Friday, September 30, 2011

new torch

My new little butane torch is a joy to work with. It is nice and stable, standing upright with no uncertainty, and it is very easily and securely handled if I need to hand hold it. The slim little pinpoint flame is very precise, and great for wire work. Probably limited in its ability to heat a large area, so I'll still have a use for my plumber's torch.

So far its lighting mechanism seems quite secure and reliable. The very first time I lit it, it required two tries, but ever since, it starts right up. It does need a quite firm push on the button -- the switch spring inside that you have to overcome is pretty strong.

I have had it for a couple of months now, but only started using it about three weeks ago. So far I have made a dozen or more ball ends on wire, and done a few small soldering tasks. There is no sign yet of needing to refill it after the first fill, but I have never yet done anything that took as long as a minute of heating.

Filling it the first time was a bit of an adventure. The directions said it would take 10-20 seconds, and to stop and pull out the tip of the pressurized butane canister when it began to overflow. Well, being unfamiliar with exactly what was needed, or exactly what the symptoms of "full" would be, I kept going until icy butane was running over my hand -- about 4 seconds!
The base of the torch, which is made into a shallow-rimmed saucer by the broad plastic foot that makes it stand so well, was full of butane. I carefully carried it out onto the porch and tossed it out through the screen, though it might have all evaporated by the time I did. Man, it was cold!

Torch and butane canister came from Lowe's.

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