View Full Version : MAPP gas: How long will it last?

08-11-2003, 04:51 PM
I am awaiting my enhanced Didy glasses before I can get started with my glass, and have a question about MAPP gas containers. The local hardware has 16-oz. bottles, and I would like to know approximately how long that will last ... a day? a few hours? :confused:

Thank you for any help!

suzanneMI, expecting my glasses any day now. (Remember when we had to wait 4 to 6 weeks for deliveries? ... pffftt!)

08-11-2003, 05:01 PM
For me, it lasted about 3-4 hours. If you have a long beadmaking session, toward the end, the bottle will get cold and condensation will freeze on in, and then the flame dwindles. I used to put the bottom of the bottle in a bucket of hot water to melt the ice and the flame gets bigger.

Also, when you are getting toward the end of your tank, the flame will start to dwindle. I used to plan my sessions so that I pul stringer, and work on small beads toward the end of the flask - to avoid running out of gas in the middle of a big and complicated bead.

I now use a bulk tank. Works better. Doesn't freeze, and lasts longer. It is a bit cheaper too.

08-11-2003, 05:04 PM
hello suzanne, the small MAPP canisters should last 6hrs BUT they only last about 4 hours for me before i can't really melt glass anymore. I think that if you do not turn your flame up so high then it will last longer but then it melts a bit slower. I am way too impatient so i need the little bit of extra heat. At least until i upgrade my torch!

good luck!

Oh! and if the canister starts freezing up on you dip it in warm water and you will get more gas out of it.

08-11-2003, 05:20 PM
yep, bout 4 hrs on a single canister....I contacted a local welding supplier and got big tank of propylene...25# i think ...looks like a nuclear weapon..hehe...you purchase the initial tank but the refills are around $30 and it lasts me over 2 months! :) I work on a hot head torch also .

08-11-2003, 05:28 PM
Thanks so much for the quick replies! I have been reading WC for a few weeks now and have so enjoyed the camaraderie you seem to experience here. :)

Originally posted by Trishki/Patricia
I now use a bulk tank. Works better. Doesn't freeze, and lasts longer. It is a bit cheaper too.

Oh, that sounds more like what I need! When I do something, I am either in it up to my neck or not at all, it seems. {hee hee} Four to 6 hours! I'll just be getting started! :rolleyes:

Do you know if the bulk tank MAPP is available at a hardware store, or do I need to go somewhere special for that?

I am beginning on a Quiet Torch so I don't burn the house down right away, but I know that I will be moving up to a Bobcat and natural gas/oxy setup eventually.

suzanneMI, having now added glass to my repetoire of creative endeavors (handspinning, dyeing, beading, hoarding of embellishments ad infinitum ... I won't bore you with the long list.) ;)

08-11-2003, 05:38 PM
Suzanne, I actually think that with the QT, you might do a little better on your small MAPP tanks. I have a Flameworks torch & I'm noticing that my bulk tank is lasting longer because I can turn the flame down and still have workable heat. As a matter of fact, if I turn it up the way I used to on the HH, the torch starts to glow red--a little disconcerting and not at all necessary (I finally figured out!).

Check your local welding suppliers for MAPP in bulk.

Hope this helps,


08-11-2003, 05:48 PM
Originally posted by littlecrow1
yep, bout 4 hrs on a single canister....I contacted a local welding supplier and got big tank of propylene...25# i think ...looks like a nuclear weapon..hehe...you purchase the initial tank but the refills are around $30 and it lasts me over 2 months! :) I work on a hot head torch also .
I missed your post before I posted my question on where to find bulk. We have a welding supplier in town, so they should be able to fix me up with something if I need to go that route. I will probably accumulate some MAPP bottles first beforel I "streamline" to the nuclear weapon format ... :evil:

08-11-2003, 07:04 PM
Welders supply seems to be the best bet for bulk. If you purchase a NEW propane tank (Home Depot, Lowes, even Wally World), it can be used for MAPP, brazing fuel, .....there are a number of brand names. Check the archives in Technical Forum. Dale is a font (fount??) of valuable information.

The big thing is that MAPP cannot safely be put into a tank that has had another gas in it. The ones at the hardware store are cheaper than the ones at welding supply............so long as it's empty and new, there should be no problem.

Good luck..........tish

08-11-2003, 07:21 PM
i purchased my tank from the welding supplier. $62.28..I get a new tank each time i go in for a refill$26.75 propylene is what I use, similar to mapp and I have had to problem with it...well unless u count that " drain your hose" incident...rofl!!!!!!!

remember to drain your hoses once ina while..and you wont freak out like i did when the gunk shoots out...rofl!!! I am very thankful to this forum for its wealth of information and great people!!!!

08-11-2003, 07:21 PM
You get a 25lb tank refilled for $30??? Wow....I pay $45 for 7lbs...What a rip....Need to find a different supplier.....

ok...that was quick.......off the phone from another welding store...they charge $22.95 for refilling a 7 lb-er and $90 to refill a 30 lb-er....DO I EVER FEEL STUPID...one call and what a price difference...

Learnings to share: Shop around...(I obviously didn't)...

08-11-2003, 07:24 PM
ohhh while your at your welding supplier! check out the ss rods for mandrels!! loads cheaper than the going rate online or at glass shops!!!!

08-11-2003, 07:28 PM
Originally posted by pattykake
Welders supply seems to be the best bet for bulk. If you purchase a NEW propane tank (Home Depot, Lowes, even Wally World), it can be used for MAPP, brazing fuel, ....

Be warned... Not all gas suppliers will fill a tank you bring in off the street. EVEN if it is brand new. It has to do do with liablities so check with supplier before you just bring in tank to get it filled. Gas suppliers usually will sell you a tank properly labled for the type of gas that it contains. It is also unually customary to exchange tanks because not all suppliers have facilities to actually fill tank on site, but usually have a number of full tanks available for exchange.


FUEL/AIR Torches (Hot Head - Quiet Torch/Fireworks) - Gases – Tanks - Regulators


Names for brazing fuels are:

MAPP - Brand name of Airgas and others
Propylene – Common product name
Flame-X, - Flamex Industries, Inc., St. Petersburg, Fla.
(The additive is shippable by UPS with extra hazardous shipping cost.)
(A proprietary mix of Chemtain 2 and propane)
PCG (Pure Cutting Gas). [can not find origin for this product]
FG2 - Brand name of Praxair (propylene)

Regardless of what it is called, you want a brazing fuel that burns at about 3600 degrees

According to MSDS these fuels are a mixture of, or may contain any of the following:

Methyl Acetylene Propadiene
1,3 Butadiene
Chemtain 2 (less than 1% and propane)

Tank pressure according to MSDS may range from 97 psi to 157psi at 70 Deg F. Depending on what actual fuel you are using.

Check material data safety sheets for the gas product you intend to use for specific safety and handling instructions.


Check with "welding gas" suppliers or "industrial gas" suppliers to find the above mentioned gasses.


Bulk tanks come in all sizes. You can either "buy" a tank or rent/lease it.

Some common references to tanks are like a #10 pounder….. Which really means the tank holds 10 pounds of fuel. My 10 pounder is actually 16.5 pounds empty and 26.5 pounds full. It measures about 8 inched in diameter and is 21 inches tall. In contrast a aluminum 7 pounder weights about 8 pounds empty and about 16 pounds full.

For another example tanks may come in 30 pound size, this is most likely 30 pounds of gas and the tank probably weighs 25 to 33 pounds itself. Check the empty weight and the full weight on the cylinder to know what terminology you are dealing with. The terminology (not capacity) varies from area to area and distributor to distributor.

Yes cylinders vary for size and weight. It's all stamped on cylinders. Also who manufactured the cylinders and the date it was made, and dates that it was last inspected. Also cylinders with brazing fuels (MAPP/Propylene) may be painted yellow (if not plain aluminum color).

Almost all gas suppliers will NOT fill a propane tank (they have to have new OPD overfill valve anyway) with "brazing fuel" because they do not what the chance mixing of fuel types. MAPP/Propylene tanks are exempt from the new overfill valve law, because its usually a "gas technician" filling the tanks and not the "gofer" at local gas station or boat yard.

Open the tank valve all the way when you use it. If you partially open the valve you might get freezing in the line as the gas expands through the hose.

Bulk tanks "may" be also sold back to gas distributor when no longer needed (at a discount).


A hose rated for propane is acceptable for use with MAPP or other brazing fuels. Hoses will usually have rating printed or embossed on hose. A grade or type "T" is what is required for propane use. Hose may also have "LP Gas Approved" or similar statement embossed or printed on hose.

Hoses may be ordered for reputable glass suppliers or found at local camping and hardware stores.

Places like Sears, Home Depot, Lowes, Wal-Mart, local hardware stores , sporting goods, and propane dealers and recreational vehicle dealers may also have them. These hose types are common to camping activities and BBQ equipment. Brand names that come to mind are Coleman and Mr. Heater.

Typical hose will be from 5 to 8 feet long (or more). Have a female 1x20 inch "disposable bottle" connection on one end (for torch) and have a P.O.L. fitting on the other end (tank).

Hoses may also have a 1X20 inch disposable cylinder, female fitting on one end and a 1X20 inch disposable cylinder male fitting on the other end. This would allow one to use torch on small disposable bottles and allowing bottle to be placed on floor or out of way. A 1X20 inch disposable cylinder, female fitting to P.O.L. adapter is available so this hose type can also be used with bulk tanks (P.O.L. valve)

A hose is also available with the 1X20 inch disposable cylinder, female fitting on one end and a 1/4 inch pipe thread fitting on the other end (suitable for adapting to regulators or other plumbing situations).


First off let me say "A regulator is not required with a Hot Head or a Quiet Torch/Fireworks torch"

If you desire to use one, or are forced to buy one by a gas distributor, you need one that will have a high side (tank) gauge that will measure from 0 to 300psi minimum. Have a regulated out pressure between 80-to 100 psi average. YES!…… Again Hot Head and Quiet torch/Fireworks is designed to run at tank pressure ( 122PSI for MAPP) . If you do not have these pressure its doubtful whether then Hot Head or Quiet Torch/Fireworks will function properly.

You will also have to adapt whatever the threaded fitting on the regulator is to the appropriate hose with what ever adapters that are necessary.

Cindy Jenkins, the author of the book "Glass Bead Making" also states that and regulator is not needed or required for the Hot Head to Operate Properly.

The people who design (engineers) and manufacturer the Hot Head state a regulator is not required.

Mike Aurelus of Aura Lenses who imports and sells the Quiet Torch, will also confirm that the Quite Torch requires full tank pressure of MAPP or Propane or Propylene to operate properly. And that no regulator is needed and will probably cause you problems.

As a side note: There are cases where people using a regulator have solved some of their problems by placing a regulator in their systems. BUT these are exceptions they not the norm.


The oily goo in the hose that may cause spitting and sputtering is a garlic oil that gives the gas an odor for leak detection. Disconnect hose from torch and tank and hang them over something with connectors down and drain your hoses to rid them of the oil. Maybe once per week or so for general principles. Put a pan or something under hose ends to catch oils.

Gunk or Goo shouldn't be a problem if you exchange tanks each time but if there is a problem with a particular tank take the tank back to the supplier and demand a "clean" one. If you own the tank, have the gas supplier purge it for you.


Using the bulk refillable canisters in your home is not recommended, and is probably prohibited in most areas. A garage or porch area is a safer place for the big canisters. Some people secure their tanks in a homemade box just outside a window or door. That prevents a propane/MAPP/propylene tank stored outside from being tampered with while still allowing easy access so you can attach your hose and run the hose indoors to make beads! Always bleed (or burn off ) the fuel from your hose before shutting the torch down for the day!


When using Hot Head or Quiet Torch on a hose, you will need to have some sort of bracket to support HH to work surface and you will no longer have the tank to use as a mode of securing the torch.

Yes if all else fails you can use propane with a Hot Head or Quiet Torch/Fireworks.

Rev 07-22-03



08-11-2003, 07:31 PM
Mittler Supply Inc.
po box 1676
south bend IN

this is where my gas comes from....I get mine from a mittler store in Grand Rapids MI, but call this place or have your supplier call them....that price you are paying is crazy! Trish ask them the prices for a 25# tank.

08-11-2003, 07:36 PM
Dale~ you are a Information God!!!!!!!!:clap:

I print most of your posts...lol

08-11-2003, 09:42 PM
Suzanne! Where in the UP are you?! I'm a born yooper, but we moved under the bridge about 14 years ago. I"m determine to go back up there and live there again... I've only been to my hometown once since we moved! We used to live in Houghton. I may go to college at NMU... is it a good college?

I'm THRILLED to have you on WC! :D


Ellen Altamore
08-12-2003, 08:26 AM
Suzanne - check around and see if Purity delivers to a place near you. They come to a junk yard here in town and I got into my 7 lb tank of MAPP for $75 and then pick up refills every month or so for $20. I've never tried propane but remember the prices are very different.

08-12-2003, 09:35 AM
Every state has different rules - I know a person who told me that you can't get bulk tanks of Mapp in Tennessee unless you are a licensed welder

In Ohio You can get Mapp in several size tanks but the best is the 7 lb aluminum tanks - They have a nice handle on the top for easy carrying and are pretty light. They also are newer than most of the other tanks. If you have to carry them in the car they are a lot less dirty usually.

They cost $75 to purchase and $12 to refill. You get alot more time on them than the throw aways because after the first 4 hours on a throw away you frost up and have to warm up the tank before you can use the last 1/3 of the tank. You also can rent the tanks for $5.00 a month if you only want to try them out before buying one.

Most of my students go this route as many of them are concerned about how to dispose of the throw away tanks.

Not sure what the rules are in Michigan.

08-12-2003, 10:13 AM

Check around. I use propylene, which is pretty much the same as MAPP, I get it in San Carlos, and it costs me somewhere in the neighborhood of $45 for 26 lb of propylene refill.