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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    12

    Smith Versa-Torch (AW1A)?

    I've been looking for a small Oxy torch, primarily for silver soldering/brazing cast iron for home machine shop projects, and occasionally to cut mild steel plate, or use a rosebud to heat a casting.

    I've read a lot of rave reviews about the Smith AW1A aircraft torch, but dang, they're hard to find!

    I just got off the phone with Smith, and they've discontinued the "Cavalier" box set with the welding tips and regulators, and apparently the Smith AW1A torch is now only sold in the VT-4T set with the burglar bottles and the little lightweight (i.e., crappy) regulators.

    When you price out the individual components in the Smith 'Airline"/AW1A set, it comes out to a price that makes the Henrob kit look cheap


    My other option was to get the Victor 100 series torch in the SuperRange kit, but Victor has just conveniently replaced the SuperRange with the SuperRange II kit, which only has 1 welding tip

    Seems like it's getting harder and harder to buy Oxy stuff...

    The Smith Cavalier sets were a retail product as recently as 2005: does anyone know of any welding shops that still carry these kits?

    Thanks!

    Robert

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Smyrna, Georgia
    Posts
    1,112
    Cheapest place I found the kit was here, with the small bottles.

    http://store.cyberweld.com/vereandairco.html
    Lincoln 175HD
    Miller Thunderbolt AC/DC
    Smith AW1, Dillon (Henrob) Mark III & Smith Quickbraze Little Torch

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    12
    Thanks -- I had seen that and chatted with Cyberweld.

    By the way, another downside to the new Smith HVAC kit that you linked (with the little bottles) is that they use those AT60 screw-on tips, so you don't get normal welding or brazing tips (like the AW200 series).

    It's almost like Smith doesn't want you to buy the AW1A anymore

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    331
    Quote Originally Posted by lazlo View Post
    Thanks -- I had seen that and chatted with Cyberweld.

    By the way, another downside to the new Smith HVAC kit that you linked (with the little bottles) is that they use those AT60 screw-on tips, so you don't get normal welding or brazing tips (like the AW200 series).

    It's almost like Smith doesn't want you to buy the AW1A anymore


    Hmm did you guys try www.aircraftspruce.com ?

    I just bought a new AW1A handle from the local Airgas, for $68.00

    all the AW series tips are about $15-20 each

    Cutting Attachment is about $100.00

    The last Victor 100 I saw was still a clunker next to the Airline handle, and the Victor quality seems to have really slipped.

    Harris also makes the model 15, comparable to the Smith Airline.

    You can buy the AW1A torch setup without the tanks...I dont know where you heard otherwise. Its offered with or without the screw on tip assembly.

    -Aaron
    "Better Metalworking Through Research"

    Miller Dynasty 300DX
    Miller Dynasty 200DX
    Miller Spectrum 375 extreme
    Miller Millermatic Passport

    Smith, Meco, Harris, Victor, Prest-o-lite, Marquette and even a Dillon O/A torch

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    12
    Quote Originally Posted by Aerometalworker View Post
    Hmm did you guys try www.aircraftspruce.com ?
    I did, but they only carry the AW1A torch handle, and their prices are high: $103.95
    http://www.aircraftspruce.com/catalo...ionalequip.php

    I just bought a new AW1A handle from the local Airgas, for $68.00
    all the AW series tips are about $15-20 each
    Cutting Attachment is about $100.00
    Wow, that's a great price! My local AirGas (North Lamar in Austin) would have to special order it, and they quoted me retail pricing: $168 for the AW1A torch handle, and $216 for the cutting torch.

    The last Victor 100 I saw was still a clunker next to the Airline handle
    Yep, the Victor 100 is quite a bit larger/clunkier than the Smith Airline. The Airline/AW1A would be the perfect size, but I wish I could find a set for less than $400...

    You can buy the AW1A torch setup without the tanks...I dont know where you heard otherwise. Its offered with or without the screw on tip assembly.
    Smith told me that this morning!

    ...and that's confirmed by the Smith 2007 catalog, which shows the AW1A only available in an HVAC kit with the little bottles (20 CF Oxygen, 10 CF Acetylene).

    If you know of a place that's selling the Versa-Torch kit without the little bottles/regulators, I'd really like to know!!!

    http://www.smithequipment.com/produc...atalog2007.pdf
    Last edited by lazlo; 10-30-2007 at 06:34 PM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Richmond, Virginia
    Posts
    5,684
    Here's the torch handle and pieces parts: http://store.cyberweld.com/smtohaliduaw.html
    --- RJL ----------------------------------------------

    Ordinarily I'm insane, but I have lucid moments when I'm merely stupid.
    -------------------------
    DialArc 250 (1974), Idealarc 250 (1971), SyncroWave 250 w/Coolmate 3, SP-175+, TA 161STL,
    Lincwelder AC180C (circa 1952), Victor & Smith's O/A, Dayton (Miller) spot welder, 1200 sq.ft. of garage filled with crap and a kid that can actually run the stuff +++

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    12
    Wow, we have a lot of PracticalMachinist members here -- good company!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Richmond, Virginia
    Posts
    5,684
    Yeah, Lazlo, and we're penny-pinchers too Good to see you here.
    --- RJL ----------------------------------------------

    Ordinarily I'm insane, but I have lucid moments when I'm merely stupid.
    -------------------------
    DialArc 250 (1974), Idealarc 250 (1971), SyncroWave 250 w/Coolmate 3, SP-175+, TA 161STL,
    Lincwelder AC180C (circa 1952), Victor & Smith's O/A, Dayton (Miller) spot welder, 1200 sq.ft. of garage filled with crap and a kid that can actually run the stuff +++

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    12
    Well, I'm not pinching too hard

    Now that Smith doesn't sell the Versa Torch sets anymore (aside from the HVAC kit, which is pretty useless for non HVAC work), buying an Airline (AW1A) set a piece at a time is pretty expensive!

    Cyberweld seems to have the cheapest prices, but between the AW1A handle, the cutting attachments, 3 welding tips, a rosebud, a pair of the 1700 series regulators, and a 12' T-class hose, you're talking close to $500.

    That's making the Henrob look a lot more appealing to me

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    331
    Quote Originally Posted by lazlo View Post
    Well, I'm not pinching too hard

    Now that Smith doesn't sell the Versa Torch sets anymore (aside from the HVAC kit, which is pretty useless for non HVAC work), buying an Airline (AW1A) set a piece at a time is pretty expensive!

    Cyberweld seems to have the cheapest prices, but between the AW1A handle, the cutting attachments, 3 welding tips, a rosebud, a pair of the 1700 series regulators, and a 12' T-class hose, you're talking close to $500.

    That's making the Henrob look a lot more appealing to me

    Hmmm you are right, My Smith catalog is a year old. I had 2 Henrobs, Sold both. Too heavy and Awkward for my taste.
    "Better Metalworking Through Research"

    Miller Dynasty 300DX
    Miller Dynasty 200DX
    Miller Spectrum 375 extreme
    Miller Millermatic Passport

    Smith, Meco, Harris, Victor, Prest-o-lite, Marquette and even a Dillon O/A torch

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Putnam Co, NY
    Posts
    127
    If you are not in a rush to get a set just watch Ebay for one.
    I bought my Cavalier set NIB off Ebay for $175.00.
    Keep an eye out for a Smith NE120 Handi torch,very similar to the famed Meco Midget

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