So...in exactly which PART of the torch flame does Loren light his cigarettes? I myself find that if I stick a cigarette into the flame, what I get is something that looks like a bundle of wet hay that is trying to catch fire but can't quite manage to...
So I generally light my cigarettes in other ways, that do NOT involve keeping butane lighters ON my workbench. Actually, in the 37 years that I have been using torches for soldering, casting, welding and now around 5 continuously for beadmaking, there is only one way that I have found that is relatively safe to keep a lighter in proximity to my work area. I am telling you folks about this genuine "safety tip" because I KNOW that I am not the only one who does NOT use a flint striker to light my torch, except when students are present--and go ahead and jump all over me if you want to, but it's the truth and you know it is...
What I do is wrap a piece of string around each new lighter, tape it securely to the lighter, and then thumbtack or tape the string, on which I have tied a knot at one end, to the left side of my work area, at least a foot to the left of my torch, such that after I use the lighter, I then let it fall from the table and hang from the string. It is well out of the way of everything else that is going on, but accessible when I need it.
Having finished all of my huge fused letters today for That Sign, I am enjoying a very rare incidence of feeling totally GOOD tonight , which is the only reason that I would dare to admit to this lighter "thing." And since I do KNOW that I am not the only one, this IS a genuine safety suggestion that I pass on to you. I have been doing this pretty consistently since I was 16, whether or not I was also smoking cigarettes at the time.
I wrote to Misty privately as soon as she posed this question, to stave off any hurt feelings that she might suffer if she got attacked for daring to ask this question in this Forum. But everyone has been pretty nice and reasonable in answering her.
Sure, smoking is a rotten thing. So are drinking, gambling, sexaholism, workaholism, chronic drug use of any kind, etc. Human beings LOVE their addictions, and all of us have SOME kind of "dark side" to our behavior. What I told her, amongst other things, is that common sense should prevail here. Obviously, cigarettes and propane/oxy lines, tanks, etc. do not a good mix make.
But there's an enourmously hot FLAME going on at the torch, fer God's sake, with molten things dropping and flying all over the place all the time, when we are working with hot glass. And most of us keep a lot of flammable things in our studios, along with using explosive fuels and accelerants. That bottle of ACETONE that we keep somewhere for removing the nail polish that we may use as an acid-resist for etching beads is as flammable as anything else that we might have around.
Okay, I'll get off my own platform now, but I'm glad that everyone did NOT jump all over this particular enthusiastic newcomer, who is earnestly doing her research and asking thoughtful questions. And some of you may find that my suggestion in this post could actually increase the safety level of your own studio practices!