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Question for G-Tec gas compressor users


#1

I’ve just run natural gas to my bench in my small residential studio,
and I’m planning on buying a G-Tec Gas Compressor. I would like to
plan for the future and the folks at G-Tec tell me the TB-15 will
limit my ability to cast. Does anyone have experience using the TB-15
and/or TB-30 for small casting projects.

Also, G-Tec sells a single stage regulator. I would appreciate
recommendations and/or observations regarding purchasing a regulator
for this unit. G-Tec’s regulator is a little pricey, but I got the
impression that the weight of the regulator might be an issue. I was
planning on buying a Smith regulator, but Ed Howard at G-Tec
mentioned that I might want to “put some thing under” the regulator
to take the weight off the connection to the compressor.

Lastly I’ve reviewed archive emails on the subject and the general
consensus seems to be that the Meco torch is a solid choice for
general use with natural gas and this particular set-up. Please weigh
in if you feel strongly that there is a better alternative.

Thank you all in advance,
Melissa


#2

Hi Melissa,

I can’t answer your TB-15/casting question, but I can confirm that
the MECO torch works great with the G-Tec compressor.

I have a TB-30 and it is overkill for a single torch. That said, the
compressor is so well cooled that even running deadheaded between
times when the torch is actually lit and even when lit, against a
very small gas requirement not that different from deadheaded, it
works for extended sessions without any issues.

As far as the regulators, go I had a two-stage on hand and it works
fine, even hanging off the front panel. I did put a prop under the
reg, not so much because of the extra weight of the two-stage reg,
but because fewer bad things might happen if something heavy got
dropped on it.

As you might have already learned from your conversations with them,
the G-Tec folks are great with tech support. I had a problem when I
first installed my compressor and, after a single call to G-Tec, was
able to resolve it. It went sort of like this:

G-Tec: “Hmmm, we’ve tested a setup just like yours and it worked
fine. Please turn the unit on and let me know when the cooling fan as
come up to speed.”

Me: “Errr…cooling fan?”

G-Tec: “Ah. Lets pull the cover and have a look at the wiring.”

Me: (pulls cover) “Oh, that cooling fan with a wire disconnected
from the terminal block, so it isn’t spinning?”

G-Tec: “That would the one.”

No fuss, just an expert who knows his product. Total time to
diagnose and resolve: about 5 mins.

No affiliation with G-Tec, just a happy customer with fewer fuel gas
cylinders in his shop than before and glad of it.

Tom


#3

This is Ed Howard from G-TEC and I’d like to share the answers to
Melissa’s questions about our natural gas pressure boosters with
everyone.

I would like to plan for the future and the folks at G-Tec tell me
the TB-15 will limit my ability to cast. Does anyone have
experience using the TB-15 and/or TB-30 for small casting projects. 

The answer depends on how you cast. Different torches use different
amounts of fuel gas and you must match the torch with a Booster than
can provide sufficient flow.

Some G-TEC customers use the Smith Little Torch heating head (13717)
and it uses 9 cubic feet of gas per hour.

We have many commercial jewelers using a Harris Model 16 or similar
torch handle with either a 10N single flame tip or a small multiflame
tip and when we have tested these torches with a flowmeter they need
a flow of about 30 cubic feet of gas per hour to set the most robust
flame.

And we have casters using the Harris torch with a 30N tip, or
something similar, and this can draw as much as 150 cubic feet of gas
per hour.

Selecting the right Torch Booster is a matter of knowing how much
gas you are going to need. for the torch you use. A TB-15 Torch
Booster supplies 15 cubic feet of natural gas per hour at up to 25
psi; TB-30 is rated at 30 cf/hour but in tests consistently hits 50
cf/hour. Either unit will supply the Little Torch with no problem.

TB-15 “can” be used with torches like a Harris Model 16 handle and
10N or small multiflame tip but must be set at the very outer edge of
it’s capacity and even then the flame is not as robust as the torch
is capable of. At 10 psi the TB-15 actually supplies 20 cubic feet of
gas per hour so you can use it but the setting will be touchy and
casting will be slower.

TB-30 is really needed if you are going to use torch and tip
comparable to the Harris 10N or small multiflame tip and we have
customers using this arrangement to cast platinum with excellent
results.

Also, G-Tec sells a single stage regulator. I would appreciate
recommendations and/or observations regarding purchasing a
regulator for this unit. G-Tec's regulator is a little pricey, but
I got the impression that the weight of the regulator might be an
issue. I was planning on buying a Smith regulator, but Ed Howard at
G-Tec mentioned that I might want to "put some thing under" the
regulator to take the weight off the connection to the compressor. 

Included “in-the-box” with both the TB-15 and TB-30 Torch Boosters is
female CGA 510 adapter that lets you continue to use a regulator that
you already own and may have previously connected to a 20 lb propane
tank. If you click on the link and look at the lower right photos you
can see what the adapter looks like and how a two stage propane tank
regulator is connected.

http://www.safe-t-gas.com/page13.html#BuyTB30JM.

In recommending that a user “put something under” the regulator the
reason is that the fitting on the Booster, both TB-15 and TB-30, is
a 1/8" brass male outlet and the regulator can be heavy and stick out
some from the unit. The regulator shown in the photo weighs almost 5
pounds. Putting a piece of wood or something under the regulator
will take stress off the connection to the Booster.

By way of analogy take a 10 pound weight and hold it with your arm
down by your side. Now hold the weight with your arm straight out
parallel to the floor and see how it feels after a few
moments…same principle.

There are many regulators on the market and you may have one that is
lighter so the need to support the regulator will depend on what you
are using.

If you scroll down on that link you will see a photo on the left of
a TB-30 with the standard regulator that we sell…it is a single
stage regulator that screws right on to the Booster, is light and
does not stick out very far. A two stage regulator isn’t necessary
unless you already own one…the gauge on the face of the Torch
Booster shows pressure inside the unit and the regulator gauge shows
pressure to the torch. Everyone we have heard from using this
regulator has been satisfied with the gas flow to the torch but there
are several manufacturers who make quality regulators and the choice
is up to you.

If you have a question about the right G-TEC Torch Booster for your
torch and the work you do, please call me at the number below. Also,
I will be at the MJSA Expo in NYC at the Gesswein exhibit and I hope
you will stop by!

Ed Howard
G-TEC
1-800-451-8294
www.gas-tec.com
www.safe-t-gas.com