Zangobob's Blow Torch Heaven
Frequently Asked Questions
Never ever, light a gasoline blow torch; they are too dangerous
Question: I sent an email to you quite some time ago, and I have not heard a response from you. Why is that?
Answer: I probably accidentally deleted your email. We get about 200 emails a day, and only a few of them have
anything to do with blow torch collecting. Sometimes I hit the delete key too fast. It is possible that I may have
mistaken your email for spam. Try sending your email again.
Question: I've sent a couple emails and they go on unanswered. What's the deal?
Answer: The DEAL is, I do not answer emails that do not have a clearly understood subject line. Don't write me
with something stupid like ( Hey ) in the subject line and expect me to answer you. Subject lines like (maybe you can help)
usually will result in your email being deleted. If such emails would appear to you as spam if you received them, then likely
I will see it the same way and joyfully hit my Delete key. Also do not use multiple question marks; every
spammer on Earth pulls that nonsense and all such formatted emails get cheerfully deleted. Your best bet is to write
me a well formed, short and to the point email with a clearly understood subject line. Please limit your questions to
one or two per email. Sometimes I answer emails while I am on hold, and waiting for someone to come to the phone. I can usually
get an email response or two sent out in this amount of time. I can easily lose track of what I'm doing if your email
contains too many questions. I then tend to procrastinate on formulating a response because of the time it will take
to compile a complete answer. The result is that these emails often get lost or accidentally deleted. You can always write
to me again if you have another question.
Question: I sent you a rather lengthy email regarding what I thought was an interesting blow torch collecting experience
and I have heard nothing back from you. Why did you not answer my email?
Answer: Please do not take such things personally. The fact that you received no answer does not mean that we were not interested
in your story. We do not have the resources to answer all of these kinds of emails. Rather, we prefer to answer specific questions
and provide help when we can. Interesting stories sent to us by our web visitors are kept on file here at The Heaven. Rest
assured that your story has been read and we appreciate the time you spent writing to us and sharing your story. We may eventually set
up a space on our website where stories can be posted and thus shared with the rest of the torch collecting community.
Question: I bought this really interesting torch. Can you give me an idea how much it is worth?
Answer: We normally do not do appraisals because there are too many variables. There is no way we can give you the slightest
meaningful guess without a picture. If you email us a question like this, please attach a picture and we will do our best. BTW
we will use your picture on our website in the Manufacturer's Section if it is something unusual or otherwise a picture that we
dont already have, and you will be given credit for the use of your picture. Please tell us if you prefer that we not use your picture. You
will be helping the information availability of our website expand if you allow us to use your picture. Nonetheless, we will
respect your preferences. Generally speaking, common torches that show normal signs of wear and age, and are physically complete
and therefore repairable, sell for $15 to $30. The exact price depends on a lot of factors.
Question: I bought this torch with a label that says [label contents] and I wonder if you have any information about it?
Zangobob responds. Answer: All of the _information_ we have is posted on this website. If you don't find what you're looking for,
then we don't have the information that you seek. This kind of question is way too open ended to be meaningful.
Please use your time and our time efficiently by framing a more specific question. Even though we might want to, we
do not have the time to write a Master's thesis in response to a question like this. This probably sounds harsh, but I do have
a family, a house to care for, a wife to spend time with, a lawn to mow, shopping to do, probably just like you do.
Please, ask a question that is specific and to the point. We will do our best to answer unless the answer appears elsewhere
on our website.
Question: Are there any clubs or associations that you know of that specialize in blow torches?
Answer: Yes there is! It's called the Blow Torch Collector's Association. It is the best if not the only such club. The
last we knew, they had a monthly newsletter available for a reasonable annual fee. We recently tried searching for their website
and had a hard time finding it. However, there were many Google hits for it. Persistence paid off and we did find it. Check it out
and get signed up to receive their newsletter. Below is the latest contact information we have for the BTCA:
Blow Torch Collectors Association
The association's mission statement: Our organization is a relatively young group which came together in early 1995 with a goal of preserving the history of blow
torches, promoting collecting knowledge, and the trading and selling of torches within the group.
Ron Carr, the President of BTCA publishes a quarterly newsletter called "The Torch" for the hundreds of worldwide members.
We welcome all interested collectors as new BTCA members.Contact: RMCarr1@cox.net
Blow Torch Collectors Association
c/o Ron Carr
3328 258th Avenue SE
sammamish, WA 98075
Website: The Blow Torch collectors Association!
Please let us know if this link does not work. Forward their new URL to us if you find it, and we'll update our page here.
Question: Where can I get spare parts for my torch?
Answer: The manufacturers of gasoline blow torches have been out of business for many years. Parts from the original
manufacturers are alas, no longer available. Some parts however can be made with simple tools and common supplies. The
best approach is to buy torches that are in poor condition that are the same model as yours, and then use those torches
Question: Where is the best place to buy a blow torch?
Answer: The most common sources are antique stores, estate sales, flea markets and Ebay. All of these potential sources have
their advantages and disadvantages, and there is no one best place to buy a torch in our opinion and experience. Ebay has the
advantage of lowest prices for common torches. Its disadvantage is that rare or uncommon torches tend to sell for premium
prices. Ebay tends to have the broadest price spread. Antique stores have the advantage that you can view the torch
before you buy it. Prices tend to be the highest at antique stores, even for common torches. You can frequently find some good deals
on uncommon or rare torches. This is because antique dealers tend to lump all torches into one category and typically do not take the time
to research a particular torch to determine its rarity. Antique stores typically tend to focus on popular items in the interest of
conserving display space. Finally, there is the flea market. It tends to be easier to find blow torches at flea markets than at antique
stores because of the vastness of items and the size of a typical flea market. You could visit a dozen antique stores and find nothing
but junk or common torches priced unreasonably high. The curators at Zangobob's Blow Torch Heaven have found the best samples at flea
Question: Can you sell me a working blow torch?
Answer: We have a policy not to sell working torches. This is not to say that one of our sale items would not work. We do not
encourage lighting gasoline torches due to safety concerns and would therefore never sell a torch with the idea that it is a working torch.
There are simply too many variables to evaluate the safety risk. If you really need a blow torch for a
legitimate application, then go to a reputable hardware store and buy a propane torch.
Question: Why do you insist that gasoline blowtorches are dangerous, yet you recommend buying a propane blow torch?
Answer: We understand how that could be interpreted as a rather odd position, given that gasoline and propane are both very
flammable. Gasoline is more of a problem because of leaks. Liquid gasoline can be much more problematic from a safety perspective
than propane can. Propane torches operate under very high pressure, and therefore, all of the fuel will quickly escape to the atmosphere
and be quickly dissipated in the event of a leak. Liquid gasoline can spray out all over the place. This gasoline thus creates a very
dangerous condition; it is highly suseptible to ignition until such time that it completely evaporates. It is the time delay between when
the gasoline first leaks out and when it evaporates that very threatening safety conditions exist. This is the main reason that gasoline
torches are more dangerous compared to propane torches. In the hands of an idiot, a spoon is dangerous. Ergo, any tool improperly used
has the potential to be dangerous and sometimes life threatening if used carelessly. Given two choices, a gasoline torch or a propane
torch, the gasoline torch is, without question, the most dangerous.
Question: I think the check valve is bad on my blow torch. Can it be fixed?
Answer: Check valves can be repaired. However do NOT plan on actually lighting your blow torch. More specifics on how to do this
will be posted later. Please write us if you have an immediate need.
Question: The leather in the pump on my blow torch is bad. How can this be fixed?
Answer: This is an easy fix. Find either some eighth inch thick leather at a craft store that is smooth on one side or alternatively
leather from an old wallet. Take a quarter, place it on the smooth side with the leather laying on a smooth surface.
Draw around the quarter with a pen. Take scissors and cut out your circle from the donor leather. Take a single hole, hand held paper
punch and punch a hole, dead center in the leather disk you just cut out. Reassemble the new leather on the pump handle
in such a way that the smooth side of the leather rubs against the wall of the pump. You will have to liberally oil the
new leather so that it can be worked back into the pump body. Oil lubricates the leather and makes this process much less
Question: What are the most common problems that prevent blowtorches from burning efficiently?
Answer: A properly operating blowtorch will have a loud, roaring flame that shoots from the burner head
approximately 3 to 5 inches. If the flame is not strong, blue in color, then the most likely cause is that the
torch is plugged. The wick commonly rots, turns hard, and sometimes the undervein on the burner head
gets clogged with carbon. In severe cases, the old wick has to be drilled out. In some situations, the fuel passageway
has to be reamed out with a drill. It is also very common to find blow torches that have a defective check valve, which
is the leading reason why gasoline blowtorches are so dangerous. Another problem, although not as common as the failure
modes already mentioned, is the presence of cracks in the brass tank. These are usually stress cracks and are the result
of a blowtorch being improperly stored.
Question: How many people work at Zangobob's Blow Torch Heaven?
Answer: Technically we are not an employer, so nobody works here. There are three primary associates and about six other interested
parties that are connected with The Heaven. We all get together periodically for what we call a Torchology Session. We do this several
times a year depending on the weather. We all have torch samples that we light, and we go through many safety precautions before the
session. Sometimes there are as many as five people involved in our torch activities. All of us get together to attend area flea
markets in search of unusual samples, parts and other torch related items or tools. We usually end a day of browsing and shopping by
repairing our purchases to get them functional again. Moreover, the crew will get together for a troubleshooting session to solve difficult
torch performance issues. Each of us have our own unique talents for torch repairing and these talents come together in a team driven
spirit during a repair session.
Question: Where are you located and what are the chances of getting a tour of The Blow Torch Heaven?
Answer: Given that this is a rather small operation, we really don't have anything to show you over and above our
torch collection. We Therefore do not have a tour policy. We probably could arrange a consultation if that would work for you. We are
located in Dekalb County, Illinois in beautiful scenic Sycamore. That puts us about 30 miles south of the Illinois-Wisconsin state line
and about 65 miles west of Chicago. An annual event that we look forward to here in Sycamore is the Steam Power show (Also affectionately
referred to as the hillbilly farm progress show) in August and the Pumpkin Festival in October. If you have been to either of these events,
then you were about two miles from the Zangobob's Blow Torch Heaven main laboratory.
Question: I have found many spelling and grammar mistakes on your site. Don't you believe in using a spell checker?
Answer: Zangobob responds. Sure, I believe in spell checkers and such. My first priority was to get a working website on line, and then
address the spelling and grammar. I will agree that I let way too much time pass before addressing this issue. This website
has been available for several years, and we're just now beginning to correct these errors.
I agonize over every grammar and spelling error you see. I regret that thirty years ago, when I was in high school, that I
did not pay more attention to learning the rules of grammar and composition. It is a constant strggle for me to put together
any kind of written document and not misspell many words, and struggle with sentence structure. I have always wanted to write a book.
That may never happen because of the struggle I have with a simple ten page report. I am an Electrical Engineer with a BSEE
degree, and have problems expressing myself in written form. I'm buying books on grammar and composition as well as practicing what I
learn. I have fifty years of bad writing habits to break, and that is not going to be easy. I've come a long way in improving my writing
style since creating this website. However, I have a great deal of improvement to do before I tackle writing a book.
We have our Blow Torches website on line at two different web servers, both of which have their own set of HTML documents. The index.html
has been improved by fixing most, if not all, of the misspelled words. Our grammar checker still complains about wordy sentences. We'll
tackle that later. We are working on WWW.blotorches.com right now and we intend to fix Members.aol.com/blotorches in the future. Had I
listened in english class 30 years ago, I would not be faced with rewriting my entire websites now. You know the old saying. "There always
seems to be enough time to do a half-assed job twice, but never enough time to do it right the first time." I am the poster child for
Here are some links to some other sites on the Internet
Copyrighted (c) 2007 by Jeffery E. Glass Sycamore, Illinois USA. All rights reserved.