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chendrick

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Posts: 7
Reply with quote  #1 
Ok! I love my Spartan torch and will always keep my HotHead handy for specialty glass and other projects. But I was using lots of air, really lots and lots of air. I was filling up my tank up to 3 times a week. We checked for leaks and noticed the check valve on the oxygen was making noise and the one on propane was silent. So we removed the check valve on the oxygen and did notice a slight savings in air. But I was tiring of going to the welding store 3 times a week and the 200 tank is for sale at $384.00 and it's rather heavy so I started searching for an oxygen concentrator. After searching for a month or so, I found and amazing deal on craigslist for an Invacare 5 lpm with only 227 hours on it. So I bought it!  I understand I don't need the regulator with the oxycon and that's cool as I will keep it on the tank setup. Now how do I connect it to my torch? Do I have to do anything other than turn it on to make it work when I figure out the connection issue? Does anyone have any recommendations for me on use and maintenance on it that I can do. Any info would be appreciated! Thanks!
Cheryl

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[image]Cheryl Hendrick [comp]

Daniel

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Posts: 94
Reply with quote  #2 
Hi Cheryl, thanks very much for the post. Firstly, on the oxygen use from the tank, the check valve doesn't affect oxygen consumption. If anything it would restrict it some, but not enough to be an issue. The noise you may hear is simply the oxygen rushing by the valve inside that is constantly kept under pressure by a spring. This is unimportant. The amount of oxygen you were going through is alarming though. 

I'm not sure exactly the size tank you mean, but say about a 4 foot tall tank should cost you about $30 to fill, and last quite some time. Average bead work should last about a month or so. If your tank was quite a bit smaller, that may have been the issue. Larger tanks are much cheaper to fill also per cf of oxygen. A tank a third the size could still cost you $20 to $25.

You are right though, the larger tanks are a bear to move around.  

If you're paying more than this for oxygen, shop around. Some of the name brand welding shops charge exorbitant fees for oxygen, while mom and pop shops are usually more reasonable. Go figure. 

But the amount of oxygen you were going through could be due to the settings on your torch itself. You may have the oxygen valve open too far. A neutral flame is best for most lampworking projects. You should see at least two good layers of different blue colors in the flame, with just a bit of yellow. If you are seeing predominantly blue, and genreally only one shade, you probably have your oxygen valve open too much. Most of the oxygen is going to waste. 

I know you now have an oxygen generator. So the info above concerning tanks may no longer be of importance. But I figured I'd post it for others who may be in the same boat.

As far as the connections for an oxygen generator (concentrator), you won't need the regulator or flashback arrestor on the oxygen hose. You will still need them on the propane. You may need to find a fitting that will adapt your hose directly to the generator, if the fittings don't match up. The other end of the hose would connect to the torch normally with or without the check valve. 

One concern I have is the size of the generator you purchased. 5 lpm is generally not enough oxygen to perform most aspects of lampworking, regardless of the torch. Many torch companies tell you it is, for whatever reason, but in my experience, it rarely is. Some people do get by with 5 lpm. But those are the key words: "get by." I like to equate it to the size of your car engine. A 4 cylinder engine is ok, and you can get by. But if you need to haul something heavy, or pull out to pass a semi, you may run out of power. This is the same with a 5 lpm concentrator. A lot of people who purchase a 5 end up purchasing another 5 later to add to it. 10 lpm is really what you'll need to do most lampwork. Boro work requires more. 

I know this is not what you want to hear. But I figured I'd better give you a heads-up before you find out for yourself, thinking there may be something wrong with the concentrator.

Best of luck.   

 

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dingdong

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Posts: 5
Reply with quote  #3 

This post is great! Just what I need to get my head around [smile]
I've just brought a Spartan (which I absolutely love!) but went through my oxy tank in two days. It was a small tank, just bigger than 2 feet high. I figured I needed to get a larger tank but also understand I may not have my flame right.
Oxy in New Zealand is expensive. The small tank cost's $55 a refill, so I've gone to the wholesale supplier rather than a Welding shop in regards to a larger tank. The larger size is $60 to refill but its approx 5 feet.

From reading your post Daniel, I think I had my flame with only one shade blue. Bushy at the very tip. Would you have a visual what the flame should look like? I've seen this one below, but is it relevant to the Spartan? 

thanks in advance

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Lakesuperior

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Posts: 1
Reply with quote  #4 
I'd like to save this picture showing how the flame should look, please. I'm just starting out and this will help me. I can't seem to save it any way so can someone help me? Thanks.
dingdong

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Posts: 5
Reply with quote  #5 
I have this image on the wall, definitely helps [smile]
The image is from The Glass Artist's Studio Handbook by Cecilia Cohen but it can also be found on pinterest here: http://pin.it/o1rrUUc.
Daniel

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Posts: 94
Reply with quote  #6 
If you haven't been able to find and save it yet, please click on the picture in this forum. A picture popup should open. Right click on the popup picture. Choose save and save it to your computer. Looks like a small picture though. You may be able to increase the size if you have some editing software once you save it to your computer. 
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Daniel
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