Thursday, May 31, 2012

Rings and a New (Inexpensive) Torch

In a flurry of creativity I am making jewelry before I leave for Bead & Button. I KNOW! I seem to be packed and mostly ready. (Note to self...print those do NOT want to be wrestling with the printer in the office center at the hotel. Ask me how I know.)

Anyway. I was so excited to actually have some time to create that I bounded merrily over to my worktable and picked up my torch. Wait. Where is my torch? Torch?

Drat. I packed every single micro torch I owned and sent them on their way to the show for class. I was crestfallen. As I pawed through my storage baskets willing one of my torches to spontaneously appear something caught my eye.

Bernzomatic Micro Torch
This guy.

I had bought this torch a while back to try out, turned it on once and promptly forgot all about it. Desperate times call for desperate measures, so I fired it up.

It did not have a built in lighter so I used my fireplace starter to fire it up. The torch is filled from the bottom and pushing up on that red button starts the butane flowing. There is a little switch underneath (opposite of the red button) that regulates the butane flow. The flame kept blowing out when I tried to light it, but a quick adjustment to that switch made the fuel flow more slowly and the torch lit right up.

So far so good. I tried the torch out and I like it. It certainly does not take the place of my Blazer or Max Flame micro torches, but since it was the only torch I could quickly lay my hands on, I made it work.

So, in a nutshell, these are my pros and cons:

  • I already had it.
  • The flame is tapered and precise.
  • Long burn time. 
  • Easy to manipulate.
  • Great for soldering jump rings and drawing a ball on the end of a wire. 
  • Inexpensive and easy to find. $15.95 at most hardware stores.

  • If you hold the torch at a 90° angle to your work it can sometimes blow out. Once I adjusted it to a little higher than 45° over my project it worked perfectly.
  • No automatic ignition switch.
  • The flame cannot solder projects larger than a quarter in size (1 inch or 24 mm).
Since the flame was small and could only solder small projects, I had to get creative. Here are the rings I made.

I used the torch to anneal the metal and to solder the bezel on the ring on the right. It wasn't powerful enough to solder the settings to the ring bands, so those are riveted together.

Now back to the workbench and my little torch. If you are coming to Bead & Button, make sure and stop by and see me at meet the teachers. I'll have rings for sale!


  1. This looks like the perfect torch for small projects or for traveling. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Hi Kate, just found your website.. Awesome, excited for your book to come out! Congrats... The rings are fabulous!!


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