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  #1  
Old 2015-11-12, 10:54am
missp_32 missp_32 is offline
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Default Setup Questions - Switch from NG to Propane

This is a cross-post. (Guess I'm impatient. Not getting any responses over in the other thread).

Hi. I've been torching for 10+ years on NG. I recently purchased a (hard to find) copy of Torchworked Marbles by Drew Fritts. On page 39 he has a chart showing the different heat output for different gases. Here's a quote (edited to only include the gases that I'm concerned with).



It's so interesting to me that the actual flame temperature is relative close between the 2 gases, but throw in the primary/secondary flame feature and it's a whole new ballgame!

I've got a GTT Scorpion and 2 Regalia's and currently run on NG. This setup is plenty of power for soft glass, but this chart has me wondering if I should at least TRY Propane and see if I'm able to pull colors out of boro.

If I do go that route, would this kit http://www.ebay.com/itm/Devardi-Glas...item338fa24076 (plus a BBQ tank) be a safe setup? I wouldn't need the oxygen Regulator or the Flashback Arrestor for the oxygen side though.

Also, my Scorpion came with the 4 studs already tied together. I'd like to leave it that way, but is it safe to start running propane through hoses that have run NG for probably 5+ years?

Lastly, economically speaking, would it be worth quick connects on the gas lines (propane vs NG)? I don't need the power of Propane for soft glass. Is it worth switching back and forth? Does it hurt the hoses attached to the torch to switch back and forth?

Any better suggestions as to where to purchase what I'd need to get this set up?

Thank you for any and all input!
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Old 2015-11-12, 10:59am
LarryC LarryC is offline
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What does your oxygen supply consist of? If your on concentrators, you will get more improvement by switching to compressed tanks.
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Old 2015-11-12, 11:05am
missp_32 missp_32 is offline
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Thanks Larry. I've got 2 Regalia's. I do not want to change that situation. I'm too old to be hauling tanks around LOL! I'm willing to spend a hundred or two to test and see if switching to propane will make a difference. I always thought it wouldn't until I saw that chart in the book.

But I know nothing about setting up propane. Do you think that bundle I linked to looks sufficient and safe?

Thanks!
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Old 2015-11-12, 12:55pm
LarryC LarryC is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by missp_32 View Post
Thanks Larry. I've got 2 Regalia's. I do not want to change that situation. I'm too old to be hauling tanks around LOL! I'm willing to spend a hundred or two to test and see if switching to propane will make a difference. I always thought it wouldn't until I saw that chart in the book.

But I know nothing about setting up propane. Do you think that bundle I linked to looks sufficient and safe?

Thanks!
I am not a fan of devardis products. For safety equipment I order from artcoinc.com.
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Old 2015-11-12, 1:16pm
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This is what I have. http://www.mountainglass.com/Fuel-Ga...l#.VkTzdHarSUk
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Old 2015-11-12, 1:18pm
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Just remember to keep your propane bottle outside somehow. I use quick connects on mine. If you use propane your set up will be identical to mine. You should be able to work boro with no trouble. I can't make huge things, but I don't want to. Too hard on my wrists.
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Old 2015-11-12, 1:24pm
missp_32 missp_32 is offline
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OK. Thanks Larry and Mary!
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Old 2015-11-12, 3:11pm
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Quote:
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OK. Thanks Larry and Mary!
Please let us know how it turns out.
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Old 2015-11-12, 7:23pm
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Also remember that unburned propane sinks and unburned natural gas rises in air.
That can be one of the things that get overlooked when you are shifting from one to another and can create an unrecognized hazard.


I was just this morning listening to a youtube channel called Torch Talk and they had a woman from Bethlehem Burners talking about a new torch the have.

She mentioned that natural gas needs 2 parts oxygen to 1 part gas to burn completely and that propane needs 5 parts oxygen to 1 part propane to burn completely.

If that holds true then switching to propane would increase your oxygen requirements a lot.

Flame chemistry is not a strong suit for me but I thought you would want to know what I had just heard.

This is the video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tnYF4zYrsc0 and she makes the statement right at the 20 minute mark.
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Old 2015-11-13, 2:55am
GregD GregD is offline
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Hello, I'm no expert at these things. I've done a bit of research since I'm a newbie and found that the heating potential of propane is about fives times that of methane (NG). Given that, for the same heat the oxygen requirements would be similar.

Happy torching!
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  #11  
Old 2015-11-13, 5:25am
missp_32 missp_32 is offline
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Thanks everyone. I just upgraded my concentrators to the two Regalia's. I've been getting counseling from Mary K. She and I think alike when it comes to hauling oxygen tanks around. I have no desire to make anything larger than about 1.5" (and that would be a rarity). Currently I am able to melt the boro without too much patience, but the colors just aren't there. I've melted soft glass for about 10 years and do pretty well at it, but even there, I can't get the colors out of the soft glass that I see some others do. The only difference between Mary K's setup and mine is the NG. I may end up switching it back to NG, but for a couple hundred bucks, I gotta try and see if there is a difference.

Thanks for all the input and I will report back
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Old 2015-11-13, 5:31am
missp_32 missp_32 is offline
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One more thing, I guess running different gasses through the hoses/torch doesn't matter? I do plan to replace the hoses with new T grade hose since I don't think I've ever replaced them.
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Old 2015-11-13, 7:12am
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I replace my hoses about every 10 years so it's a good idea. Just a side note here:
I am not responsible for anything that occurs when you take my advice, lol. I can only relate my experience and that it works for me. I do live at a high altitude, don't know if that makes a difference. I get great colors, but I feel it's got a lot to do with my years of experience. its not so much the heat but how you use it.
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Old 2015-11-13, 9:58am
missp_32 missp_32 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mary K View Post
I replace my hoses about every 10 years so it's a good idea. Just a side note here:
I am not responsible for anything that occurs when you take my advice, lol. I can only relate my experience and that it works for me. I do live at a high altitude, don't know if that makes a difference. I get great colors, but I feel it's got a lot to do with my years of experience. its not so much the heat but how you use it.
Of course! I'm just so grateful you are willing to share your knowledge and experience. Thank you very much!
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Old 2015-11-13, 4:00pm
snoopdog6502 snoopdog6502 is offline
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Natural gas is so much cleaner, cheaper and easy to keep a supply of.

I have both and like it that way.

Just got a new Alpha and have it on natural gas.

https://youtu.be/x7uBTg5Zd04
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Old 2015-11-14, 6:20am
missp_32 missp_32 is offline
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Thanks Snoopdog. I'm thinking both would be a really nice setup too. I certainly don't need any more heat for soft glass and right now, I'm not good enough at boro to make any money at it so I need to keep making soft glass
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Old 2015-11-14, 8:46pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by missp_32 View Post
Thanks Snoopdog. I'm thinking both would be a really nice setup too. I certainly don't need any more heat for soft glass and right now, I'm not good enough at boro to make any money at it so I need to keep making soft glass
Im trying to get the wife to switch to boro, its so much more stable and less mess.

Its sad when set the kiln for soft glass I make 4 boro pieces,she makes 8 104 piece ,all mine come out a 3 of 8 of hers have broke.
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Old 2015-11-20, 5:33pm
missp_32 missp_32 is offline
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Hi everyone. I finally took some time off work today and ran to the welding shop. Got everything I needed including the tank for around $200. Kind-of terrifying for me because I've never run propane, but I was successful in hooking it all up. Yea!!

Now, I've only spent about 2 hours on the propane setup, but here are my first impressions.

1. Scared the crap out of myself when I first lit the torch. I must have had the gas coming out full blast LOL.

2. Scared the crap out of myself when I couldn't get the torch to light at all LOL!

3. Finally figured out how to set the pressure to 10 lbs

4. After 10 years of torching on NG, I can now say that I NEVER saw the "candles" on an NG flame. What I mean, is that on propane, you can see a blue flame AND a yellow flame. No such thing on NG. Only blue flame.

5. There is a HUGE difference in gas pressure. The knobs on my Scorpion are much more sensitive. I'm sure I'll get used to it, but I kept scaring myself every time I adjusted the flame.

6. Once I got settled in on a nice flame and started melting, I was impressed with the ease I was able to melt boro. I don't understand how the flame temperature itself can only be about 10 degrees different, but the BTU's 2.5 times hotter with propane.

7. I only had time to make 2 or 3 pieces, but I was sure to make a pendant with carmel and Loki Lipstick. I was impressed that FINALLY some of my colors looked like Mary's

Unfortunately, I won't have time really to play with the new setup this weekend and I need to do some rearranging with the hoses to make things totally safe, but I'm really excited to do more experimenting.

On a side note, I have an old Beta sitting on the shelf. I loved that torch (but of course wanted more power) so I never sold it. I've also got extra concentrators. Hmmmm, now I'm wondering if I want to hook up that old beta to the NG on one of the other sides of my huge workbench??? (we're just never happy huh?)
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Old 2015-11-20, 5:59pm
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LOL yea, I hooked up a mini hand torch today so I have a Phantom, an Alpha and my hand torch. Have a cheetah for backup. Just keep on adding.

Honestly my next step is to build a whole new building just for my glass and If I go that far I want crucible kilns and a glory hole. Full hot shop and lampworking.
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Old 2015-11-20, 6:33pm
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Would be nice to have a glass friend over to melt with wouldn't it?
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Old 2015-11-20, 10:27pm
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Would be nice to have a glass friend over to melt with wouldn't it?
Yes, Its much more fun when the wife is on the torch too.
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Old 2015-11-28, 4:42am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by missp_32 View Post

6. Once I got settled in on a nice flame and started melting, I was impressed with the ease I was able to melt boro. I don't understand how the flame temperature itself can only be about 10 degrees different, but the BTU's 2.5 times hotter with propane.
There is a big difference between temperature and heat. A BTU(the non metric measurement for heat) is the amount of energy that is required to raise one pound of water one degree Fahrenheit. Propane is a much denser gas than Methane(natural gas), so at the same pressure there is more fuel available to burn.
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Old 2015-11-28, 7:06am
missp_32 missp_32 is offline
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Thanks Roy, that makes sense.
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