Torch for silver solder.

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terryd

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Interesting Jack. I didn't know they could quote "temperature" for combustion, as (in my un-educated stupidity) I thought the gas burned the Hydrogen in the first part of the reaction, then C + O = CO and finally CO + O2 to CO2 in the final stage of combustion. So in my mixed-up mind all hydrocarbon fuels are different calorific values but temperature is a product of how the gases mix and how fast each reaction occurs at each stage..?
Thanks Murph. I'm trying to get a UK supplier to supply the cup-washers I want. Fettle-box came back with "closed for a week". I'm cutting washers from my welding gauntlets at the moment - but the leather only lasts a few years compared to bought cup washers.
As I have inherited 5 paraffin blow-lamps, fuel is relatively cheap and easy to manage, and for my jobs the Propane and Petrol Blow-lamps are powerful and reliable and adequate heat sources, I'll not be trying any other fuels for a while. I did have a problem this last week trying to do a titchy little aluminium soldering job with Butane. So cold (below 3 degrees in my garage) that the butane canisters just failed to boil enough gas to feed the blow-lamp! But it was just enough to pre-heat the petrol blow-lamp which easily did the job (almost too much heat - high risk of melting the aluminium!).
Stay safe! - and warm.
K2
Hi Steamchick,

talking about gas freezing I have a couple of anecdotes. I used to crew a sailing boat on the Norfolk and Suffolk Broads/river complex for a friend who owned the boat, a lovely ex hire boat of the Leading Lady class of Herbert Woods, Potter Hiegham, 32 ft long, 12ft beam and 400 sq feet of bermuda rigged sail - but that's beside the point. We often went in the winter months when the wannabee sailor holiday crowd were sparse or non existant and huge flocks of starlings would entertain us with their sky dances (aka murmurations). the gas cooker in the galley was powered by Butane which often froze, as did the Broad itself, (as well as my sleeping bag which would get soaked by the evaporation dripping from the cabin roof overnight). To combat thfrozen gas, Dave - the boats owner - could only get a faint flame from the burner and would then place the cylinder on that flame until the gas started to boil and produce a decent pressure. Fair gave me a fright the first time he did it in the cramped galley but I got used to it eventually.

Another time some workmen were doing something in the village to do with footpaths and using one of those triple burner heads, again in winter and the propane froze due to the cold external temperature and the rate of evaporation of the gas with the high consumprtion burners. The outside of the bottle was white with frost at that stage. Their solution was to get hold of bbq charcoal and buit a fire on the verge on which to warm the cylinder and noncholantly carry on with their work. as for cold workshop I've only managed to stay out there for about 30 minutes at a time and had to retreat to the house for a defrost on several days recently🥶.

Stay safe, healthy and warm 🔥

TerryD
 

nealeb

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I remember a sailing trip with a bunch of us on board. For a good breakfast fry-up, we had three burners the butane stove cooking while the fourth boiled a kettle. When hot, I took it out to the gas locker and poured it over the butane bottle. Hose wasn't long enough to bring it into the cabin!

I'm inspired by other comments to date to find my old paraffin blowlamp - the idea of preheating with the propane torch makes sense and avoids a lot of messing about.
 
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Murph

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I'd worry less about acetylene tanks then butane or propane, acetylene tanks have a plug that melts at 100 deg C, venting the tank to avoid a explosion, can't say the same for propane or butane.

I remember one winter, it was so damn cold, my sister-in-law, the sparks apprentice, came in to borrow the acetylene torch to warm the oil pan on her service van to get it started!
 

terryd

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I'd worry less about acetylene tanks then butane or propane, acetylene tanks have a plug that melts at 100 deg C, venting the tank to avoid a explosion, can't say the same for propane or butane.

I remember one winter, it was so damn cold, my sister-in-law, the sparks apprentice, came in to borrow the acetylene torch to warm the oil pan on her service van to get it started!
Hi Murph,

That's a lot of gas to burn at a high temperature. In my garage fire, which the firefighters estimated a temperature at it's peak of 8 - 900°C (the main roof support beam, a 200 mm deep I beam joist, bent under the temperature) there were two Butane cylinders one 7kg Calor Gas and one 4kg Camping Gaz plus one 6kg propane, no tank exploded or released gas. I'm sure that the very professional firefighters understood the dangers involved, they obviously have a lot of experience of this kind of thing which I don't. I'm still not interested in buggering about with acetylene in a domestic environment. In most organisations in the UK Oxy acetylene bottles are stored in a seperate, attached and ventilated shed. There has to be a reason for that:

Quote:
"Acetylene has a wide flammability range in air and, being only slightly less dense than air, mixes very easily with it creating an explosive atmosphere.Therefore it is advisable to store these cylinders outside or in well ventilated areas, away from other flammable materials and sources of ignition" (Air products - "Safety in Fires"

I'd rather not mess about with that unstable stuff with all of it's hydrogen content. I had plenty of experience with the stuff over the last 58 years welding, bronze welding, Cutting steel plate up to 65mm thick and instructing in it's use and safety. But at home, no thanks - each to their own.

As for vehicles I remember, before diesel was de waxed, in deep winter lorry drivers often had to light fires under their Fuel tanks in order to heat the diesel and get it to flow. They would sit by the fire to warm themselves up. I remember my dad doing it quite regularly in the cold winters of the 1950s and early '60s. I'm not sure he would have used oxy acetylene as the flame is so concentrated.

garage7_5131704006_o.jpg
bowstring_beam.jpg

Stay safe and healthy,

TerryD
 

Richard Carlstedt

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My Brother-in-law had a Mobil Truck Repair Van with Oxy and Acetylene tanks and some
gasoline used for cleaning parts caught on fire . I arrived at the fire scene a few minutes later , just when the Fire department found out there was Oxy-Acetylene tanks in the van and they pulled back and let it burn -

There was NO explosion -Instead the tanks vented and I saw the biggest cutting torch I have ever seen . The entire truck was burning , but in the middle of the flames was a solid cone of yellow/blue flame that was 4 feet tall and 1 foot wide When the fire was out , the metal roof had a 2 foot diameter hole right where the tanks were . The tanks vented and made a cutting torch and cut the roof. The tanks were still chained to their supports

Rich
 

Steamchick

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Talking of heating stuff... My colleague used to have a haulage business... collecting bitumen from the refinery (Very hot!) and taking it to the road-mender who mixed it with hard-core for road surfacing. Apparently... One day a driver stopped en-route for a longer than scheduled time... (Maybe he had nice girlfriend?). And the Bitumen cooled and wouldn't tip out the back when he got to the delivery site. So he got a can of DERV and some rags and wood and lit a fire beneath the trailer to warm the bitumen and allow it to drain out of the back.... The Fire Brigade used 3 appliances to contain the fire to prevent the rest of the yard from going up in smoke. And 30tons of burning bitumen makes a lot of smoke! - There was nothing to be salvaged from the trailer except some scrap steel, and asbestos brake linings.
Take cars!
K2
 

Steamchick

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Incidentally perhaps? Maybe Regulations differ in various countries - after all we are all human and our governments decide what is appropriate and Enforceable... - so get the local Regulations from your GAS supplier, check with your Insurer, then do what the hell you think suits you...!! It's your life, belongings, family, hobby, etc. that can be destroyed if you get it wrong. Gas cylinders are all made and tested to meet regulations for SAFETY. - BUT don't rely on them - Look up BLEVE on the web, ask the fire-brigade, etc. and they will tell you that even "safe" cylinders can have faults - but you only find out when you need the "safety aspect" to work. Best not to go there in my HUMBLE opinion.
K2
 

goldstar31

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Could we start this discussion again, please?

The simple answer to the problem is that :=

THERE IS TOO MUCH HEAT
&
And in the WRONG place.
 

Steamchick

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Oh, and a tragic tale from my Brother-in-law. (Seems we all have family, friends, acquaintances, etc. who have known "fire" tragedies?).
Hi best mate built a long-boat for the canal. He used to go there sometimes - maybe monthly - to run the generator to charge the battery - warm the cabin with the heater - etc. But one day he was found dead (lights ON, no gas in the generator, Book in hand) because it had been especially cold and he had taken the generator into the cabin to help warm-it while he waited for the battery to charge. He had done it before, apparently, and had been warned of dangerous exhaust gases. He had died from CO poisoning from the generator exhaust. - Not a fire I hear you say, but controlled combustion.
Firemen will tell you CO inhalation is by far the commonest cause of "death by fire". Please take care and use a CO monitor and a WELL VENTILLATED SPACE when firing blow-torches, boilers, Jet burners, etc. - You may be surprised how often a CO alarm will sound if close to the "Blow-lamp job"... e,g, clipped to the top pocket of your boiler suit! (close to your mouth!).
Stay safe and keep writing!
K2
 
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terryd

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Oh, and a tragic tale from my Brother-in-law. (Seems we all have family, friends, acquaintances, etc. who have known "fire" tragedies?).
Hi best mate built a long-boat for the canal. He used to go there sometimes - maybe monthly - to run the generator to charge the battery - warm the cabin with the heater - etc. But one day he was found dead (lights ON, no gas in the generator, Book in hand) because it had been especially cold and he had taken the generator into the cabin to help warm-it while he waited for the battery to charge. He had done it before, apparently, and had been warned of dangerous exhaust gases. He had died from CO poisoning from the generator exhaust. - Not a fire I hear you say, but controlled combustion.
Firemen will tell you CO inhalation is by far the commonest cause of "death by fire". Please take care and use a CO monitor and a WELL VENTILLATED SPACE when firing blow-torches, boilers, Jet burners, etc. - You may be surprised how often a CO alarm will sound if close to the "Blow-lamp job"... e,g, clipped to the top pocket of your boiler suit! (close to your mouth!).
Stay safe and keep writing!
K2
Hi K2,

my heat treatment facility is at the front corner of my garage workshop, and for the reason you state I only ever use torches etc, no matter what the weather is when the double door is raised, if too windy I just put off the job until conditions are right.

Hi Norman,

With all due respect to your wisdom, rich experience and age which I envy by the way, I don't think that safety is ever off topic, and personally if I don't like a topic I don't follow it and read on elsewhere. Reading any topic/thread is not compulsory on any forum I have ever been on. I won't use capitals to shout out of courtesy for other readers.

My Brother-in-law had a Mobil Truck Repair Van with Oxy and Acetylene tanks and some
gasoline used for cleaning parts caught on fire . I arrived at the fire scene a few minutes later , just when the Fire department found out there was Oxy-Acetylene tanks in the van and they pulled back and let it burn -

There was NO explosion -Instead the tanks vented and I saw the biggest cutting torch I have ever seen . The entire truck was burning , but in the middle of the flames was a solid cone of yellow/blue flame that was 4 feet tall and 1 foot wide When the fire was out , the metal roof had a 2 foot diameter hole right where the tanks were . The tanks vented and made a cutting torch and cut the roof. The tanks were still chained to their supports

Rich
Hi Richard,

I take your point, In the confusion after my fire I was possible confused and misinterpreted what the firefighter was saying to me. I was understandably very emotional and confused at the time having lost all of my tools and machinery, my sailing dinghy, two classic Triumph sports cars and a lot of my life's work
not to mention a large amount of valuable materials which the insurance didn't cover fully. However he may also have been concerned that an acetylene cylinder, not properly secured in a domestic environment may fall over/get knocked over and the contents become unstable as is common with acetylene and who would want to deal with "the biggest cutting torch ever seen" in a fire.

Stay safe and healthy all,

TerryD
 

Steamchick

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Thanks for sharing that Terry. I'm sure we would all be quite distressed at that experience. We (irrational and emotional) Humans get all screwed-up about silly inanimate things when they are destroyed. I have had "pride and joy" motorcycles stolen - and the insurance money doesn't compensate. Maybe because the objects are a part of our personal history, so when we loose them we know we only have our (joyous) memories?
Anyway, we all read what we choose - for fun and to learn. Because we are human, curious, and "that's what we do".
K2
 

terryd

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Thanks for sharing that Terry. I'm sure we would all be quite distressed at that experience. We (irrational and emotional) Humans get all screwed-up about silly inanimate things when they are destroyed. I have had "pride and joy" motorcycles stolen - and the insurance money doesn't compensate. Maybe because the objects are a part of our personal history, so when we loose them we know we only have our (joyous) memories?
Anyway, we all read what we choose - for fun and to learn. Because we are human, curious, and "that's what we do".
K2
Hi K2,

As far as off topic goes. Threads such as this often if not always do that once the original poster's questions have been answered satisfactorily and fully, it keeps up what is often friendly and sometimes instructive conversations which would not necessarily happen elsewhere (not always just 'hot air' which some very frequent posters are guilty of and then accuse others). It's not as if this is an instructive project based thread such as the V8 Whittle engine, it was merely someone asking for advice which was freely given by many contributors and I hope has fulfilled his needs, any more could be as confusing as helpful.
And like you I'm always curious, exploring, discussing and experimenting. As you say, it's what we do and it's what distinguishes us from the rest of the animal kingdom.

Stay safe and healthy,

TerryD
 

Steamchick

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"Goodonya" mate. (sometimes I go so far off-thread I don't remember the original post!- thanks for keeping me "on track".).
K2
 

willray

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I'd rather not mess about with that unstable stuff with all of it's hydrogen content.

Just a technical note as an aside - it's not the hydrogen content of Acetylene that's the problem - it has fewer hydrogens, as well as fewer hydrogens per carbon, than any other (common? I can't think of any that would beat it) hydrocarbon. For acetylene it's that nasty Carbon triple bond, and that fact that if it breaks, there is absolutely nothing in the soup that it can hold hands with to make itself feel better, while it goes on a hunt for a friendly Oxygen.
 

Steamchick

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Clever stuff.
Acetylene is also "old fashioned" - Carbide - made by burning coal and chalk - is dry, and easily makes acetylene when wetted. - My Grandfather had some in a tin - for his old motorcycle lamps - and threw a piece on the wet grass, then dropped a lighted match and we watched it burn! - So learning from him I bought an old acetylene lamp, and use it for gas for an atmospheric gas engine... The nearest to the coal gas the engine was designed to use.
And a couple of my old paraffin blow-lamps were his - and still in use - just last week!
Nostalgia ain't what it used t' be!
K2
 

willray

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Acetylene is also "old fashioned" - Carbide - made by burning coal and chalk - is dry, and easily makes acetylene when wetted. - My Grandfather had some in a tin
If you were on our side of the pond, I'd drop a tin of carbide in post for you. I've still got 5 pounds or so from my caving days in a tin in the garage (ironically for today's discussion, it, and the Oxy/Acetylene tanks were in a different out-building when /our/ shop burned).
 

Steamchick

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Please don't drop it in the post - it may bring a new meaning to "hot-mail"! - Seriously, the rules for posting it are beyond the need to post it. My old tin will last my lifetime.
But thanks for the thought!
Maybe use it for lighting the barbecue? I.E. Sprinkle some carbide, sprinkle with water, light it and use more water to extinguish your beard, then add wood or charcoal for the barbecue....
K2
 

Canyonman

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Hi,
If you want to get into some new fangled stuff; My son taught this old dog some new tricks.
I use an HHO generator for Browns Gas or hydrogen oxygen gas (hence HHO) It runs on 12VDC - 24VDC at an amperage dependent on the size of your generator. I use a battery charger or if no "mains" a 24VDC battery (or two 12's depending on how you do it).
I use a jewelers' torch. It produces an extremely hot flame! Hot enough that it will cut metal if you are not paying attention! Temp can be lowered by adding an inert gas i.e. Nitrogen to vary the flame down to 1600 deg. F, with 5000 deg F as the top end (straight and under pressure.) My set-up runs around 2600 deg F. under the pressure of the generator itself.
Not a large "wash" flame, more like a pinpoint to pencil thickness type flame, of course depending on your tip. You can even get it down to a hypodermic needle for very fine work. I use it mostly for silver soldering front sights on M1911 .45's and revolvers. And trust me, any silver solder will flow! But I wholeheartedly agree, Flux is your friend.
Now before someone goes off on the "Bomb" theory; I use a one way valve between the generator and the "Bubbler" and another just after the "Bubbler", which acts as a flashback arrestor itself, into a flashback arrestor with another flashback arrestor at the torch handle; and I get razzed for having too much protection. But better to be safe than sorry. The only by-product you get is water.
This would require you to go around each tube rather than heat the whole thing. Which I would think would cause tempering or brittleness problems. But I admit I am ignorant in boiler making so I may be way off base.
This I guess would fall under a "works for me and my type of work" thing. But I thought I would throw it out there under a FWIW
 
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goldstar31

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I lived half a miles from a 'non-gassy coal mine, It was called the Catherine pit and was- before it was closed and before it was nationalised before that in 1947, it was part of the. Stella Coal Company and to bring things into reality it was a mile or so from Steamchick's family place on the banks of the river Tyne.
Being a 'non- gassy pit the workmen could use calcium carbide lamps which they knocked out the remaining contents after the end of a shift. We as little urchins collected the stuff/ I'll come back to that.<y father was the blacksmith/farrier at Greenside a mile away. My father had a carbide generator to use with the Oxygen bottles which were used in the construction of ;tubs; which were under ground little coal carriers and Dad would replace the boiler tubes in the 'Dilly' which pulled the coal in larger trucks and after screening. Dad used to lecture me on removing the weld impurities called 'Dottle' from the residue left in clay pipes. The mines locally were not gassy but the deputy overmen would do safty checks by taking canaries down with them . If the birds died
, then the miners would use either Davy Lamps or Geordie Lamopps named from the local lamp invented by George Stephenson, the inventor of locomotives like 'The Rocket' That is why people on Tyneside are called Geordies!

So back to the Catherine pit. We collected the suff in lemonade bottles and excited the gas by urinating in it and made cork guns. No body had any money- it was part of life.
 

packrat

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When I went to welding school back in early 1960s the trade school had a calcium carbide acetylene generator as we spent a lot of time learning how to gas weld
with the oxy-acetylene torch. glodatar31 we also would have some fun with the calcium carbide but we just used water.
 

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