Friday, January 18, 2013

Treadle Torch Plans

A year ago I wrote about using a gas saver with the torch.  I intended to post a set of plans showing how I made mine but never got that done.  Then I thought about rebuilding mine because it had some problems so I started making some sketches to see if I could find some improvements.

The first decision involved whether the setup would be fully dedicated to treadle operation or would it also accommodate freehand torch use. I chose the latter as that is the way it has worked out to be most useful in my shop.

In this dual setup the torch is designed to hang from the shutoff lever of the gas saver when in freehand mode and to hang from a hanger fixed near the pilot light when in treadle mode.  A weight is hung on the gas saver shutoff lever when in the treadle mode.  The weight is enough to power shutoff but still easy to lift with toe pressure on the pedal.

The next decision is whether to place the torch tip near the gas saver pilot as factory built or to move the position of the pilot light by adding a copper tube extension.  I decided to adapt to the pilot on the devise without alteration other than add a hose clamp handle to make adjusting the pilot flame easier.

After I checked a couple of references on the internet

and aided by my previous experience I started building from the ground up. I decided my comfortable working height was about 44” in the treadle mode.  I was satisfied with the stability and maneuverability of the plow disc base on my current setup so I started with another 16” disc.

Next the Primary Post was welded to the center of the disc in true vertical position.  After that I worked out a pedal-lift mechanism with about 2” of upward travel and the work height adjustment.  That proved that there needed to be the additional 1” space between the primary post and the lift sleeve for the base articulation. 

After that portion of the frame was welded the upper structure was built. First I mounted the Gas Saver to a platform which would be removable if I wanted to use it in another location from time to time.  I welded the two arms of the fixed bracket to the Gas Saver adjustment socket and clamped it to the lift rod sleeve about 3” above the floor and checked the movement of the Gas Saver shutoff rod to figure out the best height before welding.  Finally, the torch holding frame was added and clamped while testing the whole operation.  When everything was working perfectly, the welds were completed.

It has been in operation for several days and I added a couple of hangers to hang some accessories like the tip cleaners, and piezoelectric lighter.  It is a considerable improvement compared to my old setup so the time was well spent. 

One little detail which I really like is the hose guard around the foot pedal.  On my old model the torch hose would get underneath the pedal and prevent shutoff or lay on top and prevent it from turning on fully when I piked up the torch.  This wicket arrangement works well.

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