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 CO2 tank for cleaning? 
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 Post subject: CO2 tank for cleaning?
PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2007 9:11 am 
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I've long used "canned air" (like the kind sold at computer/electronics/office stores) for blasting the inevitable powder spillage and other flotsam out of the press and around the press area. But its kind of expensive and I don't want to get into a compressor (noise, storage, etc) so I was thinking that CO2 tank would be a decent alternative -- high volume gas storage, inexpensive to use, and it makes Al Gore feel bad when I spray CO2 in pursuit of making firearms ammunition.

Can I just buy a CO2 tank, a regulator and a hose with an air-spray fitting? I assume that a CO2 tank can get filled at any welding shop or maybe even at carbonic machines.

Is it really that simple? I'm pretty sure I want to use CO2 vs. compressed air, since the pressure required to keep CO2 liquid is pretty low, thus ensuring a high volume of gas per tank.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2007 9:30 am 
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I wouldn't use CO2 unless it was in a very well ventilated area.

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2007 9:33 am 
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Rip Van Winkle wrote:
I wouldn't use CO2 unless it was in a very well ventilated area.


I appreciate the warning, but if I'm doing a lot of loading and a lot of spilling, a can of canned air lasts about two weeks. My guess is I won't asphyxiate on CO2 at that volume of use.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2007 9:57 am 
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At that low volume, why not just get one of those air tanks that you can "charge" for free at a gas station?

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2007 10:15 am 
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I use a small paint brush.

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2007 2:48 pm 
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I would never use compressed anything to clean a bench that was used to handle lead. Not so much a worry with just plated and jacketed bullets, but cast bullets and plain lead shot along with both used and unfired primer dust would be a lead poisoning hazard if you toss a compressed gas into the mix. If your bench is out in the garage I wouldn't worry about that if one was to use a dust mask while cleaning.
In the house workspace I would advise using a brush and dustpan-and even in that situation using a dustmask would not be overkill. A trigger spray cleaner and paper towels are good too.

Do as you will, I suppose. I've seen people get poisoned using air compressors. It doesn't happen all in one go. It sneaks up on you and chews your ass off.http://twincitiescarry.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=6288
That, and ever go to use a cylinder (of compressed anything), that you swore was at least half full the day before, only to discover that the valve seals dried out and failed?
Ok. No more soapbox preaching from me me on this subject. I promise.

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2007 6:54 pm 
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Andrew Rothman wrote:
At that low volume, why not just get one of those air tanks that you can "charge" for free at a gas station?


Because you don't get much quantity out of compressed "air" (eg, the nitrogen oxygen mix we breathe) unless you compress it to pretty high pressures (I think dive tanks are around 3k PSI) and most gas stations ain't gonna do more than maybe 100 PSI.

CO2 is a liquid at more sane pressures, thus you can basically fill a CO2 tank with liquid CO2 and you get much more gas out the nozzle end. Or so I'm told.

My loading setup is in the garage, so I'm not terribly worried about CO2 leaks, and I only shoot jacketed bullets for the most part so all I'm really doing is dusting powder spillage; the lead dust aspect is pretty low.

The canned air dusters are the path of least resistance, but even at bargain prices of about $4 for 12 oz, its not hard to see where a 10lb cylinder of CO2 pays for itself pretty quickly.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2007 7:23 pm 
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The cost of a cylinder will exceed the cost of a small compressor. you can buy a compressor for well under 100 dollars for a small hobby compressor at menards. The "deposit" on a CO2 tank is around a hundred dollars, and you have to pay to get it filled, If I was going to pay for a tank, I would look at a more inert gas, like argon or nitrogen,



I use a small compressor with low air pressure to blow my presses off,

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2007 8:07 am 
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I use CO2 in by home draft beer setup. I'll tell you what I know without judging your intended use.

You are right- CO2 compressed in a tank is a liquid. You get a lot of volume. My #20 tank lasts years on my 4 keg draft rig.

You can get tanks ranging in size from #5, #10, and #20 (pounds) are common sizes. The cost of refilling them all is remarkably similar, as labor costs more than the gas. Filling up a #5 tank is maybe $20, where filling up a #20 tank is about $25- give or take. It's been a while since I've filled mine.

You can go to any welding or industrial gas shop to get a CO2 tank. They operate on a deposit system. You'll pay for the gas, and a refundable deposit on the tank. They you just swap an empty tank for a full one.

You can also purchase an empty tank, but you'll find out that most places don't like returning the same tank- and those that do will make you wait several days to get it filled and returned. But it's possible.

You can also get a regulator and pressure gauge, and rig up some type of spray valve or nozzle, like an air compressor.

I don't see the risk in having a CO2 tank in the house. CO2 isn't flammable, in fact it's used in fire extinguishers. You have to use common sense with it and understand what you're working with- the stuff coming directly out of the tank will freeze skin pretty darn fast- it's what dry ice is made of.

If you can handle propane, gasoline, powder, primers, acetone, etc....
You should be able to handle CO2.

Not saying if it's be okay for your intended use or not- I have no idea. But it's not impossible to rig up something. The initial investment might be a couple hundred bucks, though.

If you do go thru with this, check out used stuff- look for someone dumping their homebrew stuff. This kind of merchandise is expensive new, but can be a white elephant if you want to get rid of it.

PM me if you want to discuss in greater detail.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2007 11:54 am 
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Paintball gear often uses C02 as well. You'd have to rig something up, but the CO2 supply and tanks might be more convenient.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2007 1:28 pm 
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Brewman wrote:
I use CO2 in by home draft beer setup. I'll tell you what I know without judging your intended use.


Thanks. I found that Midwest Homebrewing & Supplies sells emtpy cylinders and I am sure they know where they can be refilled with a minimum of hassle, although I can also imagine that the exchange thing is easier (like propane, I finally gave in and went to exchange vs. refilling).

When I get back I am going to look into this further.

An air compressor just isn't what I want -- I have no air tools, plan on buying none, and I don't want the racket from a compressor running.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2007 1:55 pm 
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paintball tanks are also CO2, as ironbear mentions. I've found the cost of refills to be pretty high, though, when compared to larger tanks. I guess it all depends on your possible volume, and the incremental costs of the larger tanks. Not sure if there are regulators for paintball tanks, if so they'd probalby cost similar to the larger ones.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2007 2:28 pm 
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ironbear wrote:
Paintball gear often uses C02 as well. You'd have to rig something up, but the CO2 supply and tanks might be more convenient.


Never thought about that!


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 06, 2007 8:55 am 
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Like Brewman, I use CO2 for my homebrew system.

I made the mistake of buying one of those nice aluminum cylinders. Not from Midwest thankfully but from Beveragefactory.com Much cheaper. Or so I thought.

I finally found a place that will fill it wile you wait out in Plymouth, fortunately I have a friend that works out there so he got it filled for me. I hear there is a place near Vandalia and University that will also fill while you wait.

It would depend on if you want a nice shiny aluminum cylinder or an old steel one. Aluminum is lighter, but you either have to find a place that will fill it for you, or exchange it for a steel one. You can get/exchange steel cylinders all over the place.

There are some concerns that other have pointed out, ventilation is good, and if you think the cans of compressed air get cold... I understand you don't want the noise of a compressor, but I think that one of the small pancake compressors will suit you better. Takes up about the same amount of space (or less), probably cheaper, and much safer for what you are trying to do.



http://www.beveragefactory.com/draftbeer/tanks/co2/C10.shtml

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 06, 2007 9:07 am 
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meltedeyes wrote:
Like Brewman, I use CO2 for my homebrew system.

I made the mistake of buying one of those nice aluminum cylinders. Not from Midwest thankfully but from Beveragefactory.com Much cheaper. Or so I thought.

I finally found a place that will fill it wile you wait out in Plymouth, fortunately I have a friend that works out there so he got it filled for me. I hear there is a place near Vandalia and University that will also fill while you wait.

It would depend on if you want a nice shiny aluminum cylinder or an old steel one. Aluminum is lighter, but you either have to find a place that will fill it for you, or exchange it for a steel one. You can get/exchange steel cylinders all over the place.

There are some concerns that other have pointed out, ventilation is good, and if you think the cans of compressed air get cold... I understand you don't want the noise of a compressor, but I think that one of the small pancake compressors will suit you better. Takes up about the same amount of space (or less), probably cheaper, and much safer for what you are trying to do.



http://www.beveragefactory.com/draftbeer/tanks/co2/C10.shtml


Thanks for the info. I take it the Al cylinders are hard to refill because they're aluminum or because most places want to do an exchange and not a fill? I don't mind a small wait, I'm guessing a 5 lb tank would take me months and months to use up.

I'm surprised at how many people are worried that CO2 is "too dangerous" to use for the occasional removal of dust/debris from the equipment I use to make HIGH POWERED ammunition using EXPLOSIVE and COMBUSTIBLE COMPONENTS which I put in a HANDGUN and CARRY IN PUBLIC!


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