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Natural gas


#1

What is meant by a natural-gas torch? Is it possible to use the same
gasline that supplies the stove?

Janet


#2

If you’re using gasoline for your stove , it’s not the same. If you
use the terms gasoline and gas interchangeably, it could be.
Natural gas is not gasoline; gasoline is what fuels automobiles. So
if you meant to say natural gas fueling the stove, not gasoline;
it’s the same. I persued this question and was told by Smith, the
people who make torches that approximately 4 - 5 lbs pressure is
required for their natural gas torches. I asked a local plumber who
said the pressure provided to residences is measured in ounces not
pounds. So, it seems you would have to have a dedicated line, if
that’s possible, to use a natural gas torch. At least that’s what I
was told. Perhaps others may have different info. K Kelly


#3

Janet Yes Natural Gas is what we use in NY City. The same gas we use
for stove cooking & heating. The Torch Tip Openinigs are a bit
different than the one for Accetelene. The Hoke torch for Natural
Gas is NY City’s # 1 seller.

Regards Kenneth Singh


#4

Janet: Jewelry manufacturers in the Rhode Island area have been using
natural gas torches for years on production soldering. You can buy
them from Contenti company, Providence RI www.contenti.com
800-343-3364. They are connected to the gas line and air supply by
a latex hose Like most torches,they have different size tips for
fine or heavy soldering. Very inexpensive to operate. But, you need a
compressed air supply for the torch in addition to the gas supply.

Ron


#5

Yes indeed the same gas as your oven, also known as methane when put
into compressed tanks. You may or may not have enough capacity to
run a casting torch and your home appliances in winter… I’m not at
all sure what capacity a home meter provides. But a small soldering
torch would not hurt anything. Just be sure to have a professional
quality job done with the gas piping. Safety first and all that.

Daniel Ballard
WWW.Pmwest.us


#6

Do you know what pressure your gas line has? What is the pressure
requirement to use a hoke torch? Thanks K Kelly


#7

If you’re using gasoline for your stove , it’s not the same. I meant
"[natural] gas-line"…probably should have stuck a hyphen in there.

If a natural-gas torch needs higher pressure than the stove, plus
compressed air or oxygen, then it may not be worth the hassle of
installation. I’m going to call the gas co.

Janet


#8

Judy What kind of torch are you using? I called Rio Grande to ask
them about using natural gas. No one in their technical department
could aswer my question, but they gave me the number of the tech
person at Smith Co. who told me what i said in a previous posting:
Smith torches for natural gas need four to five pounds pressure.
That is why I ask about the torch you are using. I would like to
set up my area to use natural gas and oxygen. So has the Smith tech
person given me incorrect info? Anyone out there who can shed light
on this question? Kevin in Nambe, NM


#9

The local gas company measures pressure in “water-column inches”.
Standard pressure is 8 to 10 water-column inches, which they say is
about 1/3 PSI. But they said that delivery pressure can be increased
with installation of a larger meter. It’s not uncommon here in
southern California, because of all the natural-gas barbecue grills,
hot tubs, etc., added to homes.

Janet


#10

Dear All,

Here are some additional natural gas thoughts.

At the Minneapolis Community & Technical College we moved several
years ago into a new larger facility. It was going from the second
floor of the building to the fifth floor. Plenty of northern window
light (probably the finest skyline view of downtown Minneapolis in
the building), plenty of venting and plenty of power. One problem,
low natural gas pressure. We measured under one pound coming out of
the line. Hooking up 38 Hoke jewelers torches was not a pressure
problem. All the torches work fine for general bench work. We put
about 20 pounds of pressure into the oxygen line and again everything
works fine. The casting area however was different. We couldn’t run
the large casting torch. We re-hooked up the old Smith NE250 I used
as a student in 1977 and it solved the problem. They don’t even make
this torch any more. Even with a rosebud tip it takes us longer to
melt larger quantities. We even melt with two torches on an open
pour. So what I am saying is that minimum natural gas pressure is not
a problem in the jewelry lab where I teach.

When I had natural gas in my home workshop, I just put a gas ball
valve on a “T” section of pipe going to the furnace and had all the
pressure I needed. For general bench pressure whatever the gas line
produces should be adequate for general bench work. For bench oxygen
pressure use about 5 pounds.

Melting has a different set up. I do prefer propane for casting
silver, gold and platinum. A camper pressure regulator is preset at
about 3 or 4 pounds. You can use one directly on top of a disposable
propane tank and be code compliant in most areas. Casting pressure on
oxygen is 20 pounds.

Best Regards,
Todd Hawkinson


#11

I don’t know how this thread got on pressure requirements to operate
a torch running on natural gas. We use natural gas torches. They
run on standard city supplied natural gas pressure. The air supply
that is used in conjunction with the natural gas creates the
pressure. Years ago, soldering shops used soft air pressure from a
squirrel cage blower, we now use our standard compressed air lines in
the factory. The torch has two valves to regulate gas and air
pressure which is necessary to get the correct air/gas mixture. In
fact, years ago they called the torches blow pipes where the solderer
literally blew air from his lungs in one air hose, and had the torch
connected to the natural city gas with the other rubber line.

Ron


#12

Kevin,

I have used a Meco Midget torch with natural gas from a standard

house type gas line (normal house pressure is 11" W.C. which is
about 1/2 psi) when I was at the Revere Academy it works fine for
soldering small jewelry size items but is not enough volume of gas
to work on large items or to cast. Some business do get high
pressure natural gas delivery but you would need to have a new line
brought in and this would involve permits, trenching and plumbers
and $ so using natural gas to cast is not normally an option. There
are natural gas compressors that take in gas at normal line pressure
and compress it to about 60 psi and store it in a small tank these
systems are in the low thousands of dollars price range and used
most often by folks who can’t for either legal or insurance reasons
have high pressure or high volume gas tanks on site. – Jim Binnion

James Binnion Metal Arts
Phone (360) 756-6550
Toll Free (877) 408 7287
Fax (360) 756-2160


@James_Binnion
Member of the Better Business Bureau


#13

With regard to torches using city gas and oxy-- you might want to
ask Alan Revere, at the Revere Academy (and sometimes on this site).
When I took a workshop there, we used Meco torches with that set-up,
and it was just fine.

–Noel


#14

Kevin, Janet, and interested parties,

I use a Hoke-type torch attached to our household gas supply and a
tank of compressed oxygen. It works perfectly well for soldering
most moderately sized pieces of jewelry. Just be sure to get the
natural gas tips.

You will not be able to get a tiny, pinpoint flame with natural gas,
but for most things it is more than adequate. One less tank to worry
about, and unlike acetylene, the fuel burns clean.

-Tom Murray


#15

Kevin; I used a smith little torch on a natural gas line , I had
previously used a Hoke which I was feeding 7 PSI but the smith
worked better at lower pressures, I had more and easier adjustment. I
just had Plumber turn down the regulator, I did have separate lines
believe set at around 5 PSI .

Kenneth Ferrell
www.shadras.com


#16

Thanks to all who responded to my query on using natural gas as a
torch fuel.

It really makes the point that you who are actually working this
area, jewelry, etc., know your stuff. It also makes the point that
suppliers like Rio Grande are sometimes asleep at the wheel. Since
their catalog lists natural gas torches, I expected that they would
be able to answer questions about these products. Also what some of
you have posted conflicts with what the techie from Smith told me.
Of course I go with the responses on Orchid.

More than a rant, my point here is: don’t accept as gospel what
you are told by authorities; i.e. Rio, Smith, etc.

Sometimes people don’t know what they are talking about and
sometimes they are sincerely mistaken ( I’m including myself in this
group). Thanks again for helping me sort this out. I’m going with
natural gas.

Kevin


#17

Kevin,

Natural gas will be suitable for most of your needs with the

possible exception of casting and even that if you get a high
pressure line or compressor. When you set up your system make sure
to have a check valve placed on the natural gas line between the
torch and the gas supply so that any blockage in the torch nozzle
will not allow oxygen to enter the natural gas line because the
oxygen will more often the not be at a higher pressure than the gas
line and can force its way back down the line if the torch tip
becomes blocked for any reason, that can cause a fire or worse.

 For safety reasons you normally want the gas and oxygen pressure

to be the same so that this can’t happen but with natural gas you
will have a low pressure line and most oxy regulators can not be set
to operate reliably at as low a pressure as the gas line. –

Jim Binnion
James Binnion Metal Arts
Phone (360) 756-6550
Toll Free (877) 408 7287
Fax (360) 756-2160


@James_Binnion
Member of the Better Business Bureau


#18

Kevin,

Natural gas will be suitable for most of your needs with the

possible exception of casting and even that if you get a high
pressure line or compressor. When you set up your system make sure
to have a check valve placed on the natural gas line between the
torch and the gas supply so that any blockage in the torch nozzle
will not allow oxygen to enter the natural gas line because the
oxygen will more often the not be at a higher pressure than the gas
line and can force its way back down the line if the torch tip
becomes blocked for any reason, that can cause a fire or worse.

 For safety reasons you normally want the gas and oxygen pressure

to be the same so that this can’t happen but with natural gas you
will have a low pressure line and most oxy regulators can not be set
to operate reliably at as low a pressure as the gas line. –

Jim Binnion
James Binnion Metal Arts
Phone (360) 756-6550
Toll Free (877) 408 7287
Fax (360) 756-2160


@James_Binnion
Member of the Better Business Bureau


#19

For years I’ve been using natural gas from city line with no problem
,having many different torches.The reason to switch was memo from
building management saying that for insurance purposes, tenants could
use only 5 lb propane bottles.Since I had natural gas line,I did some
experiments and after few trials I found solution.All you need is to
change shape of your tips. I’m working mainly with platinum and a bit
with gold.I’m casting both with natural gas,with great success.all
you have to do is take a ball burr about 1.5 times bigger that
opening of your tip and drill larger opening at the end .I would
experiment with depth until flame is stable, if you go to far,shorten
tip with fine file making sure is square and remove all burr
after.I made smallest tip inserting IV needle in one of the tips and
pressing on short piece of larger needle at the end to create the
same effect. Works like a charm. You can see what can be done with
natural gas visiting my website www.thorrko.com. If you need a
drawing, I’ll fax it to you.

cheers
rafal


#20

K Kelly, I’m sure someone made a mistake in relating natural gas
pressure needs to you. Most household appliances operate in the
region from under 1 ounce to a couple of ounces of pressure. We have
a furnace where i work. It actually does have several burners that
take 4 pounds of gas pressure, mixed with a lot of combustion air.
It gets hot enough to melt about 300 tons of glass a day! That’s
just a bit much for any household torch!

steve