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Torch in the garage

I am a beginning silversmith and recently purchased a Meco Midget
torch, a 20CF oxygen tank and 15 lb. propane (bar-b-q type) tank. I
was planning on using it in the attached garage where there is a
built-in workbench. The workbench top had a chain saw on it, so there
was some oil leakage. I plan on getting sheet metal (probably
aluminum) to lay over the entire top of the bench. My problem is that
the hot water heater is also located in an open closet area of the
garage, so I know I should not leave the torch in the garage when not
in use. The only place to store the torch and tanks would be on the
back porch (covered but not enclosed) or in a storage shed located
about 30 feet from the house in the back yard. On the positive side,
the shed has two windows which could be left open for ventilation,
but on the negative side, there were also tools stored in there and a
lawn mower, the result of which was also oil leakage. In looking at
the pictures on the BenchExchange, it appears that some people do
keep their propane torches inside their studios, so I would
appreciate any feedback or suggestions from anyone regarding where I
should store the torch and tanks when not in use.


Yeah your home owners insurance wont cover you if they find out you
keep the tank in the garage.


I have my workshop with oxy/propane torch in my basement where my
hotwater tank and my furnace are located.

I also have a workshop in my attached garage where I do my castings
and have a oxy/propane torch set up in here as well. For the torch
in my basement I use a 1lb propane tank to cut down on the risk and
the set up in the garage has a large bar-b-q style tank. I do remove
the propane tank from the garage when not in use and store it outside
of the house with a plastic bucket over the top of it but the small
tank in the basement stays inside all the time. I do live in Colorado
so the weather here does get cold and snowy in the winter. When I am
finished with either torch I shut down the tanks, light the torch
and use the flame to drain the hoses this way I am not putting
propane into the area I have the torch. I then release the pressure
off of the regulators.

Greg DeMark

Typically fire code says no bbq tank indoors. My local fire marshal
interprets that as whether stored or in use. So hauling it outside
when you’re done only misleads you to thinking you (and fire
responders, neighbors, residents etc) are safe. Suppose you had a
fire emergency while you’re working…are you going to carry that
potential bomb thru the flames, outside before the fire department
arrives??? No, you’re going to get your behind the heck outta there!
And then its a fireman’s problem, which is also your problem if
there’s an injury.

In researching propane use in a proposed shop in L.A., the fire codes
there are strict about not allowing 20 lb. propane tanks used or
stored indoors. HOWEVER, there were no restrictions I found about
using the 1 lb. camping-type propane cylinders indoors. They just
don’t think of that small amount of propane as a potential
catastrophic hazard, I think. These will provide plenty of pressure
and heat for all types of soldering and annealing, even melting of
platinum (using bottled oxygen, too, of course) and can be refilled
from the big 20 lb. tank easily with a refill attachment found
online. Depending on use, mine last a few weeks before refilling. A
great way to go.

Jay Whaley