What torch?

Discussion in 'Fettling Forum' started by Wim, Jul 12, 2009.

  1. Wim

    Wim Subscriber

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    Hi gents,

    I am not very happy with the torch I'm using ( it's OK for plumbing jobs, but the flame is to wide for the finer jobs) so I would like to hear from our experts what they are using before buying a new one.

    Regards,

    Wim
     
  2. exeter_yak

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    Hi Wim,
    I use a torch made here in US by Bernzomatic with a peizoelectric starter button. This is the one Nagant has just picked up. I also sometimes use a micro torch like the ones used by people who make their own jewelry, but the larger Bernzomatic is used for the majority of my fettling.

    ATB,
    Doug
     
  3. RonPH

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    Hi WIM, I too use the Bernzomatic since it does pencil flame for more accurate heating and adjustable heat flame from light to intense. Dont know thought if the Bernzomatic can/tip is sold there but it does come in handy specially if you get the one with a hose.

    Ron
     
  4. Wim

    Wim Subscriber

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    :-k Never heard of Bernzomatic over here, might be sold under another name in the Olde World! When doing the plumbing in my house some 20+ years ago I started with the cheap (and thus popular!) Campinggaz torches, but replaced them by a Weller torch running on a 60/40 butane/propane mixture. This worked fine for soldering copper tubing after I fitted the smallest burner. But for finer work the flame is to wide so the heated surface is to big. I cannot find Weller equipment anymore (they only do the electric soldering irons nowadays it seems) so I'll have to look for another brand. The small ones (for "home made" juwelry) are these the tiny ones filled with lighter-gas? There should be one like these hiding somewhere in my castle, must start a search party! :whistle: Thanks for the info so far, looking out for some more advice! :D

    Regards,

    Wim
     
  5. lowuk

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    We have them in the UK. I have one running on MAPP gas. Deffinitely a good torch.
     
  6. Richard

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    A number of suppliers have Bernzomatic products on their websites - for example Screwfix.

    Richard.
     
  7. BernieDawg Banned

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    All my brazing and most of my soldering - Bernzomatic TS4000 using MAPP gas.

    For bending potlegs, I preheat the jig plate and the rod with propane (I have *lots* of propane) and finish heating and bending with the Bernz and MAPP gas. Propane is cheaper than MAPP.

    I have a butane microtorch for softening filler cap gaskets so I can pry them out of the caps easily.

    Try a Google search or check eBay for the Bernz.

    I have a couple of kiln blocks that I do my brazing on. They are bricks used for building kilns in which one fires pottery. Check a ceramic supplier for them. I seem to recall I paid about $6 each? Well worth it for their insulative properties.

    Cheers,
    Gary
     
  8. Wim

    Wim Subscriber

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    Gary, good hint re kiln blocks! I would never have tought of these myself...we have tons of them at work!!! :roll: At the moment we are starting up a part new/part second hand brick making machine (for so-called "handformed" bricks). I'll see what I can find in the left-overs, I'm sure I can find what is needed! 8)

    Regards,

    Wim
     
  9. bajabum

    bajabum R.I.P.

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    If you guys have access to firebricks, you should build a 'Horno' oven, you can cook just about anything in em...
    Not too portable, tho... :mrgreen:
    Horno
     
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  10. Wim

    Wim Subscriber

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    Showed this to SHMBO, she said: "Oh that's lovely, you can make me one! You can get clay at work and straw from a farmer, simply put it where the french stove is, plenty room there!" :shock: :shock: :shock:
    Ah well, maybe one day, when I'm retired (or fired...) :whistle:

    Regards,

    Wim
     
  11. alex_holden

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    I wouldn't call myself an expert but I thought I'd use this thread to show off some of my soldering/brazing kit. :)

    1247818859-monitor_blowtorches.jpg
    I used to use these two Monitor paraffin torches for both soft soldering and brazing, but at some point I got fed up with the jets repeatedly needing to be pricked in the middle of a job and they got shoved to the back of a shelf in the garage. They are now in need of fettling again. I actually fired up the larger one the other day out of curiosity. I struggled to get it primed, but once it was going properly it was just as powerful and impressive as I remembered (for about ten seconds before the jet got blocked again! :roll: ).

    1247818791-sievert_torch.jpg
    This photo shows my old Sievert propane blowtorch handle and a range of burners. Also pictured is a butane pencil-torch. I picked up the Sievert torch with the two larger burners and the hose fairly cheaply on eBay. It was old (about 30-40 years IIRC) but had seemingly never been used. I had to buy a dumpy propane bottle and a new variable regulator (pricey! :shock: ), and there was a perished rubber diaphragm in the trigger valve that I needed to replace. Unlike with the newer Sievert handles, the economiser (pilot flame) level is controlled by a screw that holds the trigger pressed in slightly. I don't think you can change the neck either, which unfortunately means it's not compatible with the 3537 needle-point burner (which has its own smaller neck tube).

    The leftmost two Sievert burners are a recent purchase - they produce a 'needlepoint' flame. Each burner in the picture is several times more powerful at maximum output than the one on its left.

    The pencil torch is a very small cheap thing, almost a toy, but I do find it quite handy for very small jobs. Just yesterday I used it to solder up a few pinholes in a leaky tinplate spirit can. The main drawbacks with it are there's no way to tell how much fuel is left, so I sometimes run out part way through a job, and it has an annoying habit of flaring up in the first couple of minutes after you light it, especially if you only recently refilled it.

    The biggest Sievert burner is great for heating things up quickly. I've often used it to heat up stubborn fixings when working on classic cars. I used it when I was de-coking a roarer burner recently. The next size down is suitable for all manner of things. It's the one I would use for general plumbing type soldering. I even used it for the silver-soldered repair I did on the same burner, though the difficulty of only heating up the area I wanted to solder using a wide diffuse flame is what prompted me to buy the two needlepoint burners. If I had the same job to do again I would now use the larger needlepoint burner. I reckon the flame produced by the smaller needlepoint burner is going to be ideal for the kind of soft soldering needed when repairing a brass camping stove.

    The Sievert torch has seen a fair bit of use on-and-off over the past couple of years and there is still plenty of gas in the original 3.9KG (refillable) tank, so although initial costs were fairly high I think it's cheaper to run than torches that take small disposable cartridges.

    Although I don't seem to be able to lay my hands on it right now, I do also have a cheap DIY disposable-cartridge blowtorch somewhere. I don't particularly like using it but it comes in handy sometimes when I don't want to lug the Sievert's big propane tank to a job.

    Here's my soldering iron:
    1247818895-hakko_soldering_station.jpg
    It's a professional quality unit, made by Hakko (the big name in Japanese soldering equipment). It's an older model that I bought second hand a number of years ago. I've used it a lot and it's never let me down. It has a range of different tips, some of which are useful for stuff other than fine electronics work.

    I also have a hot air soldering station:
    1247818916-atten_hot_air_rework_station.jpg
    It's a good Chinese clone of a Hakko unit. Although intended for working on surface mount electronic components and not a tool I'd recommend everyone has in their workshop, I have found it useful for a number of other jobs where I need to direct a very precise blast of heat at something. Both the temperature and air flow are adjustable, and there are several different sizes of nozzle.
     

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  12. Big Si

    Big Si Subscriber

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    If any one cannot find the "Fire Bricks" they need then try to find an old night storage heater, they are full of them.

    Si
     
  13. alex_holden

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    A decent brazing hearth is one thing I don't have. So far I've made do with a pile of household fire bricks I got from Jewsons. They are better than nothing in that they stop whatever is under them from catching fire and they won't explode when they get hot, but they do a very poor job of insulating and bouncing heat from the torch back at the workpiece. I've heard that Heta Skamolex Vermiculite panels are the best stuff to use (you put a layer of it over the top of ordinary fire bricks). Chronos sell it mail-order:
    http://www.chronos.ltd.uk/cgi-local...GE=SEARCH&SS=Skamolex&TB=A&GB=A&ACTION=Search
     
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  14. Heavenly Fiddler

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    I dont know the first thing to soldering but could you use soapstone for a work surface instead of firebricks? It has excellent heat absorbing ability as it gets used in fireplaces a lot and its strong enough that it gets used for kitchen counter tops.
     
  15. theyellowdog

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    Hi

    I have just been having my first go at sil brazing.

    I used a propane benzomatic torch and silver solder with 20% silver.

    I failed big time, mainly I think, because the 2 parts I was trying to join were not close enough to each other (Trying to re attach a burmos 21 flame ring holder). But I wonder if anyone can advise me, is propane hot enough for solder with 20 % silver or should I be using 15%? I don't think I will be getting this flame ring support re-attached but will find another victim soon!

    Thanks Dan
     
  16. idahostoveguy

    idahostoveguy R.I.P.

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    Propane is not hot enough for sil-brazing, especially the silver you are using. I use a MAPP gas torch and that gets hot enough to melt the stock. So be careful not to melt your stove in the process.

    Also, use plenty of flux and as little of the silver solder as possible for the job. Make sure they are as close together as possible too. As a matter of fact, they should be touching or overlapping if anything. The solder will just fall through the air gaps.

    Hope that helps,
    sam
     
  17. toonsgt

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    Right now I'm using a combination of Bernzomatic torches from the tiny butane pencil model to the standard propane bottle model and the TS4000 and 8000. The 8000 really throws a lot of heat. I generally use on 20 lb propane tank with a hose to preheat and finish with MAPP(it's nearly 4 times what propane costs) if I'm siver soldering or using brass rod. The brass rod maxes them out. I need an oxy acetylene setup and a mig or tig setup too. I can dream, can't I?

    Don't waste your time or money with the Bernz oxy/mapp setup. The oxygen is depleted before you can say Jac....... See it's already gone?

    Which flux do you all use?

    Mike
     
  18. kerophile

    kerophile United Kingdom SotM Winner Subscriber

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    Hi Dan, I reckon that a small nozzle burner and propane gas will produce plenty of heat for silver-soldering (brazing) of burner heads. If you use insulating blocks or an old ceramic burner panel from a butane/propane room heater to make a hearth you will get more efficient heating.

    Have you read these?

    https://classiccampstoves.com/posts/139086

    Good Luck.
    Best Regards,
    Kerophile.
     
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  19. Davwal

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    The bricks used in night storage heaters perform a different function to that which is required for making a hearth - they are designed to absorb heat, not reflect it.

    The best material is 'Ceramic Fibre' and this can be obtained from pottery equipment supply firms either as hard bricks or flexible 'blanket'. The bricks are easily cut with a hacksaw or fretsaw and can also be shaped with sharpening stones etc. so you can tailor you hearth for specific jobs if necessary.
    Ceramic Fibre is far superior to the older, traditional, Alumina fire bricks - I believe it was originally developed to protect the outer surface of spacecraft on re-entry - and cut down my firing costs dramatically (for 20 years prior to retirement I was a craft potter).

    Dave.
     
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  20. kerophile

    kerophile United Kingdom SotM Winner Subscriber

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    Hi, Dave is right! The bricks used in storage heaters have a high thermal capacity and absorb a tremendous amount of heat. Just what you don't want when brazing.
    If you go to a local recycling centre they should have plenty of scrap calor gas heaters with alumina heater panels.

    Best Regards,
    Kerophile.