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Old 12-04-2014, 10:53 AM
David Balkon David Balkon is offline
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Lampworking set up advice needed

My wife just went to a one day class on lamp working and wants to play with that hobby at home. Is there a beginner set up with torch and hoses and gauges that someone is pleased with and would recommend?.


I was going to find a used oxygen tank on craigslist.

At my home, I have a separate 30' x 40' pole barn, that I run a 50# electric crucible kiln, and a propane fueled glory hole. Is there any danger of storing and using the oxygen in the same building as the glory hole/ kiln?

Thanks

Dave
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Old 12-04-2014, 11:35 AM
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Pete VanderLaan Pete VanderLaan is offline
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Don't buy an oxygen bottle. Find out who your nearest welding supplier is and lease the bottle from them, or shop around if you have more than one supply. In leasing, you just exchange the bottle when it's empty. Get the largest bottle they have. You go through O2 really fast. Most serious lampworkers I know have three or more big bottles. While you may start out small, you'll be amazed at how fst the oxygen is gone. Not so for the propane. A 20 lb bottle will really last quite a while. Be forewarned: If you own your bottle, you can't exchange it. It gets sent off to fill and that takes time.

As to danger with the oxygen. If it gets involved in a fire, you already have way worse problems. Propane bottles are far worse from a fire department point of view.

Go to Wale Apparatus on the net. Look things over. They do sell combo fuel and O2 regulators and hoses and torches. I would start small and see if the interest is sustained. If it is, you can go larger. Big torches use a lot of fuel and are a serious expense. Get protective glasses while you're at it. Wale is a good general source and they can be very helpful. They also sell borosilicate rod and tubing.

If you really get serious, you may want to look at getting an O2 generator but that's some ways down the road.
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Old 12-04-2014, 01:56 PM
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Ted Trower Ted Trower is offline
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options

If you can find a gently used medical oxygen concentrator or two they work beautifully for small torches like the Minor or Lynx. I started with a Mini-cc and it ran well on a single concentrator but was much happier on two concentrators in parallel.

Take a look at the folowing Facebook pages to pick up a used torch at a fair price.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/glasstools4sale/

https://www.facebook.com/groups/153007134823614/
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Old 12-04-2014, 03:27 PM
Michael Ahlefeldt-Laurvig Michael Ahlefeldt-Laurvig is offline
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When I just started out a sales rep from the national very big gas/oxogen company visited me - he gave me two beautiful surface mix hand held burners, a small one and a bigger one,
Oxy/propane… they cost about 1000 bucks to buy. “Take these see if you like them”, he said. Wtf.
I really liked them and Ive spent so much money on their oxygen since then… he knew what he was doing :-)

Btw , in this country they sell a oxygen version with a smell tracer in it- smells like rotten eggs- it costs slightly more but its really worth it if you have that available. Not so much for the fire hazard of a leak but just the cost of loosing the gas makes it worth while. You know when you have a leak.
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Old 12-04-2014, 04:37 PM
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Pete VanderLaan Pete VanderLaan is offline
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Michael's point is that you are about to find out that O2 is really pretty expensive. I think Ted's points are excellent and I would consider ebay as well. A one day workshop is a great place to prepare to park a fair amount of money for a long time.

I find that while I'm not a lamp worker. having a simple set up in the studio is incredibly handy for me.
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Old 12-04-2014, 05:34 PM
Michael Ahlefeldt-Laurvig Michael Ahlefeldt-Laurvig is offline
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The burners are great- you can pick a 1/8" bubble out of the side a say a finished damn near cold large vase and get away with it, I think the temp is something like 3000C max, so you have to be a bit careful.
But yes the burners use a lot of O2 and they sure paid for themselves in the long run, probably like thirtyfold for the company that gave me burners
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