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

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  #1  
Old 2013-06-27, 4:18pm
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Default More probably stupid questions...

First of all, what works best for you to use in your container to make the dipped mandrels stand up? I saw one person uses sand which sounds messy and beans are kind of high for a large container. I don't really like the look of the mandrel stands.
Next, when you buy a propane tank, what size? If you buy the smaller size that is used for gas grills, do you go to the convenient store and trade for a refill or go to a gas company and get your tank refilled. I would think that when you buy a new one, you would always want to use your own tank.
I know...I shouldn't sound like such a beginner, I'm just getting my studio ready. I can't wait to post pictures!
Please offer your opinions.
Tippy
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Old 2013-06-27, 4:36pm
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I use sand. I don't find it messy, but the sand is the white sand from the store, and clean & dry. I thought about rice, beans, etc. but that would draw roaches & bugs here in FL for sure. I have a square vase from a hospital visit (having a baby) about 4" tall and square I think, have sand up to about 1/2" from the top I believe.

My propane is a BBQ tank, and DH gets refills from the exchange place. I would prefer keeping my own tank(s) but if he's doing it for me I do it his way. We have 3 tanks, and when I use one down low, I switch it out & he burns the rest. When 2 are pretty empty he refills them.
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Old 2013-06-27, 4:43pm
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I have a giant oversized marguerita glass with light-coloured sand I got at Walmart I think. I don't find it messy either.

Can't help you on the propane; I use natural gas.
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Old 2013-06-27, 5:02pm
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Yep. Sand. Not messy. I just use my old pottery tea caddy from the '70s full of dry sand from the beach.
And a 9kg BBQ gas tank for my fuel.
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Old 2013-06-27, 5:07pm
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I'm using vermiculite in an old coffee can.

Can't help with the gas question, I use natural gas.
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  #6  
Old 2013-06-27, 5:10pm
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I use rice in a metal bucket and a 9kg exchangable tank (and a couple of 4kg tanks as reserves) ...
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Old 2013-06-27, 5:18pm
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There was a discussion a couple of weeks ago about the Exchange Tanks.
The final consises was that it's better to get the tanks filled as the quality of the propane is better, less $ because the Exchange tanks are not full...
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Old 2013-06-27, 5:22pm
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Yeah, we own our own tanks and get them filled for that reason. Seems that issue is universal
We do most of our cooking outdoors on the BBQ as well, so we use a fair bit of gas and like to know that what we're getting is what we bought.
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Old 2013-06-27, 5:35pm
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I have two exchange tanks and take them to my local propane store to get them filled. Never a problem with them being exchange...
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Old 2013-06-27, 5:42pm
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Rice in a 4" deep bowl. I have four 20lb tanks--but after 4 months of working 1-2 hrs/day, I haven't made a dent in the first tank. I have gone thru a ton of oxygen (my oxycons should be here on Monday )
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  #11  
Old 2013-06-27, 5:48pm
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Craft sand in metal coffee cans, about half full, not messy. I have 4 cans in rotation, each one holds about 30 mandrels. I hate dipping, so when I do, I do a boatload.

I have two bbq tanks and when I run one out I hook up the other and then swap out the empty one. That way I never run out. I think I go through one tank a month.
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Last edited by Elizabeth Beads; 2013-06-27 at 5:51pm.
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  #12  
Old 2013-06-27, 5:49pm
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sand in a canning jar, not messy, have never seen any grains of sand stick to the mandrels

propane BBQ tank, refilled periodically at the local gas station
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Old 2013-06-27, 5:52pm
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Well, I know what doesn't work that well for mandrels and that's gravel, like for fish aquariums. It's fine for a few mandrels but for several, sand works better.
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Old 2013-06-27, 5:55pm
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...
Quote:
Originally Posted by tiptrinket View Post
First of all, what works best for you to use in your container to make the dipped mandrels stand up?

I grabbed an old chunk of wood and drilled holes in. Worked so well I made two more.

I saw one person uses sand which sounds messy
It was messy for me I hated using sand.

and beans are kind of high for a large container. I don't really like the look of the mandrel stands.

Anything that is pretty and made out of wood you could drill so it could be an artsy item in itself that would be uniquely yours. Driftwood would be pretty. You could buy a large cookie tin ( eat all of the cookies first ) then fill it with marbles or? drill or hammer holes in the top and viola' a dipped mandrel holder. .

http://www.amazon.com/Danish-Butter-...rge+cookie+tin

Next, when you buy a propane tank, what size?

Normal 7 gal BBQ tank. But I also have a smaller 3 gal.

If you buy the smaller size that is used for gas grills, do you go to the convenient store and trade for a refill or go to a gas company and get your tank refilled.

Neither. I take both sizes to one of the local RV parks. They fill these things all of the time and have it down pat! The people at the stores scare the heck outta me

I would think that when you buy a new one, you would always want to use your own tank.

Correct. I know what fuel has been in it and it is very clean.



I know...I shouldn't sound like such a beginner, I'm just getting my studio ready. I can't wait to post pictures!
Please offer your opinions.
Tippy

It is so exciting to get it all up and running! Have fun, be safe.

Last edited by Lorraine Chandler; 2013-06-27 at 5:58pm.
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  #15  
Old 2013-06-27, 6:19pm
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The small 1lb tanks are not refillable, they run between $4-5 each.
In the summer with high humidity I'm lucky to get 20-30 minutes from a tank before it freezes. Some times it's a bit less before I have to stop and let things thaw out a bit.
Warm water can help extent the work time a bit.

My local hard ware has the 20lbs tanks for 30 and refills run between $12-15
The line with fitting for my hot head ran another $24 bucks.

Your local welding shop or propane supplier may have cheaper tanks and line with fitting.
I'm on a hot head larger torches will freeze small tanks a lot faster.
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  #16  
Old 2013-06-27, 6:46pm
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Tippy, I own my tanks, 20lb ones, I have two, and I only fill them at Holston Gas. I trust them to give me good quality gas. I would also trust A Welding, but Holston was in my neighborhood until they moved over off I-75. When one gets empty (they last me for months) I switch to the full one and give the hubby the other one to take and fill.

I get the little metal buckets in the dollar bin at Target, and stand my mandrels in rice, but I am about to switch to somethng else - not sure what yet. The rice attracts bugs, and so do beans. I am considering sand. I think Angie uses kitty litter.
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  #17  
Old 2013-06-27, 7:15pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mewkittie View Post
Well, I know what doesn't work that well for mandrels and that's gravel, like for fish aquariums. It's fine for a few mandrels but for several, sand works better.
Ditto. Tried it and it was hard to get the mandrels in. Figured I would probably damage them over time.
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Old 2013-06-27, 7:50pm
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I've been using cracked and fuglies in a coffee can, okay but heavy and the mandrels hang around the edges. Probably should do the sand thing but I worry that it, or anything else, would get wet in my outside studio. Bugs also put me off. So, I've been wondering about the wood mandrel stands. Why don't you like them?
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Old 2013-06-27, 7:54pm
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Kristin, could you just put a plastic trash can or something over top of you can to protect it and your mandrels? Do you leave your mandrels outside or only dip what you will use each session?
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Old 2013-06-27, 7:57pm
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It's a bit fiddily if you doing production, and can slow the rythem if your on a hot streak.

You tend to look at stand to pull the mandrels in stead of just reaching for one.

Stands work great for displays and such.
A few people use sand, oasis blocks, or similar for holding mandrels.
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Old 2013-06-27, 8:02pm
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I only dip what I need, Eileen. I find that they have a tendency to rust over time, even in AZ, or flake more.

I hadn't thought about it as a distraction, losthelm. Good point. Maybe styrofoam padding in the bottom...it would wear out but I have tons of it.
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Old 2013-06-27, 8:03pm
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I use rice in a metal planter box thingy. It's the same rice I've had for 7 years or so and still works great. Not messy and doesn't attract bugs. i thought for sure it would, bu it's never been a problem. I have three BBQ tanks that I get filled at Ace.
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Old 2013-06-27, 8:11pm
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I use Oasis floral blocks for my mandrels. I use center dipped mandrels. After the holes get too large from repeated use I cut them up and use them in floral vases. I tried rice but the mice liked it too

I use natural gas plumbed from the house line. My flame is not as hot as it would be burning propane so I am looking into propane. For now, the NG is really easy.

Best wishes with your new setup!!

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  #24  
Old 2013-06-27, 8:26pm
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Sand works fine until you knock it over... Now I use a block of wood with holes drilled into it - keeps them from bumping into each other accidently, and you can pick it up and move it without worrying that they will shift.


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Old 2013-06-27, 8:40pm
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My smallest mandrels perch in a 2x4 with holes drilled. Make the holes BIGGER than the mandrels--I originally drilled this for my med. mandrels, which now live in bean cans filled with sexy black sand. Large mandrels are in a ceramic pot filled with...um...probably sand.

Our water heater and dryer run on propane, so we've got three or four BBQ tanks, and a couple of bigger tanks. I use the BBQ size, and we refill all of them until I get one that makes problems for the glass. Then we use that one up for the house stuff and exchange it at Home Depot. Our local HD is quite flexible with what they'll take. We got one tank for free at a garage sale; it was disgusty-rusty to the point of unsafeness. I showed it to the HD guy, and he said no problem, exchanged it for a new tank at about the same price as refilling.
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Old 2013-06-27, 9:02pm
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I have a wooden stand with holes drilled into it. My boyfriend made it for me, and I think it looks really nice. Makes my mandrels look nice and organized.

I only have 1 propane tank. It's about half the size of a normal BBQ tank. I think it is only 9 lbs. but I've been torching for the past few months a few nights a week and still on my first tank. I fill it at the local Uhaul. Mine is a weird size so I don't thing the exchange works for me.
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Old 2013-06-27, 9:25pm
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I used birdseed (at least I did till hubby knocked it over). We discovered rats visiting the bird feeder, so stopped feeding em and I needed to do something with the last of the birdseed!

Alli
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Old 2013-06-27, 10:13pm
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Sand in a coffee can. I live on a sand dune so it is cheap! Haven't had a mess yet. You could also put the plastic lid on the can with holes poked in it if you are afraid of the mess. This is cheap too and saves lots of drilling a block of wood.
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Old 2013-06-27, 11:19pm
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I got several odd wood blocks from a local carpenter, and drilled holes to match certain mandrel sizes. I used a drill press to do it, so they are nice and straight. They stack neatly when not in use, and have a good flat base that doesn't tip over - unless the cat decides they need to be on the floor (the bugger bent 30 mandrels a few weeks ago!). I have one long one that holds 1/16th in the middle and 3/32 on the outside so I always have a choice ready and waiting.

I own my own tank. My county requires a regulator on it (no more than 5PSI into the house), so it's better and easier to just take the tank with the regulator to the fuel company to get it refilled. That way, I know my tank is my tank, I don't worry about attaching or removing what I need, and I get good quality fuel.
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Old 2013-06-28, 12:24am
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Sand or that really fine grained cat litter. Just keep it away from that cats though... This is gross, but my cat got up on the shelf, then she knocked it over and then pooped and peed in the litter. I was mad as hell, but a half a minute later I still couldn't help LMAO.
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