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Choosing torch/tank set up


#1

In case you can’t tell from my other posts/questions I am a newbie
(beginner) who is really starting to enjoy goldsmithing as a hobby.
It’s time I get a better torch set up as my abilities are starting
to get better than my current setup will allow.

I want to ask your opinions on what kind of tanks/torch setup you
recommend for a beginner who likes to hand cast (delft clay) 2 oz and
less gold/silver/bronze. I currently cast and solder using a smith
Little Torch but on a disposable Mapp and Oxy tank set up. (the
really small tanks you get at hardware store).

I seem to like this as I am getting enough heat to cast silver and
gold very easily. I have some small bronze grain on the way to try
and see if I can get that hot enough. It might be a stretch but I
could try a burno 2 piece refracting crucible for more efficiency.

My question is, I don’t want to just keep buying the small tanks,
but I don’t know the real difference in gas choices…

If I get an Acetylene and oxygen tank set up, will that be too hot
to solder with?

If I get the other gas set ups, will they be too cold to melt small
amounts of bronze grain in open crucibles?

I like making things the old school way so I will never be getting
induction ovens items like that.

When I buy my house later this year I plan on building some
refractory forges to try my hand at Mokume Gane so I will be getting
the large, industrial acetylene and oxygen torch/tanks then.

But as for my small casting and basic soldering/fusing requirements,
which torch and which tank set up do you recommend?

Sorry for the long writing but I thought I should explain what I do
and plan on doing.

I wish I could find a mentor here in Cocoa Beach but I can’t find
any. thanks!!


#2

I use a Smith’s Little torch on oxy-propane. I mostly work in silver
and it gives plenty of heat for anything up to a fairly large bezel
where I use the rosebud tip. The smallest tip I use is the #3 for
jump rings and such. The rosebud tip will also torch fire enamel or
melt up to 40 grams of silver in a crucible. I don’t use acetylene
because In Australia you have to rent cylinders except for propane.
I object to paying rental on one cylinder, never mind two.

All the best
Jen


#3

Dear Richard,

There seems to be about three threads running this month on this
exact topic. The set up you have seems to be working for you, except
for the Mapp gas. Mapp gas has additives in it that burn-off as
carcinogenic particulates in the air.

Once you have used a particular gas you will want to change out your
hoses before switching to another gas. Residue in the hose can cause
trouble.

As J.F. Gow and others have shared, the Smith Little torch with a
rosebud tip with Propane/oxygen mix will melt a respectable amount of
metal for small scale casting. While this same torch with smaller tips
is excellent for soldering of all kinds.

Check a few of the other torch questions on the forum for more
answers.

Best of luck,
Nanz Aalund
www.nanzaalund.com