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Petroleum blow torch.

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Benchwayze

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In my garage, I've unearthed an old plumbers' blow torch, which is intended for use with petroleum. It's a bit dirty, but it would clean up suppose.
Is it worth getting back into service? Would it be possible even; given that it might need spares? I can't see what make it is, but it belonged to my Father-in-law, who would have finished his apprenticeship the mid to late 1920s. Not familiar with the history of these torces/lamps, other than the petroleum versions were used mainly in the USA, because in the UK they were thought to be 'dangerous'!

TIA

Regards
John (hammer)
 

adidat

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In theory a pot of petrol with a flame 6" away isn't overly safe. Maybe give it a clean up and display it. A modern plumbers blow torch burns far hotter, cleaner and very simple and safe ish to use. A tin of gas for about 11 quid from toolstation lasts me months for starting bonfires, heat shrink damp proof post wraps. Occasional bit of plumbing


Adidat
 

Trevanion

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I agree with Adidat, those petrol/paraffin burners can fail with explosive consequences if not properly used and maintained. I wouldn’t trust any of them for actual use. They do make for a good ornament though which is why some fetch a pretty penny on eBay.

As Adidat said get yourself a gas/mapp torch which is more controllable, safer and burns hotter. I quite often ask plumbers I see if they’ve got an old one kicking around they don’t want anymore (they tend to lose their intense heat after a couple years use and they get new ones) and you can pick them up pretty cheap/free that way.
 

Benchwayze

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Thanks folks. I suppose it's like anything else. It's not the tool or the weapon or the mode of transport that's the problem. It's the user.

I can't imagine a blow lamp being used as a decorative item. I suppose if I clean it up and leave it in the workshop in a prominent place then yes it might look ok. I wasn't sure I would fancy using it because of the petrol aspect. Have used paraffin blow lamps in the past of course but the last time I used one I managed to melt the plastic window frame; even red lead couldn't hide it! (homer) One of the reasons I've never bothered to learn how to weld. :mrgreen:

Thanks again.
Regards John (hammer)
 

Eric The Viking

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Materials have changed too. That blowlamp was intended for wiped lead joints - in lead pipe. Now we use copper (or plastic), and the more heat the better. I use propane, but I prefer MAPP gas as it's hotter. Even my roofer, whose leadwork is superb, uses an oxy-propane set to do lead boxes, etc.. I think it's a rather different technique to the lead workers of old.

I bet it looks wonderful, but I'm struggling to think of what you might use it for, even if you could do it safely. BTW, are you sure it didn't use paraffin? It's not much safer than petrol, but I think a lot of them relied on pressure, and the paraffin vapourising before it got to the burner proper.
 

Sideways

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Old brass paraffin stoves seemed to be commonplace back in the 50's and 60's and a paraffin blowtorch wasn't uncommon. I imagine it would be quite attractive polished up on the shelf of a country pub or theme cafe.
I used an American Coleman petrol stove many times on camping trips in my youth as it was faster to light and white petrol stinks less if you have a spill. It could throw a three foot flame if you were impatient and tried to go to full throttle before it was properly warmed up though :)
My guess is that renovation would involve a good clean, "pricking" the jet with the right size fine stiff wire to make sure it's clear, and maybe fitting a new cup washer in the pump.
 

Benchwayze

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Hi Eric. Yes it would have been used for wiping joints and father-in-law certainly could wipe a joint. It was he who told me it was fuelled by petrol and he mentioned something about the flame being superior to paraffin. Whether that would have been heat or spread I don't really know. I just wondered if it would ever come back to life. After spending 46 years building up my shop I certainly don't want to risk burning it and the house down.
Father in law's framed City and Guilds certificate is still in the loft. Rather a splendid document.

Regards John (hammer)
 

Benchwayze

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Hi sideways. At the moment I don't have the equipment to clean up a blow lamp body. Other than elbow grease . :lol:
At the moment I'm trying to sort out my shop so I can use it. The blow lamp can wait a little while longer.
As you say it probably would look quite nice polished up and repainted where necessary.
Cheers John (hammer)
 

rxh

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A vivid memory from my childhood is my father pumping up the blowlamp which sent a flaming jet of paraffin across the room and set fire to the curtains :)
 

sunnybob

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Imagine a training room filled with 20 x 16 year old apprentices, all learning how to light parrafin blow lamps by pouring meths into the top trough to heat the parrafin to vapourising point. :shock: :shock:

Yes, several went to the first aid room =D> =D> , one to have his head entirely bandaged because the kid opposite pumped too fast and shot a jet of flame across the table. :roll:
Oh what fun we had. =D> =D>
I really enjoyed wiping lead pipe joints, very satisfying if you didnt melt all the way through the pipe and mentioning that you can wipe a diamond stop end is a real conversation stopper.
 

Phil Pascoe

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I remember as a 15y.o. camping and seeing someone struggle to light a home made stove that was a little like a barbecue with a five foot chimney on one end (no, I don't know why). The fuel was damp, which was why it wouldn't light. It lit OK when some fruitcake poured a pint of meths down the chimney. :shock: :lol:
 

Benchwayze

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Well it's hardly rocket science as they say! :lol: :lol: :lol:


Yes pardon me !
Hat, coat...


See you folks!
John (hammer)
 

adidat

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All these stories bring back memories of my little incident with a 1lb of gunpowder and a two week stay in hospital....

Adidat
 

toolsntat

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And while we're at it and somewhat related, I was melting lead using one of these lamps.
No problem with this but I did discover a way of shooting molten lead straight past the side of my person. It was as simple as putting lead pipe into the molten pot :shock:
Still got the splatter on the garage ceiling #-o
Never did work out why exactly :?:
Cheers Andy
 

Trevanion

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toolsntat":182pp26w said:
Never did work out why exactly :?:
This happens if you're working in a high moisture environment, all it takes is an absolutely minute coating of condensation on the vessel that you're pouring into and it will steam up as soon as the hot metal contacts it causing the molten metal to "explode".
 

toolsntat

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Trevanion":32od4910 said:
toolsntat":32od4910 said:
Never did work out why exactly :?:
This happens if you're working in a high moisture environment, all it takes is an absolutely minute coating of condensation on the vessel that you're pouring into and it will steam up as soon as the hot metal contacts it causing the molten metal to "explode".
Right, it must have been damp inside the pipe then. Ta.
Cheers Andy
 

sunnybob

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molten lead and water are a very violent combination. DO NOT attempt it EVER.
My dad was an architectural iron worker, who installed many of those famous railings outside houses in London back between the wars.When they were installed in the coping stones theywere fixed in place by pouring lead into the stones holes.
He always claimed he could pour lead even in the rain, but in honesty, I never got to see him do it.
 

Harbo

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I’ve still got a tiny Primus stove that dismantles and fits into a small tin. Used lots of times on camping trips until the small gas ones appeared.
My parents had a weekend cottage in the Dales, where apart from the wood burning range used larger Primus stoves for cooking and Tilley lamps for lighting. All using paraffin and meths.

Rod
 

Bod

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adidat":28x40cb7 said:
All these stories bring back memories of my little incident with a 1lb of gunpowder and a two week stay in hospital....

Adidat
There must be a good story to this....

Bod
 
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