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Propane Meter Input

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Propane Meter Input

Unread postAuthor: mark.f » Wed Jul 19, 2006 9:39 am

Alright. I have noticed that a lot of people, (not even gonna point them out, and I really read all these quite a while ago), have created an input for their propane meter by shoving a piece of air hosing onto the end of a torch with the air hole sleeve removed and clamped it down.

But why?

There exists a simple method to get a portable LP tank to a torch valve to pipe threads and fittings. May people are turned off by the so called "pretty" methods because they involve a lot of work and buying a 1/8" NPT thread die. But a simpler way yet exists to connect a propane torch valve to pipe threads and fittings.

First off, I do <B>not</B> claim credit for these ideas. I <I>believe</I> it was SpudMonster who did it first, (but I can't be sure...). So don't think I'm stealing any ideas, I just couldn't find anything on this site about doing it.

All that is required to perform this adaptation is a BernzOmatic or Craftsman torch head, (I have only done it with these two), a 1/4" mnpt x 1/4" compression nut, some vise grips, and a large adjustable wrench or a pipe wrench, (needed for Craftsman...). Also, some plastic to protect the torch and the brass from machine burrs is prudent also.

First, you need to remove the torch shaft from the propane input, (needle), valve. Unscrew the air hole sleeve. Next, grip the torch valve itself with the adjustable wrench, (BernzOmatic torches have the nice rectangular part to make this a cinch), or a pipe wrench for the Craftsman torch head, (this will produce machine marks). Then, tighten the vice grip over the torch shaft, (before the bend, near the valve), and make sure to get it as tight as your strength allows.

Now, torque off the torch shaft from the valve, (where it is threaded in with a Loc-Tite-type sealant). This will take some effort, and will leave red residue in the female threads of the torch valve that need to be removed.

Now, take a good look at your compression nut. Compression nuts are used to connect pipe threads to copper tubing, (measured by O.D.). In this design, you are not connecting tubing to threads, you are connecting threads to threads. One side of the nut has standard 1/4" mnpt threads, for connecting to pipe fittings. The other has a brass nut. Inside the nut, there is an olive shaped sleeve. In some, there is a little brass tube running through the thing and out the nut.

Unscrew the nut on this end and remove the olive nut and tube thingy if there is one. This will leave you with some threads that are skinnier than the 1/4" mnpt threads.

These will screw into the torch valve, although they are straight. This means you need to wrap them in about 5 wraps of teflon tape, and then screw in ALL THE WAY until it bottoms to get a good seal.

After this, you can either connect the 1/4" mnpt threads to a regulator, or your meter, if it is hand-regulated.

Here is a picture of the propane regulating valve I made the other day for use on my upcoming project.

<img src="http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a123/markfh11q/PRIVS.jpg">


This technique probably seals better than the hosing idea, and looks a lot better too. I tested it with some soap water and found no leaks. I'm pretty sure a piece of hosing would leak if you just clamped it onto the torch shaft, (unless you did it right, with two clamps with the heads on opposite sides).

That's it!
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Unread postAuthor: pyrogeek » Wed Jul 19, 2006 9:53 am

they also make an adapter that lets you screw the tank in and then it has 1/4 threads on the other side.
Its the 3rd one down on this page:

<a href="http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.mrheater.com/upload/item/F276140.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.mrheater.com/seriesdetail.asp%3Fid%3D158%26cid%3D0&h=135&w=88&sz=7&hl=en&start=13&tbnid=phKxgfR52qs6QM:&tbnh=92&tbnw=60&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dfemale%2Bpropane%2Badapter%26svnum%3D10%26hl%3Den%26lr%3D%26safe%3Doff%26sa%3DG">Long Ass Link</a>

NOTE FROM EVERYONES FAVORITE MODERATOR, PIMPMANN22- Put long links into HTML tags.
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Unread postAuthor: CS » Wed Jul 19, 2006 10:00 am

Nice thinking posting this. I use the same method, although the Bernz-O-Matic torch heads I get our rounded so it makes it harder (as you pointed out). I just put in the vise with copper guards on it to not dent the brass. I dont either recall who induced this little-big difference of the torch idear' to the forums, but im almost sure it wasnt SM. I think it was just some forum straggler that had like ~20 posts.

For asthetic purpose just turn the brass fitting into the regulator just ~45 degrees more to get both the torch valve and the regulator adjustment knob parrell to each other. Serves no purpose, just one of the knacks I think a few of us have...
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Unread postAuthor: benstern » Wed Jul 19, 2006 2:10 pm

OMFG!!!!!!!! Post stretching!!!!!

Anyways, that is a nice setup you have there.
You do know that they make fittings so you don't need to use the torch head.
They are called propane throwaway cylinder adapters.
Image
http://www.freewebtown.com/flyingsloths ... opaneadapt
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Unread postAuthor: mark.f » Wed Jul 19, 2006 3:39 pm

Neat. I've seen those before and, yes, that would have been better if I didn't have to order one.
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Unread postAuthor: SpudStuff » Wed Jul 19, 2006 4:41 pm

I got a generic brand torch at the fleamarket for $2 it has the same thread patern as a 3/8 inch compression fitting for attaching the torch shaft or whatever it is called
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Unread postAuthor: frogy » Wed Jul 19, 2006 5:55 pm

Pimpman would you do the greatness of fixing pyrogeeks link....

This method seems very nice, I will definately do this with my valve when I make a propane meter...

1/4" NPT = 1/4" MNPT, most of the time whenever F (female) isn't stated it means it's Male, so 1/4" FNPT is valid, so in the future you don't need MNPT...

I'm going to heat mine up first to try to sweat the perma lock-tite so it's easier to get off and then I'll hit it with the ole torque wrench....
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Unread postAuthor: mark.f » Wed Jul 19, 2006 6:29 pm

You don't need to do that. Just lock the vice grips tight and turn hard.
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Unread postAuthor: sgort87 » Wed Jul 19, 2006 7:03 pm

Pyrogeek, I think you meant this one:
<img src="http://www.mrheater.com/upload/item/F273754.jpg">
I use them on all of my propane related things except the Blue Flame II because I wanted an adjustable flow.

The cool thing about these adapters it that they cost $6 which is about a third of the cost of the torch head and the dumb adapter.
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Unread postAuthor: mark.f » Wed Jul 19, 2006 7:42 pm

Great if I could find any of those. Mr. Heater brand ones online would cost more than the torch and compression nut, (when the compression nut is about 90 cents).
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Unread postAuthor: sgort87 » Wed Jul 19, 2006 8:07 pm

Menards and ACE. Maybe Home Depot. Look in the grill section.
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Unread postAuthor: mark.f » Wed Jul 19, 2006 8:40 pm

I'll try that next time. :D Maybe when I get started on my cousin's Christmas gift. Might be a little cheaper than a torch.

Do you know where I can get a regulator cheap though? :wink:
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