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Torch “Melts” Planting Holes Into Plastic
Quinton Tschetter, Oskaloosa, Iowa, grows flowers for sale inside a hoop building, where he uses large sheets of black plastic for weed suppression.
“To plant seedlings evenly, we map out a series of 8-in. squares on the plastic and then use a propane torch to burn a hole inside each square,” says Tschetter. “An ordinary propane torch can be used, but if there’s any dry grass under the plastic the torch’s flame might start a fire that takes off burning across the plastic.”
His solution was to convert a propane torch to “melt” a hole in the plastic, without the flame burning through it.
He used a length of 1/2 -in. black iron pipe to form a T-handle and clamped it onto the torch. The bottom part of the handle is welded to a 1-ft. long, 2-in. dia. metal pipe that’s closed at the bottom. Tschetter welded a baffle inside the pipe about 3/4 of the way down. A series of holes in the pipe above the baffle allow the flame to escape without reaching the plastic. The torch’s burner tube fits into the top of the pipe.
To operate the torch, he just presses the bottom of the pipe down against the plastic for a second or two. “The baffle contains the flame, allowing only the capped bottom end of the pipe to touch the plastic. It’s just hot enough to melt the plastic without touching anything underneath,” says Tschetter.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Quinton Tschetter, 2379 Hwy. 92, Oskaloosa, Iowa 52577 (ph 641 660-9765; Qct1944@gmail.com).

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2021 - Volume #45, Issue #1