I Want a Welding Mask.

My son has been after me for over a year to buy him a welding mask. Every time we're in Lowe's he asks.

Last weekend while we were driving to Lowe's it finally occured to him that I'm not buying him one because he doesn't need one. His 6 year old mind started to crunch the situation and just as the steam began to emerge from his ears, he declared that we needed a pretend torch (he knows he's not allowed to have a real one). Once he had a torch, he figured he would then need a welding mask. As I'm always one for toys, a pretend torch was an idea I could get behind (even if it wouldn't get him a mask).

Once we got to Lowe's I spent a good half hour wondering around the plumbing section coming up with a pretend torch design. I finally settled on copying my personal soldering torch.

Here's how we made it:

I used a section of 3" PVC pipe as the tank. I glued a flat "temporary cap" to the bottom. The top is a standard PVC end cap.

Before gluing the top on, I drilled a hole in it, expanded the hole with a file and slid in the hose. A small length of dowel keeps the base of the hose rigid and two hose clamps above and below the PVC cap keep the hose in place.

For the torch head, I used some 1/2" copper pipe. I used relative dimensioning to size it against my real torch, and I actually got to use my real torch when soldering the pretend one together.

The 1/2" copper fits inside the end of the hose, and two more hose clamps keep it in place. Black electrical tape acts as a grip and keeps the hose clamps from scratching little hands.

Since I built it, the pretend torch has gotten lots of use from all three boys. For some reason though, it hasn't led to needing a mask yet.

Do you pretend in your shop?

P.s. - please excuse if this is formatted oddly. It's my first attempt blogging from the new Blogger application for Android.