Thursday, March 17, 2011


Last weekend my dear husband decided to show me how to use a propane torch to solder a jewelery project I was working on. Sometimes in my strange crazy life I have projects that require a variety of useful skills such as soldering, pipe cutting, glass cutting, and even sewing. I know how to solder with a soldering iron, but I had never used a torch. So here is how it went....

We decided to do this project out in the garage instead of the basement because the weather was nice and you need good air circulation when you're soldering. It was going pretty well; Kevin explained how to light the torch and we experimented until we found a good safe way to solder the parts I was working on. After I had successfully completed a couple of items Kevin needed to refill the torch. This was a small torch and you use a regular propane tank to fill the smaller tank inside the torch. Kevin has had both of these items for many years. As he was lighting the torch the on/off valve failed and the whole thing went up in flames. See the life like photo below.

Gas was shooting out and it was on fire. Kevin threw the whole thing out onto our driveway and then we both just stared at it for quite a while, not knowing what to do. I said, "this might blow up", so we stared at it again. I said, "Could we smother it". I ran into the house and completely soaked a towel in water, and we threw it over the tank. NOPE that didn't work. Now Imagine a light bulb coming on over Kevin's head. He mentioned that we had a fire extinguisher right over there on the wall. This thing was about 30 years old and we had never used it.

It worked! The fire was out and for the first time we had used one of our fire extinguisher. If you don't have a fire extinguisher, get one! It's a very good thing to have on hand. If you have one, try and remember what it's for. I think we will remember next time.

Now comes part 2

I have very old, dry, abused hands. I think it's because of the wear and tear from all of the strange afore mentioned techniques I have used over the years, not to leave out, roofing, painting, scrubbing, and diaper changing. My hands have participated in a lot of destructive behavior. And so it continues. Last night I was working on the same piece of jewelery from my previous story and one of my fingers developed a crack. When this happens I use Super Glue to fix the crack. This isn't pretty but it takes away the pain and helps the crack to heal. We just so happened to have a whole new pack of super glue. When I poked a hole in the top of the little glue tube, unknown to me it had squirted out and glued two of my fingers together. It was late at night, I was frustrated, my cracked finger was killing me and two other fingers are glued together. This calls for KEVIN! He came down and to his credit did not burst out laughing. We both just kind of stared at my glued fingers and then we tried rubbing alcohol. That was a bust. Then I turned to the source of all knowledge, Google! I don't really like Google but it comes in handy at times. It's hard to type with two fingers glued together, but I found the answer. It suggested acetone. Although I have pitiful hands, I still have acetone in my home at all times, Fingernail polish remover! Hooray! I soaked my unworthy digits and dabbed them with a Q-tip. They aren't pretty but they're free from bondage. If you don't have fingernail polish remover, get some! It's a good thing to have.

The piece of jewelry still isn't done.