My two cents worth on the torch gas issue. In my shop in Canada
I use both propane and oxygen (Meco torch, weldmaster casting
torch) and acetylene & oxygen (Little torch). Each torch has
it’s strong points.
Pentimento the shop I’m involved with in the Detroit area uses
the same with the addition of a natural gas & oxygen for the
Meco’s and a Hoke torch for melting platinum using propane &
oxygen. We use a manifold set up for many stations.
No.1 I would suggest that new jewellers take a welding one
class because there is to much to be covered well
even on this forum. The more you know the safer you are!
No.2 Maintain your equipment! Candy Glaze don’t panic but do go
and get your regulator look at by a good welding shop. A repair
is usually fraction of the cost of a new regulator.
If grandpa is giving you his weld set up replace the hoses and
look at them really well at least once a year.
It’s nice to check with soapy water when install the system but
you should also recheck your connections and make it monthly
(Benches get moved, hoses are moved constantly) habit to keep
ahead of leaks.
When buying regulators, try to buy the type with both line
pressure and tank pressure (capacity). This is extremely
important for acetylene because of it nature. Acetylene should
never exceed a line pressure of 15 psi, that why the red line on
the regulator. Anything above that and it becomes explosive at
the regulator. 5 psi is normal and safe.
How then you may ask can safely store large amount of the gas?
The tanks are filled with pith like substance which is saturated
with acetone which the acetylene is dissolve into safely. Which
bring up another problem with the gas. Never use the tanks
sitting on there side. The acetone leak into the regulator and
eats up the gaskets and hoses. If you must transport the tanks
on there side, let them stand upright for half a day before
opening the valve.
The big reason why propane needs to be handled with care! Yes
it’s heavy and pools on the ground and will explode if lit. But
this not the big reason.
“It’s because of the safety valve on barbecue tanks.” If you
have a tank filled in the winter when really cold. And the kid
slightly overfills the tank or just fully fills the tank. And
you then bring the tank into your nice warm building the content
expand. This exceeds the limit of the valve which then releases
the extra pressure. Which is when you hear the hissing noise and
turn off the tank and take outside to release about five pounds?
This is exciting!? Yes,No. We still bring the tanks inside the
shop though, but we do get the propane guys to slightly under
fill the tank in winter 17 1/2 lds. for a 20 lds. tank which they
happily charge us full rate for. As far as I’ve seen normal heat
around tanks has no effect like direct sunlight or really hot
summer days. No direct heat though.
Make sure to chain up all tank so they can’t be knocked over and
knocking off valves from oxygen tanks. I’ve heard they make
Again take a welding one course, this is only a fraction of
that you will use every day as jeweller.
P.S. Nice to see you Dick Caverly on Orchid.
Jim From Pentimento Fine Jewelers and Alpine Custom Jewellers
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