Answers to recently asked torch questions

I have not been following the list lately, long story. I have seen
the same torch questions again come up on the list lately. I know
this might be getting old to some members, but to those new to the
list they would not know about this. The archives are good, but only
if one knows the right questions to ask. They have the same
questions I once did. One of the major problems has to do with gas

First there are other solutions also, see below. As to gas
restrictions, as far as I know the one pound (throwaway) propane can
is legal and not restricted for use or storage (two in total) in any
residence in any state, county, district, or city in the US.
(Actually this weighs 14.1 oz. with propane, 16 for mapp, several
ounces going to the container) It meets the national fire code as
has been adopted in all 50 states. A rental lease might preclude it;
this is a private arrangement. Even then with camping gear and hobby
equipment etc. this is almost universally allowed.

Now what if I told you that you could get a torch that operates off
of the throwaway can that you can alloy gold and silver with. It is
especial good at fine detail work such as filigree and you can
re-tip prongs as well as cast. This torch was designed for and is in
use by professional jewelers. As for silver work (I got one for that
reason) it works nicely. This torch was designed from the start to
operate off of LP gas (propane etc.). This is important, as converted
acetylene rigs (such as Smith or Goss) are not, they have tips
allowing them to burn propane and operate at low pressure, the same
as their acetylene models, and take a serious performance hit. (This
is also why if you connect this torch to a canister you need a 0-60
PSI regulator; a Smith regulator is preset to 8-10 PSI, not enough).
I had wondered what kind of acetylene torches my club uses. Those
are not exactly the same as anything I had seen in catalogs. So one
day while changing tips I took a real good look, in very small
lettering was Smith, although obviously a rather old model. In use I
would say they are in the main about the same as per result and ease
for typical construction. Work a bit different. I could not say one
is better than the other on this, having used both. The Smith can
melt more, more total output with the largest tips; this can do
things it can’t. See: The Precision LP Gas Torch.

Other: Natural gas is an option. A high school in North Ogden has a
night class; all of their torches are natural gas only. I have no
comment on this, not having used one. One guy on another list
mentioned that he got a hold of a used oxygen generator for $100
(stole, might be a better description) and has it hooked to his
Little Torch using a can of propane. I will mention the Smith Little
Torch with a throwaway oxygen can, be aware that those cans are
about $10 each, I think it was said that the maximum time is 23
minutes, just something to be aware of. For a hotter flame that
oxygen can empties much faster. I can not see it for use on silver,
it will add up very quickly, if working with gold that makes a little
more sense. Another solution is to have or store the tank(s) outside,
if you have an apartment, that is not an option. Large propane tanks
are usually illegal in residences, as the problem of gas pooling is
dangerous. This is avoided with the throwaway can due to lack of
volume; caution still needs to be used. Insurance where acetylene is
allowed can also be a downer.

A water torch is not the best for use on silver (besides being
expensive), a Little Torch or other oxygen/gas torch is also
lacking. Those however can and are used. There is a reason why
air/acetylene is preferred on silver. I would add the LP torch to
that list, although it is a bench torch. See, Advantage of

As you can see if you ask what the best torch is, first you must ask
for what. What is it to be used for? Every type has a niche at which
it is best. Then there are personal preferences. Among silversmiths,
the Smith air/acetylene has a very large following, while others
prefer Prestolite. For gold you see the same thing. I like my torch
for its range and versatility. The LP gas torch definitely solved my
gas restriction problem. My preferences should never influence a
decision; this should carefully considered as to needs and use.

Since many persons will want an air/acetylene torch I will give the
links for the best prices (I know of) for a Smith and a Prestolite.
Get a kit with all the tips that (any) torch comes with, you will
save in the long run. Not needing a torch I have not kept up on who
has the best deal now. Only so much for the almost no inflation
bunk. Still shop around, it pays. This applies to any torch as well.

(Also see the Smith Site you may want
to check locally.)

Prestolite Product 14.235

Dear Orchid members,

refering to the articles below Jake wrote in 2006, we are pleased to
announce that we designed a new webpage, which will answer all your
questions about our torch and soldering: Our homepage:
planert-jewellery and the site relating to the torch: au/precision_lp_gas_torch.htm

including photos and prices. Jake did an independant research project
and wrote 2003 an article about our German Precision LP Gas Torch in
2003 and published it in the orchid list. Many thanks for all the
positive feedback over those years.

Best regards

Martin & Dorte Planert
Fine Jewellery Design
Welding Import-Export