Jump to content

Recommended Posts

I've been using a BeadSmith Thread Zap II for a few months now and generally always burn the end of my threads.  This thing goes through batteries like crazy!  It uses a single AA battery and once voltage drops to about 1.35 or so, it just stops burning thread properly.  A fresh battery always works incredibly well.

What do you folks use for thread burning?  A lighter just doesn't give the precise touch for burning threads but is great for the ends of webbing, etc.

I have an old Weller soldering iron.  Has anyone found (or made) a better tip for burning threads?  Would that work?  I guess you'd need some sort of adapter to be able to attach a tip thin enough to do any good.

Suggestions?

 

IMG_6857.JPG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I dont use a thread burner, but I would imagine rechargeable batteries and a charger might help.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You might consider a soldering/woodburning iron with a spade shaped tip; smaller, easy to maneuver and won't eat batteries.  I just use a lighter.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A medical Bovi is great...I rigged to use an adapter with the help of a friend who knows electronics.   

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

001-068-0201.jpg

https://www.smokingpipes.com/accessories/lighters/moreinfo.cfm?product_id=141099

 

Most of the times I use a Bic, though; but the angled flame of a pipe lighter does come in handy, as well as the ability to regulate the flame size, which Bics don't have anymore.

I had wanted to get one of those Thread Zappers, but if they guzzle batteries, you've just saved me money.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I, too, use the Thread Zap II. I started off using Kirkland batteries from Costco and, just like yours, they lasted a very, very short time. By short, I mean one session.

I then switched to eneloop rechargeable batteries from Panasonic. It is not just that I can recharge the battery, but it lasts a long time on one charge. I recharge the battery less than once a month.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, GatoGordo said:

I, too, use the Thread Zap II. I started off using Kirkland batteries from Costco and, just like yours, they lasted a very, very short time. By short, I mean one session.

I then switched to eneloop rechargeable batteries from Panasonic. It is not just that I can recharge the battery, but it lasts a long time on one charge. I recharge the battery less than once a month.

And you use the Zap how often?  Once a month?  :)

I'll give the Eneloop batteries a try (I actually have a bunch) and I hadn't before because I was under the impression (maybe wrongly) that the rechargeables had slightly lower voltages than good alkalines.  I'll check that out.

 

3 hours ago, nstarleather said:

A medical Bovi is great...I rigged to use an adapter with the help of a friend who knows electronics.   

A "Bovi"???

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, MtlBiker said:

Bovi"???

Medical cautery device:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Aaron-Bovie-Medical-Single-Use-Cautery-Pen-High-Temp-Fine-Tip-Disposable-/203114845923?_trksid=p2349624.m46890.l49292

 

You can get non disposable versions with replaceable tips and batteries.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We use this Hakko Soldering Station. Set the temp to 700 degrees and it never overheats. You can get many different tips to suit your needs. I already had it for soldering wires so it has a dual use now. It heats up in about 20 seconds.

https://www.amazon.com/Hakko-FX888D-23BY-Digital-Soldering-Station/dp/B00ANZRT4M/ref=sr_1_8?dchild=1&keywords=soldering+station&qid=1610845697&sr=8-8

 

hakko.jpg

hakko-tips.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
29 minutes ago, JJN said:

We use this Hakko Soldering Station. Set the temp to 700 degrees and it never overheats. You can get many different tips to suit your needs. I already had it for soldering wires so it has a dual use now. It heats up in about 20 seconds.

https://www.amazon.com/Hakko-FX888D-23BY-Digital-Soldering-Station/dp/B00ANZRT4M/ref=sr_1_8?dchild=1&keywords=soldering+station&qid=1610845697&sr=8-8

 

Thanks.  That looks really nice, but it costs $200 Canadian and for that price I can keep on buying batteries for my Zap II for a long time.  Besides, I already have a Weller soldering "gun" plus a couple of butane powered Weller portable soldering pens which I always carried in my motorcycle repair kit when touring.  Just in case.  Those butane ones would be perfect (size, variety of tips) other than for the fact they're not instant on, nor quick enough to cool off afterwards.  The Thread Zap II is really quite perfect for the purpose other than the speed it uses batteries.  I'm going to give rechargeables a try in it.

 Cheers!
 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, nstarleather said:

Medical cautery device:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Aaron-Bovie-Medical-Single-Use-Cautery-Pen-High-Temp-Fine-Tip-Disposable-/203114845923?_trksid=p2349624.m46890.l49292

 

You can get non disposable versions with replaceable tips and batteries.

Thank you.  It actually looks almost like the Thread Zap II.  I wonder (and doubt) if it would be much better on battery life.  But rigging it to use external power would be very cool.  What did your friend do to set that up?  On the surface I'd guess all it would take is a small power supply and some jury rigged connection.  Good idea... thanks!  The Thread Zap II was cheap enough, even if I destroy it I can easily get another.  I'm going to look into rigging something up.

Might even be possible to attach an external battery, which I've got plenty of... like what I use to power/charge my iPhone and iPad.

Edited by MtlBiker

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, MtlBiker said:

I'll give the Eneloop batteries a try (I actually have a bunch) and I hadn't before because I was under the impression (maybe wrongly) that the rechargeables had slightly lower voltages than good alkalines.  I'll check that out.

 

I have no idea if the difference is because it is rechargeable, or because one is alkaline and the other is nickel-metal hydride, or one is Kirkland and the other Panasonic. But, I do know there is a significant difference in how they behave in the Thread Zap II.

Since you have some, give it a try and report back.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, MtlBiker said:

Thank you.  It actually looks almost like the Thread Zap II.  I wonder (and doubt) if it would be much better on battery life.  But rigging it to use external power would be very cool.  What did your friend do to set that up?  On the surface I'd guess all it would take is a small power supply and some jury rigged connection.  Good idea... thanks!  The Thread Zap II was cheap enough, even if I destroy it I can easily get another.  I'm going to look into rigging something up.

Might even be possible to attach an external battery, which I've got plenty of... like what I use to power/charge my iPhone and iPad.

He just used an no adapter with more or less the right voltage.   I liked it better than the thread zap because it heats up instantly but it’s more fragile.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, MtlBiker said:

This thing goes through batteries like crazy!

I'm sure you've thought of it, but have you considered replacing the tip? I use this tool and found that performance improved when I renewed the tip.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Also possible you got a bad one.  I’m just a hobby guy but I am still on the first set of batteries more than a year after I started using it.

Todd

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/16/2021 at 10:56 PM, nstarleather said:

He just used an no adapter with more or less the right voltage.   I liked it better than the thread zap because it heats up instantly but it’s more fragile.

It's MORE fragile?  How does that make it better?

In any case, contrary to what I'd believed, the rechargeable batteries DO seem to last longer than premium alkalines (and they're much cheaper to run!).  It's funny that this seems to be the case, because fresh alkalines come in at 16.03 volts while recharged Eneloops come in at 12.75 volts.  I thought that would mean the alkalines would work better, but it doesn't look like that's the case.

On 1/17/2021 at 2:20 AM, LatigoAmigo said:

I'm sure you've thought of it, but have you considered replacing the tip? I use this tool and found that performance improved when I renewed the tip.

I've already replaced the tip (and have extra tips on hand).  I believe I thought it was the tip when the Zap II stopped working as well.  I didn't realize at the time how quickly alkaline batteries (even those showing a higher voltage than fullly charged rechargeables) stopped being effective.

On 1/17/2021 at 11:22 AM, Hildebrand said:

Also possible you got a bad one.  I’m just a hobby guy but I am still on the first set of batteries more than a year after I started using it.

Todd

I doubt very much that I have a bad one.  After testing with rechargeable Eneloops (even though with only 2000 mAh) the Zap II is working much much better.  In the year you have yours, how often have you used it?  One or two threads?  :)  Or maybe you're already using rechargeables?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/16/2021 at 9:05 PM, GatoGordo said:

I have no idea if the difference is because it is rechargeable, or because one is alkaline and the other is nickel-metal hydride, or one is Kirkland and the other Panasonic. But, I do know there is a significant difference in how they behave in the Thread Zap II.

Since you have some, give it a try and report back.

You were right!  Incredible difference between using alkalines or rechargeables!  I never imagined that would be the case, since fully charged Eneloops come in at 12.75 volts while fresh premium alkalines are 16.03v.  That's why I hadn't tried the rechargeables before.

(I know I have higher mAh rechargeables around here somewhere, but the Eneloops I'm trying are only 2000 mAh and they're working incredibly well!)

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, MtlBiker said:

alkaline batteries

You might try changing to Energizer Ultimate Lithium batteries. In my experience they have a much longer life than alkaline batteries.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
33 minutes ago, LatigoAmigo said:

You might try changing to Energizer Ultimate Lithium batteries. In my experience they have a much longer life than alkaline batteries.

My reason for posting was to find a way to save money because I was going through the alkalines like crazy.  Thanks to @GatoGordo suggesting I try rechargeable batteries, (which I'd been reluctant to) I've now got a solution I'm very happy with.  I already have a bunch of rechargeables, so without having to buy anything else or jury-rig some kind of power supply, I'm very happy now with how they work.  Much much better (longer usage before having to recharge or replace) than with alkalines.  I believe that the lithium batteries would work better than regular alkalines, but since the Eneloops I'm now using work so well, I'm not even going to try.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 In the year you have yours, how often have you used it?  One or two threads?  :) well with responses like that I wish you well.  Frankly if I had only used it to burn "one or two threads" I would not have posted since I would not have had a valid sample size.  I won't waste any more of your or my time.

Todd

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a Zap II and I use Eneloops a well. I get several hundred burns per battery charge. The NiMH batteries don't voltage sag as severely under high current compared to an Alkaline battery. Since the Zap II is basically a dead short across the battery, voltage sag under load is the single most important characteristic that determines how much use you get out of a single battery. Once the Zap stops glowing orange when you push the button, you have about 50 more uses before it becomes useless.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, MtlBiker said:

It's MORE fragile?  How does that make it better?

It heats up and also cools down incredibly fast with the press of a button.  I've used the "thread zap" but it wasn't nearly as instant. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For the odd time I've had to burn off a thread I use a wood cocktail stick lit up by a tea-light candle. I often have one of those scented tea-light candles burning nearby.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Hildebrand said:

 In the year you have yours, how often have you used it?  One or two threads?  :) well with responses like that I wish you well.  Frankly if I had only used it to burn "one or two threads" I would not have posted since I would not have had a valid sample size.  I won't waste any more of your or my time.

Todd

I'm sorry that my attempt at a humorous reply didn't come across the what I'd intended.  I was reminded of a cooking class that I took a few years ago when the chef asked the group how often they sharpened their knives... One replied "Every two or three months" and he replied, "Oh, you only use it every two or three months?"  It was meant to be funny.  And I did include a smiley face.

 And I did ask if you were using something other than alkalines in the Zap.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, williaty said:

I have a Zap II and I use Eneloops a well. I get several hundred burns per battery charge. The NiMH batteries don't voltage sag as severely under high current compared to an Alkaline battery. Since the Zap II is basically a dead short across the battery, voltage sag under load is the single most important characteristic that determines how much use you get out of a single battery. Once the Zap stops glowing orange when you push the button, you have about 50 more uses before it becomes useless.

Oh!  Thanks for clarifying that!  I was looking it the batteries purely in terms of their voltage.  Your explanation makes perfect sense!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...