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Converting acetylene torch to propane


#1

I am wanting to use an acetylene / air torch I have with propane
(since that is what I have). I also use the Smith Little Torch but
it is kinda small for casting, making ingots and some LARGE silver
soldering work.

I have this torch:

And would like to know how to change it over to Propane/Air. We are
guessing that the inner orifice that lets gas pass through is too
small and maybe should be enlarged?

How should we best do this?

Thanks!
John


#2

John, this is not a good thing to do. First of all, propane doesn’t
burn as hot as acetylene; when jewelers use propane, it’s an
oxy/propane torch not propane/air. Second, you will need a new hose -
once committed to one fuel gas, you can’t switch to a different one
without damage to the hose. Third is the issue of the tip, and I’ll
bet if it’s done wrong it becomes an usafe situation.

When you say you ‘have’ propane, do you mean the studio has propane
piped into it, or you just have a propane tank? Is it a barbeque
grill tank, or one specifically made for indoor use by jewelers?
There is a huge difference, and it’s a safety issue.

If the propane you already have is an oxy/propane setup, then use
that for melting your ingots, it gives much more heat than just the
propane/air. Maybe you just need a rosebud tip for your Little
Torch.

I would recommend that you avoid the safety compromise and
frustration involved in converting an acetylene torch to a propane
torch, and just get an acetylene tank. It’s not such a large expense,
and the system will serve you well for a long time.

best regards,
Kelley Dragon


#3
When you say you 'have' propane,.... Is it a barbeque grill tank,
or one specifically made for indoor use by jewelers? 

Kelley (or anyone) do you know of a propane tank specifically made
for indoor use by jewelers? I’ve seen tanks advertised in jewelry
tools catalogs, and I bought a tank from Rio Grande, but like all
other propane tanks I’ve ever seen, it was labeled ‘not to be used
indoors or in a confined space’.

Where can someone get a propane tank specifically made for indoor
use by jewelers?

Neil A.


#4

Neil, I have to admit I don’t have personal experience with the
propane tanks, since I use acetylene. I assumed the tanks offered by
Rio et al, were offered for indoor use (just like the rest of the
jewlry tools).

Kelley


#5

Actually, whether a tank can be used indoors is determined by your
local regulations, and your insurance company. There is no national
conformity here. Some places will allow a 5-pound tank, some a
10-pound, and others just the small disposable tanks. I found a place
where Memphis Code Enforcement would allow me to put a larger propane
tank outside next to the building, poked a hole in my foundation, ran
black pipe, and with appropriate regulators at each end of the pipe,
I don’t have a propane tank inside at all.

At least in Memphis, there are also restrictions on using acetylene
indoors. :wink: