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Thread: Finding the best torch handle and tips to work with propane

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    Default Re: Finding the best torch handle and tips to work with propane

    Quote Originally Posted by William Chitham View Post
    ...needless to say, it doesn't fit my Wescol lightweight handle...
    William Chitham.
    When I called them about the size of the thread on the tips they told me, that's why they do not show this mixer/neck as available on their webpage.
    It is only a spare part to fit their torch (and nothing else on UK market).
    I think, you would have been better off buying the torch package complete with tips?? rather than trying to mix and match...

    Uniweld swaged tips (or elbows as they call them in their catalogue) appear to be screwed on into the mixer in the same fashion as lightweight torch that you and I are familiar with.
    The thread is supposedly 1/4" 27TPI
    Chris Kaminski

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    Default Re: Finding the best torch handle and tips to work with propane

    Quote Originally Posted by William Chitham View Post
    ... I only have the one tip for the Uniweld so modding that would make it a lot more useful ...
    William Chitham.
    I also have just one elbow/mixer coming for my Uniweld torch and my plan is exactly the same as yours (i.e. modify the elbow front to accept various Paige tips)

    Here, is what I was talking about re Uniweld mixers and elbows:

    Chris Kaminski

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    Default Re: Finding the best torch handle and tips to work with propane

    Quote Originally Posted by bambuko View Post
    ...I think, you would have been better off buying the torch package complete with tips?? rather than trying to mix and match...
    Uniweld swaged tips (or elbows as they call them in their catalogue) appear to be screwed on into the mixer in the same fashion as lightweight torch that you and I are familiar with.
    The thread is supposedly 1/4" 27TPI
    In truth I wasn't that hopeful that it would fit and I'm keen to try the lightweight torch experience; I've had the Uniweld for ages but never got around to sorting out decent hoses for it. I don't have the facilities to make an adaptor like yours so my plan is to cut the elbows off half way up and silver the parts together with a brass sleeve. That catalogue page is helpful, looks like a 17-4 would be ideal but I think the 17-3 that I have will probably flow enough gas for me. Seems that the Uniweld elbows and mixers can be bought as fixed assemblies or screw together parts - mine definitely doesn't want to unscrew. What size have you ordered?

    William Chitham.

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    Default Re: Finding the best torch handle and tips to work with propane

    Yes, I ended up with 17-3
    Time will tell ...
    Chris Kaminski

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    Default Re: Finding the best torch handle and tips to work with propane

    Thanks, Doug. I've forwarded an email to Paige encouraging a Uniweld version. Hopefully it will become a reality, I'd be in for a full set.
    Andy Belcher

    Cardinal Creative
    flickr

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    Default Re: Finding the best torch handle and tips to work with propane

    Just in case someone doesn’t know this, the Uniweld threads on their 71 handle are the same as on a Victor J-28 handle. Their elbow/mixers and tips are interchangeable. On my Uniweld 71 handle I screw-on a Victor UN-J mixer elbow (designed specifically for propane and other similar fuels). The threading for the tips that go onto the end of the UN-J is 5/16” - 28 tpi. The Victor tips I use on the UN-J are the TEN series also designed specifically for propane.

    The UN-J mixer/elbow is different than the other Victor mixer/elbows (for acetylene) because it has 6 holes for oxygen coming out of the mixer instead of the 4 oxygen holes for acetylene ones. The Uniweld all-in-one mixer/elbow/tips (that they say works for all fuels including both acetylene and propane) have only 2 oxygen holes. All these holes are about the same size in each of the mixers. This would lead me to believe that the Uniweld mixers would preform the poorest with propane.

    In my conversation with Paige tools I encouraged them to make adaptors so their tips could be used with either Smith or Victor (and by extension the Uniweld 71) torch handles. The easiest way to do this is to make an adaptor connecting the male 5/16” - 28 threads on the end of the UN-J to the female 1/4” - 32 threads in the back of Paige (and Meco) tips. They are considering making tips with Victor threads so they can screw directly into the UN-J elbow without the need of an adaptor to do so. They seem inclined to make adaptors 1st so their tips will work with Victor and compatibles as well as the Smith 1/4” - 32 threads. This is why I’m encouraging potential buyers to encourage them so this option can become a reality. My experiment with a Smith AW1A and Paige tips showed me that the combination of a round torch handle with a multi-port tip is my favorite when using propane.

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    Default Re: Finding the best torch handle and tips to work with propane

    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Fattic View Post
    ...The threading for the tips that go onto the end of the UN-J is 5/16” - 28 tpi...
    I haven't got one to hand, to check, but all the literature I have quotes 5/16" - 27 tpi.

    Chris Kaminski

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    Default Re: Finding the best torch handle and tips to work with propane

    Quote Originally Posted by bambuko View Post
    I haven't got one to hand, to check, but all the literature I have quotes 5/16" - 27 tpi.
    You are right. Thanks for the correction! I measured the threads on the end of my UN-J with a thread gage and indeed it has 27 tpi.

    One other suggestion on getting brazing equipment is to buy an acetylene regulator rather than one rated for propane. The reason is that their 0 to 15 psi pressure range has finer control than propane's much higher top end pressure. I usually adjust my propane pressure around 3 psi + or -. The lower pressure helps keep the flame from blowing out.

    One of my friends called Smith and they said both kinds of their regulators are made the same except for their pressure range. What they did warn about is not putting a used one on a propane tank after it has been on an acetylene tank because it still carries its contaminants inside. Apparently - according to her - they can't be cleaned out. Of course I am sure their lawyers help draft that recommendation so their isn't even the slightest chance for some failure caused by this switch.

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    Default Re: Finding the best torch handle and tips to work with propane

    These nozzles are brilliant in my opinion. I tried a number of Oxy Propane systems before I settled on this one. You may do well to get their handle as well The Welders Warehouse - Lightweight Heating and Brazing Torch for Oxygen + Propane

    I use no.3 and no.5 nozzles for most of my frame building. I have built 4 frames using less than one 3.9kg cylinder of Propane since I started using these. This works out at less than £4 per frame in the UK for Propane (plus rather more for the Oxygen). Because of the convenience and ease of obtaining Propane and the cost I can't imagine that I will ever go back to Oxy-acetylene.

    Paul Jacobs.

    Quote Originally Posted by William Chitham View Post
    No idea what thread these have, probably not compatable with US kit but multi-flame style tips are available in the UK: Multi-Jet Oxy Propane Heating Nozzles.

    William Chitham.

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    Default Re: Finding the best torch handle and tips to work with propane

    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Fattic View Post
    ...The easiest way to do this is to make an adaptor connecting the male 5/16” - 27 threads on the end of the UN-J to the female 1/4” - 32 threads in the back of Paige (and Meco) tips...
    One problem with this idea is that Type17-000 to Type 17-4 use 1/4" - 27tpi
    It is only Type 17-5 to Type 17-7 that use 5/16" - 27 tpi
    So the proposed adapter wouldn't cater for majority of tips?

    The other problem (it seems) is the fact that combined mixer/tips appear to be more popular and easier to get than separate bits.
    I ended up with the one that cannot be taken apart (simply because I didn't know any better).
    It is no problem for me because I can do my adapters easily, but it will be for those with no lathe and screwcutting...
    Chris Kaminski

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    Default Re: Finding the best torch handle and tips to work with propane

    I am talking about the threads on the tip end of the elbow and not the end that goes into the mixer. The UN-J is a mixer/elbow made for propane (because it has 6 oxygen supply holes in the mixer). It is necessary to only buy one of them and then screw on the what size tip works best for the application. The threads on the end of the UN-J are 5/16" - 27. This will allow the TEN or Paige or Meco multi-port series of tips to be screwed onto the end of the UN-J.

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    Default Re: Finding the best torch handle and tips to work with propane

    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Fattic View Post
    I am talking about the threads on the tip end of the elbow...
    Understand (now).
    My confusion came from the fact that "elbow to mixer" thread as described in Uniweld catalogue:
    Type17-000 to Type 17-4 use 1/4" - 27tpi for elbow to mixer
    Type 17-5 to Type 17-7 use 5/16" - 27 tpi for elbow to mixer
    see: post #22


    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Fattic View Post
    ...The UN-J is a mixer/elbow made for propane (because it has 6 oxygen supply holes in the mixer)...
    I guess that makes sense if you think that oxy/propane uses 4 times as much oxygen as propane, compare to oxy/acetylene being more like 1 to 1?

    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Fattic View Post
    ...It is necessary to only buy one of them...
    Too late for me I already wasted my money buying the wrong one - I suppose that the price of my ignorance...
    Anyway, I have the means to recover, although I will not have 6 holes?
    I'll see if I can add more holes myself (or enlarge the ones available?)
    Chris Kaminski

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    Default Re: Finding the best torch handle and tips to work with propane

    Quote Originally Posted by bambuko View Post
    Anyway, I have the means to recover, although I will not have 6 holes? I'll see if I can add more holes myself (or enlarge the ones available?)
    I don't think the number of holes is critical. I've used propane successfully with all kinds of acetylene only mixer tips. They just don't work as well as a UN-J with propane specific tips. I think this may be true because we use smaller tips at lower pressures.

    I wonder if you can use a die to put a 1/4" - 32 threads on the end of one of those Uniweld tips? That way you can screw the multi-port tips directly to the elbow. Of course that is an unusual size that would cost almost as much money as a UN-J. Unless of course you cut off the end near the bend and chucked into a lathe to cut the threads (then braze it back on again).

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    Default Re: Finding the best torch handle and tips to work with propane

    When you say "... They just don't work as well as a UN-J with propane specific tips..." what do you mean?
    I have only ever worked with oxy/acetylene gear so I simply do not know what I am missing?

    As for adapting Uniweld elbow to Paige tips, my plan is exactly the same as I have shown earlier on in this thread with Welders Warehouse tips.
    Turn brass adapter with correct thread (in this case 1/4"-32) and silver solder it to the shortened front end of (no longer) swaged tip.

    Works fine so far - unless I am missing something or doing something stupid (wouldn't be the first time ) - in which case shout please.
    Chris Kaminski

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    Default Re: Finding the best torch handle and tips to work with propane

    Quote Originally Posted by bambuko View Post
    When you say "... They just don't work as well as a UN-J with propane specific tips..." what do you mean?
    I have only ever worked with oxy/acetylene gear so I simply do not know what I am missing?
    While almost all tips work with propane, the problem with using an acetylene tip is that it is hard to light because the flame easily detaches and the bounce back from the flow of gas blows out the flame when it is close to the joint it is brazing. This might be because to get enough oxygen to the flame through fewer holes in the mixer, it is necessary to turn up the pressure. A propane specific tip like a TEN-3 with a recessed end means the flame is less likely to become detached when lighting but also blows out fairly easily if the flame gets too close to the work. A multi-port propane specific tip lights more easily and rarely blows out when the flame is close to the joint it is brazing. The main flame (sounding by tiny flames) is thin and sharp making it more precise to use. This is especially helpful when fillet brazing.

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    Default Re: Finding the best torch handle and tips to work with propane

    Thanks for that Doug!
    Good summary of everything about tips and their use with oxy/propane.
    It all makes sense, the only thing that remains mystery (to me at least) are the mixers and their design (hence my interest in your comments that "...UN-J mixer/elbow is different than the other Victor mixer/elbows (for acetylene) because it has 6 holes for oxygen coming out of the mixer instead of the 4 oxygen holes for acetylene ones...").
    So is "propane" mixer (6 oxygen holes?) important or doesn't it matter? and only tips and their design matter?

    btw I am still waiting for my Uniweld torch and Paige tips - both should arrive next week.
    Chris Kaminski

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    Default Re: Finding the best torch handle and tips to work with propane

    Quote Originally Posted by bambuko View Post
    So is "propane" mixer (6 oxygen holes?) important or doesn't it matter? and only tips and their design matter?
    I don't know exactly but my guess is that by having more holes for the oxygen to flow through the mixer means the oxygen pressure does not need to be turned up as high (so it is less likely to detach or blow out the flame) to get the right ratio to make propane work the most efficiently. I'm also going to assume the engineers knew what they are doing when they designed the propane specific mixer with more holes for oxygen.

    My search is not just for what works but what works the best and most efficiently. In Ukraine I began making frames with this awful Russian big and heavy torch handle. It worked fine but I just like working with better equipment. In my research I went through a number of different combinations. I found using light hoses, a small round torch handle and a multi-port tip as the best combination for propane. YMMV. The final missing link for that to happen here in the States is an adaptor to connect Paige (or Meco) tips to either a Victor UN-J or Smith AT-61 mixer/elbow. I could get this combination by modifying a Paige MMH adaptor to fit a Smith AT-61 mixer/elbow on my lathe. However it would be nice for others to be able to have this combination even if they don't have the equipment to make modifications themselves.

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    Default Re: Finding the best torch handle and tips to work with propane

    Quote Originally Posted by bambuko View Post
    ... Welders Warehouse tips have arrived today and the thread on them is neither UNF or BSP or BSF, but M6 x 0.75 (Metric Fine)...
    correction
    these threads are actually 1/4"-32 tpi (UNF)
    Apologies for causing confusion.
    Chris Kaminski

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    Default Re: Finding the best torch handle and tips to work with propane

    My Frankentorch lives! I spent yesterday afternoon grafting the top end of a Welder's Warehouse neck to the mixer end of a Uniweld 17-3 and happily ended up with something that works (rather than a small pile of scrap which seemed like a distinct possibility at one stage). I haven't used it in anger yet but it lights up easily and seems to flow enough gas for the three tips I bought, 1, 3 & 5.
    Point of no return.jpg
    Dry Fit.jpg
    It lives.jpg

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    Default Re: Finding the best torch handle and tips to work with propane

    Quote Originally Posted by bambuko View Post
    correction, these threads are actually 1/4"-32 tpi (UNF)
    That means that Welder's Warehouse tips will screw directly onto a Smith AT61. Just as a refresher, the AT61 mixer/elbow is designed specifically for propane (and other alternate fuels) because it has more and bigger oxygen supply holes going towards the tip. This is particularly helpful for multi-port tips that gobble up more oxygen anyway.

    I made my Smith AW1A torch handle work with either Meco or Paige tips by modifying a Paige MMH adaptor. I cut off the male threads that go to a Hoke torch and bored it out with an end mill on my lathe and tapped it with a 1/4" - 32 bottoming tap. This adaptor now screwed onto my AT61 (which has 1/4" - 32 threads for tips)) and the Meco or Paige tips screwed onto the adaptor.

    So now it is possible for someone to buy an American torch handle (the Smith AW1A) and a propane specific mixer/elbow (the AT61) and get multi-port tips (that screw directly onto the AT61) that work better for propane than single orifice tips without having to cobble something together to make the combination work. Good news!

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