This burner is Lionel's "Oliver-Upwind" Burner design over at http://www.backyardmetalcasting.com/
Specific Link: http://www.backyardmetalcasting.com/oliverburner1.html
This is by far the simplest burner design I have found, and he does a pretty decent job of explaining the process. I improved the design slightly and have some suggestions for construction.
SAFETY Statement : Fire is hot, propane is potentially explosive, power tools and welders can hurt you in many spectacular fashions. Please take proper precautions to avoid losing eyebrows and digits.
Step 1: Materials
- 6 Foot Braided Steel Propane Hose
- 1/8" ID Black Pipe and Connectors
- #57 Drill Bit
- 3/4" ID Steel pipe
- Old rusty propane tank
The propane regulator I found is variable from 3-35 PSI, and was the most costly part of this build at ~$40. Hopefully I'll get a lot of life out of it. The 3/4" ID pipe was one that I had laying around, and is not the same size as 3/4" black pipe.
Note that you can mix brass and black pipe fittings to get whatever configuration you need. Brass connectors are more expensive, so use whatever black pipe pieces you can find.
Notice that "Higher Pressure" in propane terms doesn't mean the same thing as regular compressed air. Most BBQ grills run at 3 - 5 psi, and the big turkey fryers run at 15 psi.
I probably have my regulator set at ~18 psi. I could have saved $30 by getting a fixed 15 psi regulator, but this one looks a lot cooler (definitely makes it worth the extra $25...).
Step 2: Drill the main tube
Step 3: Drill the nozzle hole
I tried using my fancy new $1.49 #57 drill bit, but found that the jaws on my power drill were too large and the bit would slide in and out even when closed all the way. I have something that resembles an X-ACTO knife that is designed to be used with small drill bits, but I have no idea where it is.
So, my solution was tightly wrapping the drill bit with a piece of paper with some tape (ok, maybe not earth shattering). This allowed me to used my power drill, which is a lot faster than trying to drill through by hand. I also labeled it so I don't have to measure the diameter of every one of my tiny drill bits next time I want to make that same size hole. Handy!
Drill the hole in the center lengthwise, and try to make the hole as perpendicular as possible. Assemble all your pipe pieces before you drill so the hole is pointing in the correct direction.
Step 4: Weld the tube
Lionel uses a set screw, but I decided a weld would be a better permanent solution. I lose the ability to make adjustments, but gain permanence.
Step 5: Assemble and Test
Attach your regulator to your old rusty propane tank, and put the business end as far away from the tank as possible.
Start out with the regulator low, and gradually work it up until the propane pressure blows out the flame, then back it off a touch.
Note that the flame quality is pretty poor (as mentioned previously), but this torch isn't for precision applications.