Adding a Butane Mini Torch to Your Auto Body Repair Arsenal
Adding a butane mini torch to the tools that you use for auto body repair can be a good decision. This tool is versatile, not only for auto body repair, but for many other uses. Jewelers and chefs use these as well. Jewelers solder metals to make, or repair jewelry; chefs use the torches to roast, brown, or caramelize foods. Mechanics use butane mini torches for many aspects of auto repair, including loosening rusted bolts, small electrical jobs, fusing metals, and fusing adhesives. This little tool packs a big punch in your auto repair arsenal. However, all mini torches are not created alike. Here are some tips about consider when buying a mini torch, as well as tips on using it.
Remember You get What You pay For
Everyone likes a good bargain. While it is always nice to find a good deal on a butane mini torch, you need to consider the quality of the mini torch. Look at the construction of the torch itself. Plastic torches should be avoided. Some torches are mainly constructed from a large amount of plastic, and only a minimal amount of metal. Although these may seem like bargains because of their price, there are several issues with the quality of these torches. Torches that are kept on for an extended period of time become hot, and the heat may melt the plastic of the torch, making is unusable. Try to find a metal torch instead. Metal can withstand the high heat that occurs when you need to solder.
Read the Instructions for Your Butane Mini Torch
Once you have found a high quality butane torch to use, you should get to know the torch a little better. You should always read the instructions that come with the torch itself before attempting to light it. Before you attempt to light the torch you should follow the listed safety precautions carefully.
Prepare the Work Suface
The work surface that you will be using should be covered with a fire-proof covering. If you are working on a small job, a metal pan will be suitable. However, larger jobs require a little more effort. Metal or heat resistant shields can be purchased to use for larger operations of this sort.
It is important to protect yourself as well. Do not wear loose clothing that may catch fire. Ideally, the clothing worn should be flame resistant, well fitting, and comprised of a long sleeved shirt and long pants. Additionally, long hair should be secured to avoid contact with the flame. Eye wear, such as safety goggles, should also be worn to protect your eyes from sparks from the flame.
Examine the Flame Before Use
Before using the flame for the first time, take a few minutes to examine the flame and understand it a little better. This is a little easier to do in a dim light. Turn the torch on, and notice how the flame looks. There is an inner flame, and an outer flame. The inner flame is an opaque light blue color that comes to a pointed tip inside of the outer flame. The outer flame is a darker blue, but is transparent. The tip of the inner flame is what many people call "the sweet spot." It is the hottest part of the flame itself. This is the area to direct on the item that is being soldered. This area quickly solders metals, and controls the flow of solder. You will need to move this area closer or farther way from the item to control the amount of heat needed.
A butane mini torch is a valuable piece of equipment that is great for any auto mechanic, or do-it-yourself-er. This tool is relatively inexpensive, and can be used for a wide variety of jobs and projects. There are many brands of mini torches on the market today and they can range widely in both price and quality. It is important to consider the construction of the torch itself. If it is made primarily of plastic, you may end up finding yourself with an unusable torch at some point. However, a metal mini torch can last a lifetime. Although the metal torches are generally in a higher price bracket, they are worth the extra money.