Jen Jackson 2/19/15
Good afternoon fellow mount makers, I have a favor to ask. I am one of the two mount makers at the National Museum of the Marine Corps, and I have been here since we opened in 2006. I set up our Mount Shop, largely copying the one at my previous job at the Field Museum. We are a pretty small operation, and have only one Oxy and one Acetylene tank. Up until this point, we have left the regulators on our tanks 24/7. If we ever did move our tanks, of course we would remove the regulators and use the Valve Protection caps as per the OSHA reg 1910.253. (Brazing and Welding). We have a safety rep here on base who is insisting up and down that we are required to remove the regulators at the end of each day, and install the valve protection caps. I have already spoken to a few museum professionals to solicit their opinion on the matter, and now I am asking you for advice. What is your Oxy/Acetylene set up look like? What safety standards do you adhere to? Could you show me a picture of your brazing station? To get things started, I have attached an image of the NMMC brazing room, the tanks sadly capped until we can come to some sort of compromise with Base Safety. I'd love to hear what you guys are doing (though I have pretty solid documentation from OSHA that leaving the regulators on is O.K.) Thanks for your time!!
Jen Jackson National Museum of the Marine Corps
joanne harris 2/19/15
At the Autry National Center we don't remove our regulators at the day's end. I have taken oxy-acetylene sculpture welding classes at metal studios and they have never discussed the removal of regulators when closing the shop for the day. We are in California where there is strict adherence to OSHA requirements. This is the first I have heard of this procedure.
Good Luck Joanne
At EMP Museum in Seattle we don’t remove the regulators. IMHO I believe this is not a matter of what other museums do that will help your case. Various jurisdictions make the rules regarding the storage and use of tanks, and when regulators must be removed and the tank caps installed. We also have a hydrogen tank which we use to flame plex and its regulator is always on as-well. I’m pretty sure that you will find your answer in the National Fire Code unless the local jurisdiction has more stringent rules. When we were in the process of purchasing our hydrogen equipment there was great concern from a few individuals about it. I called our local fire marshal and asked for input and advice on where to find the regulations. He said that regarding our specific issue, the city did not have any specific rules so the applicable law was found in the National Fire Code. I believe you can find this online (a Google search will probably work for that). I hope that helps.
Slim Evans 2/19/15
Hi Jen, While I don't claim to know all OSHA regulations, I have never seen regulators removed on a nightly basis. Cheers, Slim Evans Ely, Inc.
Sounds to me like the safety rep has a case of power trip:-) There is absolutely no reason to remove the regulators from the cylinders if you are not planning to move/transport them. The one good thing to do, is to drain the lines/hoses after closing the main valve on the tanks to get rid of the gases trapped there. Cheers! Kamil
Jamie Hascall 2/19/15
Hi Jen, No museum or commercial facility I've ever worked in has taken regulators off the cylinders at any time other than to change tanks when empty. What I did have impressed upon me was that the metal to metal contact design of the regulator can be compromised be even the slightest damage and so regulators should be handled extremely carefully while removed. Re-installation should always be followed by a test for leaks with a soap solution or leak detection liquid. The edict to remove regulators every night seems both very inefficient, as well as vastly increasing the likelihood of wear or damage that could lead to a leak. I did find this protective cap that is used to shield the valve from damage while the regulators remain in place. I do notice that the source for the photo was a safety manual for gas equipment from Brookhaven National Labs, a division of the DOE. You might ask your safety officer if this might be acceptable, and if he has concerns, if he might we willing to call Brookhaven. I understand his concern, but making sure that the cylinders are properly anchored against falling, and making sure nothing can fall on them should be the most effective safety measures. Good luck, Jamie Hascall Hascall Consulting Seattle WA
Could this be a military safety regulation?
Philip Brutz Mount Maker Exhibition Production The Cleveland Museum of Art 11150 East Boulevard Cleveland, Ohio 44106-1797
T 216-707-2617 F 216-707-6687
Maybe ask him for “chapter and verse” in whatever regulations he is referring to since he is claiming this is a requirement?
Jen Jackson 2/22/15
Hey guys, thanks for the response. Yeah - I actually think that the reason behind the request is the safety officer. He did 32 years in the Navy, as a professional weldor. He is very vocal about this request (read totally rude) and I think that he takes offense in the thought that a civilian girl disagrees with his idea of the definition of tanks "in-use." That and/or he is trying to make us conform to the regulations that apply to a Navy ship, pitching around on the open seas. Either way, it is a bit frustrating. It really helps to hear that I am not completely insane- so thanks for that. Jamie- I am taking a picture of that in-place-safety cap to the meeting with me- hopefully that will be an acceptable compromise. Ralph- how is brazing with hydrogen? During my research I came across Rio Grandes HHO torch ,and the price seemed very reasonable considering that using hydrogen could mean never using tanks again. I have read that some people find that HHO runs a bit hot.You guys are using it just for acrylic? Whats that like?
Jamie Hascall 2/22/15
Re: [mountmaking-forum] Re: Show me your tanks!!! Hi Jen, That all makes a lot of sense. That said, I may have something for you. This is a quote from the Navy's course manual in the Non-resident training course for Hull Maintenance Technician. Section 8.1. The important part is in the fourth sentence. "The foregoing procedure should be followed whenever work is interrupted for an indefinite period. If work is to stop for only a few minutes, securing cylinder valves and draining the hose is not necessary. However, for any indefinite work stoppage, the entire extinguishing and securing procedure should be followed. For overnight work stoppage in areas other than the shop, you should always remove the pressure regulators and the torch from the system, double check the cylinder valves to make sure they are closed securely, and reinstall the cylinder valve protection cap. " I did a search for "Navy Welding Manual" and came up with this in 5 minute. You might be able to find something even more compelling. I'd be judicious in the use of such info as you do want this person to be your ally, if at all possible. Good luck, Jamie
2/24/15RE: [mountmaking-forum] Re: Show me your tanks!!!
Our hydrogen setup is for flame-polishing Plexiglas. I have only tried using it to braze as an experiment once, and it wasn’t pretty! I have never considered using it for mountmaking, but after seeing this video on youtube, maybe it’s worth a closer look!
Field, George RBCM:EX
We at the Royal British Columbia Museum on Vancouver Island Canada, have the same basic set up as you, and No we don’t unhook and cap the tanks at the end of the day, although we do shut the tanks off.
In another part of our museum a staff member insisted on shutting off the water for washing sinks off at their shut off valves down by the floor, she didn’t trust the taps. So what happened is the shut off valves finally failed and started to leak because they aren’t meant to get that much use, and to repair them the water to the whole building needed to be shut down (Contractor work after hours at a high cost).
I would suggest that the regulators aren’t meant to have that much handling. Would your safety person live with a more secure wall attachment and possibly a rigid cover over the valves ?
Suzi McG 3/10/15
Hi Jen, Just pitching in my $.02 here. I've been doing metal work for 30 years now and the only time I've heard that the regulators should be removed on a daily basis was from my welding instructor who used to be a Navy weldor. And he said that was because of Navy safety regulations particularly on board a ship. Otherwise you are fine to leave the regulators in place as long as you remember to bleed the lines and release the pressure on the gauges. That's what I go by. Best of luck to you, Suzi
Thanks everybody, I thought I would post an update. I put together a huge power point presentation about the OSHA regulations for tank storage- but ultimately the safety officer and I agreed to purchase much smaller tanks. Now the Ace tank I have (40 cu ft) isn't even threaded for valve protection caps. While our tiny oxygen bottle is still threaded, I think the gesture of reducing our tank size will placate the safety department into allowing us to leave the regulators on. Meanwhile I have become super-obsessed with getting a Hydrogen torch. It is taking a while because of all the waivers I need to get the chemicals needed for the welder, but I am excited to start down that path. Valve protection caps aside, if we can function without any risk of tank explosion that would be a great upgrade to safety. We also run into huge apprehension from our curatorial and administrative staff when it comes to setting up mount shops in the museum building, adjacent to rooms containing artifacts. I am hopeful that with the elimination of tanks in the Hydrogen system, we can convince our coworkers that hot mount work is nothing to fear, when done properly and with a mind for safety. it seems like others might be thinking the same thing, as Rio Grande keeps selling out of the Hydrogen torches. When I get it set up I will be sure to let you guys know how it works out. As always, thanks for your input and expertise.