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Reusing gas cylinders
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vegplot



Joined: 19 Apr 2007
Posts: 21297
Location: Ynys Môn
PostPosted: Mon May 03, 10 9:03 pm    Post subject: Reusing gas cylinders  Reply with quote    

Inspired in part by the Ozpig and a rekindling of unfulfilled plans I decided to have a go at reusing old gas cylinders. Our local coal merchant answered a call on Freecycle and I picked up a couple of 15kg butane cylinder and a 19kg propane cylinder both of which were no longer serviceable and I was told they can't be recycled as scrap.


Show off

My first problem was how to ensure the cylinders are empty of gas. I couldn't get the brass valves off so I took a risk and drilled two holes in the base of the cylinder, running water over the drill bit to reduce the possibility of sparking. This isn't the safest way of doing this and I should have least used a hand drill brace rather than a power drill at the very least.

A hose pipe was held firmly over one of the holes and the remaining gas in the cylinder was displaced by the water. I drained the cylinder and repeated the exercise twice more.



One could argue the next stage was probably a little more risky than drilling holes but I wasn't overly sure that when I started to cut through the cylinders with a plasma cutter that there wasn't any remaining gas. I needed to burn off the paint and so took the plunge and roasted the cylinders in a open fire, well clear of anything likely to get damaged in the small likelihood of an exploding metal tank.




Hot stuff

The first thing I wanted to make was a simple forge. I decided the top of the 19kg propane cylinder was ideal so cut that off. I'll make the tuyere and fire grate later, for now here's what it looks like.




Great BBQ...





I need to find a way of making neat cuts the free hand method is a little rough. I a bit of wire brushing or sand blasting would clean the surface nicely and perhaps a bit of fire black as used for stove, would make it look really nice. I need to practice my TIG welding next and then I'll have a crack at making an Ozpig style of outside wood burner.

RichardW



Joined: 24 Aug 2006
Posts: 8413
Location: Llyn Peninsular North Wales
PostPosted: Mon May 03, 10 9:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Wrap some thing round the cylinder so the plasma cutter can rest / follow it to neaten the cut. It does not matter what it is as the torch will be long gone before it gets burnt.

Do the same for straight lines on flat plate too. Bits of wood are fine.

Aint plasmas great

vegplot



Joined: 19 Apr 2007
Posts: 21297
Location: Ynys Môn
PostPosted: Mon May 03, 10 9:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

RichardW wrote:
Wrap some thing round the cylinder so the plasma cutter can rest / follow it to neaten the cut. It does not matter what it is as the torch will be long gone before it gets burnt.

Do the same for straight lines on flat plate too. Bits of wood are fine.

Aint plasmas great


I thought about making cradle with small wheel and a stationary guide to cut off ends but that's only practical if doing production runs. I'll try the bits of wood approach next.

Yes, they're great should have got one ages ago. The one I've got has a built in compressor which is useful.

madcat



Joined: 24 May 2008
Posts: 1263
Location: worcester
PostPosted: Mon May 03, 10 9:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

We never managed to get the valve out of an orange one but have with the blue ones and have one awaiting conversion to something usefull. We made a handy simple wood burning outdoor heater which also cooks food nicely on an old grill rack when the bottom fills up with nice hot glowing embers.
Like your use of the top as a barbie and will probably do the same but we have to chain drill and the finish off with a grinder because we dont have gas cutting kit.

vegplot



Joined: 19 Apr 2007
Posts: 21297
Location: Ynys Môn
PostPosted: Mon May 03, 10 9:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

tiggy wrote:
We never managed to get the valve out of an orange one but have with the blue ones and have one awaiting conversion to something usefull. We made a handy simple wood burning outdoor heater which also cooks food nicely on an old grill rack when the bottom fills up with nice hot glowing embers.
Like your use of the top as a barbie and will probably do the same but we have to chain drill and the finish off with a grinder because we dont have gas cutting kit.


I doubt I would have attempted it without either a gas torch or plasma cutter. I opted for the plasma as I couldn't justify the cost of gas cylinder rental charges and I don't like the concept of disposable gas cylinders. If you have pictures of what you've done that would be great.

Drewsephine



Joined: 15 Sep 2008
Posts: 1146
Location: noun 1 a particular place or position: the property is set in a convenient location an actual place
PostPosted: Mon May 03, 10 9:28 pm    Post subject: Re: Reusing gas cylinders Reply with quote    

vegplot wrote:
I couldn't get the brass valves off so I took a risk and drilled two holes in the base of the cylinder


You're mental


vegplot



Joined: 19 Apr 2007
Posts: 21297
Location: Ynys Môn
PostPosted: Mon May 03, 10 9:31 pm    Post subject: Re: Reusing gas cylinders Reply with quote    

Drewsephine wrote:
vegplot wrote:
I couldn't get the brass valves off so I took a risk and drilled two holes in the base of the cylinder


You're mental



I did think about using a rifle. Drilling holes isn't as mad as it seems. An explosion can only occur if there is sufficient oxygen in the mix so it's safer to have a little gas pressure in the cylinder. Any spark will ignite the gas outside the cylinder but not inside at least for a while anyway.

RichardW



Joined: 24 Aug 2006
Posts: 8413
Location: Llyn Peninsular North Wales
PostPosted: Mon May 03, 10 9:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

1mm cutting disks are good as well.

The valve needs a good stiltson wrench & about a 6 foot bar to undo it (and a way of holding the cylinder still). If you are worried fill with water & drain. Dont worry about the smell its from the added stuff to give the gas its smell. It clings to the cylinder even when empty.

One with a compressor would be good. I have to either run them both on the genny or whilst the compressor is on not cut or the load would be to high for the inverter.

Last edited by RichardW on Mon May 03, 10 9:54 pm; edited 1 time in total

madcat



Joined: 24 May 2008
Posts: 1263
Location: worcester
PostPosted: Mon May 03, 10 9:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Veg plot I struggle a lot with computers and would have to get a friend to sort it out so all I can do is describe.
Basically we beheaded the cylinder just before it started to get to maximum width and then drilled some holes for bottom air and some holes and slots for top air.It was all a bit experimental but it is not any use as an incinerator.
To use I put some thich chunks of wood in the bottom an d then light a fire on top of them and slowly feed it with timber offcuts.It gets good and hot and the lumps in the bottom become a good hot ash bed.Now it is ready to grill. Add more wood after the first lot of food is done and you can cook again when the smoke stage is passed.
It has to be tipped out to empty the ash ,its a bit crude and experimental.We made one for somebody else and they didnt like it because it was no good for dramatic roaring fires and burning plastic !,so thats reminded me to go collect it and maybe make a few mods.
Waiting for some good weather to try my washing machine drum out too,thats another project

RichardW



Joined: 24 Aug 2006
Posts: 8413
Location: Llyn Peninsular North Wales
PostPosted: Mon May 03, 10 9:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

If you want tips check out the mig welding forum. Lots of gas bottle stoves on there.

mousjoos



Joined: 05 Jun 2006
Posts: 1968
Location: VERY Sunny SW France
PostPosted: Tue May 04, 10 9:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Anyone seen the Hotpod?

Groovey!

Rob R



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 31902
Location: York
PostPosted: Tue May 04, 10 9:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

We inherited a load of old 47kg cyclinders when we bought the farm- they make fantastic pig troughs!

earthyvirgo



Joined: 24 Aug 2007
Posts: 7972
Location: creating prints in the loft, Gerlan
PostPosted: Tue May 04, 10 10:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

RichardW wrote:
1mm cutting disks are good as well.

The valve needs a good stiltson wrench & about a 6 foot bar to undo it (and a way of holding the cylinder still).


We tried everything (including cursing) to get the valve off.
I'm not a wimp but not quite strong enough to hold it steady whilst vp was bashing the bar!

EV

vegplot



Joined: 19 Apr 2007
Posts: 21297
Location: Ynys Môn
PostPosted: Tue May 04, 10 10:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

earthyvirgo wrote:
RichardW wrote:
1mm cutting disks are good as well.

The valve needs a good stiltson wrench & about a 6 foot bar to undo it (and a way of holding the cylinder still).


We tried everything (including cursing) to get the valve off.
I'm not a wimp but not quite strong enough to hold it steady whilst vp was bashing the bar!

EV


I suspect when being serviced they use a heavy duty clamp which engages in the rim of the cylinder locking it tightly and the valve is replaced rather than refitted. It might even be more cost effective simply to throw them away judging by the state some of them are in.

Bodrighy



Joined: 15 Aug 2008
Posts: 2157
Location: Near Devizes
PostPosted: Tue May 04, 10 10:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I saw one of these made into a little stove for a caravan. The valve was taken off and a flue fitted onto it and a hole cut out of the side at the bottom. It worked a treat except that the actual bottle got really hot. Acted like a radiator but needed a guard around it all the time. Perhaps good for an outdoor one though

I have 2 of the 19kg ones that I can't get rid of that I ought to do something with if I can get around to it. All I have is an angle grinder though.
pete

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