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Butane torches


#1

was Foxtail Vs Snake chain?

...the little butane torches have a small flame... 

You know, that sounds right, but…

I’ve been experimenting with a butane torch, because so many
students use them. I just went to Home Depot and bought what they
had, a $25 Bernzomatic, not the Blazer which is recommended, but
costs twice as much.

At first, I couldn’t get myself to try it-- after all, I have a Meco
Midget. Eventually, however, I started using it to set fire to my
alcohol flux (easy, because it is self-lighting), then finally tried
making some pieces with it. Yesterday, I made a silver band ring
with a gold tube setting, just with the butane. I even soldered a
22k bezel to a 14k backing.

The flame is actually much larger (which is not to say hotter) and
more forceful than my Meco. On the other hand, it uses air, not oxy,
so it heats more gently, over a larger area. This worked out
extremely well for the gold!

To my astonishment, I find myself liking this torch, though the
lighting procedure is awkward-- pull down a slippery little button,
press the fairly-stiff trigger, then slide the locking mechanism
sideways. Definitely a two-handed operation! But it is light,
maneuverable, and remarkably effective.

Your mileage may vary.

Noel


#2

i have been recommending this torch on Orchid for about two years
now…finally some one else reviews it…great…This is the best all
around transportable ( it gets through the checked baggage at
airports every time,when wrapped or placed in a felt pouch!..SO
FAR!!- but as i said i always call the airline and tell them I’m
coming and I’m a jeweler), investment if you teach classes.When
beginners don’t have to hesitate because they don’t want to invest a
grand in a basic shop set up before at least trying their
conceptualization of what it is to make jewelry it adds one more
person to the class and makes it readily accessible to everyone.
With this torch,money is not an object,everyone is on equal
ground…and it has 100’s of effective applications…everyone should
have one of these on hand - I use them on trips,holiday,vacation as
my “rain backup”,or “had it with relatives escape”…I can
successfully go into my hotel or space and make jewelry until I’m
ready to deal with the non-jewelery making world again…cases of
large bottles of butane refills run about 24-26 bucks wholesale and
have an astonishing shelf life (2 yrs)… home depot also offers an
extended warranty on them for 6 additional dollars…you get the
ceramic burner a bit too close to the charcoal and walk into the
store and it is instantly replaced…well worth the extra 2 years
coverage…

R.E.Rourke


#3
To my astonishment, I find myself liking this torch, though the
lighting procedure is awkward-- pull down a slippery little
button, press the fairly-stiff trigger, then slide the locking
mechanism sideways. Definitely a two-handed operation! 

Take a really short length of small-guage (20-ish) wire from yer
scrap pile (or use copper wire or whatever) & pull the “slippery
little button”/pin part down (without yet pushing the trigger part
or sliding the lever in the back to “on”). Wrap the wire around the
pin so that it sorta “blocks” it from retracting, and snip any
excess wire tail. The pin being pulled down is only a "safety lock"
kinda deal & doesn’t actually control any of the butane coming out
so it’s perfectly safe to just leave it like this.

From then on it’ll only take one hand, 'cos you only have to switch
that lever in the back to “on” and hit the trigger part to light it–
well, that is until the sparker-doohicky wears out in a couple
months (which can be replaced with a bit of “surgery”)


#4
The flame is actually much larger (which is not to say hotter) and
more forceful than my Meco. On the other hand, it uses air, not
oxy, so it heats more gently, over a larger area. This worked out
extremely well for the gold! 

We have been using compressed air / propane torches for a couple of
years now for just this reason. A super hot pinpoint flame is
wonderful for some jobs but a large bushy softer and cooler flame
makes for less clean up and less problems associated with over
heating.

I am not a fan of the little butane torches because you can’t adjust
the air fuel ratio but they do have a larger, cooler flame. If you
get a chance try a compressed air / fuel gas torch I think you will
like it.

Jim

James Binnion
@James_Binnion
James Binnion Metal Arts


360-756-6550


#5
Take a really short length of small-guage (20-ish) wire from yer
scrap pile (or use copper wire or whatever) & pull the "slippery
little button"/pin part down (without yet pushing the trigger part
or sliding the lever in the back to "on"). Wrap the wire around the
pin so that it sorta "blocks" it from retracting, and snip any
excess wire tail. The pin being pulled down is only a "safety lock"
kinda deal & doesn't actually control any of the butane coming out
so it's perfectly safe to just leave it like this. 

And when the fire inspector is going through the remains of your
shop or house and finds the torch with its safety interlock defeated
and passes that on to your insurance company they will refuse to pay
on your loss.

James Binnion
@James_Binnion
James Binnion Metal Arts


360-756-6550


#6

au contraire James…mine is completely adjustable, both air, and
fuel .Fuel in two ways…I have one that is the older bernzomatic
model with detachable base and two orifices that let the user control
the amount of fuel released by simply changing to a smaller orifice.
The second Is modified with a 76 cent brass fitting that allows you
to turn the knurled adjustment nut and control the gas regulation
that way as well in addition to the air mixture regulation built in,
or the multiple condensing tips available for that particular model.
The first model mentioned is preferred because of the orifice choice
having been supplied ( and warranted!) but it was bought almost 3
years ago and I haven’t seen any other than the newer ones, that
just have air regulation, and concentrators supplied…Bernzomatic
took a great product, and improved it to less functional- for jewelry
work…bottom line is both melt small quantities of any metal except
platinum, and are excellent for traveling without having to bring
tanks and hoses too! R.E.R.


#7
And when the fire inspector is going through the remains of your
shop or house and finds the torch with its safety interlock
defeated and passes that on to your insurance company they will
refuse to pay on your loss. 

HA–Like I can afford insurance. :-p

No but seriously, I’ve had this butane torch sitting here on the
desk in front of me with the pin stuck in the pulled down position
for about 4 years or so. Every day for 12+ hours a day I sit here,
lighting up one cig after another… Plus, I’ve almost always got a
nice smelly candle lit.

But to be sure, I just now went to the bathroom and over the tub,
held a lighter for a few minutes right against the torch and nothing
happened. (Well ok–I slightly melted part of a sticker I have on
the torch, and my thumb got kinda warm from the Bic)

As I said in my original post–the pin does not control the fuel.

(The only “pyrotechnics show” I’ve ever put on were back when I was
quite new to refilling the butane, and had the spraying-overfill
thing happen whilst I was a bit too close to a candle. Very minor,
but still–lesson learned)


#8
mine is completely adjustable, both air, and fuel.Fuel in two
ways..I have one that is the older bernzomatic model with
detachable base and two orifices that let the user control the
amount of fuel released by simply changing to a smaller orifice.
The second Is modified with a 76 cent brass fitting that allows you
to turn the knurled adjustment nut and control the gas regulation
that way as well in addition to the air mixture regulation built
in, or the multiple condensing tips available for that particular
model. 

A venturi type mixer that is the heart of all atmospheric air gas
torches can be adjusted to some degree by controlling the gas flow.
Since the air flow is controlled by the venturi design and you can’t
adjust the ratio of air to fuel. They are generally not designed to
have any kind of turn down range and do not mix the air and gas
properly when you do resulting in a lower temperature flame. They
also have a tendancy for the flame to become unstable when adjusted
too far out of their sweet spot. Which is probably why they
"improved" the model you have to the point where you can’t adjust it
:slight_smile: The portability is a great feature when and if you need it. And
it sounds like this torch is a handy tool but in a studio situation
where you have access to more permanent facilities my preference is
for a torch that has full fuel and oxidizer (air or oxygen
depending) control. And that was what my comment was based on.

James Binnion
@James_Binnion
James Binnion Metal Arts


360-756-6550


#9

Dear Mr. Rourke, I am in the process of replacing my faithful Roburn
hand held microtorch which has served me very well for three years
of continuous use, some time hours on end. It works for nearly two
hours on one charge. Now it has started spewing wayward flames, so it
has to go. I am looking to replace it with something similar but I’m
confused with all the models available now. I basically need one
with the same features: pull back safety on back, auto light and
continuous flame lever on side. It is the only way I can manage with
ONLY two hands and old ones at that… You describe in your letter
the perfect one for my purposes but you did not mention the brand
name or maybe I missed the previous letters? Could you please write
to me the name and provenience of this torch you like? You would be
surprised at how hard it is to find one on line… The web sites are
up but nobody’s home… Also you mention large Butane bottles,
available at home depot. Any brand name on that? You can write me
through Orchid or offline.

Thank you very much.
Sincerely, Marisa Bowers


#10
I am not a fan of the little butane torches because you can't
adjust the air fuel ratio..... 

I had bought a little butane creme brulee torch to practice with and
get accustomed to, because that is the torch that tends to be
allowed for demonstrating at hotels ----since it is for food, I guess
the fire marshals allow it. Last weekend, I unexpectedly ran out of
acetylene, so I dug out the little butane creme brulee torch to use.
Like Noel, I found I liked it better than I expected to. One thing I
liked about the torch I bought— which is different from the ones
I’ve used that were provided for me by jewelry suppliers— is that
it DOES have an adjustment for the air, so that you can control
whether the flame is soft and bushy, or sharp and pointed. Kinda
surprising that the torch sold for the kitchen has better controls,
isn’t it? I’m not switching from my Smith oxy/air and Little Torches,
but I sure did find the little butane torch let me keep working!

Cynthia Eid
http://www.cynthiaeid.com


#11

Hi Gang,

If you’re interested in a small hand held butane fueled torch, take
a look at the Proxxon MicroFlam.

It’s about about 6 inches tall & 1 1/4 inches in diameter. It has a
built in igniter & both the fuel & air are independently adjustable.
The torch will burn for about 1 1/2 hours on one filling of gas. It
uses the butane sold in canisters with a metal/plastic nozzle for
refueling. Refueling takes less than 10 seconds. Depending on where
the torch is purchased, it costs between $40 & $50.

I’ve been using one for a bout 6 years & haven’t had any problems.

Dave


#12
No but seriously, I've had this butane torch sitting here on the
desk in front of me with the pin stuck in the pulled down position
for about 4 years or so. Every day for 12+ hours a day I sit here,
lighting up one cig after another.. Plus, I've almost always got a
nice smelly candle lit. 

I understand that the pin does not control the fuel. My point is
that the manufacturer designed it to act as a safety because there is
no isolation valve between the butane fuel and the torch so it keeps
from accidental release of gas. If you were to say put the torch in
a tool box and take it along and something pressed down on the valve
it will release the gas. Second is that if there ever was a fire and
even if your torch was not the cause it could be determined that you
were responsible for bypassing the safety interlock.

Just something to think about,

James Binnion
@James_Binnion
James Binnion Metal Arts


360-756-6550


#13
The only "pyrotechnics show" I've ever put on were back when I was
quite new to refilling the butane, and had the spraying-overfill
thing happen whilst I was a bit too close to a candle. Very minor,
but still--lesson learned 

I gotta say, since you held a lighter to your propane torch–
apparently not. If anything had “happened”, holding it over the tub
would only have caught the pieces of your fingers! This really is
not a smart idea.

Noel