INDEX TO WEB SITE
KITE MAKING PAGES
CONTRIBUTIONS FROM READERS
STORIES AND EBAY SALES
1 AN OLD LAND ROVER
STORY 35 SELLING A BLOW LAMP ON EBAY
The many and varied uses of the humble blow lamp
Below is a transcript of the description on the original Ebay advert
The reason I am selling this item is told below
First a short explanation on how a blow lamp works for those that do not know
This form of lamp was invented in Sweden by C.R. Nyberg in 1882: It is a simple heating torch, which burns liquid fuel (such as kerosene (USA) / paraffin oil (*UK), or more recently biodiesel), with ambient atmospheric air after vaporizing it using a coiled tube passing through the flame. They take time to start, needing pre-heating with burning methylated spirit. If there is any doubt as to the integrity of the pressurized fuel tank or any of the seals in the torch, it should be treated strictly as an antique — if the tank bursts there is a very real risk of explosion or fire.
Very technical I must say
Basically you pump the plunger up and down, this produces a very high pressured jet of paraffin which due to the pressure is vapourised. You then light this jet and hey presto you have a blow torch, or if the nozzle is not cleaned a small flame thrower.
I have added this description because I am still getting email asking what a Caravan Hitchdrive is (see story 11 on my web site).
The blow lamp is normally used for paint stripping or plumbing but my wife used it to light her Tibetan Yak dung tobacco pipe.
We found recently that due to EEC rules the octane rating of paraffin has been reduced, and as a result the flame was a lot cooler and would not ignite the dense and smelly Tibetan tobacco. The only effect it had was to char it slightly on the top. My wife sucking hard to aid the ignition would often cause the pipe and her mouth to implode with the vacuum sending the pipe down her throat which meant sending the ferrets down to retrieve it. This was very unfair to the ferrets. I would have tried the Heimlich manouvre but my arms were not long enough.
She did try petrol in the blow lamp but the super heated three foot jet of flame produced did little to ignite the pipe but took the hair off two people standing next to her at the bus stop. My wife now uses an industrial plasma gas lance to light up. The only problem now is that we have to wear welding goggles
I wish she would give up the pipe as her lungs are like an old steam train boiler. The only difference is that to decoke a steam boiler you use long rods with wire brushes attached. Whereas my wife clears her carbon deposits with an early morning routine of coughing and chest thumping. This gets louder and more energetic until, like a cat coughing up a fur ball, the lump of phlegm/carbon is ejected at great speed breaking anything in its path. She tries to aim for the dining room wall as we are slowly building up a lovely artex finish, when its dry I just emulsion over it. We should have the room finished in a few years.
What she will miss the lamp for is nostril and ear hair removal, also treating other unmentionable growths that readily plague my dear one. My wife has decided to let her ear and nostril hair grow, plait them into dread locks and loop them on top of her head to supplement her normal hair, which is thinning due to the pipe smoke acting like acid rain and eroding it.
The 'unmentionable' growths should not have been mentioned as they are 'unmentionable' and for this I apologize.
We also tried using the lamp at meals when having fondue, but the flame was a tad too fierce, and the small black charred blobs on the charcoaled sticks were uneatable. We tried steel skewers but they got red hot, this was ok for my wife as like most wives she has asbestos skin on her hands. For the rest of us it was a painful experience, (as are most meals the wife cooks).
Another use she put the lamp to was in the kitchen a la Mrs Beeton,Gordon Ramsey etc. Like most things my wife sees on the television she only took notice of a small amount, and just saw the blow lamp being played over a dish of food. We then had two weeks of charred meals as every dish received the flame treatment from the mashed potatoes and brussel sprouts on Sunday dinner, to the lads cornflakes at breakfast. It only stopped when she got a large piece of charred haddock stuck in her throat. I was going to leave her but the look on her face said that to hesitate would be more painful for me than her so again I had to send in the Ferrets.
I normally ask people to send in suggestions as to the different uses the things I sell can be used . The last few sales ie An Amber Beacon and Cigarette Lighter can only really be used as intended but I feel there may be a few different uses for this lamp. So just let your mind wander and send in a few suggestions.
I have had a few suggestions from various people.
Fred of Leicester ……… They can burn you house down. …….. FD Fred could you expand on that statement a bit please.
Mrs Brenda Bucket of Ibstock...... Tie one on each side of the car.....Hang on a minute .......... RAY ... RAY ....Stop doing that with the hoover its disgusting ....... go and wash the coal NOW ..... Where was I ....Oh yes ..... Tie one on each side of the car pointing down in front of the wheels, when it snows they will melt the snow and you wont get stuck ..... I have got to go now Raymond has got the hoover tube stuck ....... Hang on Raymond just getting my Marrigolds and the butter. ......... FD I do hope Ray has not injured himself too much ...... Very topical suggestion given yesterdays snow storm ...... London Transport could have used that idea for their buses (Thats the snow melter not the Hoover).
4 Feb 2009 4th day of sale
Well we have a bidder already, obviously a person of discerning taste who knows a thing or two about blow lamps and can spot a bargain when they see one. A person who wishes to stake a claim on this wonderful 'objet d' art', for that is what it is. Not only is it a blow lamp, it is an object of Scandinavian functional beauty that when polished up to a high finish could be placed on the Ikea coffee table of any lord of the land and he would be proud to own it.
At this time in an auction I normally quote from the bard
St Ebays day speech.
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers:
Max Sievert liked it so much he bought the company.
6th Feb 2009 6th day of sale
Fred has explained his statement above that a blow lamp 'Can burn your house down'.
I have just had a very long telephone call from Fred of Leicester. A very slow deliberate talker, who measures every word before, and during saying it. Like a toffee he takes it out of the crumpled brown paper bag and slowly unwraps it marveling each time at its size shape and texture, chewing and ruminating. He would have sent an email but typing it would have taken days as he weighs each letter typed. (The phone call took two hours).
In his own words--------
I ... Decided ... To .... Strip .... The .... Paint. .... Off .... The ............. Front door ......... As ....... The .... Missus ...... Was ..... Getting ..... Right ...... Stroppy...... On...... Account ..... Of .... Me .... Putting. (This is not a typing error, it is how Fred speaks. I am running out of capitals and full stops so will speed things up a little).
Below is a condensed form of my conversation with Fred
FRED...I decided to strip the paint off the front door. As the missus was getting right stroppy on account of me putting a coat of car bitumen underseal on a few years back to protect the wood from rust, she said how it was unsightly, and it was the talk of the neighborhood was our front door. Take a look at the wife now that’s unsightly. So after much thought and planning I got to it. I decided to use me old paraffin blow lamp, well not mine as it was a gift from a neighbour when I wanted to weed the lawn. Did a right good job it did, too good in fact it got rid of weeds, grass, and bushes the lot. We were just left with a sort of brown carpet where all the green should have been. So the wife didn’t find out I painted the window glass green with pretty flowers on it and a nice blue sky. She was dead chuffed. She didn’t find out until the next Monday which was wash day. She looked out the window, saw the painting and thought it were a lovely sunny day, did her washing and went to hang it out only to find we was in the middle of a storm with torrential rain, lightening and floods. Got a right ear bashing that day I can tell you. Anyway I started to strip the door. As much as I played the flame over the door the stuff would not come off it just bubbled and smoked”
FD... “Didn’t you use your paint scraper?
FRED... ” No, no one told me I needed one of those things I just thought it would “go, like drop off”. So I adjusted the flame up. The wood of the door started to smoulder and then smoke. Suddenly the door burst into flames, I panicked and I tried batting them out with my hands.”
FD... (Trying to speed up the conversation). “Ah so that set fire to the house?
FRED... “No that was the cat. Anyway when me wife heard the banging on the door she went and opened it thinking it was the vicar come to tea, but no, she was greeted by a burning door and a tongue of flame from me lamp. In her panic she knocked the blow torch out of my hands.”
FD... “So then the house burnt down?
FRED... “NO I told you the cat set fire to the house”.
FRED ...“Yes the blow torch fell onto the cat whose tail set alight. Off the cat went straight up the curtains which caught fire. Thats what sent the house up. I was right peeved I can tell you, me missus had just put a steak and kidney pie in the oven and had to leave it. Right waste of good food that was. I told her to go in and get it and not to forget me Val Doonican collection but the fireman held her back for some reason. We had to have fish and chips from Marcos, down the road, nice batter he does too.
FD ....“What about the cat”? (I think I knew the answer looking down at the furry creature clawing at the wife’s wooden leg). (see story 16 Witchery part 5 A home at last).
FRED.... “Oh the cat. He just ran off never seen him since. Me wife
thought Id done it just to get out of doing the front door. In fact the
only thing left after the fire was the blow lamp which stood on the front
The lamp sold to a gentleman from Northern Ireland.
I wonder what he will do with it.