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Propane torch with oxygen generator


#1

I’m setting up a studio in my home basement. I’d like to avoid an
oxygen tank. I’m looking at the Meco Midget torch for use with
propane and oxygen, and considering using an oxygen generator. My
concern is the discrepancy between max flow of generator and max
flow capacity of torch.

Any experience or guidance out there? Thanks.

Shari


#2

Hi Shari,

To run that torch you will need one of the larger oxygen
concentrators.

There are some available that are able to run torch heads like minor
burners for glass so they put out a larger volume of oxygen.

They are available by special order but don’t run considerably more
than the smaller units.

I run one of the larger ones with my casting torch and it puts out
plenty of heat.

You can contact Rio Grande and ask to place a special order for the
larger unit.

Phillip Scott
Graduate Gemologist
Technical Support Specialist
Rio Grande, A Berkshire Hathaway Company
1.800.545.6566


#3

Hi Shari,

After I had an old oxygen regulator let go in a class full of
students using torches, I decided to use a concentrator with a 1 lb
propane tank. I fill the 1 lb tank from a 20 lb tank I keep outside
with an adapter called a schnozzle. My concentrator is a standard 5
lpm DeVilbiss I picked up used from a private individual. They
should run a minimum of 10,000 hours and you can see the hours on
them on the counter.

If you look around the Net, you will find data on the actual psi
generated by the concentrator on their data sheets. I think for mine
it is a max of 14 psi. I checked on the stats for the Little Torch
tips and my concentrator will run them all at max BTU except for the
rosebud. I am using an old US made Hoke torch at present. The
largest flame on this is accomplished with the adapter for the small
needles used without a needle tip on it. Trying it out a while back I
got a flame over a foot long.

I think you will be fine for soldering with a 5 lpm concentrator. If
you are planning on melting the maximum amount of metal the Meco can
do, you might want to go for a 10 lpm concentrator or two 5 lpms run
together. I have a prestolite acetylene-air torch I keep out in the
shed which I could use for casting if I used over an ounce or two of
silver at a time.

One of the Meixner brothers has a 10 lpm concentrator. maybe he’ll
chime in here.


#4

Shari,

Contact my brother Rob. Or search this question in the archive. He
has worked on this very problem.

Don Meixner


#5

Several years ago, for safety reasons, I made it my goal to get as
much compressed gas out of my shop as possible. I had been using a
Presto-Lite acetylene and air torch on a B tank for about 35 years
and wanted to go to a more controlled, flame for the smaller work I
was doing. I bought a Meco torch, hoses and regulators and tried
using the smallest tanks that were practical, but was always running
out of O2 and the torch was dirty. I went to propane and bought a set
of Paige tips and never looked back, but I still had two bombs in my
cellar. I also wanted to add a little torch mainly because I had one.
After a lot of trial and error, I found that I can run both torches
in parallel using Y connections off of a 1 lb. propane tank with a
nonadjustable regulator ($60) and a larger 10 LPM O2 concentrator. I
also bought a fitting that allows me to refill the 1 lb.

tanks from a larger 20 lb. tank stored outside. I am able to run both
torches thru the range of tips, and do 1 - 2 oz silver melts with no
trouble. I got the 10 LPM concentrator by accident. The guy who I
ordered it from didn’t have any 5 LPM machines at the time and asked
if I would take a 10 LPM at no extra cost. I did. Shop around the
internet for the concentrator. They are expensive to buy from the
usual suppliers that we deal with and the shipping can be very
expensive. Also look at the glass working suppliers as they are used
there. I also keep an EZ torch on my bench running off of 1 lb.
propane tank and use it almost exclusively for annealing. Also, if
you are looking for light weight hoses, go to www. tinmantech.com.
So I am down to two 1 lb. bombs in my shop with no compromise on
capacity and a pile of unused regulators and hoses. I have explored
using NG at street pressure with the concentrator and it will work,
but I would have to do some plumbing to make it safe and permanent
and am happy doing what I am doing right now. You can also buy NG
concentrators that boost the pressure to 5 - 7 psi (I think, you
should look that up if it is of interest). That’s about it. Sorry to
be late to this conversation. Rob


#6

…, but I still had two bombs
in my cellar…

While I have used propane and O2 from standard tanks in various
jewelry shops for over 40 years, the above concern over fire hazards
that compressedgas can pose is very, very real.

In the late 90’s a lightning strike on a small barn that contained my
machine/motorcycle shop, had spectacular, and devastating results. By
the time I was aware of the fire in that building my full sized
welding tanks of O2 and acetylene were full involved. All I could do
was call the FD, and work to cool adjacent structures. The building
was a total loss, including the late 40’s Indian I had planned to
restore, and a ton of jewelry tools and bike parts I had stored in
that building.

Before one brings tanks into a home based shop I would look into
what effect such a gas supply will have on homeowners insurance,
should there everbe a fire. Compressed gas may invalidate any
coverage.


#7

I’m in the process of expanding studio - adding casting inhouse. My
studio is semi-subterranean (basement). After calling my electrician
back out for a dedicated 30 amp kiln circuit & engineering an
efficient exhaust / ventilation system - I am storing my b tank
outside with a line coming in thru a portal in the wall. It is only
positioned as such on the actual time its being used. I don’t cast
everyday, so the tank & cart are moved from a soldering station on a
covered porch to the alternate position for casting in a sheet metal
shed. It took me two years to think thru the related problems. Fear
of God (and uncertain death) guided my decisions.

There is nothing scarier than storing a bomb under where you live
and sleep. Municipal fire codes prohibit tanks being inside in
bunker like environments for a reason. Ka - BOOM! I have to thank
the orchid forum for insights into studio design. I have no interest
in being an anecdotal story of stupid human on the darwinawards.com

Happy to start casting some custom work monday!!

Awesome spring day in LA Eileen


#8
...., but I still had two bombs
in my cellar.....
While I have used propane and O2 from standard tanks in various
jewelry shops for over 40 years, the above concern over fire
hazards that compressed gas can pose is very, very real. 

Following up James Newton’s post this would be a good time to
mention G-TEC Natural Gas Torch Boosters, systems that supply high
pressure gas to your torch but eliminate storage cylinders from your
home studio, garage or anyplace on your property. G-TEC Torch
Boosters never have more than 1 cubic foot of gas in them, they boost
gas pressure and supply it to your torch as gas is used.

Torch Boosters are compact, quiet and sit right next to your bench.

Another way a Torch Boosters improves studio safety is that with
high pressure natural gas you can use flashback arrestor/check valves
with your torch. Normal utility gas pressure is so low that flashback
arrestors block gas flow.

Yes, Torch Boosters cost a couple dollars but you get a clean flame,
never run out of fuel and make your studio a safer place to work.

More is at http://www.ganoksin.com/gnkurl/ep8269

Ed Howard
G-TEC Natural Gas Systems