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Bernz-o-matic and other options


#1

Sally:

Bernzomatic will work, but holding the tank is unwieldy and
produces a change in the flame you have carefully adjusted when you
turn the tank over to get the flame pointed down. There is an
attachment which gives you some hose between the tank and the tip,
it’s not very expensive and would improve the situation, but I
can’t remember who sells it. Another cheap option would be a
little pencil shaped butane torch which is refillable — same
problems with inverting the torch, but the cost here is two for
five dollars at Big Lots Store. also an option would be the Blazer
or its cheaper clones and the micronox torch from Radio Shack.
With the latter, there is a very small flame possible, which is
good for some things — I don’t know how big a flame you can get,
though, and you have to buy replacement cylinders from RS.
Another really cheap option is the alcohol lamp with the faceted
sides so you can set it with the flame hanging out sideways and a
blowpipe. You can learn to use one of these for small solder work
and they are supposed to be very good once you get the hang of
using your puffed out cheeks to supplement the air flow while you
inhale through your nose. Evidently it was good enough for the
ancients, who never bought a Little Torch (cheap, cheap, those
Etruscan bastards!). I messed with it a little before I went on to
another torch, and was fun.

You might also check the local pawnshops, I often see Prestolite
acetylene-air torches available here that way. That’s where I got
my tanks and regulators in a refrigerator repairman’s caddy with a
Victor torch for $75! The Prestolite should be cheaper. I see
many on list saying they like the Prestolite for silver work –
lots of heat available.

HTH,
Roy (Jess)


#2

I love my prestolite torch. I have 3 tips that allow me to solder
everything from tiny silver wire to larger sheets of copper. I
don’t, however, work in gold so that might be different. Good
luck, Deb


#3

Sally, Jess is right about finding a used plumber’s torch. They
are exactly like the prestolite but go under the name UNIWELD.
Friends have been confused when I told them what to look for. I
have one that I picked up used for $50. Workd great! Sometimes you
can even find used tips. If you can’t, you can buy them new for
about $15 US at any welding supply. Hope this helps. Gini Tampa
Bay area, USA


#4

Another option for the Bernz-o-matic might be using a BBQ type
propane tank and a flexible hose. I am using a set up like that
with a Hot Head torch for making glass beads. The hose was about
$25 bucks, I think… what I like about this set up is, if you run
out of gas, you can get a refill any day of the week, almost any
time of day! The connectors on the hose should fit the Bernzomatic.
check out “Arrow Springs” on the web- they have a web catalog. anne


#5
You might also check the local pawnshops, I often see Prestolite
acetylene-air torches available here that way.  That's where I got
my tanks and regulators in a refrigerator repairman's caddy with a
Victor torch for $75!  The Prestolite should be cheaper.  I see
many on list saying they like the Prestolite for silver work --
lots of heat available.

If you want to go with the Prestolite, go to your local welding
supply store – the place where plumbers and the like go. They
can order the jewelers Prestolite and regulators for you and it
will be cheaper than from jewelry supply houses.

Nancy
Bacliff, Texas Gulf Coast USA


#6
   Bernzomatic will work, but holding the tank is unwieldy and
produces a change in the flame you have carefully adjusted when
you turn the tank over to get the flame pointed down.

Let the torch warm up for 4 or 5 min. then the flame will be even

   Another cheap option would be a little pencil shaped butane
torch which is refillable --- same problems with inverting the
torch, but the cost here is two for five dollars at Big Lots
Store.  also an option would be the Blazer or its cheaper clones
and the micronox torch from Radio Shack.

IMHO these are toys, and while they can be used for special jobs,
they will cause you more aggravation than they are worth. They are
MUCH more expensive in the long run

If at first you don’t succeed, destroy all evidence that you tried.

Bobert
Carmel,CA


#7

I have been using the Smith acetylene and air torch with a B tank
and find it to be wonderful. I have also purchased three set-ups
for the classes I teach. Before I started using the acetylene
torch, I used the Smith propane set up. It is used with a
disposable tank of propane. I like the feel and the slimness of
the Smith torches. They also are the manufacturers of the “Little
Torch” which I found to be good only for prongs or bails. Since I
do a lot of fusion, reticulation, and multiple layers of metals, I
could not obtain the heat needed with the Little Torch set-up. As
for having acetylene and oxygen in combination, I do not think you
really need it unless you are doing casting or soldering platinum.
With the new EPA regulations, you are not supposed to even keep an
oxygen tank in the same room with propane or acetylene. I
discovered when I looked for insurance coverage for our workshop
the companies did not want to even hear about oxygen being in the
work room. In fact, Rio Grande can not keep their tanks of oxygen
in the same room with their other tanks. It is too risky.