[Soldering] Gases and Ventilation Questions

Hi Shael,

There are a couple of ways you can go. Many welding shops have
the oxy & acet tanks side by side. The bottoms are placed in a
shallow box, 1 1/2 to 3 inches high & long & wide enough to
allow the larger tank to fit in with a little clearance. The top
of both tanks are restrained near the top with a chain. The
chain goes around the tank not the valve.

If the tanks are mounted in a carrier or on a cart the bottom
box is part of the carrier/cart & the chain/s are firmly attached
to the upright part of it so they do not change position & slide
down the tanks. The chains should be as tight as possible.

If you’re mounting the tanks next to your bench, the bottom box
& chain should be firmly attached to the bench.

Since you’re in earthquake country, which ever way you choose,
the bench or carrier/cart should be attached (chains will work)
to a portion of the building to prevent them from dancing across
the floor & possibly overturning during a quake.

If the torch won’t be used for extended periods of time, all
gases should be turned off at the tanks, the regulator control
opened to a 0 pressure position & the hoses bled of gas. This
prevents unexpected gas release if the hose, torch or regulator
is damaged.


okay - this may be a ‘dead horse’ question - already beat to
death - & i have very little need to worry about earthquakes: i
live in a 24’x36’x25’ high concrete ‘box’ in florida where
earthquakes are few & far between (however there was a 15’ wide
waterfall in a 3rd floor bedroom last week; if raindrops really
are ‘pennies from heaven’ that bedroom is ft. knox). here’s my
suggestion: find a construction site if you don’t have a scrap
piece of plywood big enough to fit in back of your tanks just a
weensie (southern for ‘smidgen’) bit bigger around the edges;
buy some 1" long eyebolts & about 3 feet of plastic shelf
strapping - it’s a heavy duty black tape with holes about an
inch apart used to hang shelving; stand plywood in back of tanks
& mark a spot on left side of fattest part of left tank, another
mark in between & one on the right side of right tank; (you DO
know to keep marks level?) remove wood & use your flexshaft to
drill holes smaller than the thickness of eyebolt threads at
those three marks; screw one end of strapping with eyebolt into
either left or right holes, put back behind tanks; wrap
strapping around tank without any slack & screw eyebolt through
straping into middle hole & GUESS WHAT YOU DO NEXT??? yes! you
finish up with wrapping around the other tank & screwing it in
place! trim strapping about 2" from eyebolt. plywood can be
attached to worktable leg with another loop of strapping (don’t
make me go there again, people) or to some other sturdy surface.
OR you can train your dog to stand there holding end of
strapping in mouth. (if you choose this method, do not expect
any loyalty from dog thereafter). retentives can decorate said
board in any manner in keeping with workshop theme; mine is done
in ‘dust gray’ with a jesse brennan warning label: ‘THIS AREA IS
DATE.’ good luck - ive

In regard to acetylene and oxygen cyllinders, both should be
chained to a wall or a column. However, in earthquake country
this is still the best yopu can do. Other things that should be
done is to shut the valves at the tank,then turn the adjusting
screws out at the regulators. also blead the hose lines by
opening the valves on the torch.Other safe practices: never
open the oxygen cylinder with the screw on the oxygen regulator
turned in. Also,do not turn the acetylene pressure over 14
pounds. Do not use oil anywhere around Oxygen valves.
Oxygen-acetlyene mixtures are used daily in thousands of welding
shops world wide with few problems. Don Sommerfield

Hi Pauline …I solder and cast in my home studio. I
would love to hear your suggestions on how to maximize safety in
my studio… Gas safety in your home studio is a huge
topic. The best sources of would be the supply
shop that fills your tanks and your local fire department.
There are also a number of books on jewellery manufacturing
safety that you should look for. A few of the most important
things you can do to prevent gas leaks aRe: Make sure your
equipment is in good condition i.e. valves and hoses do not
leak. Your tanks should be safely supported so they can not tip
over causing the tank valve to break. Always shut off your tank
valve when you are finished soldering and when you are not in
the room. Make sure the room is well ventilated to dissipate the
gas in the event of a leak. Minimize the quantity of gas that
you keep in the house - smaller tanks mean less fuel to feed a
fire/explosion. MILT

1 Like

For incresaed safety with tanks and torches add SPARK ARRESTOR
VALVES. They prevent back flow of fuel or oxygen into the other
tank(this often results in an explosive condition, BOOM) as one
runs out of pressure. More importantly they prevent a flame
that travels up the hose from entering the tank (BOOM.) This can
be the result of low fuel or O2 and back flow. It can also
result from closing of oxegen flow from torch in use. The torch
will snap or pop off sounding like a fire cracker. BEST SAFETY
practice FOOF. Lighting the torch; fuel on and lit then add
oxegen. Shutting off; oxegen off first then fuel. These valves
are about $50.00 at a welding supplier. Very cheap insurance.
Marcus Amshoff