Saturday, March 03, 2012

Studio set up - more pics

As promised, more on the recent studio redesign, with pictures for your reference. You know, just in case you are building an 8-person flameworking studio using natural gas and oxygen. ;-)

Just for reference - this is what the studio looks like overall.  Metal covered tables down the centre, with a table in between for the kilns. We had a power line dropped from the ceiling for the kilns, with two dedicated circuits, one 220 for the "silver" kiln, and one 110 for the "blue" kiln.

In the far corner - you can see two pipes running up the wall and across.

 These are the pipes - the bottom one is gas, and the upper one is oxygen. Since this photo - the oxygen has been labeled with black on green labels to indicate that it is oxygen. (Black on green - it's a by-law. Make your own labels - it's cheaper.)

The pipes run down the wall and under the table. They are on "stand offs" which support them off the floor. The original plan was to run them under the bottom of the table - but the gas fitter suggested this and it is a much better idea, as the tables can be moved now without damaging the piping. 

You can also see the sink we have installed for cleaning beads, etc. I really did want that sink closer to the corner - but I wasn't there when they installed it.

Each torch has it's own connection and shut-off valve for gas and oxygen - so a torch can be removed and swapped out without affecting anyone else working.  (The green hose is the oxygen and the black is the gas.) Each torch has a 6 foot hose running to the connector, and the hoses are velcro'ed up out of the way to the legs at the side of the torches. No more hoses getting in the way!
We added a connection and a gauge at the end of the line to monitor oxygen pressure. I wanted to know if we were losing pressure due to friction at the end of the line. Turns out, we are not (this gauge is reading zero as the line wasn't charged when I took the photo.)

In the back room - away from the students and torchers is the gas booster. This brings the gas up to a pressure that will run all the torches simultaneously. It is noisy - and having it out of the room is won-der-ful! It's not so much loud as "white noise" - but you really notice it when you turn it off. Now it in a back room where no one "lives" - so it's not annoying anyone.

Next to it is the 3-place manifold for the oxygen. We have hooked up three tanks, and we set two to 10 psi, and the third to 8 psi - ensuring that the two primary tanks empty first, and the 3rd is the reserve. 

This has already been very useful, in that we just had one of the oxygen regulators fail. Previously - this would have meant 2 torches were out of commission, and we would have been making an emergency trip to get a replacement. Now, it is not impacting the torching at all, and we can replace it at our leisure.

We've also posted a sign (since this photo) that says "Low Pressure Oxygen system - do not connect high pressure tanks with out a regulator." Another by-law.  The wrench for removing the regulators is also attached to the wall with a length of chain. This is also a by-law - but has been very well received by all - as it prevents the wrench from walking away.

We have a set of little signs - just a folded sheet of paper and some string, that we hang on the tanks. They say "full" on one side, and "empty" on the other. We use these to distinguish between full and empty tanks. Some places use chalk and write on the tank - that works too - but we have had better luck keeping track of signs than chalk. ;-)

Hope that's useful to you! 

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