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Old 05-26-2010, 08:14 AM   #1
Kaleb
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Default Thinking about making an oxy-hydrogen system for use in the shop.

I have been told by some people at a welding course that an oxy-acetylene system is so much better for silver soldering than my air-LPG torch which I currently use for soldering and annealing copper, but oxy-acetylene is expensive! $300 for the equipment package, and an extra $250-300 for the yearly cylinder hire, and an extra $100-150 or so in gas levy per year to boot! I just can't afford such a system. So I thought, why not use hydrogen instead? I did some reasearch, and I found they use oxy-hydrogen for underwater welding, (It gets up to 2800 degrees celsius!) and I can easily generate both gases from water using electrolysis. Instead of pressurised cylinders, I intend to get the pressure needed in the torch by using a pair of electric pumps. The torch itself will be similar to a regular oxy-acetylene torch. I also intend to make a flame cutting torch at some point as well. I've attached a diagram of the electrolysis cell and torches I intend to make.

If the pictures look funny, just click to enlarge them.


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Old 05-26-2010, 08:45 AM   #2
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Default Re: Thinking about making an oxy-hydrogen system for use in the shop.

An ambitious undertaking Kaleb, tho' I suspect that the cost of electricity to generate useful amounts would cost as much, or more than the cost of conventional O/A. Then there is the heat loss you will have - Oxy/Acet generates, from memory, something like 3200C - a 400 loss.

You might be better looking at generating acetylene from calcium carbide - it must be still available as the banana growers ripen bananas with acetylene made in generators. Comes, I am led to believe, in 20kg drums.


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Old 05-26-2010, 11:49 AM   #3
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Default Re: Thinking about making an oxy-hydrogen system for use in the shop.

Its also possible to use propane and compressed air!

I use an airbrush-compressor (much too small actually) and a 5 kg propane bottle to solder. If i don't need much heat, i just use propane.

When soldering boilers or when i want to heat up very quickly, i open the air valve and then i have more heat. I have even made a new jet with a bigger bore for soldering with air.

Cheers Florian
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Old 05-26-2010, 02:01 PM   #4
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Default Re: Thinking about making an oxy-hydrogen system for use in the shop.

Jewelers have little electrolysis Oxy-Hydrogen setups for doing metals that oxidize poorly, but for some reason they're very expensive and have very small flames. I suspect you'll need a whole lot of H2 production to heat anything reasonably large.

Florian's setup looks interesting-- can you post some more details?
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Old 05-26-2010, 03:49 PM   #5
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Default Re: Thinking about making an oxy-hydrogen system for use in the shop.

A few years ago I got one of those portable Oxy/Ace units for work on my car. They are convenient because you own the tanks. The tanks are only 14" long, but hold a fair amount of gas. Works perfect for silver soldering with a small tip.

http://www.harborfreight.com/portabl...112&zmap=65818

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Old 05-26-2010, 06:09 PM   #6
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Default Re: Thinking about making an oxy-hydrogen system for use in the shop.

I've used oxy-hydrogen for underwater welding. I would not recommend its use for anything other than that, hydrogen is very touchy stuff if not treated kindly

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Old 05-26-2010, 10:59 PM   #7
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Default Re: Thinking about making an oxy-hydrogen system for use in the shop.

Quote:
Originally Posted by IronHorse
A few years ago I got one of those portable Oxy/Ace units for work on my car. They are convenient because you own the tanks. The tanks are only 14" long, but hold a fair amount of gas. Works perfect for silver soldering with a small tip.

http://www.harborfreight.com/portabl...112&zmap=65818

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That's just what I need, but I'm in Australia.
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Old 05-27-2010, 06:28 AM   #8
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Default Re: Thinking about making an oxy-hydrogen system for use in the shop.

Quote:
Originally Posted by shred
can you post some more details?
I can, but you will have to wait till evening (european time...)

It is actually just a small tube which adds some additional Air to the gas and the air drawn into by the gas. But i guess it could be optimized to draw in more Air... (when using an air jet and placing it on the outside to carry on some more air.

cheers Florian
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Old 05-27-2010, 08:05 AM   #9
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Default Re: Thinking about making an oxy-hydrogen system for use in the shop.

From here, http://answers.yahoo.com/question/in...7075209AAyR9sB, I gleaned that at 100% efficiency a 13.2kw power supply will separate water into H2 and O2 at the rate of 1000kg in 24 hours, or 700gm per minute.

A household 240v 10amp circuit provides 2.4kw, which from the above, will electrolize 130gm per minute. There are losses in the system of course, best practice is around 70% efficient, a home made system could be 50% efficient. Even so, at 50% efficiency you will be electrolizing 65gm of water per minute, which should be enough to do fair size silver solder jobs.

I imagine that the cost to build a safe electrolysis system that can absorb a 2.4kw power supply will outweigh the initial purchase cost of an OA system and a few years bottle rent. I'll leave you to work out the cost of your power consumption v buying OA gas.
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Old 05-27-2010, 08:19 AM   #10
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Default Re: Thinking about making an oxy-hydrogen system for use in the shop.

[youtube=425,350]<object width="480" height="385"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/-ceOL83PM24...</param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/-ceOL83PM24&hl=en_GB&fs=1&" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="480" height="385"></embed></object>[/youtube]

There are commercial systems about.


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