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Butane torches for jewelry


#1

Does anyone have some experience with butane torches for jewelry, and
how did you like to work with them versus for example propane gas and
oxygen torches for karat Gold work. Would very much appreciate some
feed back.

Thanks
Sigi
http://sigijewelrydesign.com


#2

Hi -

I do have experience with soldering with butane torches and they’re
great torches for travel and at home! I’ve soldered with
oxy/acetylene and oxy/propane or natural gas full time for 21 years,
but since I’ve started teaching jewelry classes 8 years ago, I’ve
used accessible and affordable butane torches for my students and
traveling.

I also have a book on soldering
(http://www.kalmbachstore.com/64063.html) and DVD on soldering
(http://www.kalmbachstore.com/15074.html ) that have just been
released by Kalmbach, featuring only butane torches for home
friendly jewelry work.

Most of classwork is primarily with sterling, but these torches
produce plenty of heat for soldering, and in fact, remind me of
soldering in college with larger nozzle natural gas torches we had
at the benches. The bigger flames cover more surface area and make it
easier to evenly heat the metal. Even with my oxy/propane torch
nearby, I catch myself picking up a butane torch for some jobs! One
fun thing you can do too is you can use two butane torches (one in
each hand) to heat larger pieces or the top and bottom of something
on a soldering tripod at the same time! Keep the flames on the metal
and away from the other torch and yourself.

There are small torches that can work up to an 1x1" piece or larger,
depending on gauge, and larger handheld butane torches with bigger
flames that can heat larger projects very efficiently (these have a
thick muzzle-like nozzle). The flames on both are around 2700
degrees, and very clean. They’re easy to pick up and quickly light,
refuel and store, making them ideal for at home. I’ve used them with
Handy paste flux, self-pickling flux, Firescoff, and Pripps. I’ve
used them to fuse, anneal and reticulate. They work with the same
techniques and principles as the hotter oxy mix torches, but just a
little more slowly and with more margin of error for avoiding
melting.

Any downsides? Sure, they’re cheaper torches, so you can get one
that is more ornery to light or has a faulty ignitor. Or they can get
air bubbles in the fuel line that will sputter and expand the flame,
but these will usually disappear quickly and generally happen if you
use the torch too quickly after refueling. Otherwise, the only other
downside is that without performing some fun torch maneuvers like
using two, you can find yourself a little more limited in the size
and thickness of the pieces you can work on. But they’re easy to
empty and pack in a suitcase - I’ve taken mine all the way to
Anchorage, Alaska in my checked bags.

Specifically for gold, I’ve done a little bit with the butane. My
apprentice training is still inside my brain, I guess, because when I
work on gold I automatically reach for my oxy/propane torch. My
students can’t afford to work with gold - hell, with silver rocketing
up to $30 it’s getting very interesting to price materials - so it’s
not something we do in the classroom. But when I did, I was able to
solder and keep the gold just as clean as my silver with proper
distribution of heat and use of flux.

Hope this was helpful. Feel free to email me if you have more
questions.

Joe Silvera
http://silverajewelry.com


#3

Hi

I resantly percased a very staing butane torch that takes both a
small butane and a oxigen canister i have not been able to find out
much about it the only artical i about found it was writen in the
60tys i and i cant seem to find a replasement for the tiny oxigon
tanister it came with i was wondering ifyou ever came acrost a
similer torch and if it is still posseble to find canisters for them
and if so do you think the added heat from the oxigen would increase
the size of the work you can do with this type of butane torch


#4

They are collectors items now, if you get real lucky you may be able
to find New Old Stock of cylinders.

One brand of the oxygen/L.P gas mini torch was called a "Microflame"
brand out of Minneapolis Minnesota. Almost 50 years ago, I don’t
believe that they have made the refill cylinders in 35 years or so.

A butane micro torch only was made and sold by Kidde it’s temps were
around 3,500F

The Oxy/L.P torch was in the area of 5,000F according to their
adverts. At one time you could get the fuel gas cylinders at
tobacconists shops, drug stores for use in fancy lighters.

I was lucky in finding a complete set with all the paper work, at a
show this spring. Along with a box of replacement cylinders and the
original box it was mailed out in.


#5

I was going to say last night.

You will have to get real lucky, as they will be new old stock. I
don't believe they have been made in 30 plus years as they are
collectors items today. 

As an email from a collector from Germany, contained an internet
company that is now remaking them and supplying the oxygen and
butane cylinders or charges as they are called

It is called the MicroFlame No.4200 - Standard Torch Kit

And the company is called azuremoon trading company you can google
for their site, they sell the new torches kits, cylinders, needle
tips, washers and the small dia brazing,welding and silver solder
rods.

The"Microflame" brand gas welding torches from a company in
Minneapolis Minnesota. Oxygen and fuel gas torches. Was the original
maker.

There was also one made by the Kidde company called a "Minitorch"
brand. which was strictly a butane only torch. But the butane
cylinders fit both torches.

Some of the listed jobs are wire soldering, toy repairs, jewelry
soldering, Paint peeling, brazing, thremoplastic welding and putty
softening repair shops, dental labs, electronic tech’s.

They claimed in the advert that it lasted up to 1/2 hour per charger
and temps 3,500’F pinpoint flame.

They were popular with the model airplane, car and boat people at
the start of the RC years.

I finally found an original one at a show last spring, with some
extra cylinders all the paper work and the original mailing box. A
nice addition to the torch collection.