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Empyting long-unused acetylene torch


A friend moving to the East Coast gave me an acetylene torch
(acetylene tank only, using oxygen from the air) which she has not
used in a couple of years. Since I have a torch I wanted to donate
it to a nearby art gallery that gives jewelry classes. She told me
that before I transport it, I should have it emptied professionally
(i.e., take it to the gas place and swap it with an empty tank). I’m
happy to do that, but why couldn’t I just take it out in the driveway
(carefully) and open it up until all the gas is emptied?



I believe that’s called deliberate air quality depletion and is
punishable by stiff fines and possible jail sentences of various
durations, besides that it would really be kind of harmful to the
earth and just plain not smart I didn’t want to say dumb so I did it
nicely also the Acet. Should still be good,


Hi, Mona, Are you sure you don’t want to hang onto it? I bought a
Meco Midget but kept my Smith acet/air. It is easier to transport
for demos and the like, but I’m especially glad I had it when I made
a larger (4"x51/2"x2") silver box. I truly believe I could not have
done it without using two torches. Just a thought!



Or turn the question around. Suppose you did use this torch, and
now the tank was empty. You’d go to the gas supplier, exchange it for
a newly filled tank, and then you’d put that full tank in your car
and take it home, right? While you probably have to empty the tank
if you plan to actually package and ship the thing, you say this
place is local. So put the half filled tank in your car and drive it
over. No big deal. You don’t need to empty the tank. Just be
careful in handling it. Acetylene tanks are actually pretty safe to
handle. The gas is dissolved in a liquid, rather than being highly
compressed. Pressures in the tank are not that high, so the tank,
unlike a full oxygen tank, for example, is not a bomb waiting to go
off if you drop it and damage the valve. I’d recommend putting the
tank in the passengers seat, rather than the car trunk, since leaning
against the seat you can strap it down and it won’t be rolling
around. That’s safer than just loose in the trunk. Even a full
oxygen tank is handled in much the same way. It needs to be secured
in position so it won’t roll and bang around, and unlike the
acetylene tank, needs it’s cap securely on to protect the valve. And
the passengers seat is also better than the trunk, if only that in
case of an accident, the seat is better protected than the trunk of
the car.

But before getting rid of it, you might want to try it out for a bit
of silver soldering. These torches have a wonderfully gentle flame
that’s virtually ideal for silver fabrication. While it won’t do
some of the more pinpoint tasks that you do with smaller tips on a
gas/oxygen torch, it really has few limits, and handles the larger
work much more gracefully with silver. Try it. You might like it a



Mona, You can transport an acetylene tank with gas in it. Make sure
it is secure and not leaking. Emptying it is unnecessary unless you
are traveling over bridges, through tunnels, or anywhere that has
HAZMAT restrictions. (ie: Linclon, Holland,George, or any of the
other major bridges in the NY NJ metro area.)

You can empty it outdoors very easily since the gas dissapates. For
safety, be sensible and don’t drain it next to a running car, lit
grill or for that matter while smoking.