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Hexaline


#1

In our studio located in Chiangmai in the N. of Thailand. we use
bellows torches which are designed to run of gasoline. These torches
are the standard gold smithing torches used all over Asia, they are
the most versatile torch that I have used and I have used most torch
systems. The problem is the toxicity from the fuel. Recently we
change from gasoline to a solvent called Hexane or N-Hexane. It has
no odor like gasoline and it seems to burn hotter and cleaner but I
cannot find any regarding its toxicity in it liquid form
and its vapors when it is in a flammable state. I have checked the
net but much of the is incomprehensible. Does anyone have
regarding this material or can someone point me to a web
site that offers which is understandable to the
layperson.

Cheers Pat


#2

Sawadee Pat Jah, I used to use the same torch(gasoline) when I was in
Thailand. Why don’t you switch to a propane tank and get the torches
that use propane … these torches do not require oxygen and will also
solder any type of work that you miight do. I am Not familiar with
hexaline so I cannot comment on it’s toxicity… However , propane is
very inexpensive and lasts for a long time. best wishes , Daniel
Grandi http://www.racecarjewelry.com


#3

Hi Pat I was working in Mexico some time ago making multicolored
italian jewelry

hundreds of diferent disigns were made using this gasoline bellow
torch, very similar to the german or swiss blow torch

but in this one you use your foot instead of your mouth, wich for me
is 100% more controlable, The kind of gasoline we used to use was
gasolvent, some kind of white gasoline without fumes, although it works
with regular automovil gasoline but this last one is not recomendable
because the additives it contains, besides lead metal. many countries
like mexico and in south america still use this kind of homemade torch
with exelent results, even to melt small quantities of metal. just
with the power of your foot. regards Jonathan.


#4

hello Pat,

Hexane is a harmfull stuff Check

http://chem-courses.ucsd.edu/CoursePages/Uglabs/MSDS/hexane.-info2.html

and

http://www.chm.bris.ac.uk/safety/chemsums/hexanen.htm

here you will find more.

Martin Niemeijer


#5

Pat, thank you for reminding me of the first type of torch I ever
used to solder!

I have no on hexaline or Hexane but perhaps you wouldn’t
mind if I describe your bellows torches to some others on the net who
might not understand.

There are three pieces to the system, not including the hoses. First
is the ‘generator’ which is a can shaped device with valves and output
nipples. The ‘generator’ is filled with gasoline ( or in Pat’s case,
hexane) and the output valve is opened so the gas fumes can enter the
output hose. Second is a large foot operated bellows (mine is lost
now) with a piece of rubber auto tire tube stretched across the top to
store the air and provide a moderate amount of pressure. As one pumps
the bellows, air flows through a second hose. Third is the torch which
is nothing very unusual. By manipulating the ‘generators’ output
valve and an air control valve on the torch, one could get a great
flame. I lost the bellows but still have the ‘generator’ and torch
around someplace. I learned silver/gold smithing in Taiwan and that
was the torch of choice in all I shops I ever visited. The problem was
handling the gasoline. At times the generator would tend to catch
fire if one was not careful and that WAS dangerous. We did
everything with that torch including casting.

Cheers from Don at The Charles Belle Studio in SOFL where simple
elegance IS fine jewelry.


#6

Don’s experience is somewhat similar to mine while living in Spain
and trying to teach myself how to make jewelry. At the time, 1972, the
torch in most common use there used bottled butane, (butano), with a
foot operated bellows. I found it difficult at first to be pumping
away at the bellows and at the same time trying to control the torch.
It was a very frustrating experience. When I finally returned to the
US and bought a Prestolite acetelene torch system I was in heaven,
for a while. It didn’t take long to know that I wanted the Little
Torch.

Joel

Joel Schwalb
@schwalbstudio
http://www.schwalbstudio.com


#7

That gasoline bellow torch is practicly an empty can of oil (the old
kind) with two hoses soldered and coming out from the top. One toward
the torch and the other one coming from the bellow so simple, the
whole thing is made of literaly simple things and low tech. and yet so
versatile and reliable . I have had two of them, and they last almost
forever, they are always there when you need it, you only have to put
three cubic centimeters of white gasoline once in a while and you’re
on the road again, If it could talk it could tell you stories of past
generations. Jonathan


#8

Joel, your response and comment about pumping away at the bellows
while trying to control the torch reminded me. One day I was casting
a piece and was merrily pumping away on the bellows to get lots of air
pressure. Suddenly for some unknown reason, my attention was drawn to
the bellows. The piece of tire tube rubber stretched across the top
was almost 2 feet tall and nearly as big around. A few more pumps and
it would surely have exploded. From then on I was more conscious of
that flaw…didn’t need that much pressure to run the torch anyway.
I was simply too engrossed in the cast.

Cheers from Don at The Charles Belle Studio in SOFL where simple
elegance IS fine jewelry!


#9

I’ve heard of these gasoline/bellows fired torches before on this
forum. I’m just the kind of tool-freak who’d buy one just to play
around with it and as a conversation piece, sort of like the
mentality of people who collect antique guns, I guess. Anyone know
where I could get my hands on one?

David L. Huffman


#10
That gasoline bellow torch is practicly an empty can of oil  (the old
kind) with two hoses soldered and coming out from the top. One toward
the torch and the other one coming from the bellow so simple, the
whole thing is made of literaly simple things and low tech. and yet so
versatile and reliable

Replace the bellow with a small electric pump and you have a torch
being used all over Asia by small scale jewelers.

Mohamed Jessa from Tanzania.


#11

Hi Mohamed You got me thinking, will you be so kind to tell me what is
that electric pump as an alternative to the bellow? sounds
interesting! I’m a tool collector too. Thanks in advance
Jonathan


#12

Dear David,

As its the only torch I’ve seen being used here in Vietnam, I can
send you the address of a jewelry tool company which could send you
one. But before I do that tell me if you are interested in ordering
from abroad. I am sure they would be cheap as that’s why they are
used instead of a safer one which is more expensive. just make sure
you don’t show it off inside your house. It definitely looks very
dangerous which in use.

Sharron in wet, , wet Saigon


#13

Not only have I seen the gasoline torches (we call it petrol here) in
use making very nice stuff - and doing plumbers work too, I might
add, but a few jewellers still use a mouth blowpipe and alcohol lamp.
But VERY few. Then until about 30 years ago, most of the schools out in
the back country who taught elementary science used bunsen burners
fired by “gasogene” generators. I never got the chance to examine
one closely, but they had electrically operated bellows which rose
and fell about once a second (doubtless operated by a solenoid, for
someone told me they would work with a car battery). The ‘gasogene’
as it used to be called operated 5 or 6 bunsen burners. Not as
good as old fashioned coal gas, but good enough. Of course, when
natural gasfields were discovered, and the gas piped around, all the
town labs used that. But the out- of-town schools use bottled
’propane’. As I do. (See my recent moan!) Many cars - especially
taxis - use bottled gas; there isn’t much tax on it. Here in NZ we pay
over 60% tax on all petrol!

Now I was led to believe that the generator contained a little
petrol; and air from the bellows was bubbled through it, picked up
petrol vapour and became the ‘gasogene’ What I want to know is why
the torch/bunsen flame didn’t travel back down the tubes and caused
the potentially explosive petrol air mixture to explode in the pipe
and generator! Perhaps they had a piece of very fine copper gauze at
the burner end of the pipes which wouldn’t allow flames to pass -
exactly like the principle of the miner’s Davy lamp? (Which has a
virtually naked but gauze enclosed flame and doesn’t cause explosions
in a potentially explosive atmosphere) I’d love to hear from any one
who knows more details. Cheers, – John Burgess; @John_Burgess2
of Mapua Nelson NZ


#14

Re David Huffman’s query about where to find the bellows torch
discussed on this thread.

I found mine in Mexico a few years ago, so I imagine they are still
available there. Frei and Borel also has them, but they would be
considerably more expensive from that source since they are imported
from Germany.

Perhaps Alberto in Mexico can help you acquire one. His email is
"pareja44" pareja44@avantel.net.

I first used this type of torch while living in Spain where they are
still in use. The advantages of this torch are the control and
flexibility in manipulating the amount of air going to and coming out
of the torch tip. You have a direct physical connection with the air
supply because you are controlling it by how you pump up the bellows
with your foot. When you want a lot of heat you pump up the air a
lot. When the piece is up to temperature, you allow the bellows to
deflate, and when you are doing fine work, you pump just a little bit.

I am a great fan of old fashioned methods, believing that we have lost
some ground in certain ways by our reliance on newer technology. If
you get the chance to try this torch, I am sure you will see the
advantages.

By the way, you don’t need to operate the torch with gasoline or
other dangerous fuels. Use propane and a regulator or city gas at 3
to 5 lbs of pressure. The bellows replaces the oxygen side.

Riccardo


#15

Thanks, Sharron; I would like that address for your overseas supplier
of a gasoline/bellows torch, if you please. I’d rather find one in
the U.S., but that may not be possible. Thanks for your response.

David L. Huffman


#16

Hi David I’m sure you’ll find a supplier for that gasoline bellow
torch everywhere across the border in mexico . if you live in
California, you can find it in Tijuana , or in any other supplier all
along the the other side of the border this bellow torch is a tool
of regular use in Mexico. They use it even in the big Italian jewelry
factorys. Jonathan


#17

Hello Sharron,

I’m also interested in the overseas supplier of a gasoline/bellow
torch, Please could you send it to me.

Thanks in advance
Martin
Martin.niemeijer@hetnet.nl


#18

Re David Huffman’s query about where to find the bellows torch
discussed on this thread.

I found mine in Mexico a few years ago, so I imagine they are still
available there. Frei and Borel also has them, but they would be
considerably more expensive from that source since they are imported
from Germany.

Perhaps Alberto in Mexico can help you acquire one. His email is
"pareja44" pareja44@avantel.net.

I first used this type of torch while living in Spain where they are
still in use. The advantages of this torch are the control and
flexibility in manipulating the amount of air going to and coming out
of the torch tip. You have a direct physical connection with the air
supply because you are controlling it by how you pump up the bellows
with your foot. When you want a lot of heat you pump up the air a
lot. When the piece is up to temperature, you allow the bellows to
deflate, and when you are doing fine work, you pump just a little bit.

I am a great fan of old fashioned methods, believing that we have lost
some ground in certain ways by our reliance on newer technology. If
you get the chance to try this torch, I am sure you will see the
advantages.

By the way, you don’t need to operate the torch with gasoline or
other dangerous fuels. Use propane and a regulator or city gas at 3
to 5 lbs of pressure. The bellows replaces the oxygen side.

Riccardo


#19

We offer the Thai version of the bellows torch to most of our
students. The price is US$20 for the system, shipping to the US about
US$60 by UPS. If you want to order one drop me an E-MAIL at
NOVA@Thaiway.com or visit our site at Thaiway.com/NOVA

Cheers
PAT