Our mission at Bradshaw Oxygen Supply is to provide you with an oxygen generation system that best fulfills your needs as a lampworker. We know that you would rather focus on your art than researching equipment, so we have compiled the three most common compressed oxygen systems for hobby lampworkers. When you find the one that best fits your needs, please click the linked heading to see the complete kit pricing and order form.
There are three types of systems that are typically used for lampworking with oxygen generation. Each will provide you with different pressures and volumes, so it is important to choose the right one for your use case.
Here are the parts that are commonly included in the various systems for reference, followed by details about the most common systems:
Oxygen Concentrator – Bradshaw Oxygen Supply
Oxygen Compressor (homefill) – Bradshaw Oxygen Supply
Homefill supply hose – Bradshaw Oxygen Supply
High pressure braided hose (whip) – Bradshaw Oxygen Supply
Lampworking torch – Online source
Propane bottle – Local pickup
Oxygen/Propane hoses – Online source or local welding supply
Flashback Arrestors – Online source or local welding supply
Propane Regulator – Online source or local welding supply
Oxygen Regulator – Online source or local welding supply
K-tank(s) – Local welding supply
HPLV – High Pressure Low Volume
Best for the weekend warrior and evening lampworker.
The first system is a HPLV (high pressure low volume). This system will work well for any hobby lampworker, on any torch. The primary benefits of this system is that it takes a minimum of space, it is easily expandable for more work time and has the inherent safety of using components designed for high pressure oxygen. As shown in the picture above, this system will consist of:
Oxygen concentrator (5lpm or 10lpm)
Homefill supply hose
Oxygen Compressor (homefill)
High pressure braided hose (whip)
A system like this will run a hobby torch, like a Nortel Mega Minor, for about 5.5 hours on a single tank that starts at 1000 psi. That work time can be increase by adding K-tanks to get an additional 5.5 hours per tank, assuming the use of an 8 liter per minute torch. Although it is possible, and safe, to use the homefill to pressurize the k-tanks up to 2500 PSI, we recommend not doing so to give you the longest life out of your equipment. This system will take approximately 12 hours to fill a single K-tank from a pressure of 500 PSI to 1000 PSI. This system is ideal for those who want to spend the weekend or a few hours in the evenings working glass and are ok with the time in between to refill the tanks.
HVLP – High Volume Low Pressure
Best for the lampworking that needs 8 hours or more a day, every day.
The second system common to hobby glassworkers is HVLP (high volume low pressure). This system will also provide enough pressure and capacity to run any torch. As shown in the picture above, this system will consist of:
Three or more 10lpm oxygen concentrators
Low pressure compressor (120 to 150 PSI)
Holding tank of at least 60 gallons
Oxygen rated hose
5 PSI relief valve
150 PSI relief valve
Lampworking torch of your choice
A single 60 gallon tank, if not being replenished by the system, will last about 5 hours on an 8 liter per minute torch, like the Nortel Mega Minor. The benefit to this system is that it can refill itself faster than a HPLV system and is ideal for those who want to work glass for 5 hours or more, every day. There are some considerations with this system to take into account. First, the footprint of this system is larger than that of a HPLV system. There are three or four concentrators, instead of one but this can be overcome by stacking them on proper shelving. The 60 gallon storage tanks are 24” in diameter instead of the 9” diameter of a K-tank, taking up more floor space. Then next issue is that not all of the equipment in this system is oxygen ready from a safety perspective. When compressed oxygen comes into contact with oil, the combination can be explosive even without an ignition source. This means that the compressor must be oil-less and both the compressor and the storage tank absolutely MUST be completely free of oil prior to use, for your safety. Many lampworkers, who need 8 hours or more of time per day, use this system successfully. Just be sure to understand how this system is set up prior to ever pressurizing oxygen with it.
Best for the frugal lampworker whose focus is beads and small soft glass items.
The third common oxygen generation system for glassworker is direct delivery. This system does not compress oxygen and therefore can only be used with the smallest torches. A direct delivery system would include:
Oxygen Concentrator (10 lpm) Possibly two depending on your torch.
The benefits of this system are that it can be run continuously, takes up a minimum of space and is the least expensive system of the three systems. The drawback is that, although you can add concentrators to increase the volume of oxygen, you cannot increase the pressure beyond about 5 PSI. For example, a Mega Minor torch, with one 10lpm oxygen concentrator can get by for 1” diameter and smaller beads. With two oxygen concentrators, you can achieve 1.5” diameter beads and very small sculptures. However, if you want to work borosilicate (hard glass) larger than about 1/2” to 1” in diameter, boro sculptures or larger soft glass sculptures you will want to choose one of the compressed oxygen options. These are really bead work only systems. If you are interested in creating pipes, bongs or other large items, this system will not generate enough area heat to prevent your creations for shocking and cracking.
*PLEASE NOTE IF WE ARE OUT OF 10 LPM CONCENTRATORS YOU CAN PURCHASE TWO 5LPM PER ONE 10LPM REQUIRED FOR THE SETUPS ABOVE TO WORK OR MIX AND MATCH THE CONCENTRATORS TO EQUATE TO THE LPM AND PSI REQUIRED*
**DISCOUNTS APPLIED AT CHECKOUT FOR TWO OR MORE 5LPM UNITS**