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1  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Discussion and Questions / Safely starting up a neglected torch... help! on: May 22, 2008 10:18:06 AM
OK, so some years ago, I got into jewelry fabrication, and got a nice torch setup in my dad's garage.  it's an acetylene/air torch (http://www.littletorch.com/silversmith.html)  I picked up a tank of acetylene from a local welding supply place (B-size tank, 40 cu ft. if I remember correctly)  I used maybe half the gas, then left home for college.  When I came home for summers, I worked full time, and didn't have time for torch work.

So now, about 5 years later, that tank is still in my dad's garage, half-full of acetylene.   I'm a little afraid of it now, after neglecting it so long, since it IS a pressurized tank of flammable/explosive gas.  Is it safe to start using this tank and torch again?  How do I go about checking it safely to make sure everything is in working order?  It has been stored upright, off the ground, and protected from being struck or otherwise damaged.  if it isn't safe to USE the gas, what do I do with it?  bleed it off, or bungee it to the passenger seat of my car to take it back to the welding supply place?

also: I did not previously have a flashback arrestor, since my teacher said they were mostly for fuel/oxy torches, and that acetylene/air was safer, unless the tank was almost empty.  I'm planning on picking one up as it is, but I was just wondering wether he was right.  all the info I'm finding about them online is geared for fuel/oxy.

I know I tend to be paranoid, but this is something it's probably justified for.  thanks for any help!
2  MORE ART, LESS CRAFT / More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works / Re: My kitten, KODA! :D 6pics. on: May 15, 2008 07:29:42 AM
nice photos, the first few are out-of-focus everywhere but the face, which is a little disorienting, but i'm not sure if there's anything to do about that.  and on the second, that white thing seems to be messing with the white balance of the pic, but I know cats are difficult models if they're not asleep.  

The third is my favorite, the out-of-focus background works very well, and the composition is very well balanced and interesting.

also: your cat is a girl. the orange/black combo can only come from 2 X chromosomes.  so either a girl, or a very rare XXY male.
3  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Weddings and Bridal Showers / Re: DIY engagement rings are not for the faint hearted. on: April 29, 2008 08:12:13 PM
Are you planning to melt down multiple pieces for the rings, or just one?  If it's multiple pieces, I can understand their hesitation.  the gold alloys used for jewelry contain a lot of base metals, and the composition changes casting temp. and such.  Also, there might be problems if you accidentally mix a palladium white gold alloy with a nickel white gold alloy.  My thought is that the jewelers who can do the recycling have access to some fancy equipment to take all that into consideration, but aren't very good at the design style you want. 

Or it might be a conflict of tools.  recycled gold is pretty much always cast, and a lot of indie jewelry artists buy their metals as pre-formed sheets and wire, and cut and solder to get their final pieces. the tools for that kind of jewelry design are much more affordable than the tools required for casting.

the places that only use their own sourced stones have probably been burned in the past by fake stones.  Some types of stones are strong enough to have molten metal poured around them, and some aren't.  So if you thought you had a diamond, and it turned out to be fake, it's could to crack in the casting and possibly foul up the entire model.  Or they're afraid that someone might give them a stone that isn't real, and when they get the fake stone back, claim that the jeweler stole their real stone, and gave them back a fake.  it's just a lot easier for the jeweler to know what the stones are up front.

You might ask if the places that recycle gold would be willing to cast from a wax that you supply.  Jewelers wax isn't very expensive, so you, or someone else might be able to make the wax model, and they'd just have to do the casting. (https://www.riogrande.com/ is an excellent source for professional jewelry supplies if you're interested in this option.  wax is in the Tools catalogue)  Or you might be able to have the places that recycle make your gold into ingot or casting grain for you to take to a jeweler who can do the design and casting. 
4  Halloween / Halloween Costumes / Re: Wanna help? on: October 06, 2007 10:04:39 PM
If you want to stick with the fairy idea, I'd suggest an Amy Brown-style fairy. ( like http://www.amybrownart.com/images2_107/open/sweet.jpg  or http://www.amybrownart.com/images2_107/open/faerytude.jpg  for examples)

Striped tights are easy to find this time of year, as are fairywings, if you don't feel like making your own. (I think there are some wing tutes around here somewhere, though)  and I see from your previous posts that you're experienced in making clothes, so a simple corset-ish top and gathered skirt would be easy.

btw: your hair is lovely.  mine is waist-length as well... I'm going to be putting it into a semi-authentic geisha hairstyle for halloween, since it won't fit under a wig  Roll Eyes
5  KNITTING / Knitting: Discussion and Questions / Re: Clover Knitting Counter Kacha-Kacha Red- is it worth $8.99? on: June 11, 2007 01:38:51 PM
get the Kacha Kacha!  the little cheap round counters are a pain in the butt, you have to twist the little end pieces every row to change it, and they're often either too stiff to easily turn, or too loose, and lose their place.  with the kacha kacha, there's a big button on the top, and you just press it to tick off another row.  Also, on the round ones, when you reach row 9, you then have to turn the right knob back to 0, and the left one to 1 for row 10.  the kacha kacha automatically goes from 9 to 10 with the same button press as any other row. if you keep the counter in a convenient, upright spot (I usually keep mine tucked behind my knee when I sit with crossed legs), you can just hit the button with the heel of your hand, and not even take your hands off the needles. The little ones may be cheap, but they're also a pain.  the Kacha Kacha is worth the little extra money for all the annoyance it saves you from.
6  CLOTHING / Clothing: Discussion and Questions / Re: That stuff that is on the inside of Thigh-Highs on: March 31, 2007 07:08:31 PM
Silicone is actually really easy to find, just go to a hardware store Smiley
 
they sell clear silicone for sealing windows and you can usually get a big tube for maybe $5 US.  You can also get smaller amounts in pet stores, sold for resealing aquariums. 

when it's wet, it smells like vinegar. it takes a while to get uncured silicone off hands, so try not to get it on them.  when it's dry, it's quite stretchy.  to get a thin layer of silicone like on Thigh-highs, the best thing I can think of is running a thin bead of silicone, and laying a piece of waxed paper over it to flatten it.
7  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Re: Piratical Hoodie on: June 19, 2006 05:39:54 PM
where did you find striped jersey?  I've been looking everywhere for it!   Huh
8  COOKING / Dessert / Re: It's (soon to be) raining figs! on: May 31, 2006 09:56:17 AM
perhaps I'm being silly, but check your figs before you eat them... many varieties of figs are pollinated by wasps which lay their eggs inside the "fruit" of the fig.  sure, they're tiny wasps, and tinier larvae/eggs, but i doubt you'd want to eat them.  Lips sealed

here's a few sites with info...
http://waynesword.palomar.edu/pljune99.htm
http://www.figweb.org/index.htm
9  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Discussion and Questions / Re: japanese folding fan on: April 20, 2006 11:16:56 AM
try looking for Washi or Yuzen paper.  they're fairly thick, but take creases well, and don't tear easily.  you can usually find them in large sheets for a few dollars, and with gorgeous patterns and designs. 

here's a few links so you can see what kinda paper i'm talking about
http://www.craftingisfun.com/SearchResult.aspx?CategoryID=53
http://www.heian.com/yuzenpaper.htm
http://www.ginkoya.com/catalogue/yuzen1.html
10  BATH AND BEAUTY / Bath and Beauty: Discussion and Questions / Re: Hair oil for long-haired folks on: March 28, 2006 10:38:17 AM
if I remember right, both lemon juice and chamomile will lighten hair, so maybe that's why it's not recommended for dark hair.
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