Bernz-O-matic mini torch for tubers

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Maximumoverkill
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Bernz-O-matic mini torch for tubers

Post by Maximumoverkill » Mon Nov 14, 2005 7:51 pm

Bernzomatic brazing kit (mini-torch)

Image


With a lot of guys asking about building tubers and whether they should use a Mig welder, or brazing, or solder, and most guys suggesting this Bernzomatic brazing kit but not many people owning one yet, I figured I would do a review of the one I bought and how it has been working for me. So here goes, hope this helps you make a decision and provides some useful information to everyone.


First off is the kit. This is the Bernz-O-matic brazing, welding, cutting kit…
Item # 019614

UPC # 070042196146

This kit comes with 16.oz MAPP gas cylinder
1.1 cubic foot oxygen cylinder
Grip burner wand(torch head) with 4’ 6” hose
Regulated oxygen and fuel valves
Five welding/brazing rods
Spark igniter
Cylinder stand

Price of this Kit is pretty standard from store to store at $49.99 but it wouldn’t hurt to check around some local store near you and see if you can find it for a few bucks less. $49.99 is from The Home Depot which has them in stock.

One concern many people has expressed is they weren’t sure if this kit could produce enough heat to get the tubes used in building a RC tube chassis hot enough to create a good solid joint (weld/braze). Well to answer that question YES this kit does get the tubes hot enough so that is not even a concern. The manual claims heats of 5800 degrees with this kit. Although I have no way to measure what temp this kit is actually producing, I can tell you that it will turn 3/16-1/4 steel tube cherry hot within 10 seconds of applying the flame to the tube.


Now lets take a look at some of the “pros&cons” of this kit

Pros:
Relatively inexpensive for the home hobbyist
Extremely easy to use
Small and compact so it will sit on your workbench
Torch head or (wand) is very small, lightweight and will fit into the small confined areas that it needs to be able to fit to fully weld a tuber chassis.
Replacement tanks are easy to find at most home “do it” centers

Cons:
Valves used for adjusting the flame are very “touchy” and takes some attention to be able to adjust it to keep the proper flame size and shape for brazing properly.

Oxygen tanks do not last very long.



Life of tanks-

Here is the rate at which the oxygen tank on this torch will last.

Braze/weld sheet metal …22-30mins
Braze/weld 3/16” steel ….20-25mins
Braze/weld ½” steel ….18-20mins
Cutting up to 3/16” steel ..12-15mins
Cutting up to 5/8” bolts ...10-12mins

The MAPP gas last up to 40 times longer than the oxygen so that will not need to be replaced very often.

Cost of each tank is $7.95

Now for your average tuber (if there is such a thing) that is going to be just a basic set of frame rails with maybe a 6 point roll cage and a couple support struts here and there welded in on it, I’d say you could get away with most likely using only 3 tanks of oxygen on the build. On the tube chassis I am building I will most likely be using about 7 tanks of oxygen, but I am adding a lot of extra supports & strut bars to get a more realistic scale appearance on mine.

If you have never used a torch or a welder or any type of similar shop equipment before then I would suggest that you pick up one extra oxygen tank just so you can have one tank to practice brazing on some scrap tubing with. It may take you a few minutes to get the proper flame needed to braze with so that extra tank will come in handy to get you use to brazing before you actually start on your tuber.

Overall view of this kit-

This kit really a perfect kit for building a tube chassis clodbuster. The ease of use, strength of joints, and small torch head make it ideal for what a RC hobbyist needs. As was stated though it can go through the oxygen tanks rather quickly, so getting all your tubes set up and ready to braze ahead of time so you can do 4-6 joints without stopping and restarting the torch will cut down on how much oxygen it goes through. Since I have a good quality Miller MIG welder handy I have found that “tacking” the tubes in place with the MIG and then brazing them up with this kit is a good way to conserve oxygen use. The brazing kit produces much cleaner and much more realistic sized joints than a MIG welder does, so hence the reason I am not fully welding the chassis with the MIG, and only tacking.

My advice to anyone thinking about this kit would be this. It works great for tube chassis fabrication, and is a cheaper alternative to spending $250+ on a full size torch set. So if you plan to only build maybe one or two tube chassis, then this kit will serve you well. Even with using 3-4 oxygen tanks your investment will only be a total of about $75.
If you plan to build a number of tube chassis, or you want to start building chassis to sell and will be doing more than just one or two every great once in awhile, then I would highly suggest you look into a full sized garage quality torch kit with full size tanks and regulators, it will save you money in the long run. For the average guy wanting to build one tube chassis in the basement for his clod and cant justify spending a few hundred bucks on a full size torch, then this kit is what you need and will do a fine job for you.


Steve
I hear the train a comin'; it's rollin' 'round the bend, And I ain't seen the sunshine since I don't know when.
I'm stuck at Folsom Prison and time keeps draggin' on.

badhoopty
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Post by badhoopty » Mon Nov 14, 2005 10:38 pm

very nice... thanks for the review.

i do believe this winter i'll get one of those setups and make the tuber i've always wanted to.

i wonder, are there bigger o2 tanks you could use with that?
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Maximumoverkill
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Post by Maximumoverkill » Mon Nov 14, 2005 11:55 pm

I dont believe so, I have looked around online at some "home center" type stores and havent found any bigger tanks yet that would fit the screw on hose for this. If I do though I'll be sure to post it.
I hear the train a comin'; it's rollin' 'round the bend, And I ain't seen the sunshine since I don't know when.
I'm stuck at Folsom Prison and time keeps draggin' on.

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Halgar
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Post by Halgar » Tue Nov 15, 2005 5:51 am

Thanks for posting this Maxxi! Should go a long ways towards answering the questions we have about the unit.
I used to think I was indecisive, but now I'm not so sure.

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bugz
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Re: Bernz-O-matic mini torch for tubers

Post by bugz » Fri Oct 10, 2008 6:50 pm

great post. thanks for the input.i figure i would try to build my clod chassis and then maybe a tube emaxx setup to protect all the goodies.........loli made a roll cage out of stainless steel filler rod back in the day for my TMaxx. that held up to alot of ABUSE..........full speed jumps landing on the roof stuff. hahaha prolly should have made a bunch and tried to sell them......

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bugz
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Re: Bernz-O-matic mini torch for tubers

Post by bugz » Fri Oct 10, 2008 6:51 pm

So does everyone use brake lines for their chassis????????

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bugz
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Re: Bernz-O-matic mini torch for tubers

Post by bugz » Sat Oct 11, 2008 4:56 pm

what size tubing have people used for their chassis???? :?:

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Halgar
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Re: Bernz-O-matic mini torch for tubers

Post by Halgar » Sun Oct 12, 2008 1:21 am

bugz wrote:what size tubing have people used for their chassis???? :?:
As I recall, it's generally 1/4".
I used to think I was indecisive, but now I'm not so sure.

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bugz
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Re: Bernz-O-matic mini torch for tubers

Post by bugz » Sun Oct 12, 2008 2:40 am

1/4 inch brass tubing or brakeline tubing? which is easier to use? :?:

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Halgar
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Re: Bernz-O-matic mini torch for tubers

Post by Halgar » Thu Oct 16, 2008 2:59 pm

You can use either, though brass will be heavy and relatively weak without a fair amount of gusseting. Brake line is stronger, lighter and doesn't require as much reinforcement, though for a realistic chassis, you'll still be putting in a fair amount of gusseting.
I used to think I was indecisive, but now I'm not so sure.

oldShovelhead
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Re: Bernz-O-matic mini torch for tubers

Post by oldShovelhead » Thu Oct 16, 2008 3:47 pm

NAPA for the brake line - try to get the uncoated stuff - saves a LOT of prep time. You can also get mapp at NAPA - don't know what the cost differences are because I use O/A. I suggest NAPA as some of the other parts stores I've been too seem to all carry coated brake line only.

And these are great for benders;
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/d ... mber=94571
You can make a 90 inside of an inch - pretty good for a cheap bender.

MT TRUCKER14
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Re: Bernz-O-matic mini torch for tubers

Post by MT TRUCKER14 » Sat Jul 27, 2013 2:10 pm

Times have changed. I bought one of these kits and it was great at first BUT I soon found out that it was more expensive than tank exchange. It was was costly to use. At $10 a bottle for mapp or oxygen it was a money waster. I would use 3-4 bottles of oxygen to 1 mapp. So I went up in size to the portable exchange tank system. At $250 and only to exchange the tanks it cost less and lasted longer. I saved lots of money and trips to the store. So this product is for someone who dosen't wels more than 1-2 welds a year. It is not recommended to build a tuber chassis. So spend the money and get a good system that will last longer.

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