December 31, 2013

Kids! Don't try this at Home

Happy New Year 2014.  Don't blow yourself up

We were exchanging a propane tank that wasn't quite empty and I hated to waste it.  This is how I transferred the extra into our barbeque propane tank.  Quick and easy tutorial on how I filled one propane tank from another:

- make up a ~6' length of hose with a propane tank connector at both ends.  You might have to search a bit to get one with a hose barb.  One of mine did (bought in a Mexican hardware store), one did not and I had to add a pipe thread to hose adapter.  Crank down on the hose clamps quite hard.  This is more pressure than a boat water system for example which may top out at 60 psi.

- use hose with a moderate pressure rating.  Around 250 PSI / 1.6 MPa.  I used clear vinyl reinforced hose, 10mm.  Larger diameters will have LOWER pressure ratings.  Clear hose is great because you can see the propane flowing and also when it stops flowing

- Connect the 2 tanks with your hose

- Hang the full tank upside down in the sun (to help raise it's internal pressure).

- Have the empty tank 6' lower, and in the shade (gravity helps - propane is a liquid under pressure)

- open both tank valves

- open bleed screw on empty tank (not wide open, just a bit). You'll smell a bit of propane but it's normal

- close both valves and bleed screw when propane stops flowing.

- make sure the gas bleeding from the lower tank does not fill a cockpit with cockpit drains that are underwater.  Do it on an open deck.
- no open flames. Make sure the stove is off, and nothing with a pilot light is on.
- do it downwind so propane won't flow back into the boat's interior
- if you want to be extra cautious you won't turn on or off any electrical switches or breakers because of the potential for a spark, but now you're getting paranoid.
- disclaimer: do this at your own risk.  These are how I did it, and you're results may vary.

Clear hose - you might be able to see the propane here.  It's clear

The bleed screw is visible right at the bottom of the valve, right in the center of the image.  
Use a skinny flat head screwdriver to open.

 The setup. 

- Evan

December 18, 2013

Making Fun of Australia

When we first arrived in Australia in November 2011, we were struck by the number of safety signs.  It was worse than the US, where fear of litigation means an abundance of signage. It seemed sometime a little common sense was lacking...

It's hard to see but there is a bright yellow hose where you might walk.

This was on the sidewalk downtown.  Only problem - you couldn't have workers above dropping tools on you because there was an overhead concrete awning...

I am not sure why Nailing Tools need a special sign. Perhaps a construction worker ran amok some day and now you have to have a sign to warn pedestrians to duck if they hear one going off.

The ramp to our dinghy dock. The danger was that 2 of the boards were slightly lower than their neighbors which might be a hazard if you were in say high heels and drunk.

It's important to have these little reminders for those that missed out learning them in childhood.

This was a 2m high little reminder in a busy downtown pedestrian mall.  With no cars.

And of course, if you are a passenger on a ferry and if the captain passes out, here's what to do.

If you can read this sign at the airport, it is likely you probably have seen an escalator before.  If not, won't the lift (elevator) be scarier?  Are you likely to have been on tons of elevators but no escalator?

In case you get umm, overly hot in the hot tub? 
 Not likely because the heat is only on from 4-8 pm.
You have to protect the post.   Mere caution tape is not enough.
And you have to protect your barbed wire fence too:
In Brisbane, certain types of fencing materials are not permitted if the fences adjoin public property such as parks, reserves, roads, footpaths and waterways

Hazardous fencing material

Barbed wire is only permitted in industrial and rural areas. The barbed wired must not endanger people using the adjacent public land.
Razor wire, tiger wire and other materials which could cause harm to people or animals is only permitted in industrial areas. Use of these materials must comply with the Health, Safety and Amenity Local Law 2009.
In industrial areas, the hazardous fencing materials must be:
  • at least two metres above ground level; or
  • separated from publicly accessible areas by a barrier

 So if you have a barbed wire fence to protect your property and it's less than 2m high, you need another fence to protect the criminals from getting to it.  I found this out on a project where I wanted to rent some temporary fencing around a small ship we were working on.


The sidewalk was actually fine.  Just a bit muddy on the adjacent grass. So take up half the sidewalk with safety rope and pylons.

I love rule 2 - can't have the kids running in the park near the dangerous duck pond.

Maybe this is one reason why they need so many safety signs.

Check the Friday PM and Saturday hours.  Don't want to interfere with your weekend too much. (this is a paint store)

Our daughter's school has it's own wine for school dances and similar events.  Another contributing factor?