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Acetylene torch


#1

Hello. New subscriber here. I’m planning to acquire an acetylene/air
torch to use in my studio which is in the lower level of my house .
Is there anything specific that I need to be aware of? I expect to
use the torch for soldering, annealing and torch firing enamels on
copper. Any help will be muchly appreciated. Hannah


#2

Hannah:

In my area these “prestolite” type torches are sometimes available in
pawn shops, and, since they are not movers, you might get a deal.
You need to know what a new one costs, check the welding supply.
Even if you find one with a piece missing, it is possible you can get
the piece you need form the welding supply, but check before you buy.

I have no experience with it, but have heard and read in several
places that these are good torches for silver work. They have enough
heat but aren’t so hot as oxyacetylene and there is not so much
danger of melting things if you stay too long in one place.

HTH,
Roy


#3

a little accident happened to me last night which I hate to admit
because I was working late after the safe hour…after soldering a
bezel and going to investigate a strange sound I came back to find I
had inadvertantly put the hose down on top of the hot piece and
caused a severe leak.I quickly turned off the tanks and thanked the
gods and after checking things out this am I ordered a new set of
hoses and flashback arrestors from Rio…I now have to wait two days
.could have been a long time…to make up for trying to get a little
more work done after I was already less than smart.though I would
pass the warning on for what it’s worth…


#4

Something my teacher taught me. I drilled a hole in the corner of my
bench closest to the direction from which comes the gas lines. Then I
put a steel rod into the hole, bent so that it makes a hook. I always
park my torch there, about two feet up in the air and so its gas lines
drape over the edge of the bench out of the way. Geo.


#5

If Anyone is contemplating using Acetylene in on or around their
homes, DO NOT notify your insurance company. Unless you want to have
your insurance coverage cancelled immediately. I made the mistake of
informing my agent, and was cancelled. I ask them how I should
approach another company in order to get insurance. They told me just
not mention the use of acetylene. One year after this incident, I
went back to the original company, and they reinstated my insurance,
no questions. I still have my welding equipment in the basement, and
use it regularly. The Insurance company just doesn’t want to know
about it.

Rodger
zrodgerhall1@juno.com


#6
If Anyone is contemplating using Acetylene in on or around their
homes, DO NOT notify your insurance company. 

G’day; in which case, if you do have any kind of fire, maybe nothing
to do with the acetylene, they will refuse to pay out. They gotcha,
mate! It’s called catch 22.

John Burgess; @John_Burgess2 of Mapua Nelson NZ


#7

Rodger and all, I would differ in opinion as to “your insurance
company just doesn’t want to know” about acetylene use in the home.
You are now paying for coverage, and if an accident occurs, you will
have no coverage after the fact. They are simply telling you that
this gas should never be used in the home, and if you do, you are not
covered. There are other alternatives to acetylene for use in the
home, and will not effect your coverage, such as Mapp or propane. An
insurance policy is a contract, and if you violate your part of the
agreement, you void their responsibility of paying for your loss.

Please think this through carefully, JMF


#8

I have state farm for an insuror and my shop is at home. My agent
came here and inspected my operation and added it to our policy. I use
acetelyne. I am also covered by jeweler’s mututal. There doesn’t
seem to be a problem for me. Could it depent on the agent? Patty In
Missouri.


#9

Just last week I re-did my house insurance to include my workshop. I
didn’t want jewellers block but i did want to make sure if i
accidently burned down the house or for some other reason, eg. my
husband tried to cook! that we would be covered. I had the gas/oxy
lines approved by the municipality, and the insurance company put a
notation on my policy that they knew I was working downstairs. It
didn’t cost me anything extra but of course I’m not covered for
materials or tools, but the house is safe! Tara from Vancouver


#10

Good for you, Tara! Who is your insurance carrier? Has anyone had
any experience with USAA regarding acetylene used residentially? I
hate to call my carrier until I have more info about how they will
look at it. I do just a little work at home since I also have a
studio space that I share with 2 others and if I need to I will
convert to Mapps. Thanks to everyone for always having some right answers! Susan


#11

Regarding acetylene versus propane tanks in the house, I was told
that a propane tank is far more dangerous than an acetylene one in
the house. Propane is a heavy gas and if there is a leak. it would
not be noticed. All one would need do is hit the light switch and
kaboom, the place would go up like a bomb. Is this fact or fiction.
Most of the metalsmiths I know have B tanks of acetylene in their
home studios, as they feel they are safer than propane. . Those who
use propane, keep the tanks outside. The small disposable ones are
no problem, but there is a great concern about having the large
,barbecue sized ones in the house. Can anyone shed any light on
this question? Thanks, Alma


#12

I have heard the same thing about propane being hazardous indoors.
I’ve also heard that acetylene is a dissolved gas and not compressed,
and therefore safer. Any truth to this?


#13

Good for you, Tara! Who is your insurance carrier? Has anyone had
any experience with USAA regarding acetylene used residentially?

My insurance carrier is Lombard Canada. The insurance adjuster’s
concern was about the oxy. tank but that is plumbed to the outside of
the house. My fuel is natural gas, not acetylene, maybe that’s why
they ok’ed it. My particular policy doesn’t say you can’t have
oxygen. A beauty of an evening in Vancouver, Tara


#14

I’ve been told this as well, that it’s absolutely true that Propane
can settle in a low area. Even outdoors, on a particularly still day,
it can run like an invisible stream down a gully and sit in a low
spot. It can flow under a door, down the stairs into the basement and
sit there, until the furnace or some electrical contact switch ignites
it. You should DEFINATELY keep propane tanks outside. I don’t know if
it’s more or less dangerous than acetylene, considering that acetylene
is more powerfully explosive. If you can get natural gas, that’s the safest.


#15

Hello Alma,

I’m curious too, so asked our city fire code people. Now this code
applies in Kansas, so it’d be best to ask your local fire code
people.

In residential buildings, the amount is limited to what ever is
necessary for maintenance and for operation of equipment, BUT no more
than a total of “30 gallons of any flammable gas”. However, storage
must be in a “controlled area”. Definition of controlled area varies
with zoning. BTW, that 30 gal. total includes stores of paint and
gasoline as well as acetylene and propane.

      Regarding acetylene versus propane tanks in the house, I was
told that a propane tank is far more dangerous than  an acetylene 
one in the house.  Propane is a heavy gas and if there is a leak. it
would not be noticed.  All one would need do is hit the light switch
and kaboom, the place would go up like a bomb.  Is this fact or
fiction. 

As a side note, many cities prohibit propane use or storage below the
ground level. As others have noted, it is heavy and collects rather
than dissipating as would a small leak of natural gas or acetylene.
The local code inspector said that the biggest concern with propane
collecting at the lowest level, is ignition by the pilot light on the
water heater, which is usually close to the floor. I guess that
means all-electric buildings are safer??

Bottom line, call your local fire code office and ask the questions
for your area. Go to the “horse’s mouth.”

Judy in Kansas where it’s another week of heat stroke weather.

Judy M. Willingham, R.S.
Extension Associate
221 Call Hall Kansas State Univerisity
Manhattan KS 66506
(785) 532-1213 FAX (785) 532-5681


#16

Kathleen, Don’t kid yourself. Acetylene is explosive in all
concentrations in air, from the smallest trace to 99%. It is dissolved
in liquid only because otherwise it would explode. IMHO it should
never be brought into the house. Geo.


#17

This is the same that I received from a welding and gas
supply company. I use a Presto-Lite with acetylene. I think that
possible the combination of oxygen might make it more dangerous. My
studio is in my basement. I did not want a puddle of propane under
our bedrooms.

Marilyn Smith


#18

When we had propane installed for heating we requested a line run to
the basement for torch work. They refused to put it in because we do
not have a daylight basement. If there had been a door opening to the
outside on one side of the basement (hillside home, in other words)
they said the propane could drain out there in case of a leak. No
drainage, no hook up. Sincerely, Rose Alene McArthur @O_B_McArthurs


#19

Propane is a heavy gas and if there is a leak. it would
not be noticed. __

G’day; I can’t say what happens in your country, but in NZ all
propane is ‘scented’ with diethyl mercaptan, which is a delicious and
extremely powerful and penetrating stench which could be called
"Essence d’ Rotten Cabbage" You can’t miss it unless you are
nose-deaf. It is deliberately put in for the very purpose that if you
get a leak, you not only have it brought forcibly to your notice - but
you just HAVE to do something about it fast! – John Burgess;
@John_Burgess2 of Mapua Nelson NZ


#20
  I have heard the same thing about propane being hazardous
indoors. 

Sure it is. So is having an oxygen bottle, and/or an acetylene
bottle indoors - if they leak. That’s why the govt. makes the gas
suppliers add a foul odor to any flammable odorless gas (except
oxygen). If you smell gas, don’t strike any matches or lighters.
Keep the air moving around the shop area. I’ve been using
propane/oxygen with arm’s reach of my bench for years. I also have
inline backflash arrestors on every line and if I smell something I
investigate.

  I've also heard that acetylene is a dissolved gas and not
compressed, and therefore safer.  Any truth to this?  

Not necessarily if the tank connections leak. It is safer to
transport, though. An oxygen cylinder under pressure can become a
deadly missile if it tips over and the valve is broken off.
Therefore, chain your tanks to something that isn’t likely to tip
over.