We have four acetylene tanks in locked cubbys under the bench
with cut-outs for the hoses. This gives the instructor positive
control over the tanks, adjustments etc.
This post raised some red flags for me, and is something you might
want to think about a bit. If an accident occurs at the soldering
station and a dangerous situation develops (i.e., a burn-through on a
hose, flashback in a line, someone burns themselves and drops a
torch, etc.), do you REALLY want to have to 1. find the instructor,
2. have the instructor find their key, 3. have the instructor have to
unlock the cubbies and 4. have the instructor turn off the tanks?
You may seriously not have that much time to prevent a disaster.
In our school studio, we have a similar setup, with 5 soldering
stations sharing a table. The table is lined with moveable
firebricks, and underneath the table are the acetylene tanks, secured
in their own cutout supports to prevent tipping over. The first
safety instruction each student is given (and the one they are
frequently reminded of) is how to turn off the tanks. When the tanks
are turned on each morning, the tank key is left on the tank. If we
don't have a tank key, we don't turn on the tank. When we turn off
the tanks and lock up in the evening, the tank keys are removed and
I feel much safer knowing that even the most inexperienced students
can turn off a tank if I'm out of the room or on the other side of
the room and something happens. That is the area of greatest
"immediate" safety vulnerability in the room, particularly when all
the stations are full.
In my home studio, my acetylene tank is chained to a wall right next
to my soldering station. I keep the area around it clear and access
to the tank key VERY accessible, for the same reason. The key stays
on the tank all the time, and is chained to a tether so that it can't
accidentally get knocked off and lost.
Food for thought?