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Advice on new AmeriFlame torch system


#1

I just got my first oxy/acetylene torch system. AmeriFlame made by
UniWeld (?), whoever they are. but beggars can’t be choosers. My
cousin, who owns an A/C company, purchased a whole kit for me from
his supply house and it’s on permanent loan. The kit came with full
tanks, a carry case, regulators, hoses, sparker and safety goggles.
I had to buy a square wrench and did purchase reverse flow check
valves aka flashback arrestors. But the whole thing still scares the
beejeezus out of me. I’ve only ever used a Butane torch at home and
at school, learned on an air/acetylene torch. The teacher did give
me a rather quick lesson on using an oxy/acetylene torch with the
Smith Little Torch system but this one is bigger and a little more
intimidating.

Oh how I wish my teacher could come here and show me. (Hi Don!) It’s
a lot more heat and the versatility is startling. It’s different than
the Little Torch, a larger flame, and I’m not sure quite how to work
the thing without burning the house down. Before I use it there are a
few more things I need to buy such as a rotating annealing pan. It
makes things so much easier when you can turn the whole pan instead
of have to manipulate the piece itself.

Anyway, I can use any and all advice that I can get. I did purchase
the Complete Metalsmith, Student Edition by Timothy McCreight. Now
wondering if I should have bought the Pro book.

Michele
MikiCat Designs
http://www.mikicatdesigns.com


#2
I just got my first oxy/acetylene torch system. AmeriFlame made by
UniWeld (?), whoever they are. 

Uniweld was the manufacturer of the first Oxy/Acetylene torch I
owned and I still have it 40 years later. I would suggest you try to
get a Mecco Midget or Smith Little Torch when you can as the Uniweld
is a little big for day to day use but it is a good torch for larger
work.

I had to buy a square wrench and did purchase reverse flow check
valves aka flashback arrestors. 

Reverse flow check valves are not flashback arrestors and should not
be used as such. Check valves are designed for other purposes that
you are highly unlikely to require in a jewelry studio. There are
check valves in flashback arrestors but they are only a part of the
protection and will not stop a flashback!

But the whole thing still scares the beejeezus out of me. 

Learn how to use it and get comfortable with it. There is no reason
to be scared just become knowledgeable on the appropriate safety
measures and practices. Try a local junior that has a basic welding
program and either enroll or ask the instructor for a few basic
lessons as a private student.

James Binnion
James Binnion Metal Arts


#3
Uniweld was the manufacturer of the first Oxy/Acetylene torch I
owned and I still have it 40 years later. I would suggest you try
to get a Mecco Midget or Smith Little Torch when you can as the
Uniweld is a little big for day to day use but it is a good torch
for larger work. 

So it’s a work horse and obviously not a bad one. Yes, the torch is
a little large and unwieldy but it fits comfortably enough in my hand
that I don’t feel it’s too big for small work. Thing is, it’s on
permanent loan from my cousin who owns an A/C company and I just
can’t beat free. :slight_smile: I’d love to get a Mecco Midget or Little Torch
but at this time, cost is the factor for me. Perhaps in the future,
when I sell some more things. :confused:

Reverse flow check valves are not flashback arrestors and should
not be used as such. Check valves are designed for other purposes
that you are highly unlikely to require in a jewelry studio. There
are check valves in flashback arrestors but they are only a part of
the protection and will not stop a flashback! 

Hmmm, then what is a flashback arrestor and do I really need one?

Learn how to use it and get comfortable with it. There is no
reason to be scared just become knowledgeable on the appropriate
safety measures and practices. Try a local junior that has a basic
welding program and either enroll or ask the instructor for a few
basic lessons as a private student. 

I guess that’s all I really can do. Play with it awhile. I’m going
to be melting some scrap metals to see how much heat is needed. Test
annealing with different metals to find the right oxy/gas mix and
even play with some Argentium to see how to fuse it. Practice,
Practice, Practice is the only way I got good at making loops,
chainmaille and other things I do so I suppose I’ll need to do the
same with this new toy.

Thanks James. I’m already beginning to feel a little braver. Wish I
could afford to go back to the Art School but it’s out of my budget
for now. It is what it so. So I’ll just dive in an practice some
tomorrow. Thanks.

Michele
MikiCat Designs
http://www.mikicatdesigns.com


#4
Hmmm, then what is a flashback arrestor and do I really need one? 

There are a couple of different designs but there is a filter that
stops the flame from passing and the check valve to keep the over
pressure of the flashback from affecting the regulator. Sometimes
they are fancier but that is the basic idea. And yes you should have
a pair one on the Oxy line and one on the fuel line. They will be
designed to fit either on the regulator or the torch.

Jim

James Binnion
James Binnion Metal Arts


#5
I just got my first oxy/acetylene torch system .... the whole
thing still scares the beejeezus out of me. 

Michele, my advice would be to disattach the oxygen part and just
use acetylene. Since you learned on air/acetylene, you should feel
comfortable with that. I use only air/acetylene. I have a big oxygen
tank and gauges, but would never use it unless I were casting.
Oxy-acetylene is too hot for me (and I make larger pieces of base
metal jewelry with melting points well above that of silver). If the
flame is too large for you, buy some smaller torch tips.

Enjoy!
Judy Bjorkman


#6
my advice would be to disattach the oxygen part and just use
acetylene. 

Judy, she can’t just disconnect the oxygen and automatically have an
air acetylene torch. She’d have to use a torch where the tips are
designed to mix in the air. if she only turns off the oxygen, all
she’ll have is a bright yellow and very sooty flame, not a usable
torch flame. Air/acetylene torches are designed differently from dual
gas torches. Disconnecting the oxygen doesn’t lit the torch somehow
suck in air instead. They just don’t work that way. Air/acetylene
torches bring in the air to mix with the acetylene by a little
venturi system at the base of the torch tip. A small diameter orifice
shoots a narrow fairly high speed jet of acetylene past side openings
into a relatively larger (than the orifice) bore of the tip. That
creates a suction that pulls air into the stream of gas.

Peter


#7

No offense, Judy, but I’d need an air/acetylene torch to do what you
suggest. By disconnecting the oxygen, I’d be burning acetylene only
and anyone who has seen acetylene burn knows that it releases lots
of black soot into the air without oxygen or air to regulate it. Even
though I learned on an air/acetylene doesn’t mean I can’t adjust to
this new torch. Yes, it scares me, but so did the other when I first
started. Heck, butane scared me. The flame size isn’t too large for
me and actually, using the size 2 tip, quite comfortable though I
also have a size 0 tip which works best for the spot soldering I do.
It’s so much faster and easier than the air/acetylene. Now that I’m
getting more comfortable with it. Would still love the Little Torch
or Mecco Midget for it but, like I’ve said, I can’t beat free. :slight_smile:

Michele
MikiCat Designs
http://www.mikicatdesigns.com