Earlier this year I did a fillet brazing masterclass at The Bicycle Academy and while I was there I learnt about the work they’d done in trying to perfect Oxy/Propane brazing. Convention would say that you use Oxy/Acetylene, but Acetylene comes with some serious safety concerns and doesn’t come cheap, especially if you are a small scale frame builder. Propane on the other hand is much cheaper and easier to deal with, but traditionally hadn’t produced the best results. The Bicycle Academy though had managed to come up with a technique that did produce good result, but they are always on the look out for anything that benefits frame builders, and that’s how they came across this latest technological breakthrough.
Like us, when they first heard about a flame produced from water they thought it was an April fools, but as you will see in the following video this isn’t a joke, or the stuff of science fiction, it’s reality…
This is what The Bicycle Academy’s main man, Andrew Denham, has to say about this exciting new bit of technology…
“After a little research we managed to get hold of the man behind the idea, one of the organisations behind its development and the people making the units. We wasted no time arranging for us to take part in the testing as there are so many questions that we have and things that we want to learn about the process.”
“The potential for this product is significant, with so many wannabe builders restricted by the safety restrictions placed on Acetylene use, this kind of system could make framebuilding a lot more accessible. Now, initially it seems as if the flame profile may be designed to work with joints that rely upon capillary brazing, rather than fillet brazing, but this may simply be a function of the setup or nozzle design rather than a limitation of the process, either way we’re really excited to be involved especially at this early stage.”
“Next Tuesday from 11:30am I will be brazing with water and I’ll tell you all about it when I get back…”
I don’t know about you lot, but I for one can’t wait to hear about how he get’s on. In the meantime if you want to know more about this crazy tech then head over to www.safeflameproject.eu