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re: Cheap Regulators

"DT" <itsdon at erinet_com> sez:
> I went to the local flea market Sunday to look for some goodies . While I
> was there I noticed many regulators of many different makes and conditions .
> I bought two just to see how they operate , and if they could be adapted to
> Co2 tanks . Both were two stage ...one a Matheson Oxygen regulator with a
> Victor flowmeter all in stainless steel ( $15.00 ) and the other, ( not as
> high in quality ) ,  a Craftsman Helium regulator ( $8.00 ) in solid brass .
> For the money it`ll be worth my time just to see how they work . Both are in
> mint condition , The Matheson still had the original plastic bag .
>      My point being....maybe these can`t be adapted to handle Co2 , and
> maybe they can ....but with very little effort I found two possibles for
> next to nothing and passed up 10 more I didn`t buy that were in as good a
> shape as mine were.

They are most likely single stage regulators (which is not a bad
thing).  Just make sure the maximum inlet pressure rating of the
regulator is higher than the working pressure of your gas cylinder and
you should be OK.  You should be able to get a CGA-320 fitting from a
welding supply store.

The most common failure mode that I have run across with old regulators
is leakage from the high pressure side to the output. (The internal
valve leaks.)  So, at very low flow rates or when your torch (or
whatever) is turned off, the output pressure creeps up, limited only by
the tank pressure.  Very bad :(

I'm still trying to figure out how to take some leaky old Victor
regulators apart. They probably only need a good cleaning. They look
like they ought to unscrew, but I can't get them to budge; I've tried
turning both ways just in case they have left-handed threads.  

Best regards,