When choosing a Lead Welding Kit, the most important thing to consider is what type of Fuel Gas you want to use and how portable you need your Lead Welding Kit to be
Oxygen + Propane is probably the most economical as Propane is available on a cylinder deposit basis, rather than rental. Oxygen + Gasex (Mapp) is also potentially free from cylinder rental and is widely used in the small disposable bottle type kits.
Oxygen + Acetylene is the traditional Lead Welding Kit set up as it's the most versatile, but the big downside is that you have to rent the Acetylene Cylinder.
If you already have some Gas Welding Equipment and are looking to change gases (the most common change we're asked about is Acetylene to Propane or Gasex), there are some important things you need to know!
You MUST NOT use an Acetylene Regulator Flash Arrestor or Hose (Red) for Propane or Gasex as these gases are corrosive to the internal materials of Acetylene items. It is however OK to put Acetylene through a Propane/Gasex hose (Orange). If you are changing from Acetylene to Propane or Gasex you WILL need to change your Gas Regulator, but your Flash Arrestor may be OK. Check the labelling on your Flash Arrestor, if it says "Fuel Gas", then its OK to use it for any of the fuel gases mentioned, if it says "Acetylene" or "Propane", then it can only be used for that gas. All The Welders Warehouse Flash Arrestors are "Fuel".
All Gas Equipment should be regularly checked by a competent person, checks should be made for leaks and signs of wear. Hoses particularly are prone to cracking at the key bend points, usually at either end within 10cm of the fittings. BE realistic about the condition of Gas Welding Equipment, if it looks past its best, replace it, it's just not worth risking an accident with Gas Welding Equipment!!!
Another consideration when choosing, or changing, Fuel Gas is the type of Nozzles used for different Fuel Gases. Acetylene is fast burning, so the nozzles tend to be quite simple in construction, usually simple holes. Propane and Gasex are slower burning and so require a more complex design of nozzle. It is possible to use Acetylene Nozzles with Oxygen + Propane or Gasex, but torches with this configuration are usually difficult to light, blow out easily and often lack heat volume. You should NEVER use Acetylene with Nozzles designed for Propane or Gasex as this can be extremely dangerous!
If you would like to discuss your own specific Lead Burning Kit needs in more detail, please don't hesitate to contact us and speak to one of our Technical Advisors.
Some useful information is also available within Graham's blog