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Old Presto Lite Torch


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  #1  
Old 04-23-2010, 11:31:46 AM
petesoldsaw petesoldsaw is offline
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Default Old Presto Lite Torch

Hello Fellas
I have an old 40+years Presto Lite Torch that I would like to use.I'm looking for a user/owners manual for it.could anyone help me here/I have contacted ESAB and they say there is not one available.you wou;ld think they would have one archived.Any help would be appreciated,Here is a picture of the set up
Many Thanks
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  #2  
Old 04-23-2010, 08:01:03 PM
K D Redd K D Redd is offline
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Default Re: Old Presto Lite Torch

Looks like you need a Presto-lite tank, a acetylene regulator, a sparkier for lighting and some hose to get you going. Then you will have to play with the setting of the regulator to get the best flame.

Kent
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  #3  
Old 04-27-2010, 02:03:32 PM
petesoldsaw petesoldsaw is offline
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Default Re: Old Presto Lite Torch

Okay,thanks for the reply.I basically knew that I need a regulator and a Acetylene tank and a sparker/flint.what about a control knob at the handle.The reason i ask these questions is that I'm not a tradesmen in this disipline of soldering, welding, cutting etc.What does the acetylene burn like with just acetylene coming from the torch head?As I am trying to remember what it used to look like whaen I worked around tradesmen who used Oxy/Acet setups.I think I remember they turned on the acetylene first and it was smoky as hell then they turned on the oxygen and it burned a lot cleaner,for cutting metal.I guess to some it up when plumbers use acetylene torches for soldering,let's say with a B tank is that stright acetylene coming out of a B tank and does it burn clean/
Thanks In Advance Fellas!
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Old 04-27-2010, 05:57:10 PM
Pete Spaco Pete Spaco is offline
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Default Re: Old Presto Lite Torch

I jsut read the whole thing after I wrote it. Maybe you don't want to waste your time reading it.
-------------------------------------------------------

They burn with a nice blue and green flame for me.

Yes, a type B cylinder is what to get. One good reason is that that size tank isn't regulated as closely as the larger ones. So, if you find one that is used and in good repair, you just take it in and trade it for a full one.

The prestolite torch is not an "acetylene' torch, it's an air/actylene torch.
Air is sucked in through a venturi in the same way that your gas cook stove sucks in air, to make a proper mixture.

They used to sell fixed pressure regulators for these, but it sure wouldn't hurt to get one that is adjustable. Remember that you must NEVER have over 15 psi out of the regulator. They say that acetylene can self ignite at higher pressures. I think somebody even told me once that it's illegal to have acetylene at over 15 psi in the hose.

If I were you, I'd take the whole thing to a welding supply house and ask them to fix you up with whatever you need, except that I'd try to locate a used type B cylinder first. I have found 4 of them over the years and I bought them all.

Note: You probably already know this, but the air/acetylene flame isn't anywhere near as hot as oxy/acetylene, but hotter than air/propane.

Don't do this:
I got one prestolite setup from my father in law many, many years ago. He built home freezers for people during WWII. He had the gas hose connected directly to the the tank with no regulator at all. He didn't die from it, but I wouldn't take the chance.

I don't think that air/acetylene is much hotter than air/Mapp gas. Someone please correct me if I am wrong.

I like welding, but I'm not very good at it so I'm one of those guys that has a lot of stuff around, trying to use technology to make up for my lack of skill and experience. When I want some tool, I estimate how much I might have spent in a bar and then go out and buy that much stuff.
That said, I bought a brand new air/acetylene outfit about a year ago. It has what is called a "turbo torch". Makes a LOT of noise. Much more than my older outfits which I have (unfortunately) given away over the years. I guess it's a little hotter.

Summing up, a prestolite torch is a good tool to have if you plan to do a fair amount of brazing, because it does produce more heat than the hardware store type of propane torch, but if you take the next step to oxy/acetylene, you don't really need one unless portablility is a real issue.

Pete Stanaitis
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Old 04-27-2010, 07:33:25 PM
petesoldsaw petesoldsaw is offline
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Default Re: Old Presto Lite Torch

Pete,Thanks alot for your reply.It was informative for me as I picked up a few facts from it.I would really like to get the torch going,I just hope it's not the case that to buy a new one is cheaper than trying to replace or add parts to the old one.
Thanks Again
Lawrence
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  #6  
Old 04-27-2010, 09:13:18 PM
KidDynamo KidDynamo is offline
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Default Re: Old Presto Lite Torch

I bought a bunch of instructions for Prestolite torches and would sell one for a small fee and postage.

I also have a number of prestolite tanks, regulators, and tanks with needle valves and no regulators.

I will find my instructions and see if they look like your set-up.

(I also have a similar set as you pictured.)

Several experienced machinists I collaborate with have been known to use these torches. While not as hot as oxy/acetylene, it is also less prone to overheat stuff if you're careful.

I generally use propane and then jump to oxy/acetylene if I need more heat, but then I also like to get all my stuff in working order, as is your stated interest for your torch.
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Old 04-27-2010, 10:09:52 PM
petesoldsaw petesoldsaw is offline
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Default Re: Old Presto Lite Torch

Kid Dynamo
Thanks for your reply!If you could see if you have an instuction booklet for the model pictured or one very near like it please let me know and we can work something out
Many Thanks
Lawrence
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  #8  
Old 05-03-2010, 09:53:42 PM
KidDynamo KidDynamo is offline
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Default Re: Old Presto Lite Torch

Hi Lawrence_ I found my stash of Prest-O-Lite Instructions.. I think you'd like it. Doesn't show your box but it shows all the contents, exactly, and more, except the wrench. 4 pages, total, 8-1/2" by 11".

PM me with your name and mailing address and I'll send one to you. You can send me 5 bucks to cover the cost of the instructions, the envelope, and the postage.

You will get my address to remit the 5 bucks in the envelope with your instructions.

Once you have a chance to study it, let me know what parts and pieces you need or want and I will go through my box of stuff I have collected over the years and see if I have any of it to spare. Looks like you have a pretty complete kit, though.

The torch handle you have can be used without a regulator on the small bottle, in which case, the valve on the acetylene bottle is used as a needle valve to throttle and shut off your torch.

If a Prest-O-Lite torch handle has its own needle valve, a bottle mounted regulator must be used. (I got that right off the front of the instructions.)

Otherwise, dangerous acetylene pressure could build up between the tank and the torch needle valve if the torch needle valve were to be shut and but the tank left on. You wouldn't want that!! And actually, this is true of any acetylene torch, isn't it?
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Old 05-04-2010, 12:02:49 AM
PTSideshow PTSideshow is offline
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Default Re: Old Presto Lite Torch

DONOT HOOK A HOSE UP TO EITHER OF THE MC OR B sized cylinders with out a regulator These will deliver cylinder pressure which is 225psig to the hose. They had a different type of bottle that was used with those kits.
are the two cylinders next to a propane one. The adapter on a B sized cylinder is for full size regulator hook up. For the regulator of a prest-o-lite torch it fits the cylinder threads.

This is an MC cylinder(motorcycle cylinder) used in the old days to light the headlights on cycles. This valve is not a needle valve type and can not control the pressure to the torch.
Prest-o-lite was bought out and now it is called Turbo-torch,thermadyne now owns prest-o-lite
Take one of the tips into a local welding supply and see if they have the newer handles. They should fit the handles, other than the newer quick connect ones.
By the way, at one point when the patent lapsed on them everybody and their mother started making and selling the knock offs.
Most of the brands are interchangeable parts for the same style torches.

It is always a bad plan to buy a torch and then work backwards to try to get it working. I just had somebody that bought one similar to yours with the valve attachment and regulator all the seals and rubber diaphragm are shot and they no longer make parts. and NOS new old stock rubber will not work for long.

The torches are used for soft soldering, silver soldering/brazing in the jewelry/silversmithing and in the heating and ac industries. Along with other uses.

As been stated in another post. They are properly called air/fuel torches or air/acetylene torches.
glen
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  #10  
Old 05-04-2010, 11:37:41 AM
petesoldsaw petesoldsaw is offline
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Default Re: Old Presto Lite Torch

KidDynamo
Thanks very much for the offer you extended to me ,I look forward to the information
Again,Many Thanks
Lawrence
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  #11  
Old 05-04-2010, 11:46:09 AM
petesoldsaw petesoldsaw is offline
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Default Re: Old Presto Lite Torch PtSideshow

Hello PtSideshow
You will have to excuse my ignorance on this whole torch system setup,as I am a totl newbie in this field.I have done copper pipe soldering in my home with good results.Trouble with using those propane fueled disposable cylinders is that I find if you try and use then at any other way than straight up they go out.some told me this is because they do not have a regulator.I have interest in the whole metal working field but do not have all the money to get everything new or at once.the Prest O Lite Torch was handed down to me and would like to get it functional if safe to do so.
As far as your reply to my inquiry I am confused,That does not take much LOL!
are you saying that i can not use the Prest O Lite Torch handle I have?Are you also saying that if i just get the apropriate regulator for the tank I wish to use everything will be AOKAY.Any further explanations would really help,as I am not totally grasping what you are trying to tell me
Many Thanks
Lawrence
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  #12  
Old 05-04-2010, 01:35:53 PM
PTSideshow PTSideshow is offline
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Default Re: Old Presto Lite Torch

You can look and read the acetylene safety posts in this forum.
The pressure in the acetylene cylinders is at 225psig when it is filled it will vary with the temperature as all gases do.
You can not use acetylene at over 15psig.It will become unstable and start to spontaneously decompose, which under certain circumstances, lead to detonation. (Go Boom)


New and older prest-o-lite torch parts.

This is a uniweld brand (prest-o-lite) torch with another brand of gauge and handle.

These are the nozzles/tips that fit all the handles from about 40 years back that is the screw on ones.
In the second photo you can see the locking collar/nut which is the air inlet ports for the torch.

From the photo of your set up you are missing the collar/nut, that holds the tip in place. The hose,needle valve assemble, and a regulator.
Look closely at this set in a similar box.


You can see that there is a needle valve assembly on the handle that the hose barb is screwed on to. Then there is the regulator with the adjustment knob and hose barb.

With out a hands on close up look over of the unit I would not want to say that it is usable.

At least you may have fared, but then the guy how bought that one in the last photo of of flea bay Mint in the box ready to use. You can't use rubber o rings and seals and diaphragms that have be on a shelf for 40 plus years.

Have you tried to screw the tips into the handle, If they won't start to thread don't force it as there is more than likely a piece/fitting missing along with the regulator that probably left with the cylinder and is long gone.

As to ESAB as I said in my other post, Prest-o-lite was bought out by Thermadyne and now it is called Turbo-torch. I talked to them the other day about the one in the photo. No parts,no tech help as no one there has any knowledge of torches that old, Bottom line is what it means in English. IS they don't want the legal liability to even recognize something that was made by a couple of other owner companies.

By the way the copper iron tip was used by the electricians and sheet metal roof and gutter guys.
Quote:
Trouble with using those propane fueled disposable cylinders is that I find if you try and use then at any other way than straight up they go out
That is not correct the reason is that liquid propane in the cylinder flows to the nozzle and no gas can exit thru the nozzle.
glen

This This is Part One
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  #13  
Old 05-04-2010, 01:58:27 PM
PTSideshow PTSideshow is offline
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Default Re: Old Presto Lite Torch

This is Part Two

To get around that, you will need to pick up one of these:

Benz-o-matic hosed torch they have a number of styles, This one is self ignitor

Or this one is a you light


This is an air propane torch by gentec which is prest-o-lite knock off.


These are the quick change tips

The hosed versions of the propane torches work as long as the cylinder is up right so the liquid is separate from the nozzles dip tube.


There is a possibility that your torch kit is an air/propane type torch. It is difficult to tell the difference generally it has to do with the orifice size etc.
If you have any more question I will try to answer them.
glen
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  #14  
Old 05-05-2010, 03:46:01 PM
BobRR BobRR is offline
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Default Re: Old Presto Lite Torch

I would like to add that MC stands for motor car and B stands for bus. Bob
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Old 05-05-2010, 04:00:54 PM
PTSideshow PTSideshow is offline
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Default Re: Old Presto Lite Torch

Quote:
Originally Posted by BobRR
I would like to add that MC stands for motor car and B stands for bus. Bob
in your area it might be motor car, but most other locations it was, but the MC refers to Motor Cycle. As the angle valve was there so the cylinder would feed gas without liquid that the acetylene is dissolved in coming out. The other thing is it was mounted to the angled upright on the cycles.
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Old 05-05-2010, 05:34:09 PM
KidDynamo KidDynamo is offline
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Default Re: Old Presto Lite Torch

I don't know what MC stands for but I do know PHD when I see it.

There is nothing special about the 10 cubic foot bottle pictured. I have a pile of them purchased at various sales for a buck or two and with luck, they'll be full of gas. Otherwise, I just keep one around for a portable oxy/acetylene set-up. They are too expensive per cubic foot of gas compared to the bigger tanks. I have all kinds of adapters so I can use about any size tank.

Pictured is a 10ft tank like above (same brand even) only with the valve apart. I've not tried to throttle a torch like your's, Lawrence, with a tank valve like this as I have so many other options.

Regardless of size, all acetylene bottles will likely have a similar aprox 210psi when full. The caution amounts to only have this high pressure within the bottle where it safe. If you were to "hose up" your torch directly to a tank, you'd know right away if you could throttle it with the tank valve or not. Pressure build up would not be an issue unless you had added a needle valve at the torch. I'm glad to see Prest-O-Lite was savvy enough to make a short warning in the instructions.

See a couple of different non-adjustable Prest-O-Lite regulators that have fittings for attaching to two different bottle sizes. Also, a larger bottle with another very basic Prest-O-Lite adjustable regular. But even that has no gauge to tell you what your reduced pressure is....I guess they must have designed it with a safe maximum adjusted pressure....or didn't they ?? I have a number of these but lost count.

See my boxed torch like your's. Mine is a little sloppy, just as I bought it. Also see 3 different brands of similar style torches. I have a lot more of this stuff but like I said, I don't ordinarily use it. I use a propane torch, excuse me....air/propane torch and then jump to oxy/acetylene if I need more heat.

When you figure out what you want/need, I bet some of us on here can "hook you up".
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Last edited by KidDynamo; 05-05-2010 at 05:39:26 PM.
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Old 05-05-2010, 05:38:35 PM
KidDynamo KidDynamo is offline
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Default Re: Old Presto Lite Torch

I mean, how can I not buy it? I hefted the 40 cubic ft tank and could tell it had gas. Turned out it was half full. In the process, I end up with another Prest-O-Lite torch and regulator and this is not the one pictured above. Tens bucks. No, I did not need another Prest-O-Lite unit. Hello, John's garage sale, tools section!
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Old 05-06-2010, 04:10:33 PM
BobRR BobRR is offline
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Default Re: Old Presto Lite Torch

Quote:
Originally Posted by PTSideshow View Post
in your area it might be motor car, but most other locations it was, but the MC refers to Motor Cycle. As the angle valve was there so the cylinder would feed gas without liquid that the acetylene is dissolved in coming out. The other thing is it was mounted to the angled upright on the cycles.
Thanks for the correction. I was going by what a old guy at the welding shop told me. Why did they make them for bikes and busses,not cars? BobRR
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Old 05-06-2010, 06:33:16 PM
PTSideshow PTSideshow is offline
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Default Re: Old Presto Lite Torch

Have no idea, Other than the fact that there were a lot more buses and Motor cylces running before private cars. And not that I'm an expert but the ones for cars, I have seen had carbide compartments and water compartments and generated their own. And some had battery lighting.

But Since your from up Yipsie way, they might have called them Motor car. In other states they are called Miniature Cylinders.
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Old 05-07-2010, 01:57:10 PM
BobRR BobRR is offline
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Default Re: Old Presto Lite Torch

PT It's Ypsi.Bob
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