Zangobob's Blowtorch Heaven

Lighting torches Shutting Down Torches

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Updated 04-02-2007

If you want to find out how these old torches operate without actually firing one up, then you've come to the right place. No one should conclude that he/she has gained the necessary expertise to operate or repair a gasoline blow torch simply by reading the information on this web page.

Zangobob's Generic Startup Procedure

1. Fill the tank about 3/4 full with white gasoline. Be sure the pump is screwed in place and that the gasoline plug, if any, is securely in place after filling. Place the torch in a well ventilated area such that it is at least 6 feet away from anything flammable. Wipe off any spilled gasoline from the exterior of the torch.

2. Be sure that the fuel valve is all the way closed.

3.    Pump up the tank by operating the pump handle about 10 times. Then
      examine the torch for any leaks.  Look at the burner head to be sure
      there is no gasoline coming out of the orifice. Finish pumping up the
      tank with an additional 30 strokes. No more! If the torch used has a
      screw-in type plunger lock, then screw it in now.  Be sure it is snug
      but not over tightened. Now  is a good time to oil the pump leather if
      it seems like the torch isn't coming up to pressure.

4.    Let the torch sit for two or three minutes while examining it
      carefully for any leaking fuel.
5.    Put your hand over the end of the burner head where the flame would
      come out and open the fuel valve counter-clockwise a couple of turns.
      You should see/feel fuel coming out of the orifice.  This will cause
      the fuel to fill the drip cup.  (that's the little tray under the
      burner head) I hope I do not have to tell you NOT to do this with a
      HOT torch!  I do not want to add a minimum IQ limit to my web site.

6.    Continue to let the drip tray fill up until it is about 3/4 full.
      Close the fuel valve snugly, being careful not to over tighten.

7.    With a Bic lighter or wooden match, set the fuel in the drip tray on
      fire. Sometimes I use a little butane blow torch to light the drip cup
      on fire.
8.    At this point, there should be nice yellow flames engulfing the burner
      head.  When the drip cup is almost empty, SLOWLY open the fuel valve
      just to the point where a flame starts to emerge out of the burner
9.    When the drip cup is burned dry, the only flame you should have is the
      small one out of the burner head.  Carefully open the fuel valve CCW
      until  either you have opened it a total of five turns or until you
      obtain a strong, loud blue flame emerging from the burner head. Do not
      open the fuel valve beyond the point where the flame is at its maximum
      intensity.  There is nothing to be gained by opening the valve any further.
10.   Watch for any leaking fuel from the tank or any flames that start at
      the end of the clamping nut.  The picture at the left shows a very active
      and leaky packing nut! Shut down the torch immediately if there is
      anything abnormal in its operation.  Be sure to have a five gallon
      bucket of water, garden hose or CO2 fire extinguisher close by so
      you are prepared if something goes wrong.

Zangobob's Shutdown Procedure

1. Slowly shut off the gasoline by turning the fuel valve CW until the flame goes out. Carefully look into the burner head and, without touching the torch, make sure there is no flame inside the burner head. 2. Let the torch sit for about five minutes. Slowly turn the fuel valve CCW just to the point where you hear fuel escaping from the orifice. Now, close the valve again being careful not to over tighten. 3. Let the torch cool down to room temperature. Inspect it again for any residual flames in the burner head. 4. Loosen the pump very carefully and slowly to release the pressure in the tank. Do not loosen too much or gasoline will leak out! 5. Examine the burner head again for residual flames! Once you are convinced that there are no flames inside the burner and that the torch is completely cooled off, remove the pump or fuel plug and empty the remaining fuel in the tank into an approved gasoline container. 6. Leave the fuel pump loose enough such that only one or two threads are catching. This will provide an escape path for any pressure that may build up inside the tank after shut down. 7. Store the torch in a safe place, out of the reach of children and crazy people.

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