I have been looking for some time for a way to get the large
compressed gas cylinders out of my shop and still use my favorite
Meco Midget propane and O2 torch. After much research, posting on
orchid and digesting the replies, and talking to distributors and
manufacturers of various solutions, I have settled (as much as I can
be settled on anything), on an oxygen concentrator and 1 lb. propane
gas tanks. This solution is the same as you find in several jewelry
tool supply catalogs. I had originally planned on buying an EX5 from
a large southwestern supplier that we all use, but the cost of the
unit increased by nearly 50% when I factored in their shipping
estimate. By following the trail back to the supplier of the EX5 to
Extreme O2, I was quoted a very good price for the unit and only $40
for shipping. I must admit to some concern, as this transaction did
not have the same customer friendly feeling that goes with a
transaction with the large southwest supplier that we all use. In
the end, the unit arrived from Extreme O2 when promised and in good
shape. They did upgrade me to an EX10. I did not ask why. Upon
delivery, I had to deal with the usual explosion of packing peanuts
but, once the packaging was under control, I had the unit running
and making O2 in about 10 minutes. Within an hour I had made one of
my more complicated pieces. I can report that, so far, the O2
generator/one pound propane cylinder solution meets all of my needs.
I have had to adapt my torch management procedures a bit to make
sure that the O2 generator is on all the time and flowing pure O2,
but this is a very minor change. Time will tell if this was a good
decision. Trust that I will report whatever comes of it. Rob
I'm using a O2 concentrator with butane for many years now with no
The only backdraft I experience is the little amount of material I
can melt compared with my Oxy/Acety configuration.
Melting about 100gr of metal (mostly Ag or Au) is a piece of cake
with Oxy/Acety Compared with the concentrator configuraion, I'm
reduced to a max of 30gr by adding slowly new material to the melt.
Melting that amount of material in one batch is out of the question.
I concidered to buy an adjustable Oxy booster in order to have more
O2 pressure is no option to me.
Other then that, I'm happy with my O2-concentrator.
Still, I wonder how others solved the low pressure issue with with
their O2-concentrator configuration.
Thanks for your write-up on your experience with the EX10 O2
I have always used the disposable 1 pound propane tank with my
Little Torch and with my Whale torch (propane/air) and I also have
been wrestling with the decision to replace my oxygen tank with an
Is the EX10 very quiet?
I am looking forward to your future reports on your experience with
Do other folks have experience with O2 concentrators. What model did
you buy, which torch do you run with it and are you happy with it?
Does anyone know of O2 concentrator suppliers in Canada?
I think you can get the 1 lb oxygen bottles as well. No need for the
I considered disposable O2 cylinders, but my experience is that I
refill O2 a lot more often propane. I have had a 4 pound propane
tank last more than a year with three or four O2 (medium size) tank
refills. As I said, my goal was to get as much compressed gas out of
my shop as possible. I am happy with the results so far. The EX10 is
very quiet. You know that it is running and it will make a slight
clicking noise if the flow is stopped at the torch (something that
you shouldn't do), but otherwise I don't mind it being in the shop.
I am also profoundly deaf without hearing aids, so who knows. Maybe I
should ask my wife. Rob Meixner
If you need I on the O2. Stuller carries one and I would
Andy "The Tool Guy" Kroungold
I think you can get the 1 lb oxygen bottles as well. No need for
I have been using oxy propane for many years, with the 1 pound
disposable propane bottles.
I started out using the disposable oxygen bottles, but quickly
discovered that they are very very expensive and uneconomical to use.
There is very little oxygen in the disposable bottles (about 40
grams). For every bottle of propane you consume, you would consume 40
disposable bottles of oxygen.
That's about $400 of disposable oxygen per $4 of propane.
The economics really support buying a refillable 2000 psi oxygen
cylinder or an oxygen generator.
The 1 lb oxygen bottles are $10+ and last for a very short time.
When I first tried them I used 2 in one day. Way too expensive!
Thank you for the great in your experience with the O2
concentrator. I have been considering getting one for a while now,
so I am following this thread closely.
You mentioned a clicking noise "when you stop the flow at the torch
(which you shouldn't do)" -- Is there a different procedure for
turning off the flame when done with a task? I never keep my flame
burning unless I am actively working, as a safety precaution. I turn
off both knobs on my little torch (first oxygen, then propane) until
the next task, then I open the propane knob, relight it and then open
and adjust my oxygen. Would I need to keep the oxygen knob open to
avoid damaging anything and or the clicking?
I have never looked at the Stuller line or site until today. Upon a
quick review, it appears that I would not qualify to be a customer of
Stuller. I have been a metal artist for forty years. I was first
taught by my father who learned from the Chilocco Indians in the
1940s. He, my brother and I worked together until dad died. Don and I
continue to work together. As a result, I don't have a certificate
from a formal jewelry school. I never really needed one and am well
educated otherwise. Since then I am pretty much self taught, with the
exception of what I learn on sites like Orchid. I am a retired
teacher and school administrator. Metal art has been my passion and
hobby for forty years. Since it has not been my livelihood, I do not
have the IRS documents that you require to be a customer of Stuller.
That being said, please take a look at the work on my website and the
pictures of my shop and let me know if I might be able to consider
Stuller the next time that I need to order tools, supplies, metal or
any of the other products that you carry. Thanks for your
contributions to Orchid. Rob
The best I can tell, and there is very scant in the
manual, you need to keep the O2 flowing so that the machine doesn't
sense any back pressure. It also has a service light that comes on
if there is back pressure, probably telling you to service the
filters. I sent an email the the manufacturer and they replied that
this is correct. This allows the O2 generation process to get as pure
as possible. I can see this happen with the flame quality. When I
first turn the concentrator on, the flame, while very good, seems bit
starved for O2. Within a minute or so, the flame improves. I just
make sure that the O2 valve on the torch is open when the torch is
not in use, but the generator is running. You have to remember this
when you light it and turn the O2 off temporarily so that you can
light the propane first. The real test will be casting. I only cast
in very small quantities (less than 30 grams). I plan to do some
later this week and will report what happens. Stay tuned. Rob
After looking into account possibilities that would best suit your
needs, it looks like you would qualify for an Artisan account. The
great folks at 800-877-7777 ext. 500 can help you set that up. Hope
this helps! And we look forward to having you as a Stuller customer!
Thanks! Randi B.