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Soldering Hazard


#1

Wow! Just had a near disaster in the studio I thought I should share.
I had a disposable lighter in my soldering area. I must not have paid
attention to where it was. I was just about finished with a very
intense soldering job when there was an explosion and fire. The
lighter caught fire and exploded. Luckily I had safety glasses on,
and I don’t wear hair spray. I do have a very ‘interesting’ hair-do
now, and the studio (even with the exhaust fan on) still smells like
burnt hair. If there was anything flammable in the area it could have
been really bad. I will never allow one of these lighters anywhere
near my soldering set up again. Which brings me to a question: how
many of us have fire extinguishers in our studios? Did you know that
you are suppose to turn them upside down and whack them on the bottom
every 6 months so the extinguishing compound doesn’t settle into a
cement like compound that won’t spray when you need it? Also the
extinguisher should be checked and refilled annually. Have a great
weekend, all. Kate Wolf http://www.katewolfdesigns.com


#2

Kate, I had a similar incident many years ago. A drop of ignited
alcohol fell on my lighter and went unnoticed until the plastic was
burning on its own. Luckily I noticed in time and put it out. Scary.
I still prefer a bic lighter over any type of striker. Since the
flints always last longer than the fuel I have one of my smoking
friends donate an empty. Then as a precaution I carefully cut a hole
in the bottom to eliminate any residual gas. I also remove the
protective metal on the top to expose the spark. They are small easy
to strike and work great on natural gas and LPG and since they are
dead you don’t have to worry about anyone stealing it on their
cigarette break. Or having it blow up!! I’m glad no one was hurt.

John Sholl
J.F.Sholl Fine Jewelry
Littleton, Co.


#3

Kate, I used a bic for many years and several people told me they
could blow up.(I didn’t listen) Luckily, it never happened. After
reading your message I decided to switch to using a Zippo with a metal
case, because I’ve never liked the strikers either. I’m glad you
weren’t hurt and by sharing your experience I changed one of my bad
habits. Thank you!

If anyone knows of any unseen Zippo hazards, please let me know.
Thanks! Sharon


#4

Sharon, Try the TorchMate- Automatic torch lighter. It is great and
always handy- it holds 2 AA batteries and you don’t have to pick it
up. I bought mine at Frei Borel www.ofrei.com but imagine you
could buy it other places also. Louise @lgillin1


#5

OK Guys, There is no need to use a butane lighter in the studio. Very
dangerous! There are piezo-electric torch lighters that will work
INDEFINITELY AND SAFELY. They are relatively inexpensive, if you buy
them from a cook’s equipment store; they’re made for lighting fuel
for barbecue grills. Mine has lasted over six years, even though I’ve
dropped it and bent it and had to tape it together (It still works).
Also, jeweler’s suppliers carry a benchtop piezo-electric torch
lighter, more expensive, but worth every penny also.

Now. . . a question. . . ., since I know that because I dropped and
bent my lighter, it will not hold together forever, I went to back to
the cook’s store to buy a new one, and, lo and behold, my local store
doesn’t carry them anymore. Anyone out there know of a source???

Linda


#6
        OK Guys, There is no need to use a butane lighter in the
studio. Very dangerous! There are piezo-electric torch lighters
that will work INDEFINITELY AND SAFELY. They are relatively
inexpensive, if you buy them from a cook's equipment store; they're
made for lighting fuel for barbecue grills. Mine has lasted over six
years, even though I've dropped it and bent it and had to tape it
together (It still works). Also, jeweler's suppliers carry a
benchtop piezo-electric torch lighter, more expensive, but worth
every penny also. Now. . .  a question. . . ., since I know that
because I dropped and bent my lighter, it will not hold together
forever, I went to back to the cook's store to buy a new one, and,
lo and behold, my local store doesn't carry them anymore. Anyone out
there know of a source??? 

If you don’t like to have butane lighters in the studio but like the
piezo-electric spark, you can buy a Scripto, BBQ lighter at any drug,
hardware or discount store for about $5 or less. Turn it on and let
it burn until all the butane is gone. The piezo-electric element
continues to work for years. Bob Williams


#7

Just want to clarify, I don’t (never have) use a lighter for
lighting a torch. I’ve used the Torchmate for years (battery operated
spark plug). There happened to be a lighter in my soldering area
because a buddy had stopped by the day before and had a cigarette
under my exhaust hood. I think having a lighter of any kind by your
soldering area is a BAD idea. Kate http://www.katewolfdesigns.com