How To Make A Propane Torch Burn Hotter

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How To Make A Propane Torch Burn Hotter 1

When setting up your first forge for doing a little blacksmithing, a foundry for metal casting, or a kiln to fire pottery, one of the fundamental issues is how to get enough heat. Below I’m going to tell you how to make a propane torch burn hotter.

Now, charcoal and coal can be used for heat and are excellent fuels. Nonetheless, for ease and availability, it’s hard to beat a 20lb propane tank as a fuel supply. The problem is most off the shelf torches from home depot or the like don’t put out enough heat to do much for our uses. Along with hacking a propane torch to get more BTU’s, I’ll also show how to build a DIY forge burner with parts easily found on Amazon or at a hardware store. And then show you a budget-friendly done for you burner with regulator that is cheaper than what you can buy the parts for!

Let’s get to it!

What makes a propane torch burn hotter?

An air-only propane torch will burn at around 1,990 °C (3,614 °F). That is plenty of degrees to melt many metals like aluminum 660.3 °C and copper 1,085 °C, right?

Well, not so fast.

Just like you wouldn’t expect to go drag racing with a smart car and its tiny engine, your off the shelf burner from the hardware store just doesn’t pump out enough fuel for what we will need it to do.

More fuel + More Air = More BTU’S

There is a fairly simple hack you can do to most store-bought torches to increase the flow of fuel and air and create a bigger hotter flame. I personally don’t recommend this as it could make the torch pretty dangerous.

If you choose to do this you do so at your own risk.

Watch the video to see how to make a propane torch burn hotter.

Personally, if I was going this route I’d just buy a TurboTorch. But they still only pump out so many BTUs

To really get metal to the temperatures where it can be worked at an anvil or even melted you really want a burner that lets you control the flow of gas and air and get a focused blast of heat.

There are 2 options Do It Yourself or Buy it.

Option 1: DIY  Forge Burner

Here is a great burner you can make with minimal tools and no need of a welder. However, if you need to buy all the tools and taps it can quickly start to get more expensive than a pre-made burner. I’ll post a parts list with links to all the parts below the video.

Click here to see the full parts list with everything you need to build it.

Option 2: Buy A Forge/Foundry/Kiln Burner

Going DIY still costs a quite a bit and takes time .

As well there are things that can be easily messed up like not getting good seals when threading the pipe that can cause gas leaks and potentially be dangerous.

For just a few dollars more (or less if you needed to buy tools and high pressure propane gas regulator for the DIY version) than building it yourself, you can pick up a pre-made burner that will work out of the box.

Goede G-2 Stainless Steel Forge/Foundry Burner and 0-30 PSI Regulator with Gauge.  

And

Goede G-2-90 Stainless Steel Forge/Foundry Burner with Regulator and Gauge

I personally use the one with the 90 degree connector in my home forge since it makes it easier to route the gas line in my setup.

Both are great options at a very decent price.

They include everything you need to hook up to a common BBQ propane tank and light.

The difference between the 2 is the fitting where the gas line connects. One goes straight out the back and the other connects at 90 degrees. Simply choose the one that works best for your setup.

For more about blacksmithing and getting started at home checkout my guide to beginners blacksmith tools.

Want to Forge your First Knife? Here is what you need to know to make it happen.

-The Stay At Home Dad

How To Make A Propane Torch Burn Hotter 2

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  • Sullivan Hamilton Jan 5, 2021 @ 12:44

    I have a mini furnace I puchased off amazon $125. And the crucible it came with holds about 8 pennies. I have tried melting copper rings but switched back to copper wire because the rings only slightly melted together. I have propane tanks from lowes and the top of furnace has a lid with a quarter size vent hole. the propane goes into both sides of furnace. I had one pour somewhat successful but the copper dried too quickly. Now both small crucibles have holes towards the bottom from the blue flame of torch I’m guessing. My question is how long should I be running blow torches and will the hole matter that’s on the crucibles now? In other words AM I DOING IT ALL WRONG? I am pouring into plaster of pairs molds, also my crucible doesn’t have a lip that makes it easier to pour but I don’t know if I should buy another one or just give up on the mini furnace.
    Thanks for your help Dad.
    ps. sorry this is so wordy Im jut frustrated.

    • Stay At Home Dad Jan 5, 2021 @ 16:06

      Having the flames hitting the crucible directly can cause oxidization and damage the crucible quite quickly I’d avoid the flame hitting the crucible if possible in your design. Personally I’d grab a new crucible (with a lip for sure) off amazon. I always treat crucibles as semi-disposable they just don’t last forever.

      For the copper rings melting poorly my guess is that they might be an alloy and not pure copper since the wire mented ok but that’s a guess.
      To get a good melt you need to get the copper in the crucible up to 2000F in about 5 mins.
      Are you preheating your crucible before adding the copper that might help out getting things up the heat fast enough.
      As to the copper solidifying that tells me you probably had it barely over 2000F when you tried to pour so it passed under its freezing temp too quickly.

      Hope this helps out

  • Blair Diviak Aug 11, 2020 @ 12:42

    Wondering if you can help me. Bought a brass torch head, and 1lb propane tank. When I assembled the torch, turned it on and lit it, the flame comes out of it like a fire breathing dragon! Why can’t I get that small, blue flame I’m so accustomed to seeing when using a blow torch?

    • Stay At Home Dad Aug 12, 2020 @ 5:16

      Generally its the air to fuel mix that makes it do that. Depending on the design of the torch head you can try restricting the air flow a bit and see if that gets you the flame you are looking for. What torch head is it? If I can see it I can perhaps offer more advice.

  • Ron May 13, 2020 @ 18:09

    Great info. Thx.
    Ron

  • Todd Apr 20, 2020 @ 22:12

    Your video on the torch tip hack gave me some good ideas,but most of what you were doing regarding the part when you cut up that brass screen and rolling it up and putting it into the part that you had previously drilled out was outside the camera frame and i could not actually see what you were doing?I wanted to attempt it but was not 100% sure how after watching your video? Thanks though

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