I decided to buy a new torch so I asked around and many guys were using the low cost Chinese torches for killing weeds from Harbor Freight or Princess Auto up here in Canada. Perhaps it was my affinity for WWII movies and those brave lads with the flame throwers that whispered to me that a cheap import flame thrower might not be the safest tool. Hey, maybe I'm just not brave enough, who knows?
I found a nice torch made in USA that had a 1.5" nozzle and 50,000 BTU. It works well and I can control the toning of the cane and I feel safe. It is called the Red Dragon Torch Kit and it is made on West Hwy 4 in Lacrosse ,Kansas. (www.flameengineering.com) I thought it was a tad ironic to buy a USA made torch called Red Dragon but what the heck, the thing works.
RED DRAGON Model HT1 1/2-10CR –
50,000 BTU Vapor Torch Kit
The key to the whole process is to commit to a torch and save your off cuts once you find the colour you like. Set them aside and label them and scrape off half the enamel and throw on some varnish to see what the final look will be. Don't guess, don't trust your memory. The tendency is to over cook and then the colour is darker than you like. Remember that it will lighten when you scrape off the enamel so trust your "control" pieces and gain the consistency you need to repeat your rods in a similar fashion. If you are selling rods you need to learn to produce a consistent product and if your colour is off you will have disappointed customers.