How can they weld old oil drums without, like, pop! : LUSENET : Junkyard Wars : One Thread

Explosive fumes and all that... do they clean out the drums before any welding happens?

And why is the USA forum so active and the UK one not?

-- Uncle Orange (, February 13, 2001


Agent orange, it could be because it's been said that the Americans are obnoxious and loud-mouthed. I have wondered the same thing, they are getting only about 6 or 8 posts a week on the Brit board. Thanks for not commenting about the "new format for the shows." The drums may have been cleaned and dried before the show, or they may have been used for something besides oil, and not flammable. I use nitrogen to displace the oxygen in flammable containers if it is necessary to weld on one.

-- Waddy Thompson (, February 13, 2001.

They only have 12 computers in England so they all have to share. About the drums..... Oil doesn't really build up heavy fumes. It will ignite under alot of heat though or just smoke but I don't think it's that combustable.

-- frank (, February 13, 2001.

Having been burned 2nd and 3rd degree on my face and hands, welding on an oil pan, I wouldn't do it again without a thorough cleaning at least. I use CO2 to displace oxygen when I weld gas tanks, or any container which housed a flammable liquid. You have to displace at least 2% of the oxygen in a container to remove the possibility of combustion.


-- JustJay-Captain-Three Rusty Juveniles (, February 13, 2001.

I thought a former contestant had posted here once that the oil drums in the yard are actually brand new, for that very reason.

-- Eric (, February 13, 2001.

Here's a tip.... if you don't have co2 or any other inert gas availabe to purge the tank that your working on, Take a shop vac hose and attach it to the end of your exhaust pipe. Stick the other end into the tank you are welding. make sure there is an escape route for the gas for a thorough purge. P.S. {You might want an escape route for yourself also just incase your a newbie at it..He Laughs histericaly....}

-- Craig Wardle (, February 13, 2001.

You have to be extra careful when cutting tanks with a cutting torch, as you are blowing pure heated oxygen into the tank with the torch as it cuts. If I have to cut a port in a tank that has held flammable liquid, I use nitrogen to displace the O2, and fill it partly with water if it is convenient, to near full, to reduce the available space inside for an explosion. Also it's a good idea to keep the purge gas going while cutting. Welding is not as dangerous, but it is still a good idea to purge. The exhaust gas thing works too. I think Jay may have wanted to say that you have to reduce the O2 content to less than 2%, instead of to remove only 2%. If the barrell is open on one or both ends, it will not explode, but you could have a flash flame.

-- Waddy Thompson (, February 13, 2001.

Further to Craig Wardle's suggestion. My Father worked in the automotive industry and he has a rather neat story about one of his mechanics welding a petrol tank. As Craig suggested the standard proceedure they had was to use a vacuum cleaner hose connected to a vehicle exhaust pipe to pump CO/CO2 through the petrol tank, only a new not so very smart apprentice decided to use a variation on the theme; he thought rather than blowing fumes through the tank, he would suck the petrol fumes out of the tank. To facilitate this he connected the end of the vacuum cleaner hose to what it was designed to connect to - a vacuum cleaner. The vacuum cleaner did infact suck the petrol fumes out of the tank and on their way through the vacuum cleaner, they went past the vacuum cleaners motor brushes, you can guess the rest..... The vacuum cleaner was split open with a large BANG!!!

-- Michael H (, February 15, 2001.

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