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First time welder

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  • First time welder

    Today is day #1 of welding for me. I picked up a miniature, dusty gas welding rig at a barn sale yesterday. I opened the valves and saw 200 psi on the fuel regulator and 1000 psi for oxygen--seems that the tanks don't leak. Good.

    I disassembled and cleaned everything up, and put it back together. Watched a couple videos on the interwebs then went outside and welded two pieces of steel together. The process was slow and quiet. Good.

    The cutting torch and 000 tip that came with the rig are "normal sized", i.e. the threads don't match the tiny torch grip. I was able to cut off a length of 1" angle iron with the +#0 welding tip. Probably wasted some 02 doing that I suppose!

    After turning off the torch I noticed that the fuel gauge holds steady at 5 psi. The oxy level bleeds off to zero after a minute or so. Sure enough I see bubbles where the back pressure check valve connects (red arrow in photo) to the grip when I submerge it in water. I removed and cleaned the oxy hose and check valve. When reinstalling I tightened them as tight as I dared. Still bubbles. Seems odd for a brass fitting. The fuel connection is 100% leak free. Is there a DIY fix for a leaky connection? The welding shops are all closed today so a new back flow check valve won't happen until Monday. The leak could be in the male threads on the handle I suppose.

    Do I get a reducer to adapt the cutting torch or do I sell it on craigslist and buy the smaller size to fit my handle?

    ...j

  • #2
    You need to post make and model of torch and cutting tip before anyone can really answer your questions. Your torch appears to be part of a Victor mini-OA set. intended to be used for non-cutting (plumbing etc) purposes.

    With regard to the check valve leakage, do NOT "tighten as much as you dared", since this can actually cause leakage by stretching the threads on the brass fitting or torch. The only fix is replacement. I would keep the torch and find a handle to fit, although you can't do much serious cutting with your tiny cylinders.
    Last edited by Northweldor; 06-18-2018, 02:14 PM.

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