I’ve seen a few excellent jewelers using a blow pipe torch for
delicate and controlled soldering. I’ve also found some for sale on
some websites. But they are rather expensive for being such a simple
device. Has anyone ever made one? Are there any instructions anywhere
on how to use one?
I guess, “Don’t breathe in” must be the first lesson…
I use a blowpipe torch (my university was throwing it out so mine was
free…) and I love it. They’re so versatile and only take a few
hours to get used to. And very cheap to run.
I noticed that it’s just made from white brass (nickel silver) tube,
brazed together. I would be fairly simple to make if you used to
working with tube… it does beg the question though that if you have
a torch suitable for delicately brazing 200g of nickel, what do you
need another torch for!?
I've seen a few excellent jewelers using a blow pipe torch for
delicate and controlled soldering...Are there any instructions
anywhere on how to use one?...I guess, "Don't breathe in" must be
the first lesson...
I’ve used a mouth blown torch for years and love it. I was shown how
to use it in one 5 minute demo by my college tutor. She had used
this traditional tool since she was in college herself and wouldn’t
use anything else. It is so controlable. Instruction is simple:
Turn on the propane gas at the tank and the hand set and listen
until the hiss sound drops a little. Turn off the gas at the hand set
and light the pilot light. Take 4 deep breaths and place the mouth
piece between your lips and hold with your teeth.
Turn the gas back on at the hand piece and adjust the floppy flame
to the size you need. Blow steadily to oxygenate the flame. Breathe
in through your nose and out through the your mouth. Repeat your
breathing steadily like the bellows of an old style forge and
control the size of the flame with your finger and thumb at the hand
piece. Turn off at the hand piece and leave the pilot light burning
until you have finished your working session then turn off at the gas
cylinder and open the hand set valve to burn off any gas remaining in
the tube. It’s very easy to learn and get used to. Just needs a
little practice. (Breathing in by mistake through your mouth just
puts the flame out and tastes none too pleasant!) A word of warning -
Make sure your rubber tubing for the gas supply is thoroughly secure
at both ends every time you start work. I had a near miss nasty
accident once when the tube came away at the hand set end and the
flame flashed back. Fire at your feet is very scary.
Fortunately propane without the blast of oxygen is not a seriously
hot flame and I was able to reach the cylinder valve and my fire
safety equipment before any serious harm was done. I also check the
tube regularly for any signs of perishing and replace it if
I use a mouth blown torch and I agree that it is very controllable…
One problem I had when I first started was that it runs on very low
pressure. A normal regulator is too powerful, what you need is one
that runs on about 10-12" water pressure.
They are available in the UK but you may have to special order one.