I would like to purchase a Smith Little Torch and am having
difficulty determining which would be the best system.
I have been working exclusively with Argentium Sterling Silver
(which has been excellent) for almost two years with a small
Bernzomatic butane torch. I work with wire and sheet as well as chain
maille. I would also like to experiment with granulation. I have only
ever fused things together (which my butane torch has been able to
handle) even though it runs at a low temperature of only 2500F.
I want to purchase a Little Torch so that I have more control and
pinpoint accuracy when I am fusing, especially small areas. Although
the flame on my butane torch can be turned down quite small, it has
a much wider orifice hole than the Little Torch set-up. As a result,
I feel I am melting a larger area than necessary to achieve the fuse
and perhaps loosing some detail.
My wife called the makers of the Little Torch and they recommended
the Acetylene/Oxygen set-up although the person she spoke with did
not have a working knowledge of Argentium. She also called Rio Grande
technical support who suggested that the Propane/Oxygen set-up would
be the best for Argentium.
The Acetylene/Oxygen System is the hottest of the gasses running at
6000F. It works with all the tips from the smallest #2 and up.
The Propane/Oxygen System runs cooler at 4780F but only works with
tips #3 and up. When speaking with Rio Grande technical support, they
warned that the #3 tip is hard to light. I read yesterday in the
Orchid archives that others have had this same problem.
My preference is to purchase the Acetelyne/Oxygen System so I have
the widest range of tips to choose from but I am worried that this
high temperature flame will not be as conducive to working with
Argentium as Propane. I wonder if working with the smallest possible
flame for the area to be fused is beneficial even though the flame
temperature is hotter? Perhaps the flame temperature can be lowered
I would greatly appreciate the advise of those of you using
Argentium and comments from anyone currently using an
Thank you for your time and Happy New Year.