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I Forge Iron

Heating with gas

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I have reached the point where I really want the ability to focus some heat on a small area of my work rather than heating it all in the forge. I used some gas briefly a few years ago and found it to be a very useful tool. I am however getting slightly confused with some of the technology and terminology and was hoping for some advice. As I understand it propane is the cheapest option and is primarily used to heat gas forges? can it be mixed with oxygen? Is it the best small scale option for precise heating? And what about Acetylene? I have only ever heard it used in the context of mixing with oxygen, can it be used alone or is it aways twinned with oxygen? Is Oxy Acetylene the more specialist setup? Why use it over propane? I had two gas heads given to me (pic below), Are they generic or does each gas use a specific one? 

And other than the bottles and pipes is there any other kit that I will need?

Sorry for all the questions!




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Those look like cutting torch heads; you may want to look into getting rosebuds.

Here in the USA:  

Yes they make an acetylene/air torch,  plumbers used to use them a lot for sweating pipes and some still do.  Others have moved on to propane.

Yes you can get Oxy-Propane torch set ups; propane is easier to source, cheaper and safer; but oxy-Propane torches do not weld like oxy-acetylene ones do. (Both gasses, with the correct torch bodies and heads will work for cutting though)

So if you want one item to do everything then Oxy-Acetylene will heat/cut/weld but at a price.

If your welding is all arc or forge then oxy-propane may suit you better


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Those are cutting torch handles the long one is a scrapper's torch made to do fast rough cuts at a distance in scrap yards. The shorter one is standard shop type cutting torch. If you just want spot heat you want a welding / brazing head or a heating torch, AKA rose bud for serious heat.

If what's in the pic is what you have you should take the regulators in to a welding supplier and have them checked. You'll need hoses and the torch handles for what you want to do. Those are for cutting steel.

Thomas has covered other options available. I don't weld with oxy fuel I arc weld so I run an oxy propane torch for cutting and heating.

Frosty The Lucky.

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