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Selection of torch and work site


#1

hello, i am new to orchid and jewelry making. i want to buy a torch
and pickle pot for my home, but i can’t make up my mind about where to
put my work station and what kind of torch to buy. so, the recent
torch selection/safety thread is just what i need. can you give me
some opinions about my situation?

i imagine that i will only use silver, copper, and brass; will never
do casting; will work relatively small; and will only do one-offs. on
the other hand, i’d like my choice to allow for growth in my skills
and interests. i am interested in other media, so i won’t even use my
torch and pot every day. at some point in the future i would also
like to set up a station for lampworking glass. this will call for a
propane/oxy torch, with similar safety concerns.

i think i will either set up in my basement or in my detached 2 1/2
car garage in a columbus, ohio residential neighborhood. i am leaning
toward using the garage because i don’t like the idea of gases and
toxic materials in my small, crowded basement (which holds a gas
furnace and water heater, electric washer and dryer, dehumidifier, at
least one cat, and plenty of “stuff.”). the garage is insulated and
can be fitted with an industrial exhaust fan to arrange adequate
ventilation. but, the garage holds a gasoline lawn mower and leaf
shredder, and at times a race car. there are also all types of
ferrous tools a carpenter and car fanatic would not want damaged.

when i’m ready to use the torch, i can move the gasoline machines out
of the garage, but the torch and the gasoline machines will be stored
in the same building. i could put gases outside the garage, but i
don’t have a place to keep them out of the sun and curious hands.

my carpenter / race fanatic partner thinks i am interpreting safety
rules too strictly and points out that auto body shops use acetylene
torches on cars with gasoline in their tanks! i say plan for worst
case. my jewelry instructor advised newbies to start out with a
prest-o-lite acetylene/air torch until they feel comfortable using
gases. the small propane/air torch with various tips mentioned
earlier in the thread seems like a good start for a beginner too. if
i choose a torch which only uses a disposable fuel tank like the
prest-o-lite or portable propane, could it be stored in the garage?

also, the thread about the corrosive effects of pickle makes me
wonder if i will ruin my partner’s tools in the garage.

help! i am grateful for your advice and time to help me get going.
we are lucky to have the internet and someone willing to maintain
ganoksin / orchid for the rest of us.

green jean in columbus, ohio


#2

I use a Prestolite acetylene torch with a smaller “MC” size tank
since I do a very small volume of work. I have also found that thrift
stores are fantastic sources for good pickle pots. Just look for
crock pots which are ceramic with glass lids. The pickle seems to
stay at the best working temperature when the crock pot is placed on
"low" and the glass lid keeps it from evaporating when not in use. I
also work in my rather crowded basement and have found both of these
items indispensible. --Vicki Embrey