Propane Rig

After 3 years of metalcasting I've finally moved from charcoal fuelled furnaces to propane. I wonít miss dumping ashes or the smoke one bit. Iím looking forward to fast, clean and precise furnace runs. I haven't seen any web page with detailed info on the actual "plumbing" of the rig so I'll try to be detailed here. --Sept./8/2001

CAUTION! Metalworking can be dangerous, especially when proper safety precautions are not taken. Because of the variations in materials, workmanship and other variables there are no guarantees on the information in/on this web site. This information is simply what I have been successful with in my own experiments. I am not and will not be responsible nor will I assume responsibility for any injury, loss, or damage no matter how serious or minor that may result from following the instructions, diagrams, advice, plans and/or general information on this web site. There are always dangers in metalworking and related activities and they have been pointed out whenever possible but it is neither the purpose nor responsibility of me nor this web site to mention all known or unknown dangers. Always follow the manufacturer's instructions for regulators, adaptors and other parts.

propane rig

Here is my complete propane rig. This FULL bottle of propane was tucked away in the garage waiting patiently for me to rescue it and I sure was happy to see the lilí guy. As you can see the bottle is pretty old, but the rust is only a thin surface layer so thereís no safety problem.

The red thing for anyone wondering, is a high pressure regulator purchased from the Cajun Shoppe. I also ordered the hose from there. 5 feet is the standard length but I ordered a 10-footer to keep the bottle safely away from the furnace.

Propane valve converter

Okay, maybe I exagerated when I said there were no problems with the thing. The bottle is so old that the valve threads don't fit modern connections. So I had to use a special adaptor. This converter is from Cabelas and is ITEM: XA-51-2469.

They're a fishing, hunting and outdoors equipment supplier. This device converts old propane cylinders to adapt to new Type-1 /* QCC-1® systems on most gas grills (according to the package).

Converter installed

Here is the converter in place on the propane cylinder's valve. Hold on, will you look at that! I can't screw my regulator onto that converter and the threads donít fit any pipe or fitting sizes... I need another adaptor! ...

Propane barbecue rig kit

... I got this propane barbecue grill kit from Cabela's (but they're also available wherever propane grill parts are sold) just for the connector to attach my regulator. Unfortunetly this kit comes with the wrong type of regulator, shucks.

This type of regulator is the type commonly found on propane barbecue grills. It's low pressure and non adjustable making it no good for this purposes.

collar nut and valve stem

This is the connector I was talking about. I had to open that kit just for this. But it was the only way to screw on the regulator. The "coller nut" (on the right) slips over the "valve stem" (on the left) holding it in place on the bottle's valve (or in my case the converter) and the regulator is screwed onto the "stem."

This just in... Thanks to an e-mail from Ed Shelton, I now know that these parts are available from welding supply stores as replacements for oxy/acetlene regulators.

And from an e-mail from Garry Foster (yes his name has two "r"s); "It is a standard "POL" adapter and is about $7.00 at my local ACE hardware store. Never been hard to find but that may change with the new bottle standard that will be fully in place in a few years."

And finally, an e-mail from Rupert Wenig states; "I get mine (just like your picture) from my propane supplier. RV suppliers stock them around here also, Plus, I think I have seen them in with camping supplies.

Thanks for the info gentlemen!

homemade reducer

I made this fitting by soldering a brass nut to a piece of brass nipple. I needed a fitting with both male and female ends and this is the only way I could get one.

system components

Here is a look at most of the system in "exploded" view. Aside from the parts detailed above there are common steel parts like short nipples and 90 degree elbows.

I had to use all the brass fittings because for some reason a steel nipple (even one of the same 1/4" dimension) wouldn't fit into the hose's attachment nut.

Wanna see this rig in action? Take a look at the burner I built!


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This site was created Sept. 28, 2000.