I use propane/oxygen in my home shop. The propane tank is located
There may be local regulations where this tank may be placed in
relation to windows, foundation vent, and the like. The tank should
be protected from the weather. Mine is under an up-turned garbage
can, with the bottom held above the ground by three bricks. I’m sure
a more elegant enclosure could be devised!
On this tank is a “stage one regulator” which lowers the line
pressure to something a few pounds above the needed final pressure.
The reason a stage one regulator, or first stage regulator, should be
used here is because it does not need to be turned off when the
system is not in use. Local regulations may restrict this, however. A
flexible hose made for propane connects the tank to a black iron pipe
leading inside to a central point, where there is a “stage two
regulator” bringing down the pressure to the required for the
torches. I punched a hole in the foundation of my house, to run the
pipe to a central point in my shop, where it comes up through the
floor. These valves, and any inside regulators should be turned off
when the system is not in use. Also at this central point is an
oxygen tank with a standard regulator. There are cut-off valves
placed in both lines, where the entire distribution system, including
all second stage regulators, can be cut off in case of emergency. A
"Y" fitting on each of the two inside regulators provides for the two
propane/oxygen torches in my shop. Standard welding hose is used to
carry gas to the individual torch locations. I use Smith Little
Torches, which have standard fittings on the hoses, but those hoses
are much thinner, and much more flexible. I use standard connectors
to join the two hoses.
The gas pressures at each torch are controlled by the same
regulators. If you wanted each torch location to be able to control
their own gas pressures, a single stage regulator would be put on the
oxygen tank, with individual second stage regulators at each torch
location. The propane already has a stage one regulator at the tank,
so simple hoses would lead directly from the central propane entry
point to each torch location, with individual second stage regulators
for each location.
Any good welding shop can help with the parts and pieces needed, as
well as give advice on the design of the system. Seek out the
supplier’s most experienced person, as I have found that many
employees are not used to dealing with two regulators for each gas.
The same system can be used if oxygen/acetylene is the desired fuel
gas. I prefer propane, which, although heavier than air, and so can
accumulate in low places, burns much cleaner than acetylene, which is
the gas in your “B” tanks.
An air/acetylene system, which is what you are now using with the
"B" tanks, can be done in a similar manner. This tank could also be
placed outside under cover, with a stage one regulator. The black
iron pipe leads inside, where a second stage regulator can be used at
the central point, or pipes or hoses can be lead directly to each
torch location, where there are individual stage two regulators.
If you switch to either propane or oxygen, you gan something, and
you lose something. The torches on the “B” tanks are probably
something similar to the old “Prest-o-lite” torches, which cannot do
the very fine work of a Little Torch or similar, but which has, as
I’m sure you know, a wonderful bushy soft flame, which is great for
heating a large piece, or annealing.
There are many permutations possible to the systems I have
described. I am not an engineer or have any other formal credentials
in this field, just the experience of having set up my mentor’s shop,
and with his passing, setting up my own. Take anything I have said to
a qualified person in your area, who knows all the rules and
regulations (these vary from place to place) and is familiar with
this type of setup. That could be someone at your gas supplier, or
someone at your local fire department, or both.
Good luck! (Said WITHOUT my tongue in my cheek!)