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Basic repair work gas and oxygen setup


#1

Hi everybody,

I just finished my grauate jeweler program at GIA and I am trying to
set up my workspace. I’m having a hard time trying to figure out how
to setup the gas and oxygen lines so I can do basic repairs. I’ll be
working in a office and there is a gas line that is already there. I
am assuming I need to get a oxygen tank and then run a regulator
with flashback arrestors. I was reading in a magazine that most
natural gas lines have low gas pressure and that the pressure most
likely is less than 1%. So, I am considering buying the Versa-Torch
torch since it has a built in injector for low pressure natual gas
lines. Can someone help me out on this.

I am going to try to explain how I want to set up the gas lines
.There are going to be two work stations, so I was thinking of
running the gas line and oxygen line two both stations and having
the Versa-Torch torch connected to th pipes that are run next to the
benches. Can i have the oxygen tank in one corner of the room and
run some sort of metal line ( like the gas line, but for oxygen)
next to each work bench. Should I use a Y manifold to split both the
oxygen line and gas lines and then use metal piping to run to each
station? Do I just use the flashback arrestors on the gas lines? Any
help will be much appreciated.

-Spencer Mills


#2

I bring my own torch and bottles, then I know how they were taken
care of.

Jerry


#3

Spencer,

I set up an oxygen / natural gas system in my old workshop some
twenty five years ago. We had a large oxy cylinder in the corner of
the workshop. The pressure on the natural gas is not important as
the oxy pressure gives the flame pressure. You have to buy de
greased copper tubing and fittings for the oxygen line, this is very
important as the reaction between oxygen and grease can be explosive
when added to gas and ignited. All joints in the copper pipe must be
soldered with silver solder, not lead based solder. You only two
flash back arrestors, one in each line at the end of the bench
before the gas inputs. The torches we used had small one way valves
in the gas lines also for added safety. You will need an oxygen
pressure regulator on the oxy bottle, one with two dials, one tells
you how much oxy in the cylinder and the ofher is adjustable to
change the pressure to the torches, so that you can have fierce or
gentle flames.

I now use an oxy propane set up in my small workshop so I have to
use a regulator on the propane bottle also, but this is to cut down
the gas pressure from the propane bottle.

I hope this all makes sense.

If you need to know any more please contact me. I have
fitted two workshop systems like this in my 44 years in the trade.

Good luck James Miller in England


#4

Hello Spencer Mills,

You’ll probably get a lot of advice - probably much of it will be
good advice but likely some of it will be conflicting and some of it
confusing. I won’t give you any advice because I don’t know where you
are and I don’t know the rules in your area. Also I am not a
professional gasfitter. The rules I refer to are those imposed by the
local fire safety authorities and those imposed by whomever insures
the premises where your shop is located. The proper set-up will
probably be simple enough to understand once you see it but I’ll also
bet dollars to donuts there will be some detail required that no
normal human would ever have thought of.

Get a licenced gasfitter to do this installation for you. Tell
him/her what you want. He/she will do it. It will cost you some
dollars. You will sleep well. If you have an accident your insurance
company will pay the damages. Your landlord won’t sue you for the
damages.

Marty


#5

Natural gas is supplied at somewhere between 7-11 inches of water.
this translates to less than 1 psi. This works just fine for
soldering small jewelry sized items but is not that useful for
larger items or casting. You can buy a natural gas compressor which
will take the line pressure natural gas and compress and store it in
a small tank at pressures up to 60 psi. If I was using natural gas I
would go this route because you then can use virtually any style of
torch setup. You can also get natural gas supplied at higher
pressure but this takes a specially installed, permitted and
inspected piping system and will in all likelihood cost more than a
compressor.

It is not all that unusual to have a gas manifold system to supply
two or more torches. To do it properly and safely contact your
welding gas supplier and describe your situation and they will
either have staff who can make and install the oxygen piping and
fittings or can direct you to a contractor who can do it for you.
Any licensed plumber should be able to do the natural gas piping
hook up and may even be able to do the oxygen system but your
welding gas supplier will be a better resource for the oxygen
system. I have seen plenty of do it yourself versions of this in
jewelers shops and the vast majority never have any problem, however
all it takes is one explosion like the one in Chicago several years
ago to make you wonder about the wisdom of not having professionals
involved in your design. There are enough potential hazards involved
in the process that you should have professional advice and the
proper permits from the local authorities. If you do it yourself and
there is ever a fire or explosion you will potentially be held
liable for the damages and will find your insurance will probably
not pay for any of the damage.

Just my two cents

Jim

James Binnion
@James_Binnion
James Binnion Metal Arts


360-756-6550