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OK, so this is more of a briefcase dump that just the contents of Mike’s pockets. But you get the idea. Oh, and he says, “The blow torch & propane are in the car.” Just in case you were wondering. See it all at Everyday Carry . . .

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    • Basic calculator with super sized display for borderline blind people?
      I was hoping it was a printing calc.

      My briefcase printing calc (not a real 10 key unfortunately) is about as big as that one seems to be.

    • “He doesn’t… actually… carry around that big ugly calculator, right?”

      Some folks prefer using calculators where the keypad mimics the size and layout of their PC keyboard.

      Kind of a muscle memory thing. So he doesn’t have consciously keep straight which keypad he’s using.

      It wouldn’t surprise me if his job entails *lots* of ten-key entry work…

      • OK… so not to nerd out too much here about my joke but…

        Yes, most pastry torches are very small and run on butane but the heat isn’t much different from propane (they put out basically the same BTU’s for the same amount of gas). It’s just easier to get really small bottles of butane than it is to get really small bottles of propane. (I did my time in a nice restaurant.)

        Now, he said the torch and the tank are in his truck which leads one to think it’s a large tank which suggests that when he says “blowtorch” he’s not thinking of a classical blowtorch but rather an oxy/fuel torch.

        That leads to some questions because that’s generally a cutting/welding torch (or brazing but we’re not going to get into all of that) and using propane/oxygen to cut is silly. Except for some specialized work where you might use propane/oxygen or MAP/oxygen the preferred cutting fuel is acetylene because it’s so much hotter than the other gasses. Propane (or other gasses) require you to buy extra tips (in fact a whole new rig, see below) that are specialized for the gas (as opposed to rolling with a regular old cutting tip) and generally don’t work as well. Does it work? Sure, but it’s not as fast or efficient because of the extra oxygen you have to use and if you’re gonna drop the coin on having the cutting torch then you probably know where to get acetylene and have no reason to drop more coin on specialized gear unless you do specialized work which, based on this dump, this guy doesn’t do. Based on his profession as a CMO and the fact that he talks like this, I’m guessing he’s never done much work that would require a torch.

        Now, you’ll run into some guys who prefer propane because they think it’s safer to deal with than acetylene (it’s not really a big deal) and that for cutting it doesn’t make a difference. To those who say that I would point out: there are reasons major fabricators, welders and pipeline folks prefer acetylene to propane.

        Generally speaking, having done this as an actual job, I’ll argue that the pro-propane folks have never actually gone past cutting as a hobbyist (or they’re MIGgers *snort*). When you start cutting thick shit with propane you’re just wasting oxygen because you’re flowing double the oxygen to get a cooler flame that doesn’t cut as fast and requires more preheating. That adds up in terms of time and costs because while oxygen might be “cheap” it’s not that cheap when time is money. Sure the propane tank runs all day but I have to change oxy bottles on the regular because I’m dumping so much oxygen to get a cutting flame. That means buying expensive bottles and taking the time to change them and then exchange them for new ones with gas in them. If people are arguing that what I just said here isn’t correct then they’re not running their business as well as they can, because time is money, or they’re running a pretty specialized business.

        Further, there are only two gasses that can be used to cut and to weld. MAPP, which isn’t made any more, and acetylene. So if you actually want a multi-purpose tool acetylene is the way to go because propane in less efficient (though cheaper for the gas itself) for cutting but will never work for welding.

        On top of all of that, again back to gear, a cutting torch meant for acetylene is the most common you can find and everything for acetylene is threaded in reverse to prevent a mix-up that flows gas to the wrong place. So if you want to cut with propane you need special tips and a new regulator and new hoses and a new torch handle so that you can actually run the gas. This means new leads that you can mix up and not have the right ones at the job. So now you’re sinking money down a goddamn rat hole really fast because you need two whole setups. One for one gas and one for the other. Where’s the savings when those regulators are a few hundred bucks a pop?

        Now, of course you can buy a flat out propane set up right off the bat, but again you’re losing a ton of utility which means you’re either doing that as a hobbyist or someone with a special set of needs that don’t include the remote possibility of welding and make you enough money that you don’t care about the cost of gas bottles or the time to swap oxy bottles. Of course that time is negated if you’re running oxygen off the building (have a huge tank outside and it’s piped to the shop) but it’s still kinda silly.

        So, in closing, a portable propane torch makes little sense to someone who makes their living building/cutting shit because of the extra oxygen/time/bullshit it entails (again, unless they do specialty work of some type).

        Long story short: I’m just being a hyper-technical dick and poking some fun at the guy. I have a torch in my garage and there’s no way in hell I would consider any set-up other than acetylene for the reasons mentioned above. It’s just too much trouble to have multiple gasses unless you really do need them.


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