This is the Sterno model culinary torch, which runs between $22 and $23 on Amazon. I'm kicking myself a little bit that I didn't think of this myself - I certainly know enough serious cooks and have seen this in operation in more than one kitchen, but I never made the connection to using it in the studio. It screws directly onto a can of butane, which means no stopping for refills.
Here's the Sterno in comparison to the other types of torches you're probably used to seeing - and as you can tell, it's quite a bit larger than the others.
|My friend and partner Gail Stouffer (r) with one of her students in a recent class|
I've also found that first-time solderers often find this torch less intimidating than some of the others, in spite of its size, in part because it's easier to hold and has a simpler on/off mechanism. My new friend and student Kaitlyn, pictured above, made a large and somewhat complex ring without any difficulty using this torch - her ring is the one on the right. (Didn't she do a great job??)
So if you're looking for a torch for your studio, or you're thinking about a larger one for bigger work, I highly recommend the Sterno. It's more than reasonably priced, and a single can of butane - at only a few dollars - will last you quite a while in a normal studio setting.
I'm heading back to the studio to get ready for the Roadhouse grand opening on Friday, February 7. If there's any chance you're going to be in the Austin/San Antonio area, I'd love for you to stop by and say hello!!
Until next time -