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Feedback on Spirflame Karat 250 water torch

Does anyone out there own or use a Spirflame Karat 250 Water
(oxy/hydrogen) torch? Could you advise me on whether tospend the
extra money on this piece of equipment? It is 2 to 4 times the
price of other water torches.

I have moved my studio to a rental space and need to get rid of the
gas tanks for good. I want to replace my oxy/acetylene Little Torch
and my Prestolite acetylene/air torch, which have served me well
over the last 20 years, with a gas generating system.

I started out looking at some of the cheaper systems like the
Hydroflux Welder, SRA’s H2O Welder and Bryzel’s Micro-Flame, but am
concerned they might not have enough BTU’s (in other words, heating
power) for all of my work. But I don’t want to spend the extra
money if I don’t have to. I work in both 18k and in sterling,
medium to large jewelry pieces, up to 3" by 3" in size and up to 18
ga. thick.

Any details about this machine that makes it special would be
appreciated-- but not characteristics shared by other water torches,
such as the clean flame, no tanks to refill, etc.

Thanks,
Amy

Hello Amy,

I’m afraid I can’t offer anything useful regarding the torch but …

Wow! You do REALLY nice work! Very impressive indeed.

for anyone that is interested the URL is

Best wishes for success in finding a torch solution. It’s an area I
investigated a year or so ago and never resolved to my satisfaction.
Please do report back if you do in fact go the water torch route. I’d
love to hear how well it satisfied your needs.

Cheers,
Trevor F.
in The City of Light

I like my HydroFlux & use it daily. But, it will NOT do large work! I
question whether any hydrogen flame which is intense & has little
side heat is what you want for sterling. A softer Propane Oxygen
flame seems to work much better for me.

Mark Chapman

These water torches are just too little for anything but the
smallest silver work. Gold and platinum are different as they don’t
have the same thermal conductivity of the silver therefore you can
spot heat to solder if you need to. There are some larger units but
they are cost prohibitive. Have you looked into Oxygen concentrators
and natural gas compressors? While these are not cheap either they
are able to produce larger flames and will allow for work on larger
silver work. If at all possible find someone who has one of the
torches you are looking to buy and pay them a visit to see whether
these will work for you. My experience with a hydroflux welder was
not very good on sterling.

Jim Binnion

James Binnion Metal Arts
Phone (360) 756-6550
Toll Free (877) 408 7287
Fax (360) 756-2160


@James_Binnion
Member of the Better Business Bureau

These water torches are just too little for anything but the
smallest silver work. Gold and platinum are different as they
don't have the same thermal conductivity of the silver therefore
you can spot heat to solder if you need to. There are some larger
units but they are cost prohibitive. 

Dear James:

You are unaware of our specific technology or capabilities. When you
say “these water torches,” it simply does not include our Spirflame
[tm]. Your experience with the Hydroflux unit simply has no
relationship to a Spirflame[tm], anymore than driving a bicycle gives
you and understanding of how to operate a tractor trailer. There is
simply no merit in comparison. As an example, the Hydroflux unit has
one or two anodes, the Spirflame [tm] Karat 250 has 22, but could be
fitted with over 100, if needed. A Spirflame [tm] Karat 250 is
currently priced at $3,950.00 This price is underwritten for the
jewelry industry. Single cell units run from about $950.00 to
$2,500.00 The differences are about the same as a top of the line
rolling mill to an economy mill or other equipment. A good number of
jewelers, have felt the differences in our technology were well worth
this price difference. Many of them were previously single cell water
welder owners.

We are also able to produce and easily control, absolutely stable
(no pulsing) flames in much smaller sizes (microscopic) and a MUCH
larger flame than a single cell unit. Spirflames[tm] also produce
completely dry gas, since the anodes are external and act as cooling
fins, not locked inside a container or chamber. We actually provide
bars (rows) of flames for other industries like the semiconductor
mfg. industry. By altering Booster fluids, flame configurations can
easily be altered to easily match flame size, width, shape, and
temperature, except our flame will always be clean and a perfect mix
of two parts to one. We solder, braze, and weld in a number of
industries, like large silverware manufacturers who put together
footed trays with rims or tea services immediately come to mind.
Musical instrument makers (tuba, saxophone, flute, etc.) commonly use
us to solder, braze on these large brass instruments. You can see
photos of this in our

Our multicell technology also gives our units increased reliability,
providing a much longer operational life. It allows us to operate 24
hours/7 days a week, often in harsh environments, in completely
automated applications something regular water welder cannot, for
many reasons achieve. Spirflames[tm] produce enough gas to do larger
pieces (hollowware), and we have customers working in this area. This
greater reliability and much better flame accuracy has caused a
number of “single cell customers” to convert from other water welders
to our Spirflame [tm] gas generator.

Please note, our fully patented (worldwide) multicell cell
technology easily allow us to SAFELY produce multiple volumes of gas
only as needed, in direct comparison to any other unit available on
the market today. We have been working with and developing this
technology for over 36 years, and to be frank Mr. Spirig, and Spirig,
Switzerland currently holds most of the significant patents in this
field. The Spirflame [tm] has a two year warrantee including parts,
labor and service. It is extremely reliable, and it is not too
unusual to see a 20 year old unit still operational. It would be
difficult for a single cell generator to supply gas through 3 or 4
meters of tubing, we canand do routinely deliver gas through 100
meters of tubing. In some Goldsmiths shops the Spirflame [tm] is
installed several floors or rooms away from the torches to save space
near the bench.

A reasonable number of Orchid members are our customers. It should
also be mentioned I have made a series of large silver boxes using a
Spirflame[tm] , a footed sterling cream and sugar set, a group of 18
gauge sterling pictures frames, the largest for diplomas. I have also
reattached single gold granules in granulation work for restoration
purposes. For lack of a better analogy, a Spirflame [tm] is as unlike
a water welder in function, as an ox is a calf.

Best Regards,
Gary

Gary W. Miller
Sr. Technical Advisor
35 Bronson Road
Stratford, CT 06614-3654 U. S. A.
Telephone: 800 499 9933/203 378 5216
Fax: 203 386 1346
E-mail: gwmiller@spirig.net or serve4gwm@aol.com
Web site: www.spirig.com

Hello Amy,

In his second email to me Gary quoted an email from Tony Lent. I
have lots of respect for Tony and so based on that alone I would be
willing to look more closely at the Spirflame but I am still some
what doubtful as to how large a piece could be successfully worked
on with this torch. Their website says that it generates 500 liters
per hour of gas I looked up the burning rates for my torch and with
a .070" orifice tip which is my normal tip for small to medium work
using oxy propane my tip is rated for burning 425 Liters per hour.
Propane-oxygen burns somewhat hotter than hydrogen-oxygen and they
have different burning rates so it is hard to do an perfectly equal
comparison based only on amount of gas flow. But that is still a lot
more gas than I ever got out of a Hydroflux unit so I would look at
it as a possible replacement of my torch for everything but medium
to large scale silver, but I like a big soft gas-air flame for that
kind of work because I feel I get less firescale and have more
control of large solder joints with a cooler, bigger flame but that
is a personal preference.

Jim

Jim Binnion

James Binnion Metal Arts
Phone (360) 756-6550
Toll Free (877) 408 7287
Fax (360) 756-2160


jbin@mokume-gane.com
Member of the Better Business Bureau

Mr Miller,

As I told you today on the phone my experience with water torches
has not been a good one but I am certainly willing to try out a
Spirflame 205 if you get up to my part of the country with one. And
I will be happy to to report back to Orchid as to how well they
work.

Jim Binnion

James Binnion Metal Arts
Phone (360) 756-6550
Toll Free (877) 408 7287
Fax (360) 756-2160


@James_Binnion
Member of the Better Business Bureau

Gary,

Great response. I don’t have any need for one, but now I want one!

Eugene C. Gentile (Gino)
National Accounts Manager
Hoover & Strong, Inc.