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Outside soldering station


#1

I have recently moved and will be doing most of my work in a studio in the garage. Due to not wanting any insurance hassles I’m considering moving my soldering station outside next to the garage. Do any of you have that set up and if so any advise on set up?


#2

I worked for a major jewellery chain and the work area had numerous plastic pipes everywhere. One morning I went to see just where these pipes went to. All of the pipes went to 4 large tanks “outside” of the building.
Not one tank was ever seen inside’!!
The insurance & Fire Department inspectors got together and forbid any gas or ?? tanks inside the repair-shop. Interesting observation!

Gerry! On my Teaching iPhone!


#3

I plumbed my propane and oxygen into the studio years ago. Saved space and eased my mind….


#4

Andy-Do you need to house the tanks that are outside to protect them from the weather ? Any other tips? I need to do this and want to do it safely. Do I need a specialist ?

Happy New Year !

Molly


#5

In my country everyone have both tanks inside workshop without any problems.


#6

Hi Molly. I built a loosely constructed hut. Pretty easy. Most tanks- o2, acetylene are housed outside on ships, so… propane is always outside. Was pretty simple to do. Propane is piped thru galvanized or black iron. Oxy only thru copper.
Happy holidays!

Please excuse any typos-- curse my clumsy digits…


#7

So am I understanding Andy that you have a separate hut outside of your studio to solder? but when you are talking about piping gas you don’t mean you do that but you are just stating a fact? I have acetylene air and was thinking a little roof and bench for soldering station …just outside my garage.


#8

Depending on where you live and what type of torch you have you may have no problem with insurance.I had my studio in my garage and the insurance co was ok with acetylene
but not with oxygen added. They were also uncomfortable with natural gas and I had a line right there.

Freezing in Philly


#9

Thanks, Andy ! Hope 2018 is a good one for you !
Molly


#10

Talk to your insurance agent and local fire prevention people. I had the same concern several years ago. After considering many options, to include building a separate structure on my property and renting a store front, I went to 1lb. refillable propane tanks with a non-adjustable regulator and an O2 generator. This set up supports both my Meco and Little torches very well allowing me to easily solder 4 - 8 gauge silver wire and do small (1 - 2 oz) melts. I do most of my annealing with an EZ torch on a 1lb. propane tank. My insurance agent gave this plan the OK. You can buy this same setup from several different jewelry suppliers, but I saved a lot of money putting the pieces together myself. I did consider a NG concentrator, but had a hard time with the cost. I would like to eventually go that way, but there are several high cost items on my wish list with a higher priority. Good luck…Rob


#11

Nope. I use oxy propane. two torches in the studio. The oxygen and the propane tanks are both housed outside the studio in two small attached huts. The regulators are on the tanks and there is a ball style valve on the wall inside my studio which turns the propane on and off. The tanks are left open almost all the time outside….The propane regulator has a soft hose that connects to a galvanized nipple that runs thru the wall and then into black iron pipe, into the valve and then to the to a splitter that leads to each torch. The oxygen tank is plumbed with COPPER (no black iron which has oil residue inside). The regulator connects to the copper via a brass adaptor and then the copper runs through the wall and into the studio where it splits to a hose for each torch.

All materials from the Lowes, Home Depot and the dynamite independent hardware stores that are in Seattle. Did all this about 15 year ago….


#12

I would not want my soldering station outside in any climate but the tropics. Depending on your needs and preferences, there are several option that should not cause any “insurance hassles.” You could use a water torch, and there are now rather cheap ones coming from China (altho’ suggesting those may start another controversy), about $200. My setup and Rob Meixner’s is a propane oxy torch run with an oxygen concentrator and a 1 lb propane bottle. I refill mine from a 20 lb barbeque container kept outside using a “snoogle” attachment bought on ebay ($8). Then, for small jobs there are the small butane/air torches (bernzomatic, $26). I had a set of regulators for the propane/oxy torch and the torch, and bought a used oxy concentrator from a private party for $150. This was a stellar deal and you might have to spend twice that, but there is no oxygen at all except what’s being produced as you solder. Then there is a $7 alcohol lamp with a $7 blowpipe. I used this to solder chain links at one point…


#13

Hi Andy,

Where did you say you lived?

Don

Sent from my Verizon 4G LTE Droid


#14

These are indeed good options. But my needs in the studio require more fuel than I believe a one pound propane tank could provide. I’ve looked into oxygen generators as well, and i’ve almost pulled the trigger but again my needs (especially casting ingots and light blacksmithing) would require a larger unit or two ganged up which brings the cost into the less practical realm. For me….


#15

Ah, the fuel gas topic again.
I really admire the brilliant minds and skillful hands of the members of this forum. I have no doubt that each and everyone is able to set-up a suitable solution for this challenge.
Nevertheless, I’d strongly suggest to invest a few bucks and have this done by qualified people, in the sense of being able to bear the liability issue in case of an incident.
The good thing: you see the individual in charge eye to eye and he is liable for a professional work, e.g. plumbing, fitting, crimping and leakage testing. It will be his insurance to jump in in case of an incident if you keep your documentation on record.
Finally, with all the contributions on Propane in this wonderful forum I’d like to draw your attention to our Occupational Safety Initiative on Torch Work, a common task we address together with G-TEC.
Sandor


#16

Why?

Please excuse any typos-- curse my clumsy digits…


#17

Ah yes here we all go again, (looks at the archives)

First up find out what limitations the fire department put on you. Then check local municipal code department (in theory they should have the same limitations, but not always)… Then if you inflicted with a HOA they are next.
After you know what limitations they put on you, then you can talk with your insurance. And if necessary other insurance companies… (You can get anything insured… For a price). Then you can decide what you will use once the exclusions have been worked out.

And has others have mentioned if there is pipping, get a professional to do it. As an example one member mentioned copper for oxygen… What he didn’t mention is there is a specific grade of copper pipe and it must be degreased as well and joined using specific fluxes and rods… (https://www.copper.org/applications/plumbing/cth/design-installation/cth_3design_medgas.html ) for oxygen service (weather medical or not).

my and others opinions are only that and based on what is locally permissible( or we have gotten away with), the best, although often more expensive , way to avoid hassles is “by the book”

just my 2 cents (or about 1.5 cents American)


#18

I mean why do I want to know where I live?

Please excuse any typos-- curse my clumsy digits…


#19

I have been following this whole “Outside Soldering Station” thread with interest. I have done an addition to the house so I can have a dedicated shop space and not have to share the sounds and smells of jewelry making with my never complaining wife. Also having a more than a 5’ x 7’ space was enticement enough to build. I have to agree with Andy Cooperman.

“Why?”

I am currently in the process of changing over from acetylene to propane/oxygen for my shop production needs. Brother Rob has that set up down pretty well and I expect I’ll follow his lead on it. No one I know is as thorough at researching a problem as is my brother. Like a lot of the crafters I know most of us continue to work with the gear on which we were trained even when a better tool comes along.

Such is the power of tradition.

As I investigated this project I came up with as many questions as to why I would change to propane a I did reasons why I shouldn’t.

Convenience is the big one for me. Just run out of gas Saturday night before a show and you are usually stuck until Monday. You can get propane at Lowe’s at 9:45 PM and be back at work by 11:00.
Propane and oxygen will do the job as acetylene at a reasonable cost. It takes up a little less space maybe to store. And the propane tanks don’t have to be exchanged, you can own your own. Oxygen tanks can be exchanged or you can get a generator.


#20

I had an inkling that I met regret participating in this thread. Yes, please have a pro do any of this work. I did it myself after extensive research. That was many years ago. I also did not mention that my propane hoses are “Type T” which is rated for propane as opposed to regular acetylene hoses. Again, I am not endorsing any of this, simply stating what I did.
You are, of course, all free to choose how you want to approach this….