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Tips, Techniques, and Questions -- Technical questions or tips

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  #1  
Old 2016-12-26, 12:53pm
CKnapp CKnapp is offline
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Default Prop Vs. Nat Gas

Hello everyone,

I am transitioning from a Hot Head to a Mega Minor torch by Nortel, and have a few questions/concerns about Propane Vs. Natural Gas.

I found a 100lb propane tank from a local supplier but am worried about having that size tank in my garage studio.(along with a 200lb O2 tank) Or even outside is a little worrisome,this is residential in CA. Also its pricey, but I would like to have the extra fuel and not have to worry about running low in the middle of a project. Does anyone use that size tank? OR my house does run on Natural Gas and I could have someone come and run another line to my studio, However; I have never worked with Natural gas and glass, will I have the same outcome? I have seen some threads on here before but cant seem to find them now. Also I would think it would be cheaper to use Natural gas than Propane? And are there any laws or restrictions in CA on having that size tank in my studio or near the house?



Any advise is appreciated!
Thank You
-Chris

Last edited by CKnapp; 2016-12-26 at 12:57pm.
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  #2  
Old 2016-12-26, 1:15pm
dusty dusty is offline
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Nortel torches are supposed to run well on household-pressure natural gas. Other torches will run on natural gas, but most of them need a higher pressure than the typical household has. Natural gas is almost always cheaper than propane, and it's considered safer because it is lighter than air and dissipates better than propane, which can pool dangerously. NG burns a little cooler and a little cleaner, but is pretty comparable otherwise.

Typically, most insurance won't allow any propane tank over 2 lbs indoors, and there are laws or insurance regulations about how you have to pipe it inside and what pressures you can run.
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  #3  
Old 2016-12-26, 1:22pm
CKnapp CKnapp is offline
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Thank you for your advise!
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  #4  
Old 2016-12-26, 3:35pm
snoopdog6502 snoopdog6502 is offline
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Natural gas is wonderful and super simple to add a stub and valve.


Here is a video of a National3A on natural gas.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lBjocpE-FxE

A Bethlehem Alpha.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x7uBTg5Zd04

The gas is easy to hook up, you just find the dirt trap in the line and add to it from there with a new dirt trap.

I think its worth doing for any of the 6-7 jet torches. It will not run a GTT Lynx though.
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  #5  
Old 2016-12-26, 6:37pm
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echeveria echeveria is offline
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I don't like a Mega Minor on household pressure. I think it needs a booster. The studio where I have used that setup has 16 torches manifolded together, so that might be part of the problem, but I feel like I am watching grass grow trying to melt anything.

And, I have a harder time reading the gas chemistry.
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  #6  
Old 2016-12-26, 9:51pm
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Your torch type and the size of the work you do are going to be the major factors here.

Yes natural gas does burn a little cooler than propane but unless you are working 3 inch marbles or working Boro into large pipes or other toys you may not ever notice the difference.

There are going to be zoning laws about propane tanks and getting them refilled.
Some communities just flat out wont allow them. They usually don't allow tanked oxygen either.

Your city building inspector will know.

Mainly your torch will make up your mind for you.

If you can go with natural gas I suggest it.

You can always change to propane later should you decide that you need the extra oomph.

Lots of people wind up with both.

Natural gas for the day to day stuff and propane for raging the torch and getting sun burned by the radiant heat.
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Last edited by Speedslug; 2016-12-26 at 9:55pm.
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  #7  
Old 2016-12-27, 5:39pm
CKnapp CKnapp is offline
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Thank you for your reply,

according to the County where I live, I do not have any regulations on what size tank I can have, so I am thinking about just going propane. I am not planning on doing large marbles, but am starting to work with boro will NG be hot enough for the boro if I decide to go that route?
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Old 2016-12-27, 6:37pm
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I think NG will be hot enough but I don't think you will be able to get any sizeable volume (size) to your flame on NG.

House hold pressures are pretty much limited to some 1 or 2 psi and bigger torches like more pressures. Getting larger volume of gas entails either an expensive compressor kind of thing or a bigger diameter pipe run to the house, also spendy.

That said, I can melt half inch boro rod on my Cricket on HHNG. But it does take a while.

The tanked oxygen is also going to make a difference in your flame heat because oxycons run at a purity of 94 to 96 % and tanked runs right at 98 to 99 % and I am told you can tell in the way the fame heats.
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Last edited by Speedslug; 2016-12-27 at 6:41pm.
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  #9  
Old 2016-12-27, 6:46pm
Ladypainter Ladypainter is offline
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Slight tangent on the Natural Gas vs Propane....

How much of a difference do the fuel types make to when Reducing with Silvered Glass (such as Double Helix, etc.)
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  #10  
Old 2016-12-27, 6:58pm
CKnapp CKnapp is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Speedslug View Post
I think NG will be hot enough but I don't think you will be able to get any sizeable volume (size) to your flame on NG.

House hold pressures are pretty much limited to some 1 or 2 psi and bigger torches like more pressures. Getting larger volume of gas entails either an expensive compressor kind of thing or a bigger diameter pipe run to the house, also spendy.

That said, I can melt half inch boro rod on my Cricket on HHNG. But it does take a while.

The tanked oxygen is also going to make a difference in your flame heat because oxycons run at a purity of 94 to 96 % and tanked runs right at 98 to 99 % and I am told you can tell in the way the fame heats.
Either way if I go NG or Prop I will have on 02 tank I am trying to go as cheap as possible. I know the prop tank I would be getting is pricey, but I think the higher pressure is what I am looking for.
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Old 2016-12-28, 6:22am
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echeveria echeveria is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ladypainter View Post
Slight tangent on the Natural Gas vs Propane....

How much of a difference do the fuel types make to when Reducing with Silvered Glass (such as Double Helix, etc.)
I have trouble reading the flame chemistry because it looks different, but it can be done just fine.
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  #12  
Old 2016-12-28, 2:20pm
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I am not good at reading flame chemistry either.

I think it is like heat control though; it's one of those things where you have to tweak the knobs a thousand times to learn what it will do and how it will work with the batch of silver glass you have in hand.

But the basic chemistry is the same with all burning fuels; less oxygen causes the glass to give reducing characteristics and more oxygen will burn them off.
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Old 2016-12-28, 9:22pm
snoopdog6502 snoopdog6502 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CKnapp View Post
Either way if I go NG or Prop I will have on 02 tank I am trying to go as cheap as possible. I know the prop tank I would be getting is pricey, but I think the higher pressure is what I am looking for.
I run a GTT Mirage on 4 oxygen concentrators, almost 2 years since I bought oxygen. I have a compressor system I can use if I want to run 2 torches.

Propane and oxygen concentrators is very cheap long run.

Here is a video of my Mirage. I have videos of several torches on Oxygen concentrators.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ScW-GnlMdWM

When I build a shed for my glass I will have natural gas plumbed in at a higher pressure, no problem. Then I will run my big torches on natural gas.
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  #14  
Old 2016-12-30, 8:23am
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artwhim artwhim is offline
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HHNG does work well on GTT torches that are intended for NG, like the Cricket or the Scorpion. The Cricket is actually the center fire of the Scorpion. Boro depends on what kind of boro work you want to do and how much oxygen you feed it. I would not feel comfortable with anything less than a M-15. For the marbles, pendants and other stuff I do it is brilliant. Glass bong makers would be sorely disappointed. The Lynx will not work without a booster. I used to run a Bethlehem Betta and liked it too. I upgraded to do larger boro work.

When I had the gas line added, I also had them add a hardline from outside for propane. I was worried I would still need to use propane for certain things. After the first tank, I've never refilled. I work solely on NG unless it's a demo away from home.

I love the convienence!
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