My apologies for taking some time to follow this up. I've been busy.
First to answer's Tim's question about the missing posts. I posted the
question to both rec.crafts.metalworking and uk.rec.models.engineering.
Because rec.crafts.metalworking is a much busier group, I thought it was
best to set the Followup-To header to send all replies to
rec.crafts.metalworking. I probably should have mentioned this, but
didn't think to. Sorry. The Followup-To header is set the same way in
Thanks for all the advice about blowlamps. I quickly ruled out the
Rothenberger following Tim's comments about the failed piezo ignition,
and also because I wanted cheap gas.
So it was down to the Bullfinch, which I nearly bought. But the comments
by the two Davids lead me to consider the Sievert. At first I didn't
like the Sievert because of its plastic handle. I would have preferred a
metal handle. But then I noticed that the Bullfinch had a plastic knob.
And the Bullfinch is plated, whereas the Sievert is plain brass. Plain
brass will probably age better than plating. Finally I noticed that the
regulator which comes in the Bullfinch kit looked a bit cheap, and only
goes up to 1 bar. Also Bullfinch state that their larger burners require
a minimum size of propane cylinder, but Sievert do not.
So in the end I bought the Sievert "General Purpose Torch Kit" from
Toolbank for £64 (http://tinyurl.com/2v2cy2 ). I know that some sellers
advertise a similar-looking kit for as little as £39.99, but they charge
VAT and carriage on top, and give no indication of how quickly they'll
deliver. I've always been very happy with the service I've received from
Toolbank. The kit includes the Pro 86 handle, 2941 burner, hose and 4
bar regulator. I've also bought a smaller 3941 burner from Chronos,
together with Tubal Cain's "Soldering and Brazing" book. It's
interesting to note that Chronos sell a similar torch kit, which
includes two burners rather than one, for £156.45. Their prices aren't
So far I've used the torch once and I'm very happy with it. The
components are well engineered and nicely finished (in this respect they
look better than the Bullfinch, although I haven't seen the Bullfinch in
person). The plastic handle actually looks pretty good. It looks tough
and doesn't look or feel cheap. The hose is has crimped ends like a
hydraulic hose, rather than being secured with simple clips. The
adjustment of the flame is nice and precise. I managed to get a piece of
50 mm x 5 mm mild steel bar red hot with the 2941 burner, without a
brazing hearth, so it has some power. The only disadvantage I've found
with this kit so far is that Calor now charge a £29.99 deposit for each
I might buy the larger 2943 burner at some point in the future.
If people are interested I'll post a more thorough review of this kit
once I've had chance to use it more.