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  #91 (permalink)  
Old 04-08-2011, 07:59 AM
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I think what some people are going to discover is that aside from welding Acetylene is not all that necessary for the home shop use and that a switch to something else was overdue anyway due to cost, that is as long as they have no need for a welding gas. For the home shop LP just can't be beat for convenience and price.

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  #92 (permalink)  
Old 04-08-2011, 12:19 PM
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Wow I missed a lot on here. It's been a hell of a week. haven't been able to read all the new replies yet but I will when I get home. I've been talking to magnegas alot this week and red is right. No steel welding with it. I was hoping for a yes but not really expecting one. But his reply to me was the same one I had, who the f-- gas welds anymore. Lol I'm know there are a few of you left in the world though. I'm pleased to announce that I have about 80 tons of carbide headed to me from overseas finally. I'm using my down time to rip out my old '67 A-twin acet generator and putting in my '90 ATX2400 generator that has been sitting in my warehouse for about 4 years now. As far as magnegas goes it may not be the ultimate thing for the occasional home user but I think it's awesome. It's green it's recycled it's nowhere near as toxic it's cheap and it's the next best thing to acetylene. They are keeping price down because they want a foothold in the market plus really it doesn't cost that much to produce. You guys can make your own decisions about it. I saw a post about the shortage being fabricated. It's not. Trust me. I got about five distributors about to run out who can't get anything filled anywhere without signing a five year commitment and being on 50% allotment. Some places do still have it and some of the big outfits still have a supply but for how long is the question. Maybe some people will never notice and I'm happy for them but I'm feeling the crunch. With 32k knocked off my income each month you can see why. I'm not alone either. But anyway that's what I found out and take it for what it is
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  #93 (permalink)  
Old 04-08-2011, 01:58 PM
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I hope the explanation made sense of why Acetylene is the only gas that can achieve (NOT ACTIVE like I had in the other post, dang FireFox spelling correction got me again! ) a true neutral flame and is thus the only gas that is practical for welding steel. I am not the best at explaining a complex action like that and copying the entire text from the tech manual was simply too long and actually even more confusing IMO.
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  #94 (permalink)  
Old 04-08-2011, 02:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J&MCylinderGases
his reply to me was the same one I had, who the f-- gas welds anymore.

A lot more people than you might think! It is a very good way to weld body panels and some top bodymen like MartinSr, who started this thread concerning that very purpose, often uses this method. Also muffler shops, some roll cages and other tubing structures and actually a lot more home welding than you might think. I use it a lot for welding exhaust (hey, the old coat hanger trick will work ONLY with Acetylene!) lawn mower repair and once I even welded an airplane fuselage (J 3 replica) which is still a very common (and approved) method used among sport aircraft builders. There are several advantages to welding 4130 tubing with Acetylene as opposed to MIG and it is arguably equal to TIG welding in quality for that purpose, I think it's a bit premature to announce the death of gas welding!
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Old 04-08-2011, 02:20 PM
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I joined just to respond to your post.

J&MCylinderGases:

32K is a substantial dent!

Once you are up and running you might want to post in welding forums like Weldingweb, the Hobart, and the Miller forums so any folks in your area who need acetylene know where to get it.

I find acetylene production really interesting but I've never worked at a plant since I'm just an end-user. Cool move having that Rexarc as a spare. Neat old company.

Same as this one?

http://www.rexarc.com/calendar.aspx?a=71

How quickly will you go through eighty tons of carbide?
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Old 04-08-2011, 03:53 PM
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How about that figure of 15% of US production of Acetylene comes from Carbide, is that an accurate figure? That is what I was told by more than one person in the business but could they all have been quoting from the same source? I was a bit surprised and still a bit skeptical about that figure but if it is true then 70% of the production of Carbide that supplies only 15% of the Acetylene is what was lost, a dip in the supply for sure but would that account for all of the shortage? Are those figures accurate?
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  #97 (permalink)  
Old 04-08-2011, 05:54 PM
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of the 80 tons im getting 40 is mine and 40 is going to illinois to some friends up there. i use about 7-9 tons a week but i'm hoping to get a ton more business once i get up and going so that maybe it'll go in 3 weeks so i can make some recoup money. i'm hurtin here guys. i'm trying not to lay guys off because with this **** economy i'm down to bare bones anyway.

as far as gas welding it really must be a regional thing or i just dont have any customers who do it that i know of. and i'm not proclaiming the death of acetylene. you can never replace acetylene completely but in my neck of the woods its getting a little scarce so we gotta try new ways to get things done. i hope no one took me wrong about it. i really didnt see anyone welding with gas except the old timers but i could be underestimating the market.

as far as 15% of the market being carbide is waaaay low i think. i know that carbide industries fed about 40% of the market and i also know Praxair has been importing carbide from White-Martins in brazil for many many moons. I'm not as sure about airgas but i think they are on the chemical acetylene like western but i also heard the other day that one of their plants they get the synthetic acetylene from went down. i have no idea how true that is but thats what carbide industries says. my price from carbide industries doubled because they are now importing carbide from south america at 1300 bucks a ton from the estimates i get. i'm getting it cheaper though. maybe this will work out for the better and i may can supply some people and get my profit margin on acetylene up because its not very high when your dealing wholesale. my direct ales make it profitable though. but yeah i think 15 percent is waay low. its gotta be in the 60's at least. i'm hoping this thing isnt as bad as we speculated but its not over. it's really only beginning. hopefully the home/hobby guy never really sees it too bad but like i said i'm getting worried. i'm still 25 days out till my delivery.
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  #98 (permalink)  
Old 04-08-2011, 05:56 PM
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oh and 1930, thats my generator alright. mines not all nice and shiny though lol. i really had no problems with my a twin but its getting old and i can really put out a better product and more efficiency with the atx.
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  #99 (permalink)  
Old 04-08-2011, 06:01 PM
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J&M, that's more in line with what I was thinking at first but when I started calling around when this first came up I was being told that only 15% was from Carbide anymore and 80% was from Natural gas/Methane and one source insists that only 10% is from Carbide. Don't know what these guys are smokin but I was REALLY surprised that Carbide accounted for so little of the production, your version of the carbide production percentage sure sounds more realistic!
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  #100 (permalink)  
Old 04-08-2011, 06:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matt167
I have an Airco Mapp setup I got off Ebay for $40. takes a small Mapp cylinder and has a Mapp regulator. I have a 20CF oxygen tank to feed the oxygen.. Heats up bolts and things just fine. The tip on it that came with it is actually a welding tip, tho I have never tried to gas weld with it.. I don't have a cutting tip/ torch yet... I'v also used propane cylinders with it, and I have the adapter to refill the small cylinders with a 20lb cylinder, and could also get an adapter hose from the sporting goods store to use a 20lb cylinder on it, which might not be a bad idea..

As for the Acetylene shortage. The way I see it is, Magnegas has been around since 2005ish ( quick google search shows refrence to it in that year ). meanwhile I have never heard of it, and thus is probably only marginally profitible. Magnegas spreading a " The End of Acetylene is near " rumor when the lack of Calcium Carbide is only effects a small fraction of Acetylene production.. This is the only way Magnegas can gain a profit margin, because those people would be switched to a magnegas setup even after Acetylene became more available.. Just my .02 cents

magnegas went public about 2 years ago. they have been in welders journal and a few more welding publications since then. they are not "creating" the shortage only responding to it by trying to get a foothold while they can. thats simple business. when youre trying to break into a market and you see a chance you use it. call airgas or praxair or western and ask them if the shortage is real. i'm not downing anyone for their opinion but magnegas is not trying to scare people into buying a product or anything like that. more and more places are picking up on it because they can treat their wastewater and produce their fuel gas at the same time. as they get the word out there and the refineries get going more its going to make a difference.
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  #101 (permalink)  
Old 04-08-2011, 06:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldred
J&M, that's more in line with what I was thinking at first but when I started calling around when this first came up I was being told that only 15% was from Carbide anymore and 80% was from Natural gas/Methane and one source insists that only 10% is from Carbide. Don't know what these guys are smokin but I was REALLY surprised that Carbide accounted for so little of the production, your version of the carbide production percentage sure sounds more realistic!

yeah only two of the majors are using the synthetic stuff. they have a decent share of the market but definately not 85-90 percent
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  #102 (permalink)  
Old 04-08-2011, 07:46 PM
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Found a little more info on acetylene use and production in the US.

20% of acetylene produced in the US is used for welding/burning/heating purposes. The remainder is used in various chemical processes such as making plastics.

Approx 19% of US acetylene is produced via calcium carbide, and the rest is produced via chemical processes such as partial combustion of methane and cracking byproducts in the oil industry.

BUT, most all of the calcium carbide produced acetylene is used for filling gas cylinders, and only a small part of that production is used for other chemical purposes.

So, it sounds like a large portion of cylinder gas acetylene is produced via calcium carbide, and the KY plant going offline would have a big impact on cylinder gas acetylene availability, while it would have little effect on other chemical users of acetylene.

The article I got this from also said the main reason for making acetylene from calcium carbide is the simple (as compared to the synthesized processes) equipment which lends itself to regional production and filling plants, thus keeping the transport cost of cylinders down.

FWIW, the article was an older one about the production of acetylene in general, written long before the recent plant explosion. So I assume it doesn't contain any spin efforts to justify the current shortage, and the numbers presented regarding cylinder gas acetylene production would seem to back up the fact that the shortage is real and not contrived.

Its sorta sad that many of us, myself included, automatically assume any shortage related to energy sources of any type are manufactured shortages for the purpose of gouging more money out of the public. But, the unfortunate truth is that, if you make that assumption in 10 different cases, you'll be right at least 9 times. Its good to find out the acetylene deal is real rather than another ripoff scheme dreamed up by big business. All that said, I still hate Airgas and won't spend a cent with them as long as there's an alternate source within a 50 mile radius
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Old 04-08-2011, 07:54 PM
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My Airgas is excellent, but that varies with managers and can change the instant a new one comes along
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  #104 (permalink)  
Old 04-09-2011, 06:26 AM
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All that said, I still hate Airgas and won't spend a cent with them as long as there's an alternate source within a 50 mile radius [/QUOTE]

Lol I need more guys like you around here!! Jk. Airgas is ok but I really wish they didn't have a store and fill plant in the same town as me. The good thing about our Airgas is they aren't really looking for the guy who buys one or two bottles every couple of months. They want the big money and big accounts so most of the time they send the little guy to me. We are a small company with 4 stores in Alabama and Tennessee so I want any business. 1 bottle or 100 bottles I don't care. These days a bucks a buck right? Plus these are your loyal customers. Every one that Airgas ****s on means another guy who appreciates me. Plus Airgas is such a corporate monster that customer service depends on how much you're spending. I will get up a two am and throw 2 cylinders in my truck because one of my guys calls and says hey I'm out and I'm on a good job can you help me. I love helping guys out because when their buddy needs to get something who do you think they're gonna refer them to, the big monster who said sorry pal we'll get you in the morning if we can fit it in or the guy who said hold on bud I'll be there in 45 minutes let me get britches on?
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  #105 (permalink)  
Old 04-09-2011, 07:08 AM
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Fellas we have determined the shortage is real and that maybe both versions of the Acetylene/Carbide production is apparently correct. The bulk of Acetylene production is from Natural gas/Methane and only 15% or so is from Carbide BUT that 15% or so supplies at least 80% of the bottled Acetylene for fuel gas. So it looks as if there is going to be a shortage and major price spikes, for a while at least.

Ok Acetylene is going to be hard to get for a home shop and the question here all along has been "what does the home shop user replace it with"? Honestly of the available fuel gasses what are the advantages of ANY of them over LP for the home shop? LP is going to be by far the easiest to obtain, very likely the cheapest, requires only a tip change with most torches and cuts as cleanly as about anything on the market. The question is when taking away Acetylene's ability to weld what can these other fuel gasses do that LP will not do? Sure they are hotter but in a home shop situation that means very little, with all of them a person can easily cut, braze and heat metal but can weld with none of them.


Acetylene welding may not account for a large percentage of welding but it is still done quite a lot in spite of what some might think so welding is important to a lot of us, for those of us who do weld with gas then advice on how to obtain Acetylene would be in order and not suggestions on another type of fuel.
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