Good Bye Old Friends
Two of the first tools I ever bought are now among the recently departed from my toolbox inventory. Back in 1975, I bought a flint spark igniter along with a MAP gas torch to sweat a few water lines for my new house and install some air lines in my garage. I must say that torch technology has changed and progressed in the last 40+ years, and I am glad to part company with these old tools because of the Bernzomatic TS8000 torch I recently reviewed.
Bernzomatic has a real winner in this family of torches and it will be an even better value because it is going on sale just in time for Black Friday. From now until Nov. 29, you can save up to $10 on the TS8000KC kit and up to $6.59 on a 2-pack of MAP Pro fuel at Home Depot.
To give the TS8000 a real test, I decided to build a coil-type air dryer for my air compressor to help remove the moisture from the air, as I use my compressed air often for spraying finishes. The theory in back of this type of dryer is to allow the moisture to condense on the inside of the copper pipes when the temperature of the air dryer pipes is less than the dew point of the compressed air. This is nearly always the case as the act of compressing the air raises the temperature of the air after compression. In my case, I will install the air dryer in a cool lower level of my barn and the natural cool temperatures in the barn will help with the condensation.
Including the threaded inserts in the first and last elbows and also the three lower valves, I will make up over 35 joints to produce this dryer. I think this project is adequate to get to know the TS8000 torch and formulate an opinion about it.
With the TS8000, gone are the hassles of starting up a MAP gas torch and having to hold it, adjust the gas pressure and use the flint spark lighter. To start the TS8000, merely turn the regulating valve to the full counterclockwise position, unlock the trigger and pull it to start the torch. A convenient button right on top of the trigger locks the torch into continuous operation. Then the flow of the gas can be regulated to adjust for the work at hand. Simple – and can be done one-handed.
I immediately noticed the difference in the mixing of the gas and combustion air in the TS8000 flame. It struck me that the gasses were more thoroughly mixed in the burning flame than what I had experienced. So when I took a break and the torch had cooled, I removed the tip and found the reason for the different mixing. As you can see in the picture, below, the gasses and combustion air are mixed through a turbine-shaped plate, accounting for the difference in the flame mixing.
I enjoyed using the TS8000. It heated up the fittings and pipe very quickly, meaning less time for the project construction. I had precut the piping into lengths and the assembly of the dryer with the joints took less than 40 minutes. I kept the torch constantly burning by turning it way down while I set up the next few fitting assemblies. Even when I inadvertently shut the torch off (old habits die hard I guess), it was very easy to restart and continue the work.
It might be hard to admit that a particular torch made me feel differently about sweating copper joints, but the TS8000 certainly did that. It is one of the easiest, hassle-free, and controllable torches I have ever used. I might even look around to find other copper piping projects that have long been put off.
The following is a list of the specifications and product features for the TS8000:
Bernzomatic TS8000 Product Specs:
- Product Icon Auto start/stop ignition easily ignites and extinguishes flame
- Adjustable flame control easily sizes flame for different applications
- Run-lock button keeps torch lit for continuous use
- Cast aluminum body construction for durability
- Pressure regulated for consistent performance when tilted or momentarily inverted
- Ultra swirl flame provides maximum heat output for large diameter soldering, brazing, heat treating and light welding
- Limited Lifetime Warranty
- For best results, use with MAP-Pro fuel, such as the Bernzomatic 14.1 oz. MAP-Pro Hand Torch Cylinder
For more information on the TS8000 and other Bernzomatic products, visit Bernzomatic.com.
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