I am thinking about buying a water torch (turbo blaze) any comment
would be appreciated. How does it hold up does it require any special
service must it be used daily etc.
thanks steve ross
If you mean the Okai water torch- hydroflux welder which has I
believe the "Turbo Braze" trademark printed on the machine- I have a
couple. They are for very precise work only. The tips overheat easily
(they are like hypodermic needles on a coloured plastic base)
-overheating means not only loosing their temper but a melt apart of
needle and connector. You cannot melt metal with one. There are solid
metal tips that are available and fit well enough (not perfectly in
my opinion) but again, very small gauges. The idea is to match the
gauge of the stock you are working in to the tip you select.
Yes, they make their own oxy/fuel so no need for tanks or renting
them, Yes, some insurances, apartments and other properties require
them or a torch can become a "warranty voider".if you use the
additives sold for the machine you need no flux (although you can run
the machine without the flux additive and use your own preferred
flux, which I prefer to do). Would I buy an Okai product- NO.
resoundingly, no. I have tried for years to get Okai to return a
call, letter, or respond to an email - nothing in, oh, 7 years! I
know one of the owners died and the wife took over the business but
in 7 years I would have thought someone would answer an owner's
requests for or servicing (as the initial material
recommended a periodic factory servicing. getting it to the factory
has been impossible thus far). One of the units was bought through
Rio Grande and I called them and explained the difficulty I was
having getting in touch with Okai- whilst I was holding on the phone
a cust. svc. person tried to call them and couldn't get them on the
line either..! I compared the two phone numbers and we both had the
same. There is some controversy over one competitor too- the
Spirflame- it claims to preform better, but I'd ask for a trial
before actually committing to it too for reasons similar to dealing,
or trying to, with Okai- Other's have said that they had some change
in the US distributor handling Spirflame's product a couple of years
ago now, and they too couldn't reach anyone with any or
authority to approve any return, servicing, etc. Just sales
pitching., or buy both (provided there is an easy return policy) and
see which works best for you. Rio Grande also sells one though I'm
not certain who makes it for them.
Any water torch requires a good deal of regular maintenance: you
have to check the fibre and replace if at all damp, check fluid and
chemical solution levels, drain and refill periodically even if the
level is OK, replace a couple of filters- one in the handpiece, and
one in the line ( actually more often than the handpiece filter the
in line filter needs replacement about every 50 hours or so of
operation. you will learn to see when the metal changes colour). So
some diligence is required to own one and learning to use it takes a
short time with precision operations the limitations... rer
It is a great torch. minor maintance issues. wet cotton filter. The
onlypart which I have heard needs replacement is power switch..
Andy The Tool Guy
Steve- It depends on what you want to use if for.
I have owned and used a water torches for almost 30 years. What they
do well they do very well. What they don't do well, they don't work
Great on gold and platinum for spot soldering and welding. Silver?
Not so much.
I use mine for tipping, soldering in multiple crowns, chains, and
dicey soldering jobs like soldering rivets next to a hinge. When
doing repair they can save your bacon.
They need to be cleaned out and flushed at least once every six
months or so. No moving parts except for the fan and switch so they
are mostly maintenance free.
Have fun and make lots of jewelry.
Mine is an old Fluxed Flame from Krohn. They don't sell or make them
any more but they did offer to service mine.
It's been a good machine for me.