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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Was having a conversation with a coworker today about our torches. Got me thinking what others prefer.

I have two main torches that I use for soldering. First set up is an mc tank with a turbo torch. Different tips depending on size of pipe I am working with. Second is a mapp pro, propane Bernzomatic from Home Depot. One step up from the brass pencil flame style. I will only use this one for tight spaces such as under a cabinet for the occasional angle valve or something small, usually 1/2” with the occasional 3/4”. But by far the most useful is my mc tank with turbo torch.

While we’re on the topic, what is your preference for fuel? Acetylene, mapp pro, mapp (if you have any left) or propane? If I’m not running acetylene, I’m probably going to use propane, just because it is quite a bit cheaper than mapp.

What say the group?
 

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I like a mc tank myself with acetylene, with mapp pro with self igniter,
But I have also had a B-tank with a full torch set up, for the big jobs,
When I had a shop in L.A. we used the B-tank with propane, with the Large Mapp tanks, all with extra backup tanks,
with fire extinguishers
 

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B tank and turbo torch with a small or medium tip. Every truck has them and the company pays for acetylene. Some guys (myself included) have mapp torches for a hwt for two male fittings and two couplings, or a handful of pex adapters. My rule of thumb is five joints, less than that and it’s not worth dragging in the b tank.
 

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Bernzo/mapp with the 'fat' tip. Long tank means it's awkward for tight spaces, but always possible to stay safe. I feather the button for flow, makes it one-handed operation, rarely lock it 'on'. Most jobs are 6 fittings or less. Smaller 'normal' tip when inside a tight wall. YMMV
 

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We just use the screw on torches with MAP/Pro cans. Most of us have B-Tanks too, but it's usually just the HVAC guys who use them, and even they only use them for brazing refrigerant lines or large boiler piping. I have a full acetylene torch setup, never really kept it on the van.

Our supply house sells the TurboTorch TX-500 torches, you get about a year before they quit lighting. I keep an all metal ASCO torch on my van as a backup, it's probably 20 years old and never failed me, but the company didn't pay for that torch so I use theirs.

We use corporation fittings on buried copper main lines if we have to fix them. For new installs we try to keep it one continuous length of 60' or 100'. We never see a residential main from city water longer than 100'. Most houses around here have wells. Some towns don't have public water or sewer.

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This is the style I like. I bought one of these ~9 years ago. Still works great, but the integrated striker stopped working. My master gave me a similar used torch head with a working striker, different brand. For gas, Mapp pro.

When we had to solder 1-1/4+ we had a double tip turbo torch With mapp pro.

I’ve never used a b-tank. My master said the only time it’s worth lugging around is in newcon. Which we didn’t do.
 

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I use a Bernz TS8000 with Mapp/Pro tanks. Im usually sweating a dozen joints or less so an acetylene tank is really worth the hassle. Anything larger than 1" we press or have the HVAC guys braze.

I want to get my hands on a Rothenberger SuperFire 3 with the changeable tips. It's just hard to find a dealer around here.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
A Mapp Pro for small jobs. A 7.5 Propylene (about the size of a "B" tank) for 1-1/4" and up. Depending on the tip used, it's hot enough to silver solder up to 2".
And, it weights about half as much as a B tank.
Before I got my acetylene turbo torch, I was really considering getting the lp version. The only problem is I haven’t seen where I can get the propane tanks refilled. (The smaller silver one for like a forklift) I really didn’t want to tote around a 20lb cylinder and it would take up too much space in my truck. Right now, I have my mc tank in a 5 gallon bucket with everything that I would need to solder or braze minus pipe and fittings of course
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I use a Bernz TS8000 with Mapp/Pro tanks. Im usually sweating a dozen joints or less so an acetylene tank is really worth the hassle. Anything larger than 1" we press or have the HVAC guys braze.

I want to get my hands on a Rothenberger SuperFire 3 with the changeable tips. It's just hard to find a dealer around here.
I have one of the 8000’s and I can tell you that it will braze 3/4” ok. As long as there isn’t any wind or the ambient temp isn’t too cold. This torch also doubles as the one I will use to light the grill or fire pit. Really good heat out put on it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
We just use the screw on torches with MAP/Pro cans. Most of us have B-Tanks too, but it's usually just the HVAC guys who use them, and even they only use them for brazing refrigerant lines or large boiler piping. I have a full acetylene torch setup, never really kept it on the van.

Our supply house sells the TurboTorch TX-500 torches, you get about a year before they quit lighting. I keep an all metal ASCO torch on my van as a backup, it's probably 20 years old and never failed me, but the company didn't pay for that torch so I use theirs.

We use corporation fittings on buried copper main lines if we have to fix them. For new installs we try to keep it one continuous length of 60' or 100'. We never see a residential main from city water longer than 100'. Most houses around here have wells. Some towns don't have public water or sewer.

View attachment 132765
Interesting. I have a bernzomatic ts4000 that I have had for years and I haven’t had any issues with it other than it not putting out quite enough heat for anything over 1”. That’s disappointing the turbo torch brand is that unreliable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I like a mc tank myself with acetylene, with mapp pro with self igniter,
But I have also had a B-tank with a full torch set up, for the big jobs,
When I had a shop in L.A. we used the B-tank with propane, with the Large Mapp tanks, all with extra backup tanks,
with fire extinguishers
The btanks can be a chore to lug around sometimes.
 

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Have a B-tank, it’s covered in dust.
I use an MC-tank for lots or med sized copper joints, mapp gas with a self igniting tip- for fewer or smaller copper joints.

The small MAPP torch is great to start camp fires, charcoal Briquettes etc.
 

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Interesting. I have a bernzomatic ts4000 that I have had for years and I haven’t had any issues with it other than it not putting out quite enough heat for anything over 1”. That’s disappointing the turbo torch brand is that unreliable.
Often it's from flux dripping in the tip.

I just did a quick search and it looks like the only metal bodied screw on torch you can easily buy is a Bernzomatic but they don't have a built in regulator.
 
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I’ve caught things on fire, I’m sure we all have. I’ve never needed a fire extinguisher, I have brought in the one from the truck, just in case. A guy I use to work with was soldering in a messed up spot and caught the house on fire. Not too bad, but the fire department was involved. They said was not really his fault, the conditions were perfect for a fire.

Old heater combustion chamber covers work good as heat shields when you can fit them in place.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I’ve caught things on fire, I’m sure we all have. I’ve never needed a fire extinguisher, I have brought in the one from the truck, just in case. A guy I use to work with was soldering in a messed up spot and caught the house on fire. Not too bad, but the fire department was involved. They said was not really his fault, the conditions were perfect for a fire.

Old heater combustion chamber covers work good as heat shields when you can fit them in place.
That’s crazy. That’s a good idea to use one of those covers too
 

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Mc tank with turbo torch. I mostly use it on 1/2 or 3/4 with a small tip. I have used the larger tip on 11/2 with no problem. I use the molded plastic Victor carrier that is made for 1 oxygen and 1 acetylene tank. Instead of the oxy, I have a small fire extinguisher in its place. This setup has worked great for years but then again, it's the only setup I've ever used.
 
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