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O2 Little Torch on big tank


#1

I’m planning on hooking my Little Torch into my main service (big
outside tank, black pipe = high pressure line running into the
workshop). My guys needed to know the technical specs on the torch
so they could hook it in properly (required pressure, adapter type,
whatever) which I didn’t know so I called Rio Grande, thinking I
would be able to get a spec sheet mailed to me.

Instead the guy at Rio Grande acted like I was brain damaged to even
ask, said he’d never even heard of trying to do such a thing (you
guys have, haven’t you? Seems I’ve seen postings about this in old
archives). I wasn’t sure enough of what the guys wanted to really
even know what to ask. He finally ended up telling me the little
torch needed 15 lbs of pressure (sounds pretty high for a small
torch, seemed to me) and had no idea about adapters. He was even
sort of surly about it. I DID manage to wangle the 800 number for
Smith out of him, though, luckily.

The guy at SMITH said the max pressure a little torch would ever
need is TEN (not fifteen) lbs and gave me the name of the connector
on the regulator that comes with it so that the guys would know what
adapter they needed. In fact he sort of choked when I told him what
Rio Grande had told me, so I guess I’m glad I called them.

I would say I trust the manufacturer more than a surly Rio Grande
employee so I guess that’s the info I’ll pass on to my guys. I will
say that this is the first and only time Rio Grande personell have
been, shall we say, less than helpful. As far as I can figure, I’m
going to require two regulators from my main tank, one to step down
tank pressure to the 1/2 lb that household appliances use and one to
step it down to the 10 lbs the Little Torch apparently needs (then
the actual torch regulator after that). Hopefully the guys are
going to be more certain of this than I am.

I’d like to hear from anyone else currently running a O2 little
torch of their main supply tank in case there’s anything else about
doing it this way that I should know (and I will have the flashback
arrestors).

Also any info about storage of O2 tanks would be good - like safe
temp ranges. I do know they need to be battened down (fastened
securely in an upright position) so they don’t fall over and turn
into a missile. Other than that I don’t know much about the O2 or
where to place it.

Thanks.
Sojourner


#2
Instead the guy at Rio Grande acted like I was brain damaged to
even ask, said he'd never even heard of trying to do such a thing
(you guys have, haven't you. 

Your questions are not in the least odd. I received an email last
year and a Mr. Powel was kind enough to describe his set up in some
detail, several others did the same. I opted for an entirely
different torch, so this set up was not needed. Also on the lapidary
arts list one guy solved his problem by getting a hold of an oxygen
generator, for would you believe $100 (normally about $1700 or so),
this and a torch, and a propane can would have solved the problem
satisfactory. What I now have I am happy with, I like it very much.
(They make a point that it is designed for the professional jeweler,
in fact can be used as such, Mr. Planert, who I got this trough, is
a professional goldsmith, he used one exclusively for about 20 years,
I think it works well. I had been cutting stone for some time and I
used my club’s acetylene torches, I needed something for home as I
could not use acetylene and I solved my problem.) The set up
mentioned by Powel in my case would not have been practical as you
can see from below. However some others did just about the same thing
you have done, because of that the reaction you got from the guy at
Rio Grande was off the wall. They are usually much better than that.

  Thank you for the comments. I live in an apartment so I can
  not store anything outside. I came to the same conclusion on
  the disposable oxy can. I think this will work and will do what
  I need it to do. I will receive it soon and will advise the
  list of my conclusions, even if they are negative, which I do
  not believe they will be.

The bottom line is that there are a number of people who use a torch
and have the tanks stored outside and the gas is run inside. This is
often one way of solving zoning and safety issues, so it is not at
all unusual. This usually causes no more of a problem than natural
gas lines with insurance, also. Mr. Powel uses a Smith Little Torch
and disposable propane can with a 40 CB. Ft. oxygen tank. He wrote,

  I am very respectful of safety procedures and the need to meet
  fire codes. He mentioned, "If you wish to avoid problems at
  all. simply sit the entire soldering set up outside when you
  are not using it. Put it inside a secured, lockable, vented
  cabinet OUTSIDE.

This as you can see was not an option for me. More than one wrote
about running a line as you are doing inside but did not go into
detail. Come to think of it that $100 oxygen generator and natural
gas would probably make a nice set up for a homeowner. A disposable
propane canister (what I am using) will not usually cause any problem
at all, landlords, insurance, zoning, codes, etc., providing you have
the right torch, and this is not a burnzomatic. Any solution that
solves the situation, and delivers on all that is needed, is the
right one for you and good luck with the project. I am sure someone
who has done this may be able to answer a question if it should come
up and Smith draws a blank.


#3

I have a Little Torch (propane) and 02 setup. My O2 tank is a 40 cf
(short) tank so I don’t really have to keep it chained to keep it
from falling over. When full, it contains 2000 pounds of pressure.
I’m using a dual stage regulator, and I run my torch at 14 lbs of 02
when in use. This is what the manual says to use (15 actually). Hope
this helps.

Cathy Flory
Owner/Designer
JEWELWORKS
www.jewel-works.com


#4

Cathy,

ALL pressure tanks of any size must be secured with a chain/clamp or

otherwise so that they cannot fall or be knocked over. If you do not
do this you are risking yours and others safety. These things can
create extreme havoc if they are knocked over and the valve is
damaged. Please for your safety and for that of those around you
properly secure your high pressure tanks.

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


#5

Cathy,

that may seem like a small “squatty” tank to you, but PLEASE tie it
or chain it or otherwise restrain it. Even small little 20 c.f.
tanks, half the size of yours, can have a valve damaged when knocked
over just wrong, and that situation, while rare in any size tank,
amounts to a bomb in your shop. You said it yourself. The full tank
pressure is about two thousand pounds per square inch. How many
square inches across would a broken valve opening represent? How
many square inches are on the inside of that little tank? Think about
the math, girl. Imagine that little squate tank with a broken
valve, and an opening exposed with a square inch of area. That
amounts to a rocket motor with a full ton of instant, explosive,
thrust. Not something you want to be near too. Even the smallest of
full pressure tanks needs to be handled with due respect, and that
means being sure it’s secured somehow. You don’t need heavy chains
perhaps. But you need something to be absolutely sure it CANNOT tip
over. It’s not enough to look at the shape and figure it probably
won’t tip over, or woudln’t be falling far… The chances of an
accident are extremely remote, true. But the results of an accident
are sufficiently catastrophic and potentially deadly that it’s dumb
not to take easily available precautions.

An illustrative tale may be helpful in visualizing what even a small
tank can do, regardless of it’s shape, when pressurized at these
pressures. I recall, about 20 years ago while on vacation in
florida, seeing a scuba dive shop nearby with what appeared to be
construction to rebuild a whole back wall. A scuba tank is also
about 40 cubic feet, if i recall, and pressurized to about the same
pressure ranges. They’d been filling tanks with air, and someone
had dropped a tank while removing it from the concrete “well” they
placed the tanks in while filling. It had hit on it’s valve,
cracking it, and turning it into the above described rocket motor. .
the tank blew through the cinder block back wall of the shop (making
about a five foot diameter hole) , through an outer chain link fence
around the shop’s yard, and flew an additional 300 yards (1.5
football fields) before hitting the ground, digging quite a gully,
and sliding another fifteen feet into the seawall, leaving a 4 foot
gap in the concrete seawall, and ending up another fifty feet or so
out in the ocean. It was a visual lesson I’ll never forget. I
don’t mind keeping tanks and working with them. But I make very sure
their properly secured. You should too. even small ones.

Peter


#6

Hello all, Peter’s description (below) of the jet-propelled Oxygen
tank blasting through the scuba shop reminded me of a similar
example.

This was a concrete swimming pool. Chlorine gas tanks were being
taken to the chlorinator room when one fell and the valve was
damaged. Luckily it happened to shoot into the filled swimming pool
where it proceeded to bounce from side to side, much like a billiard
ball on a pool table.

The concrete sidewalls and gutters were badly pounded and the pool
was pretty much ruined. An expensive lesson in why gas-filled
cylinders must be well secured.

 I recall, about 20 years ago while on vacation in florida, seeing
a scuba dive shop nearby with what appeared to be construction to
rebuild a whole back wall.  A scuba tank is also about 40 cubic
feet, if i recall, and pressurized to about the same pressure
ranges.  They'd been filling tanks with air, and someone had
dropped a tank while removing it from the concrete "well" they
placed the tanks in while filling.  It had hit on it's valve,
cracking it, and turning it into the above described rocket motor.
. the tank blew through the cinder block back wall of the shop
(making about a five foot diameter hole) , through an outer chain
link fence around the shop's yard, and flew an additional 300 yards
(1.5 football fields) before hitting the ground, digging quite a
gully, and sliding another fifteen feet into the seawall, leaving a
4 foot gap in the concrete seawall, and ending up another fifty
feet or so out in the ocean.   It was a visual lesson I'll never
forget.  I don't mind keeping tanks and working with them.  But I
make very sure their properly secured.  You should too.  even small
ones. 

Judy in Kansas

Judy M. Willingham, R.S.
B.A.E. 237 Seaton Hall
Kansas State University
Manhatttan KS 66506
(785) 532-2936 FAX (785) 532-6944