Those of you who have been oxy-acetylene welding for years and who believe you "know all there is to know" can quit reading right here and avoid having all your belief systems threatened.
Or, on the other hand, you can stick around and learn something new that will save you countless hours in the years to come as well as improving the quality of your fabrication work.
"Sure;' you say, "and I bet it'll save me some bucks, too!' Well yes, chances are it will save you money — but even more than you imagine and in quite a different way. Do we have your attention yet? I thought we might.
An Australian invention, the Dillon Mk III Welding Pistol (Originally Marketed by Henrob Corporation, - now by Detroit Torch and re-named the DHC2000) is not exactly new to the marketplace, having been widely used in the aerospace, heating and cooling, and automotive industries for some years.
Surprisingly, however, the Dillon Mk ID — often called just "the Dillon;' for short — is not yet a common home-shop tool among home-builders even though it is ideally suited to the needs of the amateur craftsman. In a nut-shell, the Dillon allows a person with only "so-so" welding skills to do excellent quality sheet metal cutting, welding and brazing.
Gas Welding For Homebuilders Was NEVER Like This!
As if that alone isn't enough to get your heart pumping, the Dillon also allows superb welding of stainless steel, cast iron and even aluminum — both cast and sheet — without special preparation. "Just hype',' you say? Sorry, pardner, this tool is for real.
Once hooked up to the tanks as a normal torch would be, the Dillon is "set up" by adjusting both oxygen and acetylene regulators to 4 lbs. output pressure as that's all that's needed.
The Dillon is so efficient that it uses every last bit of energy contained in the gas mixture — unlike conventional torches — and consequently requires much less to do the job.
Also, the Dillon's secondary flame contains a negligible amount of unburnt oxygen thus creating a gas shield which helps concentrate the heat while also shielding the weld puddle from oxidation — a prime consideration when welding aluminum and brazing mild steel.
The low velocity of the flame and the concentrated heat gives the welder far greater control over the welding operation with far less heat dispersal into the surrounding material.
In simple terms, this means stronger, neater welds with minimal warpage and distortion. This also means limited flux requirements — often none at all — for aluminum, braze and cast iron welding.
Okay, okay — I thought it was a smoke job, too, a fairy tale altogether too good to be true. A visit to the Henrob demonstration facility and a thorough demonstration by Jeff Gale, their technical engineer, convinced us that not only were their claims true, but also that the Dillon can perform fabrication miracles in the hands of a practiced welder.
We watched as Jeff performed beautiful welds on aluminum, stainless steel and even cast iron using conventional welding rod as is available in welding supply shops everywhere. We also watched as he brazed mild steel smoothly and beautifully using no flux whatever!
Current Cobra 2000 DHC Torch Kit includes:
Welding Tips: Sizes #0 #1 #2 #3 #0.5
Over Cutter attachment
Under Cutter attachment
Formerly the Dillon, Henrob, Cobra Welding and Cutting Torch. This torch will cut like plasma, weld aluminum, stainless steel, regular steel, cast iron, and everything but titanium.
The DHC 2000 / Henrob 2000 Torch, cuts steel like plasma - welds like TIG. Welds most difficult metals including aluminum, stainless steel, chromoly, cast iron, sheet metal and more... Up to 50% - 70% gas savings.
Made in the USA since 1982 and comes with a lifetime warranty!!
Butt and lap welding proved no problem at all. No walking, warping or distortion and with full-penetration welds that were pretty enough that almost no finishing was required!
Just to prove that there was no magic involved, Jeff invited us to try the Dillon ourselves. With a couple of practice passes, our mild steel sheet metal butt welds were perfectly acceptable both in terms of strength and appearance!
Cutting sheet metal (the Dillon can cut steel up to 1-inch thick, but is designed more for precision cutting of light materials) is a simple matter of attaching the special cutting tip, adding a touch more oxygen pressure and having at it.
The resulting cut is very precise, clean and smooth, almost as if done by a plasma cutter. Again there is no distortion of the surrounding metal, no build-up of slag on the edges of the cut or any of the sloppiness associated with torch cuts in sheet metal.
The Dillon is so precise, in fact, that Jeff was able to cut metal with a neat bevel on the edge! With practice the Dillon can even cut one of two layers of sheet metal pressed closely together — without harming the other!
This is no bull — we saw it done with our own eyes. The Dillon Mk III is a complete welding and cutting system which uses only four welding tips to cover the normal welding range plus a sheet-metal cutting attachment, guide wheels, heat shield, air-acetylene tip, tip cleaners, an instruction manual and how-to video tape.
While the cost — just under $600 complete — may seem steep at first, one must consider that the Dillon will be very helpful in any homebuilder's shop when warpage MUST be held to a minimum, for immaculate aluminum welds and flux-free braze work, and for surgeon-like precision sheet-metal cutting.
Oh, and it's got a 1-year guarantee and a 30-day money-back return policy for the skeptics. Write Henrob for more info. If you're serious about aircraft welding you'll be very glad you did!
ABOVE: The original Dillon Mk III came only as a complete kit including the torch unit itself, four welding tips, two cutting tips, a soft heat tip for lead and solder work, a heat shield and a complete set of instructions. Also included is an excellent VHS video instructions tape. The new DHC 2000 comes in a sleek new plastic carry case.
ABOVE: In addition to mild steel, the Dillon Mk III can be used to make very attractive welds on stainless steel (left), fluxless braze work on mild steel sheets (center) and even very strong welds on aluminum, both sheet and cast (at right). The tool can even be used to weld cast iron without pre-heating the piece to be welded.
ABOVE: Three-inch square pieces of mild steel show the control with which the Dillon can be used in the fabrication of light-gauge steel aircraft fittings. The butt weld on the left shows a very attractive rod-filled weld while the two sheets on the right were neatly fusion welded using no filler rod at all
BUY HERE: DHC 2000 Gas Welding Torch.