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Blowpipe and bunsen burner

near the top of my to build list is a blowpipe and Bunsen burner

I’ve got the general idea from 100 year old science books, and
intend to use disposable tanks and standard hardware store pin-valve
torch heads. I’ll connect the torch head to a hose to feed my black
pipe Bunsen burner and adjust gas flow using the torch head pin

design/approach comments welcome.

I am interested in any experience you may have in using the
blowpipe. the idea of breath controlling flame is attractive to me.


It’s how I first learned to solder.

In order to melt and cast silver we had to have two or three of us
working at the same time.

You really learn good breath control.

Tony Konrath

Hi Jim,

I spent the first ten years of my time in this trade using a mouth
blown blowpipe for soldering. The bench gas supply was from a
Birmingham Sidelight.

I have written on Orchid about this before see;

Please contact me if I can give any further advice or on
your project.

James Miller FIPG

My first soldering job was done with a Bunsen burner and a pipe. I
wound some very small copper tubing (from an air-conditioner, I seem
to recall) around the upright part of the burner, and aimed the end
of it across the top. A couple of feet of surgical rubber tubing went
between my mouth and the other end of the pipe, at the base of the
Bunsen burner.

The pipe looked like the snakey part of a caduceus, winding up the
shaft and poised as if to strike across it. Since it was just copper
tubing I could bend it around to the angle that worked best, after
some initial fiddling.

Good breath control is very helpful. It occurred to me afterward that
a bladder would’ve helped a lot, like a bagpipe – keep it inflated
with occasional breaths, but control the air pressure with my elbow
on the bag.


i occasionally do silver work in a small village in west India…
When there, i sometimes use a blow pipe… a simple foot long nickel
tube with a tiny orifice; instead of a gas bunsen burner i use a
kerosene burner with a similar type flame… i find it quite suitable
for making relatively light earrings or rings… the upside is you
will just about never accidentally melt something due to
inattention… the downside is to work on a bracelet or necklace you
will also need a couple or three relatives that are also using
blowpipes on the workpiece… so soldering a typical cuff bracelet
becomes a team sport… i recommend you move into this millennium and
go with a compressed gas of some type…

We had to learn to use the mouth blow pipe, and an alcohol lamp, or
Busen berner to hard solder when I attended Bowman Tech. I used it
once since then, for an emergency rush job, during a storm when we
could not get a tank of O2 in time to complete the job. Breath
control is key to achieve a steady hot flame.

Hello friends,

I have a page in my website about Trabzon bracelets. Please look at
the way ladies solder the gold wire. It is quite amazing. Ofcourse
here, a candle flame is used not the burner of any kind. I tried it
and it works perfectly.

Kind regards,
F. Oya Borahan, GG. FGA. DGA.

I am interested in any experience you may have in using the
blowpipe. the idea of breath controlling flame is attractive to me 

Rather than a blowpipe with a fixed flame like your Bunsen burner,
you might, if breath control is the main thing that interests you,
consider a typical mouth-blown torch. These are common even now in
European workshops, and many people trained in that tradition prefer
them. They look like a typical hand held torch, with one hose to your
gas supply (natural gas,propane, etc), but the second hose, rather
than going to an oxygen or compressed air supply, simply ends in a
mouthpiece, giving you instant hands free control over the flame
intensity. Otto Frei carries them, and no doubt some others,
especially most European supply houses, will as well. You will find
this type of torch much more versatile than the simple blowpipes
which tend to be too small for any but small detailed work, as well
as being less maneuverable…