Some instructions on how to make a lamp from an old blow torch, I made these as Christmas presents as my family decided to do hoe made Christmas. I would appreciate any feedback on the product and instructions.
Step 1: Equipment and Materials
Just a brief outline of some of the materials and equipment I used for making one of these lamps I have also included where I got some of the materials
- Edison screw light bulb (can be bought on Amazon any style of screw bulb will work)
- Screw lamp kit, I used one for the heating lamps used in reptile tanks (available on Amazon)
- A vintage blow torch, there is a lot of choice out there but most have the same construction so it really only the price and looks to choose from. here is a large selection on eBay mostly for about £10.00.
- Super glue
- rubber grommets (10mm)
- A working blow torch (a kitchen one will do)
- A drill with a 10mm metal drill bit
- A counter sinking drill bit
- Various screwdrivers and an adjustable spanner
- a dremmel (most of the what this is used for could probably be done with hand tools but the tool really makes things easier )
Step 2: Dismantling the Blow Torch
This is a fairly simple step, the only real disassembling that needs to be done is removing the spout of the torch there is usually only one or two bolts or screws holding this on. I took this point as an opportunity to clean out the inside of the torch with white spirit and then water and to leave it upside down somewhere to drain.
Step 3: Making the Lamp Suitable for Putting Through the Torch
Removing the plug
Again this step is fairly simple, just unscrew the screw holding the plug casing together then unscrew the smaller brass screws inside the plug. these are just connectors for the two or three wires inside the flex. now these have been unscrewed you should be able to pull the wires out of the sockets and be left with just the flex with the light fitting at one end and the metal parts of the wires sticking out the other end.
The light fitting I used was surrounded by lots of cheap plastic part of which snapped off when I dropped the light fitting. this left the light fitting looking a bit scrappy so removed lots of the plastic and then filed down the plastic to make it look better. It should be said I didn't snap off all of the plastic as some of it is important for keeping the light fitting safe.
Step 4: Preparing the Blow Torch for the Light Fitting
Drilling a hole for the flex
For this step I used a 10mm metal drill bit, I wouldn't advise using anything smaller as it will make threading the flex through this hole very hard. Mark out where you want the hole I suggest near the back of the blow torch slightly to one side of the handle as this keeps it out of the way and means you wont see the cable much on the finished product. Once the whole is drilled try to empty out as many of the shards of metal that might have got into the torch as possible. Then counter sink or file don this hole so it has smooth edges.
Preparing the spout
When you take the spout section of the blowtorch off there will be a piece of metal that looks like a heating element attached to the back plate. This is also attached to the nut that goes on top of the oil reserve and the tube that goes into the oil reserve. Often this is soldered and screwed on to the back plate. First undo the screw holding this in place, in the case of the blow torch I was using I had to use pliers because the screw had no where for a screwdriver to fit.
Now use the dremel to cut away the solder holding the tube that goes into the oil reserve until it and the heating element come away. This will leave sharp edges on the back plate of the spout casing so I filed them down with the dremel. Now the tube/heating element thing is removed the back plate can be glued back onto the spout using super glue.
Removing part of the spout
The spout initially had a small thinner part at one end this needs to be sawed off I used a dremel but a hack saw would work. This section has to be removed so that the light fitting will stay in place when the lamp is finished. The pictures show where the cut should be made better than I can describe it. once you have cut this section off file it down so it is smooth and clean looking.
Step 5: Soldering the Spout Back in Place.
This is the hardest part of making the blow torch by far but its best to just persevere with it it will work.
Put the metal piece that had the spout inside it back on the blow torch, using the screws and bolts that wee used to attach before you took it apart.
Now melt drops of solder onto the floor or another non flammable surface, this makes lots of thin pieces of solder. Push the spout of the blow torch back into its position on the blow torch, you will need to use something to hold it in place I used duck tape. Take a piece of wire and make a small loop at on end then used this to apply a lot of flux to the small gap between the spout and the piece of metal its sits in on the torch. then take the thin pieces of solder and push them into this gap making sure they are very tightly packed. Then melt the solder using a blowtorch this should make a bond between the metal surrounding and the metal spout. Its also good to add a small amount of solder at the other end of the spout to keep it in place. Again seeing the pictures may make things easier to understand.
Step 6: Wiring
Now once the blow torch is reassembled you can thread the wire through the spout and into the fuel store, this can be fiddly so to helps to use pliers and tweezers. Now unscrew the metal cap that where fuel would have been poured in, use a torch to shine a light into the fuel reservoir so you can see the wire through the hole you drilled. Pull the wire through this hole using pliers and tweezers again. Continue to thread the wire through intill the light fitting is nearly flush with the end of the spout. Add a small amount of super glue to the light fitting and pull the wire through so the light fitting is making contact with the end of the torch when the glue is dry the light fitting should be steady. At this point put a rubber grommet in the hole you drilled it will help protect the wire.
Rewire the plug, close its casing, screw a light bulb in place and test out the lamp