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Another torch tip

For those of you (mostly goldsmiths) who need an extremely fine tip,
here’s a suggestion you’ll probably never read about in a book:

You know those flux dispensers with the long, hollow needle? Some
paste solder tubes also use them. Anyway, cut the needle off of the
dispenser or tube and insert it into your smallest torch tip (the
Smith’s #5 tip is usually just right, as is the Hoke’s and the Meco
Midget’s smallest tips), and solder it to the tip. If the tip’s
orifice is too large for the needle to fit tightly, close it
little-by-little with a beading tool, or push against a
well-considered drawplate hole. If you don’t have a beading tool or
drawplate, use your imagination. The needle may protrude practically
any distance INTO the tip orifice that will allow the tip to be
installed onto the body, but it would probably be best to keep it as
short as possible on the inside. The length that the needle should
protrude OUTSIDE the tip orifice is up to you. I suggest you
purchase a few tips to modify, cut the needle to various lengths,
and experiment.

Once the needle is soldered to the tip, wait for it to cool and
install the new tip on your torch body. Turn on the gas, place your
finger against the tip and use leak detection fluid to check for
leaks. DO NOT USE THIS TIP UNTIL YOU HAVE MADE ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN
THAT THERE ARE NO LEAKS!!!

Folks, I am going out on a limb by sharing this technique. I don’t
know of anyone besides myself who has done this, although I’m sure
somebody somewhere probably has. Please forgive the previous and
following CAPS, but I really need to add this disclaimer: THIS IS AN
UNPROVEN TOOL IDEA. IT WORKS FOR ME, BUT IF YOU BLOW YOURSELF OR
YOUR SHOP TO SMITHEREENS, I WILL NOT BE HELD LIABLE. MODIFYING ANY
GAS-OPERATED TORCH IS EXTREMELY DANGEROUS AND CAN RESULT IN FIRE,
EXPLOSION, SERIOUS INJURY AND DEATH. IF YOU ATTEMPT THIS
MODIFICATION, YOU ARE SOLELY RESPONSIBLE FOR WHATEVER RESULT MAY
OCCUR (including fine control of your torch flame).

James in SoFl

   For those of you (mostly goldsmiths) who need an extremely fine
tip, here's a suggestion you'll probably never read about in a book 

No, but if you use a Hoke torch, you can buy for under 20 bucks, I
think, a small adapter which screws on the torch instead of a tip. It
comes with six all stainless steel hypodermic needles, tips cut
straight across, not sharpened. The adapter simply allows the torch
to fit any hypodermic type lauer lok needle, which is what the
included tips are. Similar tips are also used with many of the water
torches.

The trick of soldering in a length of small diameter tube to an
existing Meco or Hoke torch tip is one I’ve seen, not in any books,
but on perhaps the majority of jewelry repair benches, especially
those driven by people who’ve been around for a few years or decades,
and even more especially by those repair folks who did a lot of chain
repair and similar tiny stuff. . Most were simple brass tubes, which
is easier to solder to the brass torch tips than is stainless. a few
bright fellows used a bit of more precious tubing, if that was what
they had around.

cheers
Peter

E Z fix for do it yourself torch tips for Meco torches. Get a
selection of stainless steel veterinary hypodermic needles from a
large animal veterinary supply. Get the longest ones you can in all
the gages.

Get some TIX soft solder ( it comes with a good flux ). Some might
want silver solder easy grade, I never found the tip got hot enough
to require it. Get some 1/4 " fine nuts . Make sure it fits the torch
threaded portion. Center the hypodermic needles on the nut. Solder the
nut to the needle . It is best to pre tin both parts. Cut off the
pointy end with your jewelers saw. If you have not used too much
solder, you are done. If you have, unsolder , wipe off exess solder,
and re solder. It might be prudent to paint Ocher or White Out where
the inside threads are.

This will keep solder from flowing there . Do not over tighten the
tip. a firm finger tight fit works for me.

The Meco torch is a fine tool. I have both it and the Smith Little
Torch. This is what we were trained on in Jewelry Boot Camp at TIJT
Paris Texas. First semester students were making this modification.
Don’t make it hard. BUT this is for torch tips only.

ROBB

I use a Hoke torch with propane/oxygen. For small work I have the
adapter set, however I can’t seem to get the smallest(green) tips to
work. They are difficult to light and just seem to blow themselves
out. I suspect pressure is a factor. What has been the experience of
others with these small tips?

Herb

Warning! If you are soldering stainless steel to brass, gold, silver
etc., You need to use HandyFlux B (i.e. “black flux”) While it’s
possible to get a join with standard fluxes, the joins are weaker
and frequently incomplete. Since leakage is critical, use the black
flux. Or, use different tubing, gold,silver, or brass. Black flux
is a necessity for steel. If you have other tubing, use it.
Stainless holds up better, but do you want to buy a flux you might
not use again? The 3-5$ piece of gold tubing you would use starts
looking better. By the by, I’ve done it both ways: stainless to
brass and gold to brass. The gold tip was still perfect after 7
years when I left my job. The stainless is still good after 10 years
(I used black flux). Black flux is also good for soldering eyeglass
frames- provided they are not titanium.

Ciao
Gail

This is somewhat excessive… Stainless steel does solder a little
better with the more active “Black Flux” but it is not essential…
Stainless steel has a very low thermal conductivity and most other
metals are much higher. The metals much be clean and the heat
applied to the more conductive metal… Soldering stainless steel
works better with smaller tips which help correct for the very low
thermal conductivity.

Apparent weakness in stainless steel joints is just the result
poor brazing practice . Clean well and PRACTICE -PRACTICE-
PRACTICE.

jesse

    E Z fix for do it yourself torch tips for Meco torches. Get a
selection of stainless steel veterinary hypodermic needles from a
large animal veterinary supply. Get the longest ones you can in
all the gages. . . . Cut off the pointy end with your jewelers saw. 

If you request “stubs”, there is no pointy end - only a
nicely-finished, squared-off end. These are for use with tubing or for
irrigation rather than injection.

Pam Chott
www.songofthephoenix.com

Hello Herb,

I have found the very small tips (they look like hypodermic needles)
won’t light if you do more than just barely crack the valve. My
Hoke torch uses NG and Oxy, so only the Oxy is regulated. NG
pressure is really low (see past discussion in archive), so that may
be a problem with propane. It helps to have a little votive candle
lit so that I can easily relight the torch until I can get it
adjusted.

Judy in Kansas

if you use a Hoke torch, you can buy for under 20 bucks, I think, a
small adapter which screws on the torch instead of a tip. It comes
with six all stainless steel hypodermic needles, 

A suggestion for using these smaller tips is to reduce the pressure
in your lines when you use them. That will help to keep the flame
from blowing out due to too much pressure, and prevent the flame
from leaking out around the tip.

Melissa Veres, Engraver
@M_Veres