How to melt metal with a propane torch

Written by dan falk
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A propane torch, a handheld portable ignition tool, can be used for soldering, burning rope ends and melting metal, among other tasks. The process of melting metal will take much longer than most other projects as a propane torch can only reach a certain maximum temperature. The average melting point for most types of metals is around 982 degrees C, and the maximum heat point for a propane torch is around 1,037 degrees C.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

Things you need

  • Propane torch
  • Striker
  • Bench vice
  • Pliers
  • Welder's gloves

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  1. 1

    Place the metal piece you're working on in the bench vice. A bench vice should be used because it can sustain heavy weight and is made of an anodised metal that is very hard to melt with a propane torch. The vice also lets you work on the metal from different angles and doesn't limit the angles of your propane torch.

  2. 2

    Hold the striker in your left hand. A striker is a light, handheld object that when squeezed strikes a spark to light torches. Turn the propane on using the dial, and hold the striker 1 inch away from the head of the torch. Squeeze the striker to ignite the torch.

  3. 3

    Adjust the flame coming out of the torch. The dial that controls the propane is the best way to do this. The torch's hottest flame will be 1 inch long and blue in colour.

  4. 4

    Make 3-inch horizontal strokes across the metal area you want to melt, smaller if you want to melt a smaller area. Don't take large swipes, because the heat will dissipate and you will not be able to melt the metal. Bend and twist the metal at the melting point with the pliers so you can bend the metal to where you want it. Continue torching the metal area on both the top and bottom side to heat up both sides.

  5. 5

    Pull the torch away from the metal and close the propane valve/shut-off valve on the torch. This will stop the gas flow and turn off the flame automatically. The tip of the torch and the metal will be very hot, so be very careful when handling it. Allow the metal to sit for 15 minutes before touching it with your hands to allow it to cool down.

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