Tool of the Month :
When I was deciding on the Tool of the Month, I wanted to feature a tool that is often overlooked. A tool that I use everyday, but never even think twice about it, is my Torch Mate. Let met set a few scenes of how it has helped me out of a bind or two :
I have a solder seam that I have to literally hold in place to solder the two pieces together. I finally have the piece at the perfect right angle, with the help of my right hand, and it has stopped shaking. My torch is in my left hand and I'm ready to light my torch and start soldering. But wait, the flint striker is laying on my bench. How in the world and I going to hold the striker and light my torch all while holding my piece in place?The answer to both of these issues is the Torch Mate. It is a hands-free automatic torch lighter that uses a peizoelectric spark when you press the torch tip to the ignition bar. The lack of an open flame makes this tool safer than a flint striker or lighter. The Torch Mate uses two AA size batteries and is a fairly inexpensive solution.
I spend about 10 minutes setting up my piece to solder. One joint is resting perfectly against tweezers and a charcoal block for the perfect seam. I grab my torch and squeeze the flint striker, but nothing happens, not even one spark! ARGH!
JFF carries two versions of the Torch Mate. The Torch Mate, left has a single angle ignition bar and is $25.50.*
The Torch Mate II, pictured to the left, is equipped with four ignition bars so you can light your torch from almost any angle. The Torch Mate II is $29.50.*
*prices may change without notice