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can I use a hand held torch?

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  • can I use a hand held torch?

    I'm new to the welding world and have been taking an evening class at the local community college. so far I have mainly been using the forge and large torch to heat up steel rods to turn them into various candle holder type shapes.

    I was wondering if those very small hand held torches that you can purchase at hardware stores for around 40 bucks would get 3/8 inch steel rod hot enough to bend.

    I know it won't do the same job as the large cutting torch I'm using in class, I would just like to do some simple bending in my back yard over the weekends.

    I have no experience with these small torches and as I mentioned, I know they are no subsitute for large torches but how hot will they get the metal? the largest round stock I'm using is 3/8 and most is even 1/4 inch.


  • #2
    Yea, but you'll go broke buying gas for it.


    • #3
      is there an alternative to the large cutting torches I've been using at the school?

      I have seen a smaller torch kit at the home depo that has two very small tanks (maybe 6 inches in diameter and 14 inches tall) but the kit sells for around $250.00. More then I have to spend.

      thanks again


      • #4

        They also sell a torch that hooks up to propane tanks
        the one I have is a turbo torch that I purchaced at my local holesale pluming shop I dont rememder how mutch i paid for it


        • #5

          If all your going to do is bend 3/8 and 1/4 inch round you might as well do it the old fashioned way. Be a lot cheaper than buying a set of torches. Build one of these, add some BBQ briquettes and some coal and your in business. While your at the junk yard scrounging up the stuff, see if you can get a small piece of rail road track. Makes a neat little anvil.

          Easy to build forge for beginning blacksmiths using a brake drum or other easily scrounged materials.


          • #6
            Hello PNJ, I thought to throw in the mix, the idea of purchasing a bender of some type to do this for you.
            Jerry Streets
            J P Streets Welding LLC


            • #7
              Here in my town the local Gas/welder dealer sells complete gas weld sets new with cart for $500. thats cheap.
              There's always can wait!!!


              • #8
                I like a torch that has a hose, like this one. it has a built in regulator and doesn't care about being turned on it side or upside down.

                I see no reason you couldn't attach the hose whip to a propane grill regulator for vastly more gas supply.

                it will get 1/4 " by 1" flat stock orange hot so you can bend it with pliers.

                it's cheap and handy for soldering pipes and stuff too.

                I actually modified mine by putting an 1/8" quick disconnect on the handle and made it take interchangable heads that I made from my old smaller torch, and one of those tiny pen torches.

                MAPPĀ® Gas/Propane Hose Torch Kit
                Pressure regulated torch unit. Burntip design burntip produces a turbo-charged swirl action flame for maximum heat output. Burns either propane or MAPPĀ® gas. Includes burner wand with swirl flame burntip, 3' hose and cylinder clip.

                T/A 185


                • #9
                  thanks for the replys guys.

                  I'll look into building a forge. I don't have a covered area right now and the winter season is upon us so it's not really that important right now.

                  just trying to drum up some ideas for future use.


                  • #10
                    Get yourself a dozen or so firebricks and a big propane torch.
                    Set the bricks up in a manner that creates a tunnel, and stick the torch in to make a hotzone where you'll put your iron. That way, all the heat from the torch gets delivered to the iron.


                    • #11
                      Coal. Where would a person buy it and how much would one expect to pay for it?



                      • #12
                        Prices for coal will vary depending on your location. The places where you might find it would be; Box stores, hardware stores, even some some lumber yards carry it. The most commonly available is anthracite. It provides a good heat source for general smiting but not recommended for forge welding due to the impurities it contains.You don't have to limit yourself to coal for a heat source. Charcoal briquettes (expensive) or any hard wood will do. The last time I bought coal it came from the local feed and grain supply. Ten, 50 lb bags @ $4.80 a bag came to $48.00 and they delivered it.


                        • #13
                          So I could throw some oak in the bbq pit and go to town?

                          I wondered about that the last time I was smoking a roast, seeing those good hot coals in there.


                          • #14
                            Another thought, for these drum forges. Could I use a modern hairdryer as long as it's well protected?


                            • #15
                              You can pretty much use anything that will move a volume of air. Hairdryer will work but I don't think they have much of a duty cycle.Vacume cleaner would be the next choice but could cost too much money or get the primary operator mad when they need to use it and find it at the forge. An old oil burner motor works well, will last a long time and can usually be had for free.