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Setting up a work area

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Author Topic: Setting up a work area  (Read 2119 times)
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« Reply #15 on: April 21, 2009, 10:24:12 pm »

Acetylene is a rather safe gas to be using for your torch. One drawback is that it has a dirty black soot when you first light the torch. If you practice lighting the torch with the Oxygen valve very slightly open as you light the flame it will significantly reduce the soot.
There are horror stories bandied about on the internet but they are mostly undocumented scare stories. One such story says that if you bump the tank slightly it will explode or if it gets slightly overheated it will explode.. This totally false. When I was a kid I saw welding gas delivery trucks with many Acetylene tanks half as big as an adult bouncing down very rough roads in 100 deg plus heat and none of them ever exploded!
Acetylene is an unstable gas though. In order to store it in a cylinder the tank must have a porous material that is saturated with acetone to keep the gas stable. There are two precautions when dealing with Acetylene cylinders. 1. Always store and use them in an upright position. If the tank has been on its side you must position it upright and leave it that way for a few hours before using it. This is to keep the Acetone from coming out at the same time as the Acetylene. 2. Never turn the regulator for the torch up beyond the 15 psi mark. All of the Acetylene gages are marked with a red zone above the 15 psi mark. If you exceed the 15 psi pressure there is a possibility that the velocity of the Acetylene will be so high that it drags the Acetone out with it.
I set my Acetylene regulator at 5 psi and this adequate for nearly all of the normal activities that you will do.
Trivia: The most common sizes for home jewelry making Acetylene tanks are the "MC" or the "B" tanks. In the early days of automobiles the headlights utilized Acetylene to provide the light. "MC" stands for motor car size and "B" stands for the bus size.
Sorry for rambling.
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