Welding Oxygen

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Posted by pinksharkmark ( on May 21, 2000 at 12:39:17:

In Reply to: Welding oxegyn posted by Ted on May 21, 2000 at 08:47:57:

Thanks for the tip, Ted, and AnneMarie, too. Yes, in theory it is possible to get O2 for welding on this island. In practice, though, like so many other things here, it is an enormous hassle, and far from being a sure thing. Let me give you an example of how things work (or more often don't work) here.

I work in a bar with a kitchen. Like 99% of the commercial kitchens here, we use bottled propane for our cooking. At least three or four times a year we have to close the kitchen for a day or two because there is literally no propane available anywhere on the island. One of these times was earlier this week. For two days we had two employees doing nothing but driving from refilling point to refilling point looking for propane. We lost a lot of business and spent a lot of money to come up with exactly zero. We finally managed to borrow exactly one smallish tank from a neighbouring restaurant that was closed for renovations, on the condition that we return TWO next week. That tank lasted us two days. As of yesterday the kitchen was closed again, since there is STILL no propane anywhere that we can discover.

I could repeat this story filling in any number of things besides propane tanks... sometimes there are no lightbulbs, sometimes no white paint, sometimes no shower curtains, or sometimes there are shower curtains but no rings to hang them with... it is hard to believe for someone who doesn't live here, I know, but any resident could spend a week listing similar stories. That's just the way it is here.

As for a non-rebreather mask... fuhget abboudid! Besides, I'm willing to bet a month's supply of Imitrex that any non-medicinal O2 I could find here would almost certainly be seriously polluted. Dominicans are not world-famous for quality control.

I have checked with three local hospitals to find out where they get their Oxy. Two of them had NONE, not even in the emergency room, and the third refused to tell me where they got theirs. They wouldn't even sell me any at a profit, which is pretty unusual in a country where institutionalized corruption is a way of life, and no one turns down a chance to put a few extra pesos in their pocket!

Besides, from what I have read, oxy works for only 50 to 70 % of clusterheads. I would hate to go through enormous hassle, spend tons of money having a suitable mask shipped in, hook it up to a polluted oxy tank and then find out that I am one of the unlucky ones for whom O2 is ineffective.

Please don't think that I don't appreciate your advice, because I do... I really do! It would be great advice in most other countries in the world, but not here.

Still looking for that magic bullet. Toad's toenails, anyone?


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