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Nancy in Texas


#1

Nancy, I have to thank you too for giving me and other newbies
additional on torches and your encouragement to
newbies. I’ve learned so much (in theory) just by reading new
mesages and old ones in the archives. The thought of a live flame
in my hobby room still scares me. I’m sure it would be wise to
take lessons and practice with a torch in a class room
environment before I bring one in the house. Sorry to hear about
your computer trouble. It shouldn’t happen to a nice person like
you! Antoinetta


#2

Antoinetta,

     The thought of a live flame in my hobby room still scares
me.  I'm sure it would be wise to take lessons and practice
with a torch in a class room environment before I bring one in
the house. 

You are correct about taking a class. Even one workshop or
community college class will be well worth the time and cost.
Some things aren’t that easy to learn from a book (like soldering
techniques) and, like golf, you can avoid bad habits. The
learning curve is usually much faster too.

But most important, if you can’t take a class be sure the dealer
who sells you a torch gives you hands on instuction on the
torch you purchase!! They can be dangerous if not handled
correctly. The instructions that come from some jewelry
wholesalers is not adequate. Make sure you fully understand
how the torch works and how to test for leaks. I had a student
who almost burned down her garage because the torch that came
from the wholesaler was defective and she didn’t know how to
foresee the problem. This was a lesson for me as well as for her.
I now spend between 5-10% of my class time teaching safety
precautions about torches, fumes, dust, etc.

Don’t want to scare you completely. Defective torches are
pretty rare, in fact I’ve not heard of another incident like
this, but forewarned is forearmed. And be sure you get the
correct type fire extinguisher, not one of the little jobbies
from Wal-Mart.

Nancy
Bacliff, Texas Gulf Coast USA where my daffodils are already dead and
the sticky heat is baaaack (Yuk)


#3

Hi Nancy, Thank you for your wise and encouraging words about
safety in the workshop concerning torches and fumes. If I don’t
find local classes, I will try to get hands on instruction from
the dealer. Also, I can imagine practicing soldering outside on
a windless day. Thanks again for your help. (I’m printing out
all the good advise I receive!)

Antoinetta
(It is cold in Rhode Island today!)


#4
 Also, I can imagine practicing soldering outside on a windless
day. 

Antoinetta,

Soldering outside is a problem too, unless you have a very
shaded area. Daylight is too bright, usually, to see the changes
you need to watch for as the metal comes up to temperature. It
will be hard to see these changes because of the glare and you
could end up getting terrible, awful, ugly, hard-to-remove fire
scale, or even worse - firestain. If you can’t find a class, at
least get Tim McCreight’s book and video. Both very worth the
price!

Nancy


#5
   Soldering outside is a problem too, unless you have a
*very* shaded area. Daylight is too bright, usually, to see the
changes you need to watch for as the metal comes up to
temperature.  It will be hard to see these changes because of
the glare and you could end up getting terrible, awful, ugly,
hard-to-remove fire scale, or even worse - firestain.  If you
can't find a class, at least get Tim McCreight's book and
video.  Both very worth the price! 

You’re right . . .even soldering in a brightly lit room screws
up the view of metal colors. Breeze also ruins soldering . . .
you’re at the melting point and someone opens a door which allows
a breeze to enter the room . . . oops, guess what, the solder
didn’t flow . . . the piece just fell apart.


#6

Thanks again for your comments, Nancy. Also “Fishbre” ~ about
how one should avoid a breeze while soldering. There is so much to
learn! Isn’t life wonderful?! Happy Easter to everybody!!!

Antoinetta,
Rhode Island