Which blowlamp?

Hi folks,
I need a blowlamp. Mainly I'll be using it for soft soldering and freeing seized fasteners. My primary selection criteria are:
* It need to have a powerful flame. * It needs to be tough and durable. * The gas needs to be cheap.
I have a couple in mind...
The Bullfinch propane torch: http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item )0085904665
The Rothenberger Superfire 2 torch: http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item 0120175828
Does anyone have any personal experience of these torches which they'd like to share? Opinions would be appreciated.
At the moment I'm leaning towards the Bullfinch torch, as it has a good selection of different burners available, and I really don't need piezo ignition.
Best wishes,
Chris
Add pictures here
βœ–
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Tue, 29 May 2007 21:45:28 +0000, Christopher Tidy

I have a slightly different Rothenberger torch (maybe the original Superfire, I can't remember), a couple of years old, comes with a short hose. Much smaller scale than the Bullfinch, & a fixed size burner. I use it with MAPP gas & find it excellent for silver soldering work. The piezo ignition died after about six months, though.
Tim
Add pictures here
βœ–
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

They use two different types of tanks. If you already have a big tank the Bullfinch will be a lot cheaper to use.
Dan
Add pictures here
βœ–
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Christopher Tidy wrote:

I have a Rothenberger, but a bigger one. I'm not happy with it. It is a nice looking design and makes a solid impression (and that is true), but the flame is sooty and very soft, no matter how I adjust it.
My smaller one from Soudagaz (SP?, can't read it any more; Made in France) looks a bit cheap but works perfect. Has a pointier flame. Much happier with it, but on the small side. For bigger parts (for silver soldering) I prefer the OA, much quicker.
Forget about freeing fasteners. You need heat on the spot and that quick. OA rulez!
HTH, Nick
Add pictures here
βœ–
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Hmm, I was about to recommend a Seivert torch, such as http://www.machinemart.co.uk/shop/product/details/pmpx-professional-torch-kit/path/gas-torches-soldering-irons/brand/sievert but the price is a bit stupid. Im sure I only paid £30 for mine about 2 years ago. Has wide backup and many accessories. Bear in mind that bigger calor bottles are cheaper per unit for gas (last time I checked anyway), and torches run off disposable cylinders cost a fortune for more than occasional use.
Dave
Add pictures here
βœ–
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Wasn't Sievart the be all of blowlamps? Bob

Add pictures here
βœ–
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Emimec wrote:

I have an ancient kerosene torch (who else remembers those?), that I picked up in a junk auction 30 years ago. The make is "Companion" (Australian), but the nameplate credits "Max Sievert", so I suppose the reference is to his original patents. It still works fine!
Add pictures here
βœ–
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

they'd
good
piezo
Chris,
I've had a Bullfinch for the past 30 years ! I've installed the central heating with it in the last 4 houses I've had along with all the other water plumbing. It's done vast amounts of work in my three launderettes and 9 flats, along with those of various sons and daughters. Just occassionally it's done the odd bit of brazing and silver soldering for 'model like' activities. It gets pressed into service for freeing stuck nuts and bolts, thawing frozen bits and pieces, and I've even warmed the oil sump of my 100kva generator on one VERY cold morning. Last usage was the other day getting next door neighbours flywheel off his Briggs and Stratton leaf sucker! All this on the original jet - and I've only ever had the one size of nozzle / jet assembly.
I have to say that piezo ignition would be a great advantage, but my gas bottle always has one of those 'cup style' ignitors, along with a roll of soft (lead) solder and tin of flux sat on top of it !
AWEM
Add pictures here
βœ–
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Andrew Mawson wrote:

That sounds very much the kind of blowlamp I want! Do you use it with the standard 1230 nozzle? The one which comes as standard in the kit: http://www.broadmanltd.co.uk/product.asp?productID 
I thought perhaps the 1230 might be a bit fierce for some soldering jobs (it's rated at 4.5 kW). Or can you reduce the output greatly using the needle valve?
Have you done any brazing with your Bullfinch torch? Can it bring smallish pieces of steel up to red heat?

Do you mean one of these?
http://www.mythic-beasts.com/~cdt22/oil_burner1.jpg
http://www.mythic-beasts.com/~cdt22/oil_burner2.jpg
I bought it on eBay a few months ago, for no particularly good reason, just because I thought it was sweet. But it'll probably get used now.
Many thanks for the advice.
Best wishes,
Chris
Add pictures here
βœ–
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

all
three
on
door
this
nozzle /

with
kit:
jobs
the
my
with a

reason,
now.
Chris, I have no idea of the model number or jet size - I bought it over the counter at a plumbers merchant three decades ago - it's probably be obsolete for two decades !. I use it on a standard 7.5 Kg cylinder. I've used the same torch (and jet) on both butane and propane - just depends what I have at the time - and apart from adjusting the regulator pressure the performance seems little different. Your pictures oil_burner1 &2 seem to be of the type used for a mouth blown spirit blow lamp used by jewellers. Mine look like :
http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml00/00152.jpg
AWEM
Add pictures here
βœ–
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Tue, 29 May 2007 21:45:28 +0000, Christopher Tidy

I have a slightly different Rothenberger torch (maybe the original Superfire, I can't remember), a couple of years old, comes with a short hose. Much smaller scale than the Bullfinch, & a fixed size burner. I use it with MAPP gas & find it excellent for silver soldering work. The piezo ignition died after about six months, though.
Tim
Add pictures here
βœ–
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Christopher Tidy wrote:

Interesting differences in terminology. If you can get it there (I expect you can), the Bernz-o-Matic TS4000 piezo trigger start torch with a MAPP gas cylinder works very well and will handle most anything you need to do. I use mine for everything from plumbing soldering to starting charcoal for the grill to caramelizing sugar on my creme brulee.
Pete C.
Add pictures here
βœ–
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

I have a Bernz-o-Matic, Spitfire VTK turbo torch which I bought new, probably 30 years ago for ~$17.00, and a more modern, unlabeled torch which I bought at a yard sale (boot sale) in it's original package for$1.00 about five years back. Both designed for use on disposable bottles but mounted on adapter/extension hoses for barbeque tanks. A couple years ago, second son wanted to replace the front wheel bearings on his old Jetta, we used both torches to heat the hub enough to drive the old race out and the new one in. Gerry :-)} London, Canada
Add pictures here
βœ–
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Christopher Tidy wrote:

Chris
I have the following
Bullfinch, at least the one with the red plastic handle, and a 1230 tip normally fitted
Bernzomatic TS7000 which looks just like the Rothenburger, fueled with MAPP.
Sievert torch with pilot as sold by Machinemart for roofing for about £70, its fitted with a 2944 head at the moment.
The Bernzomatic is great for easily portable heat. It was bought for glassblowing work to add small details to pieces but has been useful for other warming tasks benefiting from the single handed instant on nature of the piezo starter. It can braze small pieces, I tried it out of interest with some steel parts and sifbronze rod, it worked but I have OA so wouldn't use this torch out of choice for brazing. I did not use any heat retention method such as firebrick surround so it seemed to do quite well.
The Bullfinch is mainly used for low level heating and annealing of metal before and between metal spinning operations.Never tried to braze with it but it should silver solder fine with the likes of easiflo2.
The Sievert was bought for larger annealing where the Bullfinch was taking too long although the 2944 tip is a beast and I need to get a smaller tip or 2. I have used the 2944 tip to test fire a glassblowing gloryhole, it worked well as it should at a rated max consumption IIRC of 4.5kg/hr.
Of the Bullfinch and Sievert, I prefer the Sievert, nicer feel and I feel a better flame but the Sievert is a bigger torch than the Bullfinch. Saying that my neighbour has a full selection of Sievert torches including one like mine and that's his biggest and I prefer them over the Bullfinch.
So the Rothenberger will have the most expensive gas because of the small size disposable bottle, the others should be cheaper to fuel so choice is down to cost and heating capability.
With all that choice of kit I mostly use OA for brazing and soldering, even soft soldering as it gives me the greatest control compared to the propane or MAPP torches. Now for plumbing work I would most likely just use the Bernzomatic or Bullfinch with a smaller tip.
Add pictures here
βœ–
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On May 29, 11:13 pm, David Billington

PP.

David,
Just out of interest, what size of cylinder do you use with your large Sievert torch? I'm thinking of getting a few different burners to use with my new Sievert torch, and I'm just wondering what cylinder sizes are needed.
Best wishes,
Chris
Add pictures here
βœ–
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I'd go for the Bullfinch - but the standard nozzle is probably going to be far to big for anything but preheating big stuff/annealing etc, BOC dealers will flog you smaller nozzles,(££s !) you will also need a propane bottle, around £12 to refill 3.9Kg . Plenty hot enough for silver solder. I find the big advantage of this type of torch is that there is little danger of the nozzle emmiting liquid gas with the resulting alarmingly large flame, unlike the normal taymar type torches. Mark G.

Add pictures here
βœ–
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Christopher Tidy wrote:

Ive been a silversmith and fine art metal craftsman for some 39 yrs and have just about every kind of gas/ weldingtorch you could have. So,If you want to get steel red hot youll need more than propane or butane on its own Youll need either of these gases tho propane is better, with oxygen. thats another ball game on its own. I bought when I started out the torches made by Calor and still use them, you still see them at car boots and ive several. you change the whole nozzle from as small as 1/2 in od up to 2in od. the BTU output will vary depending what you want to do with it. Back to getting steel red hot. IF you plan on heating dozens then invest in an oxy cyl, a regulator and proper hoses and an oxy/acetylene torch. These run perfectly well on oxy and propane. There used extensively in the scrap trade as heating up kit prior to gas cutting up of metal. it will be plenty good enough for you. You wont have much luck unseizing rusted up fasteners with propane on itsown. It has to be with oxy to be any good. Rusted solid nuts need to be red hot to undo. Also you cant weld steel with propane and oxy. Flame rate too slow. You have to have oxy and acetylene. If you plan to heat only a few then it will be cheaper for you to get someone who has all the kit, and the expertise to do it for you.
you really need to go and see some one using the kit you want, to make the right decision. Where are you?
Ted Frater Dorset UK.
Add pictures here
βœ–
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Welding and cutting steel isn't an issue. I already have a stick welder and power hacksaw which I use for this. I want the blowlamp for soft soldering and brazing, and perhaps encouraging the odd seized fastener, although that isn't critical.

I'm in Shropshire.
Best wishes,
Chris
Add pictures here
βœ–
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I use Bullfinch kit in the workshop. I have a couple of torch "handles" and a range of differently sized exchangeable burners fed from a 14kg Propane cylinder. I have had no problems with it in 20+ years and can recommend it.
For more portable kit - plumbing and gas jobs around the house etc., - I have a couple of Sievert blowlamps - again with a range of nozzles - that run off cylinders similar in size to the Rothenberger kit illustrated. Easily held in one hand. The Sievert replacement (exchange) cylinders cost about a fiver at the local builders merchants. They are very popular in the plumbing trade and readily available.
If you are only using it in a "workshop" setting then something running off a larger cylinder is fine but if you need more portability then the smaller kit is better.
It is "swings and roundabouts". The two set-ups compliment each other.
One final note - for workshop or external use you ideally need to use Propane - not Butane. Butane loses pressure at lower temperatures.
--
Pat Martindale

Add pictures here
βœ–
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Hi folks,
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 this post.
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 great.
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 cylinder. Ouch!
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.
Best wishes,
Chris
Add pictures here
βœ–
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Polytechforum.com is a website by engineers for engineers. It is not affiliated with any of manufacturers or vendors discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.