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| | |-+  Is a propane torch good enough?
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Author Topic: Is a propane torch good enough?  (Read 7786 times)
agaboric
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« on: April 07, 2010, 10:20:53 AM »

I was wondering if a propane torch is good enough for most heat treating jobs that a beginner would need to preform? For example the rifle maker that I guess I would say I am unoffically apprenticing under told me to make an offset barrel chisel of sorts that is kind of his own creation. So he gave me a piece of cold roled square stock and told me to heat it and bend it to the offset that if felt would be comfortable to me.
So I did and it took FOREVER for the metal to heat up! The metal changed color or I thought it did and I stuck it me my vise and did get the offset, but I was not sure if I did the process right. The next step is to file it and case harden it, which he also gave me some type of carbon that I am to pour on to the end of the steel to give it a harden edge, and I am supposed to heat it until it get cherry red (which I could put the torch on it and go to bed and maybe by morning it will be there) My other question is are there other torch tips that can make the propane flame hotter? Any input would be great.
Thanks,
Andy
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smart dog
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« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2010, 10:43:15 AM »

Hi Andy,
Probably for most builders a propane torch is adequate.  You should be able to harden and temper springs, shape small metal parts, etc.  If you get into building locks from castings or from scratch, you really can benefit from a welder and some sort of forge or heat treating oven.  If you expect to caseharden parts you need an oven or forge that can keep a part at 1400 degrees for an hour or more.  You can use kasenit with a torch but you will never achieve the same quality or depth of hardness as you can with an oven or forge.   

There are different torches for propane that are useful.  I suggest 2 types, the standard tip that comes with most Bernz-o-matic torches and has a spreader attachment, and a swirling flame tip.  The swirling flame tip adds air to the mix and really boosts the flame temperature.  I use it to harden springs and make springs.  I even use it to melt small quantites of brass and silver for casting. The standard tip gives you a smaller, cooler, more precise flame for small jobs and soldering.  Also buy Mapp gas and propane.  The Mapp gas will produce a hotter flame for hardening and light forging.

dave
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fix
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« Reply #2 on: April 07, 2010, 11:36:27 AM »

I use propane almost exclusively. Dave is right the tip on the torch makes a difference.

I have also heard that quenching in used motor will increase the ability to harden. I have no way of testing this, but I happen to have used motor oil, so I use it. I guess the theory is that there is carbon in the oil that gets back into the metal. When you heat metal up with a clean (propane) flame the carbon burns out of the metal. In actuality, I imagine that very little burns out with such a low temperature.
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D. Taylor Sapergia
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« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2010, 10:51:20 PM »

A propane torch works for a lot of heat treating jobs and for hard and soft soldering.  But for heat treating main springs in particular, you need to create a little oven out of fire bricks to hold the heat.  Before I got oxy/acetylene, I used propane successfully by placing a brick on the top of the opened vise, a half brick at each end on top of the bottom plate, and another full one over top.  This makes a very significant difference when trying to get a uniform colour over the entire spring, and hold it there.  I'm speaking about the first step:  the hardening phase.
Within the last few years, I bought a neat propane torch from Home Depot that screws onto a 1# bottle, and which has an oxygen intake built into it.  This generates much more heat than the old Byrnsamatic (sp?)  head.  I leave it set up on the bench all the time, and it's handy for annealing sheet brass when making nose pieces and patchbox parts.
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D. Taylor Sapergia
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David Veith
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« Reply #4 on: April 09, 2010, 09:38:10 PM »

At the same time when you buy a new tank get Mepps It burns a little hotter. Keep your eyes out for some fire brick. I know some where on the net I have seen a small oven made out of just a couple of brick. witch would help a lot.
David Veith
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David Veith
g.pennell
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« Reply #5 on: April 09, 2010, 10:09:21 PM »

I just bought a neat little torch from my local Lowe's.  It's a Mapp/Oxygen setup, and has worked real well so far on the couple jobs I've used it on...should get hot enough to do light brazing or welding sheet metal...just haven't tried it for that yet.

Greg
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ottawa
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« Reply #6 on: April 13, 2010, 08:54:56 PM »

if you can find the book the $50 knife shop it shows how to build a small oven out of fore brick for a propane torch forge/oven for heating steel and such
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Shovelbuck
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« Reply #7 on: May 24, 2010, 08:58:27 AM »

My bench is never without a propane torch. I also use the swirling type tip.
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SuperCracker
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« Reply #8 on: May 24, 2010, 10:24:05 AM »

if you can find the book the $50 knife shop it shows how to build a small oven out of fore brick for a propane torch forge/oven for heating steel and such

If you look deep enough on a google search you can find the directions for that on line.
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John Archer
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« Reply #9 on: May 24, 2010, 01:30:03 PM »

Here's the link to the mini-forge.
http://www.woodsmonkey.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=233:mini-forge&catid=41:how-to-articles&Itemid=63

John.
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Bryce
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« Reply #10 on: July 11, 2010, 11:00:46 AM »

Recently picked up a little oxy-mps rig which works like a dream for brazing. That being said, uses up oxygen pretty quickly so not great for prolonged use
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