[2009-04-03] Junk bucket torch holder for glassblowing

I've recently developed an interest in scientific glassblowing and have been in the process of cobbling together the necessary equipment for about a month now. Besides an oxy-fuel torch, serious glass-blowing requires a torch holder to keep the torch flame stationary relative to the bench while both hands are used to manipulate the work. Commercial torch-holders sell for $70 and up, but it seemed like such a simple device that I decided to try junking one together. And this is the result. It's based around a marble trophy base I nicked from my High School band hall when I was, like 17, and have been carrying around ever since. That's a pack rat for you.

Anyway, the construction is pretty straightforward from the photo. A 90-degree angle bracket is secured to the base with machine screws protected with brass washers on top and nylon washers on bottom. The mounting holes on the bracket just happened to align exactly with two of the holes in the trophy base. The base screws are affixed with nuts and lock washers that fit into the countersinks that were already machined into the marble block when I found it. The torch, in turn, is demountably secured by a small-size ACE hardware broom clip, which is fixed to a long screw through its mounting hole. The long screw is fixed in place with a lock washer, nut, and a drop of cyanoacrylate glue to keep the nut from loosening under torque. The long screw then passes through the uppermost hole in the vertical angle bracket arm. On the other side there's a relatively heavy (~1/2") lock washer, a large (1.5" diameter) flat washer, and a wing nut to provide manual adjustment. Thing works like a champ.

last modified 2009-04-03