Cannon Cocker

Need some safety advice!!!

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I've been using air hose to feed my burners and haven't seen any issues with it so far..... until today that is.  I fixed my 2nd and 3rd burners today and was running all three of them for the first time.  I had WAY more dragon's breath than I've ever experienced before.  The heat from it was wrapping back around the top of my forge and actually lit the gas line of my first burner on fire.  I have installed a heat shield on top of the forge.  And I know that I was probably running way to much pressure.  So I will remedy that as well.  My question is what should I use for the gas lines?  Is there a good hose to use or should I hard line it with copper tubing? I'll take some pictures and post them in a little bit. 

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I just saw the pics! STOP RIGHT NOW!!! :o Take them off and trash the hose and fittings, YES the valves too! Propane is very chemically active and unless the lines and fittings are rated for it propane WILL erode rubber, seals, plastic, etc.

Putting it back on the compressor is putting weakened hose that wouldn't take low pressure without leaking under HIGH PRESSURE. Don't do THAT either!

Frosty The Lucky.

 

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Thanks for the warning Frosty.  I had been tempted to replace the hose that melted and continue using the forge with only one burner as I have been for the past several months until I could scrape together the proper fittings.  I WILL NOT BE DOING THAT!  Do you think that it would be safe to use propane rated hose with this set up?  Or because of the heat/dragon's breath produced when I use all three burners (which would be rarely) should I be using copper tubing?

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Using copper tubing certainly won't hurt. Even if it costs a couple of extra bucks, it's a lot cheaper than replacing your building.

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I would hard pipe it, threaded or compression fittings, to a point far enough away from the forge to ensure that it will not get hot then use the proper propane hose and connections to the tank.

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Run your propane hose to a manifold mounted lower and then run copper tubing to the burners. It's definitely going to cost more but you have to ask yourself what your building is worth.

 I've found that a loop in the tubing helps to make alignment of the fittings a bit easier too.

Less chance of kinks and it looks cooler. B)

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Manifold those burners together with black iron pipe, and extend out away from the heated area with it.  Then you can convert to hose in a safer area that won't get damaged.  I can't imagine it would be more than $30.

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Actually copper tubing and fittings are a lot less expensive than propane rated hose. The manifold on mine is 3/8" iron pipe because that's what propane hose couples are. Put the 1/4 turn shut off valves on the manifold so it there's a fire you don't have to reach into the fire or wait for the lines to empty using the tank valve. If you keep your eyes open at garage, yard, etc. sales you can find weed burners for cheap and as long as the hose is in good condition it's the right stuff. Certainly better than paying up to $30 for an 8' hose. Darned propane hose is the most expensive part of setting up a forge, regulators are cheaper than a safe length of hose. Yeah, I like being able to keep my propane tank a few feet away from the forge and have the hose laying flat on the ground. It's less of a trip hazard.  I lucked into a road kill weed burner with a 10' hose in good condition. YMMV. ;)

Plumbing off the burners with iron pipe puts too much leverage against the jet mounts and tends to knock them out of alignment. Commercial forges run iron pipe between the burners as a manifold then T off to a hose connection. The problem with that set up is where you must put the 1/4 turn shut offs, directly on the burners so if there's a fire you have to wait for the lines to empty or reach into the fire. 

I like copper because it's soft and flexible. If someone trips or drops something on the hose the tubing just bends, isn't likely to break fittings and can't knock the forge off the stand. Copper doesn't care about the chimney effect, heat from a shut off burner may turn it old penny dark after a while but it won't cause it to fail. Sometimes I don't bother to block off the forge chamber or unused burner and let flame blow up and out. 

I know I should plug the burner as it becomes dangerously hot and folk don't think the burner should be nearly red hot but I'm almost always within screaming & swatting distance.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Or just mount your burner so that your connections are below the forge!

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Okay I'm out and about right now picking up the parts I need. I'm upgrading my jets to "Frosty T's" as well. I'm getting contradicting info on the for tubing at the stores. Is regular utility grade safe to use or do I need refrigerant grade? The only reason I ask is because the refrigerant grade is only available in 50' lengths. 

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Refrigeration tube is annealed; any other kind of copper tubing does a lousy job of bending. Refrigeration tube is sold by the foot in most hardware stores. Maby what you need is a different store; not a different tube.

Maybe I need better spelling too.

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Thanks for the tip Mikey. I did find some at a different hardware store, so I'll be able to return the 50' roll I bought. Got the burners made, and installed they worked great. I ran all three of them independently and then put all of them on line together. They were smooth and hot at much less pressure than the old burners!  However, I did notice a slight propane smell coming from the forge when I had them running.  I am guessing that that means I'm running rich.  Am I right in thinking that I need to cut back the mig tips?  My thought is that the higher they are the more air they will pull in which would make it burn more lean.  Correct?

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If you're smelling the stuff they put in propane then you need to check all your connections/fittings/valves for leaks. If everything is sealed up tight you should not notice the smell when the forge is running - at least that's been my experience.  Even with fairly rich mixtures I've not noticed the smell with a leak free setup.  If you have checked everything and have no leaks you may have a more sensitive sniffer than I have.  To put it another way, maybe I don't smell as good as you do.  :)

 

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Ditto Buzz. Any propane that doesn't burn in the forge will burn as dragon's breath and you will NOT smell the odorant.  If you smell propane the fittings are leaking a little dish soap in water and applied to fittings will show you which one(s). Check everything including the regulator at the tank while under pressure. 

Flare fittings can have issues if you don't flare the right amount of tubing, too long is more a problem than a LITTLE to short. 

I recommend gas rated thread paste over tape. It does the same job but can't release particles that interfere or block gas jets down line. If a little paste gets pushed out of the threads it just sits there, it's sticky.

I don't put thread dope (paste) on the mig tip it's IN the burner, any leakage can't go anywhere but in the fire so it's no hazard and too insignificant to effect burner efficiency. 

Make sense?

Frosty The Lucky.

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Nah, it's not a theory, it's a fundamental principal of this type of induction device. The farther the jet is from the mixing tube's end (throat) the longer it has to effect intake air. So, yes, the farther back the more combustion air and leaner the flame. 

Frosty The Lucky.

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