Sunday, February 1, 2009

Safety First

As I've mentioned several times, it has been three-four years since I've picked up a torch to fabricate a piece of jewelry. It is, therefore, understandable that I ran into problems with the equipment from an empty oxygen tank to a split oxygen hose to a leaking propane tank. All malfunctioning equipment is replaced and/or repaired and in good working condition. After connecting the propane and oxygen hoses, a soapy leak detector is swabbed on all connections - the gauge connection, the hose connection and even the opening and closing valve connection on the tanks. When the tanks are opened, bubbles will quickly form if there is a leak. If there is no leak, the next step is placement of the tanks.

Fuel tanks need to be securely anchored when placed under the work surface so the fuel hoses come from below, preventing an
accidental torching of a hose which, of course, can cause an explosion.

It is now a matter of getting your solutions ready. There is a solution of boric acid and denatured alcohol which is used as a pre-flux and offers some protection to the metal during the soldering process. There is another light acid solution in a crock pot that removes some of the gunk and oxidation on the metal after soldering. There is a solution of baking soda and water which neutralizes the acid solution in the crock pot, and then there is a simple water bowl for final rinsing.

This may appear involved, but after a few times, it comes naturally to dip, flux, solder, dip, dip and dip. lol Next up is the soldering process.

Until next time, God bless you.

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