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Personal and envirnomental safety concerns

Hi, All!

I find myself in a bit of a – pardon the pun – pickle.

I’m just about to start working again, and it’s really the first
time I’ll be working out of my own (rather than a professional)
space. I want to be as responsible as possible about safety
concerns, both personal and envirnomental, but the more I read (in
the archives, in the Ganoskin Tips, in books, etc…) the more
overwhelmed I have become. My work will, at least in the beginning,
consist of rather basic processes – sawing, filing, and soldering
being the ones of concern as far as safety goes. I have a Little
Torch/Acetylene setup, and am working in my garage; it’s attached
and directly under my living room floor, with the air easily
exchanged between the two.

My first concern: Storage of the tanks. If I use a long hose and run
them out to an outside corridor between my house and the neighbor’s,
is this the safest place for them? I was told by the gas shop that
the hoses need to be sun protected - does anyone have any good tips
on doing this inexpensively? Perhaps resting them inside a cut
garden hose? Do the tanks need to be strapped to a wall? Do they
really need to be stored 20 feet apart, as I read in an earlier
Orchid post? Aak!

Second concern: The garage. There is indeed a hot water heater and a
furnace, both gas, in the garage, although both are about 25’ from
where I’ll have an open flame. Do I need to worry about this? Do I
need to remove all flamable materials from the immediate work area -
say, within 10’? - or from the entire garage? And if the latter,
would it make more sense to try and set up a soldering area outside
somewhere? This seems a bit backwards to me, but I’m trying to think
of the easiest way to get started.

Third concern: The workspace. It’s a corner of the garage, and all
wood. Since I do such small-scale work my flame size isn’t a
concern, but want to be sure I do the necessary fireproofing. What
is the least I can do that will still be effective? Tiles under my
soldering blocks? Something on the walls for a few feet above the
bench? Help! (A fire extinguisher is of course a given.)

Fourth concern: Exhaust/ventalation/etc. Given the state of my body
(I have chronic RSI) I’m hoping to be able to get to work & then
keep ramping up, but can’t be sure I’ll be able to handle it until I
try. It’s silly for me to invest in an exhaust system until I know I
can do the work to warrant one, but what the heck do I do in the
meantime? I had planned on getting a half-face mask and combination
cartridge filters from Rio Grande…until I read through the Orchid
archives, which gave me the impression that it was relatively
pointless to do this as a primary rather than supplementary system.
I do understand that, but what else can I use as a stopgap safety
measure? Again, I am doing extremely small-scale (both size and
quantity) production work here, but I do know that any exposure is
bad exposure.

Please, if anyone can advise, I would really appreciate it. I’m so
desperate to fire up that torch again! But the more I read in the
archives, the more concerned I get that I’m going about things
incorrectly, and the further I get from getting started. I just need
someone to shake me and say “Hey! It’s ok! This can be done!”

I’m trying not to overspend, as my financial situation is rather
dire at the moment, but am more than willing to make smart financial
investments in my future health and well-being…just can’t
guarantee 100% that the RSI will allow me to get as involved as I’d
like to be, so have to be realistic about the variables & “plan” in

Thank you in advance for your help, and again for being such an
amazing, inspirational community. I just love reading your posts
every day.

All the best from Jessica, in breezy San Francisco, where my first
strawberry finally ripened but the tomatoes are still just flowers.

  If I use a long hose and run them out to an outside corridor
between my house and the neighbor's, is this the safest place for

Why would you want to do this? I have used oxy acet in an
apartment, my house and my store. I have never (in over 25 years)
had a problem of any sort in any of those locations. As long as you
take the time to set up new tanks properly (which does include
securing them against something solid so they can’t fall) and check
for leaks there really should not be an issue here. I know that some
people on Orchid tend to go to the extreme in safety issues but it is
not always necessary to get carried away. Use common sense. You’ll
be paid back in more ways than one.

Daniel R. Spirer, GG
Spirer Somes Jewelers
1794 Massachusetts Ave
Cambridge, MA 02140

Your tanks are perfectly fine in the shop area with you, just use
common sense on anything you do. You will get dif answers on just
about every question you ask, so that’s where common sense plays the
biggest role. Take what all you hear, put it all together, and then
use the formula that make the most sense.

The post telling you to use common sense with your tanks are right
on. It was mentioned to secure the tanks so they won’t fall over.
As you live in earthquake country, this is very important as well as
making sure they are positioned so something will not fall on them.
Just make sure that you protect the shutoff valve and the
regulators. The tanks them self are quite tough.
Don at Campbell Gemstones