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On/off- On/off- On/off- On/off- On/off- On/off- On/off- On/off- On/off-
On/off- On/off- On/off- On/off- On/off- On/off- On/off- On/off- On/off
That’s a lot of on/offs. When you add them all up for making one piece of hot sculpted glass and multiply by the number of pieces in a day, a week or month and year, that is a lot of on/offs of consumable gases. There is a measurable amount of dollars attached to those gases. To some it’s no biggie, but to some it’s every penny counts and it’s a life or death of the hot shop that depends on those pennies.
For the last 25 years of making my own work, I have used a homemade Deadman switch, from off the shelf parts. The switches were heavy, but I was young and dumb. Over the years I made a few more for artists that have seen or heard about mine. Each one was a little lighter and smaller. Each person said I should market them.
But no, I wanted to make glass. And I did. Until time, health and economics, caught up with me.
So I finely sat down and designed a CNC machined manifold, the basic platform, to build a universal tool that will save money and consumables with a side effect of a better health environment as an added bonus.
So, what is a deadman switch, you ask. It is a hand held device that the operator must hold tight and press to make a machine run. If the operator lets go of the device, the machine will stop, if there is no lock. The device can turn on/off anything i.e.: Electrical, gas, air, water, fuels or chemicals. In this case, I am talking about using Low Pressure Oxygen and Propane, with surface mix torches, used for glass welding and heating. It can also work with any other fuels and on any other kind of torch.
Charley’s Deadman Switch is a Single Action-Dual Control On and Off Device for Oxygen/Fuel Hand Torches
So what? We use the “Gas/Saver” now, it works. The gases go on and off, with a pilot light and a place to hang it, to boot. Let’s take a good look at that carbon producing machine a little closer. When the mechanism is pressurized, the valves are designed to be open. They are only kept closed, when there is a weight on the counterbalanced torch hanger. No weight, open valves. Gases are always trying to escape. The burner tip and controls for the pilot light flame are under built and self-destruct with an out pouring of carbon that gets into the air and into everything in the room as well, as the glass and lungs of everyone and thing present. Because the device is mounted midway in the hose line, there is a measurable amount of bleed out of both lines as the unit is turned off, not counting the time it takes from the time when the torch is no longer needed in the process, to when it is truly off.
The “Gas/Saver” was designed by and for the metal welding industry, where the carbon cast off is not as troublesome. In the hot glass industry the cleaner the better, for product and production, health and consumables, with the bottom line always in sight.
It works, why change? This is what I was told. Don’t rock the boat. There is no choice anyway. Well there is now.
Charley’s Deadman Switch, when pressurized, the medical quality valves are designed to be closed. Open only when lightly squeezed and can be locked in the open position and closed again very easily by the operator, where ever and when ever, saving hang up time and coworkers safety.
What about the pilot light? A lot of glass artist, use surface mix torches in tandem with the larger bushy bench torch. But there are people who do not. Instead they use a battery powered electronic igniter that can be easily found on the web. One touch and sparks fly.
See video of Charley’s Deadman Switch in use on U-Tube.
Since the valves are in the handle where the torch is, there is no shoot or bleed out of hose lines, a very instant off.
No more of that money going up in smoke.
“Like I said, It’s about the off.”
— Charles Friedman
Sample shown below are 4.1 model with union fittings.
Did I mention – No Soot?
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