Well a friend has offered to let me set up a soldering station in
his garage, so I’m suddenly in the market for a torch right away
So you argentium workers in particular, what torch(es) are you
using, and would you change that for working with argentium if
money/space were no object?
Previously I had decided to go with a propane-oxygen setup.
In the past I have actually used an acetylene-oxygen setup. I NEVER
had a problem with firescale using an acetylene-oxygen torch on
But now I’m wondering if I should consider something else since I
plan to work as much as possible with Argentium rather than standard
sterling, since the Argentium works at lower temps than standard
sterling. My thinking is that a less-hot torch will be easier to
control. I honestly think that’s why some people seem to do so much
better soldering with those Benzomatic things which operate at
something like 1400 F.
A propane-oxygen torch runs at about 4700 F, an
acetylene-atmospheric air torch runs at about 4200 F. I can’t
remember the operating temp for a propane-compressed air torch, but I
think its something like 3700 F.
Since I have previously worked successfully with acetylene-oxygen
(eg no firescale, no major problems melting stuff by accident) I’m
wondering if I could get by with an acetylene-atmospheric air torch
(eg no air hose, just a single hose for the acetylene). The
Silversmith Acetylene torch in the RG catalog is about half the cost
of a gas-oxygen Little Smith torch (about $150 instead of $300).
Saving money is a Good Thing. However.
I have noticed that the smallest tip size for the Silversmith
Acetylene torch is larger than even the largest Little Smith tip (LS
#7, the largest tip, is .047" and the Silversmith Acetylene tip #00
very fine is 0.7" and they go up from there). How significant is
this? I used to do a lot of my soldering with the #2 tip on the
Little Smith Acetylene-Oxygen torch, because a lot of my stuff
required soldering smaller guage wire and I thought that was
appropriate. Don’t know if it actually WAS appropriate, but it
worked for me. Would using the larger #00 tip of the Silversmith
Since this is a gas-only torch, wouldn’t it tend to be LESS
oxidizing than an acetylene-oxygen torch? This shouldn’t be a
problem with the Argentium, but I am still doing some standard
sterling work. I’ve never had a problem with firescale even when I
was using the acetylene-oxygen Little Torch (which operates at
something like 6000 F), but I guess I ought to take this into
consideration before spending on the torch. I seem to remember that
turning the O2 down was supposed to give you a reducing flame instead
of an oxidizing flame, so in the total absence of the O2 feed,
wouldn’t it tend to be more of a reducing flame naturally?
And how about a propane-compressed air torch? I can’t remember for
sure, but I THINK a propane-compressed air torch operates at around
3700 F. There’s really no cost savings involved here since I’d have
to buy an air compressor and regulators anyway. (And I know not to
ever ever switch it to Oxygen without replacing all regulators and
hoses). Still, is there any advantage to be gained with the lower
temp (if that’s the right temp, and I’m not sure of that) when
working with Argentium?
Thanks for any input.