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#1 JD DANNELS OFFLINE  

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Posted November 03, 2011 - 08:12 AM

I seem to have a lot of ideas rambling around in my head and a few pan out.
I was very disapointed in the cheap wire tomato cages I bought from the Big Box Store this year. They blew over in the wind and were a bent up mess by fall and several had wires broken off. So next year it's back to the drawingboard.
What I have in mind is to make cages out of EMT(1/2" Conduit) 10 ft sections bent into a U and set them over Rebar driven 2 ft in the ground. They should last for many years.
I do not have a torch that would braze them up and find myself waffling.
Between an Air Acetelene Torch or going to a full blown Oxy Acetelene torch.
The Air Acetelene would be less expensive(one less bottle to maintain) to set up but not as versatile.
Those of you Brazing, What's your set up and What do you reccomend.
Can you shoot any holes in my plans?
(Yes I know Galvanized presents problems, but I've figured out how to minumize that by sanding off the Galv. and working in a well ventilated area)

I'm also interested in whether any of you are using or are considering alternative fuels, with the current Acetelene Shortage.

Edited by JD DANNELS, November 03, 2011 - 08:23 AM.


#2 KennyP ONLINE  

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Posted November 03, 2011 - 12:11 PM

JD, I got some of the concrete reinforcing wire from Lowes and have used this for tomato cages. Been two years so far, and no problems as yet. Just bent them into circles and tied together. I like the large holes to reach in. They are 4' tall and about 30" across.
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#3 Michiganmobileman OFFLINE  

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Posted November 03, 2011 - 03:39 PM

Sorry no help on the torch question,

JD, I got some of the concrete reinforcing wire from Lowes and have used this for tomato cages. Been two years so far, and no problems as yet. Just bent them into circles and tied together. I like the large holes to reach in. They are 4' tall and about 30" across.

I think we are going to use that next year too. Ours also fell over about mid summer, but still got lots of maters off the vines.
Kenny did you set yours up with any extra supports or did they stay up on their own.

Edited by Michiganmobileman, November 03, 2011 - 03:40 PM.
Typo again, so much for proofreading

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#4 MH81 ONLINE  

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Posted November 03, 2011 - 05:13 PM

I would highly advise the OxyAcet systems over the MAP or any other premixed. It opened up a world of opportunities for use. I can Braise, Weld, Cut, Heat, Bend, etc. I can even change tips and switch to Oxy/LP. Caseguy had an ESAB kit, I always liked it, so when the time came, I did the same. I have not regretted it. I went with the bigger tanks, less fills per year and a little cheaper qty wise, plus I have a great gas guy & he does lifetime leases on tanks, just switching them out as they get close to pressure test age.
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#5 coldone OFFLINE  

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Posted November 03, 2011 - 06:18 PM

Air/fuel torches have their place and its not in the shop. You are limited to heating only and then that has its limitations. Spend a few more bucks and get the Oxy/gas setup. If you dont want acet. go for propane. Once acet. comes back down all you have to get is an adapter for the tank and then switch out tips. I think the only thing you cant do with propane is weld heavy stuff. I have a small oxy setup, since I am a refrigeration guy, and I dont know how i lived without it. I have small tips (00) and large rosebuds, along with a cutting head. As long as i have gas and oxy I am in business. I can braze sheet metal with the small heads and I can cut up to 1/2 thick with the cutting head.

I was suprised the other day when i had to refill my small 10cf acet tank. $16. I do have a propane adapter for my gauges and will be picking up some tips in the near future.

Stay away from the no name torches, victor, ESAB, turbo torch are a few good name brands.
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#6 JD DANNELS OFFLINE  

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Posted November 04, 2011 - 10:42 PM

Thanks to all for your comments. Kenny, that wire was also on my mind and would be a good option. I may use it along with the idea I'm working on.
MH81 What model ESAB are you using?
Cold One do you use one of the portable kits? With the small bottles how much burn time do you get?
I understand about the price of acetelene. I stopped at a welding shop last night. He quoted $32 for a fill on a B Tank. He also said they were having no trouble getting acetelene yet.
Propane might be a way to go. Will the acetelene regulator work with propane?

#7 MH81 ONLINE  

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Posted November 04, 2011 - 11:12 PM

Thanks to all for your comments. Kenny, that wire was also on my mind and would be a good option. I may use it along with the idea I'm working on.
MH81 What model ESAB are you using?
Cold One do you use one of the portable kits? With the small bottles how much burn time do you get?
I understand about the price of acetelene. I stopped at a welding shop last night. He quoted $32 for a fill on a B Tank. He also said they were having no trouble getting acetelene yet.
Propane might be a way to go. Will the acetelene regulator work with propane?


This is the kit I bought, but I got it much cheaper. I'm thinking I found it for around $150.
I use the rosebud more than I thought I would. It's a nice add on.

As for the fill on your gas, I have the 3 ft tall tank and am paying less than that for refills. I think my last fill was both oxy and acetylene for $45 - 50.
If memory serves, the oxy was $16, it's the 5' bottle, the acetylene and delivery was the rest. I always tip a little over, tell him it's for coffee. He seems to appreciate it.

#8 Alc ONLINE  

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Posted November 05, 2011 - 05:59 AM

Are far as bending the conduit , I was think on using it to in the garden for different type frame work . I don't know how small a radius your looking to do but I was thinking on a regular conduit bender that an electrican would use . There are web sites that show you how to bend 10' 1/2 and 3/4 conduit into hoops for low tunnels . I bought some to try but havn't yet , Alhttp://ts4.mm.bing.n...abd845d32721dfb
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#9 JD DANNELS OFFLINE  

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Posted November 05, 2011 - 09:49 AM

Al: Great minds think alike. That's another idea i'm working on. The conduit should work fine for low hoop(in fact I've seen it used in some small greenhouse kits). I also saw in a magazine pegging into the ground with Re-rod and bending pvc water pipe for low hoops. And yes the thin wall conduit bends fairly easily on thin wall conduit. For 3 yrs in the factory I was a Maintenece Mechanics Helper(Job Description). Which made me the guy doing all the pipe threading, conduit bending etc.

#10 coldone OFFLINE  

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Posted November 05, 2011 - 07:00 PM

Cold One do you use one of the portable kits? With the small bottles how much burn time do you get?
Will the acetelene regulator work with propane?


I really dont know how long it last. I have two 10 cuft bottles so when one goes out the other is ready to go. I know at work I end up refilling a 10Cuft bottle about once a month and I brase something at least once a day.

The acet reg will work for propane you just have to have an adapter.

#11 MH81 ONLINE  

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Posted November 05, 2011 - 07:15 PM

Just realized the link I had didn't work. Sorry about that.

Here is the kit:
Posted Image

#12 JD DANNELS OFFLINE  

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Posted November 07, 2011 - 10:23 AM

Just realized the link I had didn't work. Sorry about that.

Here is the kit:
Posted Image


That's a nice set! Sure gives you a lot of tips to choose from. I was not familiar with ESAB before I read your first post.
Been doing a lot of searching on the net since. I discovered the ESAB/Prestolite W200 is a favorite of Bicycle and home built Arcraft builders. It falls third behind the Smith A1H1 and Victor J28.
Since they use the thin tubing I am primarily interested in working, it might be just what I'm looking for?
The weld shop, I went to was pushing Smith equipment, though I found out on the net thy are a ESAB distributor too.
I may go back and ask about a W200 kit. I am buying another car and have to see how much money I have left for toys?

#13 Texas Deere and Horse OFFLINE  

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Posted November 07, 2011 - 05:04 PM

Alan, Purox has been around longer then I have, lol. I cut my teeth using Dad's Purox torch years ago, and still have it. In our FAB. shop we use VICTOR brand and have had a great relationship with those torch's, my guys aren't the easiest on them, and parts are available at every welding shop I can think of.

JD, I would make sure you buy a good brand, there are Chinese imitations out there that just don't hold up, but look just like VICTOR and others. Ask any questions you need help with and I'll do my best to answer them. Also, check in the local PAWN shop for used torch's, you can buy them a lot cheaper and get them gone through reasonably at the local welding shop.

JD, I have been using Hog fence panels for my tomato plants for 5 or 6 years now, the same ones. I drive fence posts in the ground between the plants and tie my mater plant to them with stockings or panty hose. Just an other idea.

#14 skyrydr2 OFFLINE  

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Posted November 07, 2011 - 08:33 PM

Smith has hands down the best cutting touches I have ever used, and parts for them are also very readily available. As are the others, but with victor and purox I noticed a lot of POP back and internal burning and snapping, I never get this with my smith . But my smith is only for cutting, where as the victor I can do anything .

#15 MH81 ONLINE  

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Posted November 07, 2011 - 08:37 PM

I noticed a lot of POP back and internal burning and snapping,


You definitely want a good set of flashback arrestors on there. Mine have saved my keister probably more than once.




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