Common Glassworking Questions About Oxygen Concentrators

A lot of confusion arises when it comes to considering an oxygen concentrator, and Bethlehem Burners is officially setting the record straight! Whether you’re an experienced glass artist or a novice looking for knowledge, the glassworking experts are here to answer your “burning questions” about oxygen concentrators.

What is an Oxygen Concentrator

The question that begins all other questions: “What is an oxygen concentrator?” An oxygen concentrator is a self contained mechanical unit. It functions by pulling air through filters, separating the oxygen from the nitrogen. The disposed oxygen gets compressed and fed through a hose to be repurposed. That purpose, if you’ve landed here, is to fuel your flameworking torch!

When to Use an Oxygen Concentrator

The beautiful thing about oxygen concentrators is that they can be utilized in a multitude of ways. Not only do they function in the world of lampworking, but these multifaceted machines are also used in other industries, like medicine.

In our case, an oxygen concentrator is needed when using a gas or an oxygen fueled torch. These machines are ideal for artists who do not want to carry the burden of purchasing or refilling their own oxygen tanks. Think about it…oxygen tanks are really high maintenance! Not only are they expensive to continuously purchase and time-consuming to refill, but they are also heavy and require an enormous amount of physical labor to transport. Do yourself a favor and ditch the hassle (you can thank us later). With an oxygen concentrator, you have constant access to pure oxygen 24/7, so you can flamework forever (theoretically).

How to Use an Oxygen Concentrator

It doesn’t take much to operate your very own contracting machine! All you’ll need to do is:

  1. Access an electrical outlet
  2. Have an oxygen hose handy for connecting the concentrator to your torch
  3. Keep your concentrator producing oxygen for as long as your torch is running
    • Note: Continuously running your concentrator does not store oxygen anywhere (It’s a machine, not Thanksgiving — no leftovers)

Voila! You’re now successfully using an oxygen concentrator…Yes — it’s really THAT easy.

Do I need an Oxygen Concentrator?

If you’ve made it this far, you’re probably wondering if you really need an oxygen concentrator. Well…are you currently glassworking in the comfort of your own home? Do you usually have low production quantities, or are you creating small, intricate pieces of art? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions — you absolutely need an oxygen concentrator in your life! This machine is ideal for artists creating smaller glassworking projects, jewelry makers, and any soft glass users operating mid-range / small end torches (ie. The Bravo Sharp Flame, Bravo Torch, The STACKS, The Sharp Flame, and Alpha Torch).

Did you answer “no”? Chances are you still may want to consider a concentrator, especially if you are flame artists working with more glass / larger torches and use a compressor system. You can efficiently and conveniently refill your own oxygen tanks using an oxygen concentrator machine. (Check out High Volume Oxygen and Oxygen Frog to break your dependance on tanked oxygen)

Still not sure you need an oxygen concentrator? Consider the long term value associated with an oxygen concentrator. Yes, it costs more upfront than an oxygen tank and or refill, but the average glass artist will save a considerable amount of time and money for years to come having purchased one of these brilliant machines. Working independently and can’t access oxygen? — Oxygen Concentrator. Reliant on fuel, and can’t create art without oxygen? — Oxygen Concentrator.

“Even those who use tank oxygen can benefit from using a concentrator. Even if it’s just for the centerfire of your torch, Bethlehem Burner’s highly recommends it” – Kate Hayes

For more information, or to ask any questions you may have that were not answered above, contact one of the glassworking experts at Bethlehem Burners today.