Wondering whether it is even possible to weld with a blowtorch. Better still, how to go about the process? Lucky for you, we have just what you are looking for. In addition to that, we provide a step by step guide on each of three types of torches, namely the general blowtorch, a butane torch, and a propane torch.
On top of that, we will take you through the major considerations that you should take into account when making a decision on the type of torch to use. Ready? Let’s get the show on the road on each of these specifics..
Most people remain with whether it is even possible to weld with simple torches such as butane or propane blowtorch. You even brush it off whenever the idea crosses your mind?
Let’s hit it real. It is not possible to weld some metals with either of the three torches. But the good news is that ‘some’ tends to leave out others. So, what if your metal type is left out?
Points to Consider
- If the melting point of the metals you want to weld is low, then you can use one of the torches.
- In any case, if you don’t want the metal shapes distorted, the best welding tool would be a torch bearing minimal temperatures.
The three torches do not feature the same capabilities, though. For this reason, allow me to walk you through each of the three torches. Who knows, you may have them all and spoiled for options (pun intended). So, can you weld with a blowtorch? Yes, you can.
How to Weld with a Butane Torch
Just as in most homes, you probably have a butane torch to solve emergency plumbing issues, for brazing and as a solution for basic home challenges?
Now that you need to weld, did you know that this too could count in as problem solved with your butane torch? Other than soldering with a butane torch, your simple blowtorch will come in handy in melting and welding some metals.
To start with, butane torch is fueled by pressured butane gas. They are highly flammable; hence optimal care should be considered when handling it.
So, how do you use the butane torch for welding and get the desired results?
A butane torch is capable of producing heat of up to 1430 degrees Celsius, which is quite impressive for a blowtorch. Thus, every metal whose melting point is below this point will be expertly welded by a butane torch.
Let’s consider an example of such metals;
- Cast iron
- Magnesium/ Magnesium alloy
All these metals, including their alloys, are good to go with the butane torch. So, do you see that you still stand a chance of trying out the welding task?
Let’s now skip to the procedure on how to weld with a butane torch.
You will need the following to be successful;
- A butane torch
- A lighter
- An extra butane gas tank in case you run out of gas
Step 1: Clean the Metals
Whether you want to weld or braze metals, it is vital to clean the area where you want to join the metals. Why? The metal may be having foreign debris lying on it, dirt, or sand particles. These may disappoint your welding task, or you may be forced to stop midway just to clean up. So, why not do it early enough?
Step 2: Join the metals first!
Join the two metals that you want to weld in the shape that you want them to be in. You can do this even before you light the torch to make your work simpler and faster.
Step 3: Light the torch and use it on the joint
Use a lighter to ignite the butane torch. A blue flame should be visible, which you will use on the metal joint.
If the boiling point is quite low, hold the torch at a distance, so as not to distort the metal edge. Also, weld quickly at each point, still to prevent distorting the metal.
However, with higher boiling points, like those of over 1000 degrees Celsius, you can reduce the pace for an effective welding job.
Step 4: Leave the metals to cool
Once you are done with welding the metals, leave them to cool for some hours, preferably overnight.
How to Weld with a Blowtorch
Actually, the blowtorch is a general name, referring to all the other torches, be it butane, propane, or liquid petroleum gas, among others. Generally, a blowtorch is used in households to apply heat in metals where less heat is needed, for instance, in brazing and jewelry making.
Nevertheless, as seen with the butane torch, welding with a blowtorch is not entirely impossible. In any case, a general blowtorch will produce up to 2000 degrees Celsius of heat.
So, if the metals you are welding are copper, silver, zinc, and even platinum, why wouldn’t you succeed with a blowtorch? Besides, the melting point of these metals is far below the heat that the blowtorch will produce.
Additionally, a blowtorch spreads heat evenly, which will ensure that the welding process brings out stable and robust results.
Therefore, let’s dive into the process of how to weld with a blowtorch.
You will need the following for the welding;
- The blowtorch
- A lighter
Step 1: Clean the Metals
You will have to clean the metals first before you start off. Even if not the whole metal pieces, at least the points of welding should be sparkling. This will prevent dirt and debris from making your efforts of welding a durable metal alloy futile.
Step 2: Put the metals together.
Ease your work by putting the metals you want welding together. Ensure that they are in the shape you anticipate as the final result, so make no mistake. This is an essential part of the welding process.
Step 3: Light the blowtorch
Attach the blowtorch to the source of fuel, such as liquid petroleum gas, butane or propane.
Hold the fuel knob and twist it to open. Holding the lighter at a safe yet effective distance, light the blowtorch.
Regulate the valve that is controlling the flame until you get a blue flame.
Step 4: Weld the metal
Aiming for the metal edges where the joint should be, let the flame weld the metals.
If the melting point is lower, ensure that you move faster than with metals that have a higher boiling point.
Step 5: Cool the Alloy
After a successful welding job, you need to cool the alloy you joined together. You can either use cold water to cool off the point or simply leave it to cool off for some time.
How to Weld with a Propane Torch
Now, among these three, propane produces the highest amount of heat. So, want a trip through welding stainless steel, high carbon, medium carbon, or even low carbon with a blowtorch? Join the ride.
A propane torch is a blowtorch that derives energy from propane gas. Highly flammable, one should take extra care when dealing with the gas, whether with the torch or otherwise. Nevertheless, it is cheap in cost and quite easy to store compared to other competing gasses.
Soldering water pipes and low-level welding are among the major functions of the propane torch. With an optimal heat of 3600 degrees Fahrenheit, it is capable of welding several metals with low levels of melting points. These include nickel, iron, copper, zinc, and lead, among several others.
If your metal is among the above, let’s proceed with ensuring that you realize your welding goal.
You will need the following;
- The propane torch
- A gas tank with propane
- A lighter
Step by Step Procedure on How to Weld with a Propane Torch
Step 1: Clean the metals
Metals you want to weld may be dirty, full of debris, or just dusty. Clean them first, especially the areas of fusion.
Scrub the dirt that is almost difficult to remove. Just ensure that the metals are clean so that welding will be effective.
Step 2: Join the metals
Using your hands, join the metals that you wish to work on. You also need to ensure that you have the shape you want to achieve in mind, lest you make any mistakes. Remember that you cannot undo the welding process once you are done.
Step 3: Light the Propane Torch
First, ensure that the propane tank has gas. The good news is that the propane gas is readily available, and refilling will not cost you much. Your used propane gas can save you if you keep it so that you just go to the refilling station for a refill- it will be way cheaper.
Connect the gas tank to the torch, and be ready to light the torch. With the lighter, ignite the torch.
Regulate the gas tank to ensure that you get the optimal heat that you want. You can regulate the heat to lower levels if, for instance, you want to weld metals with lower melting points such as beryllium and aluminum. This prevents metal distortion during the work.
Step 4: weld the metals
Holding the propane torch steadily, make circular motions that are quite first across the jointed area.
Step 5: Cool the Joint
Cool the joint where you welded the metals. You can use cold water, or simply leave it to cool off on its own. Then, scrub off any particles left after welding, so that you get the smooth metal that you want.
Other functions of the Propane Torch
- Fuel: Propane is not only cheaper than other gasses, but it is also the safest and most available source of fuel. You don’t need to follow so many rules to use the gas in your kitchen or for other requirements. Moreover, its tank is disposable, and you can always get a replacement.
- Used in soldering plumbing pipes: Being a common tool at home, a propane torch is usually used in soldering plumbing pipes. Whenever you have an emergency and want to repair your water pipes, the propane torch will always come in handy.
- Brazing metals; whenever you want to join metals that are not of the same type, usually you braze them, contrary to welding them. Brazing requires low amounts of heat, and propane torch a perfect tool. Therefore, it is not only found in homes but also a key tool in welding shops.
- Soldering; in soldering, there is a filler metal just like in brazing. The only difference is that in soldering, a metal with a lower melting point is melted completely Then, it is used to join the two metals that the welder wishes to join. The two main metals have a relatively higher melting point.
Soldering is possible with blowtorches. You can solder with a butane torch, a propane torch, and even a blowtorch using acetylene.
- Jewelry making; when making jewelry, the silver, gold, and other metals need soldering to soften them. This makes shaping easy and possible. Most blowtorches, including the propane torch, are essential in soldering the jewelry.
Other than the fuel, most of the other functions of the propane torch are the same as those of a butane torch or other blowtorches. The blowtorch is usually bought for one or more of these reasons, and welding is not a common case.
Factors to Consider when Welding with a Propane Torch
- First, ensure that you have some basic knowledge of welding before embarking on the task. Welding requires training, even if just on the basics regarding the process.
- Wear protective goggles. The ayes are among the most delicate parts of a human body. Therefore, it is vital that you take ultimate care of them. When it comes to welding, this becomes even more important.
Welding involves heat, and the particles that emanate during the process can quickly get to your eyes. This is one of the ways that totally whole people get a sight disability. Not forgetting the pain that comes with a hot metal particle getting into the eyes. I have never been in the situation, and I am sure you would never want that.
- Wear a protective helmet. A helmet will protect every part of your head from an injury during welding. You are dealing with metals and hot metals to be precise. Hence, a protective helmet should be part of your welding gear.
- You will also need a welding apron. An apron in welding? You read that right. Can you imagine a piece of metal having its way into your clothes through to your body? It happens all the time in welding, which is why a protective apron, one that will not burn, is a welding requirement.
- Hand gloves; when welding, your hands need to be safe from the metallic sparkles. But not just that, but at one point, you may find yourself holding the metals close to each other, usually near the point of welding. To prevent your hands from burning, ensure that you have protective gloves that are usually very thick and heat resistant.
- Weld in open space. A blowtorch is filled with gasses, which you cannot risk using in small closed areas. Being highly flammable, a closed area will only worsen the situation. So, when welding with a torch, a highly aerated area is important.
- Ensure that all the materials you need, including an extra gas tank, are within reach and visible. Imagine having to look for water, that is, if you need quicker cooling, in the midst of a welding session. If possible, you should even have a helper. They can get you the things you need when you need them.
- Research for the exact melting point of a metal. This will help you understand the metal you will work on, and how much heat to apply. Most importantly, it will help you conclude whether it will even make sense to weld with a blowtorch, and the most effective blowtorch for the metal.
- Consider whether you prefer welding to brazing or vice versa. We will elaborate more on the two methods of joining metals below; just stick here.
- Never light a propane torch with a butane lighter. The other way round could also be catastrophic. Butane is combustible, while propane is highly flammable. Bringing them together and lighting a fire should never cross your mind.
Welding or Brazing?
Welding refers to joining metals that are the same as one. On the other hand, brazing is joining two metals that are alike, but with a filler metal that could be different.
So, in welding, you will have to melt the metals you want to join. In brazing, however, the metals joining will remain intact, while the welder melts the filler metal to connect the two.
Welding requires higher energy sources as compared to brazing, which will be done with the available tools.
Nevertheless, both welding and brazing bring out solid metals that you can rely on. So, choosing the best option will depend on your preference, and above all, your expected results.
Welding requires high levels of energy, enough to get to the melting point of the metals in question. Can you weld with a blowtorch? With sources and experience with metals, we came up with the conclusion that you can weld with a blowtorch, whether butane, propane or acetylene torch.
Thus, welding with a torch is not impossible. All you have to learn is whether the metal in question puts your torch up to the task. So, if you only know about soldering with a butane torch, today you get another job for your torch.