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Setting up a work area

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Author Topic: Setting up a work area  (Read 1660 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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« Reply #16 on: April 21, 2009, 10:41:22 pm »

Are there any reliable sources who have decent prices on a startup kit (all parts included, even tanks).
I realize that the tanks aren't shipped full.  no clue where to get that done, but I won't be getting the torch for a while yet anyway.

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« Reply #17 on: April 21, 2009, 10:43:50 pm »

I can only speak to using propane, but found a used tank at my local feed store. They also filled it.. Just a regular grill type tank..
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« Reply #18 on: April 22, 2009, 12:01:01 am »

Ive used this one for years with no problems.,8312.html       Except when I need to work on something bigger then a ring or pendant, like a copper bracelet.   Then I just head out to the plow truck and snatch my husbands torch that also screws onto a small propane tank. That one has a bushier flame like the one that George is using now, and that came from a hardware store.

Call me cheap, but they work for me, plus they don't take up much room. :)

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« Reply #19 on: April 22, 2009, 06:28:47 am »

When I first started the metalsmithing/silversmithing course in September I was astonished by how many hazards there were associated with the jewellery business.

Our teachers were very adamant about safety and the workshop.

I had already taken a few night school courses and that had never come up in conversation.

One of our teacher's father was a pathologist and said that jewellers' lungs were some of the worse he'd seen!

I didn't see it mentioned up above but one area in particular that I am very cautious about now is polishing.  I always wear a respirator.  Most polishing compound is very toxic!  I wear a full respirator at all times when I'm polishign. Its uncomfortable to wear but considering I'd like to maintain my health it's worth wearing!  I also have started wearing it when I trim my slabs as I use Pella Oil.  I've essentially incorporated it into my cabbing as well.

We were also highly encouraged to always wear a N95 mask for when we were at our bench sawing, filing.  I guess the silver particles aren't the best to inhale either.

Needless to say there are a lot of hazards associated with doing this type of work.  I find that being overly precautious is a bother but gives me some piece of mind as well.

I'm in the process of trying to figure out how to properly vent my studio for soldering and polishing so that I can contain some of the harmful fumes, vapours etc.  Not the easiest or cheapest thing to accomplish.  Right now I'm thinking about installing an oven vent above my soldering desk and have it vented outside.

Anyways, just thought I'd share what we were being taught.

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« Reply #20 on: April 22, 2009, 06:33:35 am »

Thanks Jenn,

Ya know I guess am a bit careless myself..

I don't and should use some type of mask when I am polishing, especially with the Zam.. I am overly cautious when working with Malachite. Always making sure it stays wet through the entire process..

I better go and look for a good mask...

This has come up several times and it really is an important issue..

I will take heed and purchase one !

Thanks for the reminder!  :)
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« Reply #21 on: April 22, 2009, 06:35:01 am »

Jenn - the oven vent is exactly what I've been thinking about as well.  Even picked on up on freecycle about a month ago.
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