Acetalyne tank ... check. Now what?

Acetalyne tank ... check. Now what?

Renegade_Azzy
Renegade_Azzy

January 2nd, 2012, 4:26 am #1

Fatehr in law found one in one of the houses he picked up (landlord) and gave it to me. Going to have it re-certed and filled / traded next week, or use it as a trade in on an argon mix tank.

But, what do I do with one? Do you have to use one with oxygen? Can I get away with just running it alone for preheating bits before welding them? No torches yet, not sure what to look for out there in the used market, and cant aford new.

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Irregular logic
Irregular logic

January 2nd, 2012, 5:23 am #2

To use an acetylene torch, you will need bottled oxygen to get the flame hot, otherwise you will just get a lazy flame that produces a lot of soot.

Torch sets will consist of a pair of regulators, a valve lance, and a set of tips will be availible for it (Cutting torch, brazing tip etc.) Just make sure the set you get is in decent shape and is servicable. Try to get a set that is newer, as parts will be easier to find and cheaper.

Chris
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Stumpy
Stumpy

January 2nd, 2012, 5:29 am #3

Fatehr in law found one in one of the houses he picked up (landlord) and gave it to me. Going to have it re-certed and filled / traded next week, or use it as a trade in on an argon mix tank.

But, what do I do with one? Do you have to use one with oxygen? Can I get away with just running it alone for preheating bits before welding them? No torches yet, not sure what to look for out there in the used market, and cant aford new.
It's not worth much without an oxygen tank. I doubt you could get the flame hot enough to do much without it using a regular oxy/acetelene torch tip. If they make tips that premix with air like a propane torch then it might be useful without oxygen but only for heating things up, you won't be able to cut steel with it.
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Bruce Bergman
Bruce Bergman

January 2nd, 2012, 5:49 am #4

Fatehr in law found one in one of the houses he picked up (landlord) and gave it to me. Going to have it re-certed and filled / traded next week, or use it as a trade in on an argon mix tank.

But, what do I do with one? Do you have to use one with oxygen? Can I get away with just running it alone for preheating bits before welding them? No torches yet, not sure what to look for out there in the used market, and cant aford new.
Depends on what size tank - if it's 6" diameter and about a foot tall with a "Y" shaped valve that's a "MC" size cylinder - originally mounted between the forks for the headlight on 1890 - 1920 Motor Cycles. If it's about 9" diameter and 2' tall it's most likely a "B" size Acetylene.

</i> * <i> * </i> *

CRITICAL SAFETY WARNINGS FOR ACETYLENE!! Please respond to acknowledge you read this.

DO NOT TRANSPORT THESE CYLINDERS INSIDE A CLOSED UP CAR, VAN, Motorhome or SUV, PERIOD. Any small leak and it goes BOOM! rather energetically at anything from 4% LEL to 98% UEL acetylene concentration in air - even static electricity is enough, it doesn't even need a decent excuse.

Explosimeter gas detectors will actually set off Acetylene inside the detection cell - you see the needle slowly rise as you suck in a sample with the aspirator bulb, then peg full and drop back to zero as it ignites - keep the flow up and the needle will flutter between zero and full... The saving grace is they put flame arrestors on the In and Out ports to keep that little flash contained.

If you have a passenger car as your only transportation, you MUST strap the tanks in an upright position in a crate in the trunk, and leave the trunk lid propped wide open, and leave all the car windows rolled down too. And even then, a lot of welding gas suppliers are going to give you the Hairy Eyeball if you drive up in a car, and will refuse to sell Acetylene to you till you either come back with a pickup truck, or insist they have their truck deliver it to your house/shop - or you can prove you fully understand what you are dealing with. Because it blows up in transit, and they can be held liable for selling it to you.

Half the explosions are when the driver smells the gas leaking in the car (smells faintly like almonds) and tries to roll down the Electric Windows, open the doors and the Dome Light switches close, or the automatic electric door locks or trunk release solenoid kicks in, and then you turn off the ignition key to stop the car - and any one of those, there's your spark source, inside the door or dashboard where the leaked gas stays in concentration for a while.

Go look online for wonderful pictures of cars and mini-vans peeled open like a grape...

DO NOT PARK IN THE SUN - GO STRAIGHT TO THE WELDING SUPPLY AND STRAIGHT BACK TO YOUR SHOP, then unload and get the cylinders in a cool storage spot, strapped or crated to protect against accidental knock-over.

The cylinders have a low-melting-point solder thermal fuse port on them (MC on the neck valve, sometimes it's on the bottom of B and larger cylinders) that dumps the contents at about 140F, parking them in a closed trunk or shell-covered truck bed in the sun is more than enough. Then you have a few gallons of Acetone with 10CF or 50CF of Acetylene dissolved in it dumped into the trunk, and it isn't a question of If it's gonna blow up but How Bad it blows up.

And very rarely the cylinder just goes unstable and Deflagrates - look it up. It just Blows Up on it's own occasionally for no good reason, or someone punts the cylinder off a loading dock and/or bangs something into it real hard.

It's Safe enough if you respect it and know how to treat it - A real can of Industrial Grade Whoop-Ass if you don't.

<i>
* </i> * <i> *

That said...

A full B-size acetylene tank is a handy thing to have in a home shop for cutting or heating, because Acetylene packs a lot of specific energy into a small package. For many decades the preferred plumbers torch was the Prestolite Air Acetylene rig, and now there are a few newer swirl-tip designs available from TurboTorch and Uniweld.

Air-Acetylene is good because it's easy to solder medium and even large plumbing pipe fittings, and it does get hot enough to braze up to about 7/8" OD Refrigeration AKA 3/4" ID nominal Plumbing. (1/2" ID Plumbing is 5/8" OD Refrigeration. Yeah, gets bad when you switch between the systems a lot...)

And you can go for many days on one Acetylene tank, rather than MAPP that can't handle the big 2" and over stuff easily and you go through 1-Lb. tanks faster - the only real advantage of MAPP is going into crawl spaces and attics.

The little MC size is good as an Oxy-Acetylene "Porta Tote" torch which is good for brazing larger line-sets and hauling it up onto roofs - Note that you'll also need a 20-CF or 50-CF Nitrogen (and a regulator) to purge the fittings while you braze them up, just a low flow to make sure the copper doesn't scale up on the inside.
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Bruce Bergman
Bruce Bergman

January 2nd, 2012, 5:53 am #5

It's not worth much without an oxygen tank. I doubt you could get the flame hot enough to do much without it using a regular oxy/acetelene torch tip. If they make tips that premix with air like a propane torch then it might be useful without oxygen but only for heating things up, you won't be able to cut steel with it.
Go read my big post, they've been using it for plumbing since the days you used an Acetylene Generator with Calcium Carbide and a water drip to make it as you need it. Think a really big Miners Lamp tank, with a hose to the torch. Or a hose to the acetylene headlights on a Brass Age automobile.
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Stumpy
Stumpy

January 2nd, 2012, 6:49 am #6

Depends on what size tank - if it's 6" diameter and about a foot tall with a "Y" shaped valve that's a "MC" size cylinder - originally mounted between the forks for the headlight on 1890 - 1920 Motor Cycles. If it's about 9" diameter and 2' tall it's most likely a "B" size Acetylene.

</i> * <i> * </i> *

CRITICAL SAFETY WARNINGS FOR ACETYLENE!! Please respond to acknowledge you read this.

DO NOT TRANSPORT THESE CYLINDERS INSIDE A CLOSED UP CAR, VAN, Motorhome or SUV, PERIOD. Any small leak and it goes BOOM! rather energetically at anything from 4% LEL to 98% UEL acetylene concentration in air - even static electricity is enough, it doesn't even need a decent excuse.

Explosimeter gas detectors will actually set off Acetylene inside the detection cell - you see the needle slowly rise as you suck in a sample with the aspirator bulb, then peg full and drop back to zero as it ignites - keep the flow up and the needle will flutter between zero and full... The saving grace is they put flame arrestors on the In and Out ports to keep that little flash contained.

If you have a passenger car as your only transportation, you MUST strap the tanks in an upright position in a crate in the trunk, and leave the trunk lid propped wide open, and leave all the car windows rolled down too. And even then, a lot of welding gas suppliers are going to give you the Hairy Eyeball if you drive up in a car, and will refuse to sell Acetylene to you till you either come back with a pickup truck, or insist they have their truck deliver it to your house/shop - or you can prove you fully understand what you are dealing with. Because it blows up in transit, and they can be held liable for selling it to you.

Half the explosions are when the driver smells the gas leaking in the car (smells faintly like almonds) and tries to roll down the Electric Windows, open the doors and the Dome Light switches close, or the automatic electric door locks or trunk release solenoid kicks in, and then you turn off the ignition key to stop the car - and any one of those, there's your spark source, inside the door or dashboard where the leaked gas stays in concentration for a while.

Go look online for wonderful pictures of cars and mini-vans peeled open like a grape...

DO NOT PARK IN THE SUN - GO STRAIGHT TO THE WELDING SUPPLY AND STRAIGHT BACK TO YOUR SHOP, then unload and get the cylinders in a cool storage spot, strapped or crated to protect against accidental knock-over.

The cylinders have a low-melting-point solder thermal fuse port on them (MC on the neck valve, sometimes it's on the bottom of B and larger cylinders) that dumps the contents at about 140F, parking them in a closed trunk or shell-covered truck bed in the sun is more than enough. Then you have a few gallons of Acetone with 10CF or 50CF of Acetylene dissolved in it dumped into the trunk, and it isn't a question of If it's gonna blow up but How Bad it blows up.

And very rarely the cylinder just goes unstable and Deflagrates - look it up. It just Blows Up on it's own occasionally for no good reason, or someone punts the cylinder off a loading dock and/or bangs something into it real hard.

It's Safe enough if you respect it and know how to treat it - A real can of Industrial Grade Whoop-Ass if you don't.

<i>
* </i> * <i> *

That said...

A full B-size acetylene tank is a handy thing to have in a home shop for cutting or heating, because Acetylene packs a lot of specific energy into a small package. For many decades the preferred plumbers torch was the Prestolite Air Acetylene rig, and now there are a few newer swirl-tip designs available from TurboTorch and Uniweld.

Air-Acetylene is good because it's easy to solder medium and even large plumbing pipe fittings, and it does get hot enough to braze up to about 7/8" OD Refrigeration AKA 3/4" ID nominal Plumbing. (1/2" ID Plumbing is 5/8" OD Refrigeration. Yeah, gets bad when you switch between the systems a lot...)

And you can go for many days on one Acetylene tank, rather than MAPP that can't handle the big 2" and over stuff easily and you go through 1-Lb. tanks faster - the only real advantage of MAPP is going into crawl spaces and attics.

The little MC size is good as an Oxy-Acetylene "Porta Tote" torch which is good for brazing larger line-sets and hauling it up onto roofs - Note that you'll also need a 20-CF or 50-CF Nitrogen (and a regulator) to purge the fittings while you braze them up, just a low flow to make sure the copper doesn't scale up on the inside.
That's very informative. As long as I have your ear is acetylene photosensitive in explosive concentrations? I ask because as a bit more foolish teen I would take those thick Welch's grape juice bottles and fill them with oxy\acetylene from the torch. A hole through the lid and a long piece of cannon fuze with some chewing gum as a gas seal worked well. :D It was the next thing to a real bomb and the biggest piece I ever found of the bottles was about two finger in length and width.
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Doc Nickel
Doc Nickel

January 2nd, 2012, 11:13 am #7

Depends on what size tank - if it's 6" diameter and about a foot tall with a "Y" shaped valve that's a "MC" size cylinder - originally mounted between the forks for the headlight on 1890 - 1920 Motor Cycles. If it's about 9" diameter and 2' tall it's most likely a "B" size Acetylene.

</i> * <i> * </i> *

CRITICAL SAFETY WARNINGS FOR ACETYLENE!! Please respond to acknowledge you read this.

DO NOT TRANSPORT THESE CYLINDERS INSIDE A CLOSED UP CAR, VAN, Motorhome or SUV, PERIOD. Any small leak and it goes BOOM! rather energetically at anything from 4% LEL to 98% UEL acetylene concentration in air - even static electricity is enough, it doesn't even need a decent excuse.

Explosimeter gas detectors will actually set off Acetylene inside the detection cell - you see the needle slowly rise as you suck in a sample with the aspirator bulb, then peg full and drop back to zero as it ignites - keep the flow up and the needle will flutter between zero and full... The saving grace is they put flame arrestors on the In and Out ports to keep that little flash contained.

If you have a passenger car as your only transportation, you MUST strap the tanks in an upright position in a crate in the trunk, and leave the trunk lid propped wide open, and leave all the car windows rolled down too. And even then, a lot of welding gas suppliers are going to give you the Hairy Eyeball if you drive up in a car, and will refuse to sell Acetylene to you till you either come back with a pickup truck, or insist they have their truck deliver it to your house/shop - or you can prove you fully understand what you are dealing with. Because it blows up in transit, and they can be held liable for selling it to you.

Half the explosions are when the driver smells the gas leaking in the car (smells faintly like almonds) and tries to roll down the Electric Windows, open the doors and the Dome Light switches close, or the automatic electric door locks or trunk release solenoid kicks in, and then you turn off the ignition key to stop the car - and any one of those, there's your spark source, inside the door or dashboard where the leaked gas stays in concentration for a while.

Go look online for wonderful pictures of cars and mini-vans peeled open like a grape...

DO NOT PARK IN THE SUN - GO STRAIGHT TO THE WELDING SUPPLY AND STRAIGHT BACK TO YOUR SHOP, then unload and get the cylinders in a cool storage spot, strapped or crated to protect against accidental knock-over.

The cylinders have a low-melting-point solder thermal fuse port on them (MC on the neck valve, sometimes it's on the bottom of B and larger cylinders) that dumps the contents at about 140F, parking them in a closed trunk or shell-covered truck bed in the sun is more than enough. Then you have a few gallons of Acetone with 10CF or 50CF of Acetylene dissolved in it dumped into the trunk, and it isn't a question of If it's gonna blow up but How Bad it blows up.

And very rarely the cylinder just goes unstable and Deflagrates - look it up. It just Blows Up on it's own occasionally for no good reason, or someone punts the cylinder off a loading dock and/or bangs something into it real hard.

It's Safe enough if you respect it and know how to treat it - A real can of Industrial Grade Whoop-Ass if you don't.

<i>
* </i> * <i> *

That said...

A full B-size acetylene tank is a handy thing to have in a home shop for cutting or heating, because Acetylene packs a lot of specific energy into a small package. For many decades the preferred plumbers torch was the Prestolite Air Acetylene rig, and now there are a few newer swirl-tip designs available from TurboTorch and Uniweld.

Air-Acetylene is good because it's easy to solder medium and even large plumbing pipe fittings, and it does get hot enough to braze up to about 7/8" OD Refrigeration AKA 3/4" ID nominal Plumbing. (1/2" ID Plumbing is 5/8" OD Refrigeration. Yeah, gets bad when you switch between the systems a lot...)

And you can go for many days on one Acetylene tank, rather than MAPP that can't handle the big 2" and over stuff easily and you go through 1-Lb. tanks faster - the only real advantage of MAPP is going into crawl spaces and attics.

The little MC size is good as an Oxy-Acetylene "Porta Tote" torch which is good for brazing larger line-sets and hauling it up onto roofs - Note that you'll also need a 20-CF or 50-CF Nitrogen (and a regulator) to purge the fittings while you braze them up, just a low flow to make sure the copper doesn't scale up on the inside.
For those of you daunted by the wall o' text, the important part is the explosive concentrations.

As Bruce noted, acetylene can ignite- that is, either combust or outright explode- at any concentration from 4% on up to 98%.

That means virtually any amount in the air can catch fire, and higher concentrations can explode.

When the gas retailer says not to carry it home in your trunk, don't. Even a slight leak can produce enough gas to ignite with the slightest spark- whether it's static electricity, or a trunk-light contact. (And yes, virtually any contact or switch in a car that carries 12V makes a spark- even just a small one- every time it's used.

Google "acetylene explosion" and you'll see plenty of examples of the carnage. Be careful with it, and handle it properly.

Doc.
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Renegade_Azzy
Renegade_Azzy

January 2nd, 2012, 5:16 pm #8

Reading this a few weeks back was enough to tell me to treat it with upmost respect. Heck, I dont even want the tank in my house at the moment, its living in the shed, no electrical bits there past the motorcycles that have no batteries at the moment.

http://hooniverse.com/2011/12/05/last-c ... y-edition/
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Renegade_Azzy
Renegade_Azzy

January 2nd, 2012, 5:23 pm #9

Depends on what size tank - if it's 6" diameter and about a foot tall with a "Y" shaped valve that's a "MC" size cylinder - originally mounted between the forks for the headlight on 1890 - 1920 Motor Cycles. If it's about 9" diameter and 2' tall it's most likely a "B" size Acetylene.

</i> * <i> * </i> *

CRITICAL SAFETY WARNINGS FOR ACETYLENE!! Please respond to acknowledge you read this.

DO NOT TRANSPORT THESE CYLINDERS INSIDE A CLOSED UP CAR, VAN, Motorhome or SUV, PERIOD. Any small leak and it goes BOOM! rather energetically at anything from 4% LEL to 98% UEL acetylene concentration in air - even static electricity is enough, it doesn't even need a decent excuse.

Explosimeter gas detectors will actually set off Acetylene inside the detection cell - you see the needle slowly rise as you suck in a sample with the aspirator bulb, then peg full and drop back to zero as it ignites - keep the flow up and the needle will flutter between zero and full... The saving grace is they put flame arrestors on the In and Out ports to keep that little flash contained.

If you have a passenger car as your only transportation, you MUST strap the tanks in an upright position in a crate in the trunk, and leave the trunk lid propped wide open, and leave all the car windows rolled down too. And even then, a lot of welding gas suppliers are going to give you the Hairy Eyeball if you drive up in a car, and will refuse to sell Acetylene to you till you either come back with a pickup truck, or insist they have their truck deliver it to your house/shop - or you can prove you fully understand what you are dealing with. Because it blows up in transit, and they can be held liable for selling it to you.

Half the explosions are when the driver smells the gas leaking in the car (smells faintly like almonds) and tries to roll down the Electric Windows, open the doors and the Dome Light switches close, or the automatic electric door locks or trunk release solenoid kicks in, and then you turn off the ignition key to stop the car - and any one of those, there's your spark source, inside the door or dashboard where the leaked gas stays in concentration for a while.

Go look online for wonderful pictures of cars and mini-vans peeled open like a grape...

DO NOT PARK IN THE SUN - GO STRAIGHT TO THE WELDING SUPPLY AND STRAIGHT BACK TO YOUR SHOP, then unload and get the cylinders in a cool storage spot, strapped or crated to protect against accidental knock-over.

The cylinders have a low-melting-point solder thermal fuse port on them (MC on the neck valve, sometimes it's on the bottom of B and larger cylinders) that dumps the contents at about 140F, parking them in a closed trunk or shell-covered truck bed in the sun is more than enough. Then you have a few gallons of Acetone with 10CF or 50CF of Acetylene dissolved in it dumped into the trunk, and it isn't a question of If it's gonna blow up but How Bad it blows up.

And very rarely the cylinder just goes unstable and Deflagrates - look it up. It just Blows Up on it's own occasionally for no good reason, or someone punts the cylinder off a loading dock and/or bangs something into it real hard.

It's Safe enough if you respect it and know how to treat it - A real can of Industrial Grade Whoop-Ass if you don't.

<i>
* </i> * <i> *

That said...

A full B-size acetylene tank is a handy thing to have in a home shop for cutting or heating, because Acetylene packs a lot of specific energy into a small package. For many decades the preferred plumbers torch was the Prestolite Air Acetylene rig, and now there are a few newer swirl-tip designs available from TurboTorch and Uniweld.

Air-Acetylene is good because it's easy to solder medium and even large plumbing pipe fittings, and it does get hot enough to braze up to about 7/8" OD Refrigeration AKA 3/4" ID nominal Plumbing. (1/2" ID Plumbing is 5/8" OD Refrigeration. Yeah, gets bad when you switch between the systems a lot...)

And you can go for many days on one Acetylene tank, rather than MAPP that can't handle the big 2" and over stuff easily and you go through 1-Lb. tanks faster - the only real advantage of MAPP is going into crawl spaces and attics.

The little MC size is good as an Oxy-Acetylene "Porta Tote" torch which is good for brazing larger line-sets and hauling it up onto roofs - Note that you'll also need a 20-CF or 50-CF Nitrogen (and a regulator) to purge the fittings while you braze them up, just a low flow to make sure the copper doesn't scale up on the inside.
Acetylene headlights? Cool... or hot... either way, damn interesting. This tank isnt one of those.





Its damn heavy, and i have made sure to store it upright. Currently living out in the shed, no known ignition sources out there.

So is there any safe way to transport this thing in my Cherokee in the winter? I could strap it upright with no problem. Would have to work out some way of making sure the valve cant be knocked around though.

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GladMech
GladMech

January 3rd, 2012, 3:37 am #10

That's very informative. As long as I have your ear is acetylene photosensitive in explosive concentrations? I ask because as a bit more foolish teen I would take those thick Welch's grape juice bottles and fill them with oxy\acetylene from the torch. A hole through the lid and a long piece of cannon fuze with some chewing gum as a gas seal worked well. :D It was the next thing to a real bomb and the biggest piece I ever found of the bottles was about two finger in length and width.
Is that where you got your nickname? ;-) N/T
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