Date: Mon Mar 16 12:36:50 2009 Back to Contents ------------------------------------------------------------------------

Author: Wayne Easterling

Subject: Re: Ruben's tube and propane


Hi Cliff,
That is exactly what we do after every use. Ours is also 4"x10'
and we only use propane from a 5lb tank fitted with a standard BBQtype
pressure regulator. After every use we take it outside and remove a
plug we have on the end opposite the speaker to empty the unused gas.

-----Original Message-----
From: [] On
Behalf Of
Sent: Monday, March 16, 2009 8:00 AM
Subject: Re: [tap-l] Ruben's tube and propane


What's the diameter of your tube? Mine is 4 in. ID and it's 10 feet
long. That means that there will be a few cu ft of propane in it. I
presume it will need to be filled before lighting the flames, and I am
a bit concerned about having all that gas under the flames. I use a
dental dam to seal the speaker end of the pipe so I think that it
could be carried outside to empty the unused gas.


Quoting David Maiullo :

> Hi Cliff,
> Dale is correct in his description of how well propane works in the
> Reuben's tube. I actually don't know how many places I've used the
> Reuben's tube. In bars, libraries, schools, gyms, and outside (!)
> shows, all with many different air currents and winds. If you are
> really worried about the air movement, just make a sturdy plexi shield
> to stand one foot back and around the sides of the tube. I made one
> when I first built the tube 20 years ago, but I never actually need it
> so I don't use it. You sometimes need to finely regulate the gas flow
> yourself to make the wave forms visible, and this will vary as you go
> from low frequency to higher frequency standing waves, but you quickly
> learn how to do that when you are using it.
> McMaster-Carr is a great place to purchase a 5 lb propane tank to use
> in shows and in classrooms. Since so many schools are taking natural
> gas out of the classroom for insurance and safety purposes, having
> own tank guarantees you can perform the demo where and whenever you
> want and need to.
> BTW, my tube has size .04" holes, or 1.016mm, spaced every half inch
> for 72". This seems to work pretty well.
> Happy gas tubing,
> Dave/RU
> Dale E. Stille wrote:
>> Cliff,
>> Zig and Dave Maiullo both run their tubes off propane using small 7
>> to 10 lb tanks with the standard pressure regulators. While you
>> need different orfices for things like stoves and water heaters for
>> the different gasses, I think you will find that the Rueben's tube
>> is pretty forgiving in this regard. So, you should be able to use
>> it with either gas. I would suggest getting the quick couplers
>> for ease of attaching the tank to the tube. ( They look and act
>> the same as the couplers for high pressure air hoses).
>> Later,
>> Dale
>> wrote:
>>> One of our faculty wants to use my Ruben's tube as part of a road
>>> show to a high school. The school does not have a natural gas
>>> source for him so he wants to rent a propane tank to fuel the
>>> tube. I am concerned about: how well this will work, as I seem to
>>> remember that propane requires different sized orifices for flame
>>> jets than natural gas, safety (a tank of gas under pressure near
>>> an open flame in front of a large audience) and finally, in our
>>> lecture hall use, I find I have to turn off our air handlers to
>>> reduce air currents in the room so the flames are stable.
>>> So I was wondering if any of you had experience using the Ruben's
>>> tube on the road in such circumstances and had any advice for me
>>> to pass along.
>>> Cliff

From Mon Mar 16 12:36:50 2009