Hi…I’m new here…and new to both torches and kilns. I had to
start off with borosilicate so that I could encase the synthetic
opals with it, so of course I needed propane and oxygen both. I
bought an oxygen concentrator which is supposed to produce 5
(liters?) per minute?
But to get back to the question, I was not going to reply since it
was my first time connecting a tank (the large BBQ kind) and also I
did not have the valve shut on the regulator since I thought that
"screwed in" was the off position…well anyway some gas did escape
while I was fastening the regulator to the tank (which nearly scared
the lights out of me because it made a loud hissing noise) but the
duration of the “event” was so brief that I figured it might be
normal when attaching to a new tank.
But I didn’t have the valve closed so most of the propane went
through the hose into the torch inside the house so of course I was
greeted to hideous rotten egg gas additive smell when I literally ran
into the kitchen to see how bad it was in there. The gas dissipated
pretty quickly since I had a window open wide but it was pretty tense
for a moment there with such a strong smell of gas in the house.
I’m hoping that next time, with the regulator valve closed when I
open the one on the tank that any escaping gas will be caught by the
I am still using that same regulator and tank of propane…once I
figured out that the valve had been in the wrong position I was able
to get a controlled flow of gas with no leaking from the regulator or
the hose. I am relying on my sense of smell to detect any leaks…I
am very sensitive to that rotten egg odorant that they add to the gas
and can smell it in very small amounts.
I am having trouble though with regulating the balance of the
propane with the oxygen. When I first start working the flame is
bright and hot but then slowly it seems like the gas pressure goes
down and the flame is burning too cool. I can’t read the numbers on
the valve on the propane tank and couldn’t find a correct amount to
open the valve on the tank so I suspect I’m not putting enough out
from the tank and the regulator valve is trapping gas, so the flame
burns correctly until the pressure built up between the valves is
I am setting the regulator valve at 15 which is what it said to use
in the book. What I’m afraid of is building up too much pressure
inside the hose, which is inside the house and therefore a potential
source of problems.
I also don’t like it when I first light the torch and get that huge
fire-thrower flame from it. I wonder if I should continue lighting
it the way that I am now and then turn up the pressure from the tank
outside? That means leaving the torch unattended for a few seconds
but I can see the flame through the window.
All of which is tending to make me think that fusing soft glass in
the kiln might be a better hobby for me than nuking the boro glass
with the added oxygen. Even then I would still need a propane tank
for the soft glass, but I suppose it could be a smaller tank.
Now if I could just make a flickin’ marble instead of a jumbled mass
that looks like one of those giant brains in a sci-fi movie…
(sorry this was so long)