Get a bill of sale from the man if you buy them. Take that paperwork to the gas supplier. Ask to open an account. They are much more lenient if you have an account. Those particular bottles may already be in their system. If they show they are owned by the previous owner, you have the necessary paperwork to put them in your name. If they're rentals, then you owe for years of rental fees. Same for lease. They could be stolen, and they will confiscate them on the spot. Don't fuss too much, because they usually will call 911, and then you have to explain it all again from a cage.
Any way you go, you need bottles. I prefer to own all of mine, and that does get pricey. But it is just the way I like it.
Now, when you take your nice looking red bottle in, they don't fill it while you wait like a scuba tank. They just give you another bottle. Ownership is a concept, and you don't keep the same bottle unless you have one of those nice C02 ones that you ask to get back every time. You might get another nice looking red bottle, or some derelict looking like it's spent too much time in the ditch.
I have given you different scenarios. You will not know until you physically take the bottles in. And if you have more than one place, go to all and shop. Some will be more accommodating than others. Asking here is like asking what the weather is. You will get all sorts of weather reports, but it don't matter. It only matters where YOU live.
If you DO buy them, each use, turn off the valves, drain the hoses, and then back off the t handles until there is no resistance. The regulators will last longer.
Steve
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Ya! what Steve said!

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If the current owner has not kept the tanks up to date you will need to confirm if they are owned or leased. An inspection sticker on the tank should tell you when the last pressure test was done. If its more than 5 years the tank needs to be tested.
The hoses are fairly cheap and I would replace them. The regulators may need a rebuild and the torch may need new seals.
New price on a decent torch and small tanks is around $300 in my area. I would only go 50% on used gear.
If you don't know about acetylene tanks there are two things you need to know. 1. do not tip them, they are liquid filled. 2. do not set an acetylene pressure over 15 psi. In fact do not go over 10 unless you know what you are doing.
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if its been stored properly its probably ok. the acy regulator will fit the old propane tanks also. propane/oxy works good if you get a propane tip. the trouble ive seen with old guages/torches laying around is that mud dobbers and spiders get in the fittings a build nests.so be sure to coverem up when storeing. lucas
http://www.minibite.com/america/malone.htm
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Also I grew up on a farm in Idaho and we had these tiny flies or bees? I guess that would build nests in all the little mixer inlet holes it would drive you nuts cleaning them out and sometimes they would never work right. This would happen even if they were in their cases. But I've never seen that whatever it is in the Midwest. Richard
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