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Oxygen canister

A jeweler friend is limited by zoning law to using a propane
canister–the kind you buy in a hardware store. She wants a
hotter flame and would like to buy the Little Torch which uses
oxygen and propane; however, she doesn’t want to spend the $265
Cdn if the oxygen canister won’t last very long. Can anyone out
there tell me how many minutes (or hours) the oxygen in a small
canister will last if it’s being used with a big tip? Thanks in

Judy Yelon

Oxygen will be very expensive in these throw away cans. It
would be better to get a 20 cubic Foot or there about oxygen
cylinder from a welding distributor localy. You will probably
have to buy the cylinder up front but then you should be able to
exchange it for a full one at a relatively small cost. You will
need a small regulator with a different inlet than the inlets for
a trow away bottle. If you get a Rio Grande catalog they will
have the necessary equipment listed. for online
catalog. Jesse

Hi judy, Instead of buying the little torch outfit, try going to
a welding supply shop… you can rent a bigger oxygen tank for
just a few dollars a month… they will usuakky come and exchange
it for you when you call them for a replacement.You can use a
larger propane canister that you can also get from the welding
supply house ( i bought my barbecue grill tank full of propane
for $20.oo) the welding supply shop can usually set you up with
the proper gauges and regulators and they even carry small
torches similar to the little torch and they might actually carry
the little torch. you might be able to rent evrything right
there. hope this helps… Dan Grandi

The oxygen lasts…longer if you disconect the regulator when
done for the day…otherwise it seems to leak out. The O2 goes
about twice or three times as fast as they propane. But if
that’s the torch she’s limited to, then that’s that. Solder
efficiently, and don’t let the torch run while setting up the
next job…


Dear Judy, When I worked in a mall-store in Northern Virginia, we
had similar propane restrictions. We used the 1 lb… canisters
for our torches. We did considerable silverwork as well as
Custom work requiring the casting of ingots. I recall that
these 1 lb. canisters lasted about a month! I was always
impressed with how long they lasted.

There is a company called Paulin that makes a refillable version
of the 1lb canister. I recall the cost was about $30(US) for
this (more expensive than a 20 lb. barbecue tank!). In order to
refill the tank, you will have to purchase (from the same
source) a refill adapter (I can’t remember the price). A 20 lb
tank must be used as a source from which to refill this little
guy. The refillable 1lb tank has a “bleeder” valve in the top
of the canister that has to be opened during the refilling
process (don’t try this with a standard hardware store 1lb
tank- the little schraeder valve in the top will not comply).
When the 1lb tank is “full”, some of the propane will leak out
of this valve indicating its time to shut off the inverted 20lb
tank (Ask the Paulin Co. to send you and you will
see what I mean), and then to close the 1lb’er’s bleeder valve.
This must, of course, be done outdoors. If this method is used,
your friend should get a few of these refillable canisters so as
to always have one refilled can in the ready.

Another option is to use the MAPP disposable cylinder with the
same type of torch system. This gas is considerably hotter than
propane and I presume it would go a long way (I’ve never used
MAPP though). Once your friend has all the about how
much each component will cost, she will be able to make a
cost/benefit analysis as to whether or not it will be cheaper to
just stick with the disposable cylinders or to get the
refillable system.
HTH and Good Luck, Eben

   The oxygen lasts...longer if you disconect the regulator
when done for the day... 

also, ALWAYS back off the pressure regulators gas &ox both to
zero every time you are done with the torch.

  1. helps preserve gases 2. helps preserve regulators. you do not
    want the high pressure when you crack the tank valve to hit the
    regulator diaphragm(sp?) while it is compressed. in anyevent
    leaving spring in an untensioned state is always a good idea

I know this has been covered, but can’t be too often, never oil
any of these fittings. I will repeat this any time i talk about
a torch

The oxygen lasts...longer if you disconect the regulator when
done for the day...otherwise it seems to leak out.  

The wisest thing is to make sure that all cylinders, etc are
tightly turned off with the key used in the cylinder itself. I
have my oxygen key chained to the cylinder, and the cylinder
CHAINED in an upright position - we get frequent earthquakes
here! Or in the case of propane ‘bottles’ , make sure that the
valve fitted to the bottle is tightly installed, and turn it off
at the bottle too. It takes only a few moments to check all
around the outlet with a brush dipped in detergent to see if
there is any leakage at all. I had a bottle which developed a
leak at the outlet valve itself, and had to take it to a repair
place as it couldn’t be tightened further - where I lost all the
propane, of course, and had to pay again to get a refil.

       / \
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 /  /__| \      @John_Burgess2

At sunny Nelson NZ

Judy: If your friend is thinking of the Little Torch to be used
with the disposable propane and oxygen tanks, the average life of
a disposable tank of oxygen is 15 to 25 minutes. One of my
students found out the hard way and insisted she needed a little
more oxygen than I had set her Little Torch outfit for and was
dismayed when after 15 minutes she had no oxygen left.

Iris Stuecklen