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Building my own torch


#1

Hello, everyone. This is my first post to this group, and I would
like to pose a question which is probably potentially controversial,
and so I hope you will understand that it is not my intention to try
to stir up trouble, but rather to try to gather up And
now here is the question. Has anyone here ever built their own torch?
The reason why I am asking is because I have decided to build my own
torch, but I have not yet run into anyone else who has done so at the
hobby level. Also, if you have not built your own torch, but if you
have an opinion about doing so, pro, con, or indifferent, I would
like to hear from you also.

Thank you. Mike
Mandaville, Austin, Texas.


#2

Hi Mike,

Building a torch is not difficult to do. If the reason for building
a torch is for the satisfaction of making a torch, that’s fine.

However, if it’s to save money, then it wont be worth while, just
buy something.

I build gas burners and high capacity torches so that I can melt and
alloy metals. The reason I make them is that I can make them far
cheaper that I can buy them. I can also make them run better than a
commercial melting torch. An example : $9 Australian dollars to make
the burner. You need adapters to attach the burner to a POL fitting,
another $8. Hoses, and neck piece cost $60. Total $77 AUD.

You need a regulator and gas naturally, but these are separate
items.

Regards Charles


#3

I had to overhaul my torch - It was purchased from someone that said
it worked perfectly - come to find out the hoses were bad and the
regulators needed to be rehauled - I had our local gas supplier do
this for me for $35 each. I replaced the hoses with no problem. I
would not mess around with using old parts for your torch there is
too much risk involved. Buy new parts and get some guidance on what
you would need from Rio Grande. They have live support that can help
you answer any questions. Good luck!


#4

Answer to your first question is no, my first question is why bother
reinventing wheel kind of thing. Now the item you didn’t mention, is
it a air/fuel or air oxy/fuel. As there are torches that burn most
commonly available type of fuel gas. Including the water torches for
jewelry scale sized pieces to industrial sized.

Secondly are you aware that using anything copper above a 67% with
acetylene can cause a very nasty reaction that generates very nasty
results. It combines and produces Copper Acetylide, one of the
reasons that they went to using black iron piping after a number of
commercial acetylene generating plants accidents in the early days.

It is a reddish powder that forms inside the copper piping, and it
is very unstable even more so than acetylene. Do you know the type
of material that is used in the seals,o rings, and hoses it is
different than other fuel gases.

I could go on for a while, Burners(fixed torches are built all the
time) for forge, furnance,or kiln. Again proper nozzle size and
other fuel specific considerations must be adhere to.

With the number of low cost, torches for almost any fuel that are
out there, either new or used. There seems to my mind a better use
of time, materials and money. Other than the fact you want to!

As an accidental collector of torches,over the years. I can say that
from the first one to the latest,greatest one. Other then the
size,shape and handle style they all do the same basic thing.

glen


#5

I have been thinking of doing the same. I finally bought a lathe for
home use. I have been a machinist for 23 years so any precision work
would not be a challenge. I am also new to the list.


#6

Thank you to Charles and Robyn for answering my post. I have found
your answers to be very helpful. What has intrigued me more than
anything though is an email which I have received. Although I am not
going to reveal the content of that email, on January 28 of last
year a post was made to Orchid which I have found to be very
interesting. That post concerns Dana Carlson’s first torches, which
were made by Dana’s father. What interests me most about the Carlson
torches is the innovative use of brass fish tank air valves to
control the gas flows, because I probably should be able to obtain
these valves locally, and at an economical price.

Another thing which I have found to be helpful is the assembly
diagram for the Chicago Electric version of the Little Torch. This
diagram was made available in a downloadable file at the Harbor
Freight Tools site. The essential simplicity of the Little Torch
leads me to believe that there would probably be no significant
differences between this torch and the Smith or Gentec versions.
These torches evidently do not include any check valves or flashback
arrestors, and because they are so light weight to begin with, I am
guessing that some folks choose to put one or both of these items in
between the regulator and the hose for each gas.

Again, thank you for your responses. I have picked up other tips
about Little Torches from searching the Orchid archives, such as the
use of fish tank air hose, which has the advantages of light weight,
flexibility, and economy.

Mike Mandaville


#7

Glen, thank you for reminding me about the special requirements for
acetylene. I will be using propane and oxygen, but I will remember
to avoid using acetylene and MAPP gas, because the fish tank air
valves which I will be using as torch valves will be made out of
"mystery brass", and because I know that MAPP gas is a form of
acetylene. I have noticed that some of the fish tank valves are
plated with nickle, but I am not going to try to determine whether
this nickle was applied before or after the brass was worked, because
this is where I finally tell myself that this would be more trouble
than it would be worth. When I move up to MAPP gas, I will make my
own valves out of specified brass.

Mike Mandaville