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First torch on a budget


I want to buy my first torch for metalsmithing and haven’t much
money. I’d like advise on what kind of economical torch set-up I can
buy and which fuel source to go for.

I have searched the archives and have only found the article on temp
capacities of each gas.

I plan to try filigree, bezel-setting of cabochons, and general
experimenting with various types of alternative metals such as
copper and brass, thus annealing is a must. Most of my work will be
small, although I might like to try a bracelet.

I’ve been thinking that I would do propane-air, because I’m afraid
that I will forget to turn off the valves in the proper order and the
acetylene-oxygen will explode. I know there are regulators to
prevent flash-back, but I can’t seem to find the forum discussion I
remember seeing on that, and also don’t know whether I can afford
torch, regulators, two tanks, etc. I read Ganoksin daily and would be
most grateful for some clear advice. Or if you can provide the link
to a former forum discussion on this, that’s fine, too.

Thank you very much for your input.

Georgette Woo

My first torch, some fifty years ago, was made by Sievert and used
air/propane. I still use it from time to time. The smallest burner is
fine for most jewellery work, and the bigger ones will handle almost
anything. They are not as hot or precise as twin tank torches, but
you can always find them on eBay for reasonable prices.

Regards, Gary Wooding

In one of my first metal workshops we made simple rings using kitchen
torches (butane) like the ones you use to caramelize the sugar on
creme brulee. You can pick one up at a kitchen store, but I’ve also
seen them at places like TJMaxx. It’s not hot enough for everything,
but a handy little torch for bezels, simple small rings, balling up
wire, and beginner projects… I think your idea of acetylene and air
is a good choice. I’ve got the E=Z torch because it was affordable,
and wasn’t very happy with that. Finally, I settled on a Smith Little
Torch, and it is good. The company is very service oriented, but I
wish I wasn’t always buying oxygen. –

M. Whittle


I use this torch:

You can use this torch for disposable propane tanks or you can buy
an extra long hose to connect to a bigger tank.

I have a 12’ hose in addition to the hose that comes with the torch
so I can keep my (BBQ size) propane take outside my shop. Sorry, but
I don’t remember where I bought the hose, just search for 12’
propane hoses.

I keep looking at different torches, but so far this one does fine
for now.

Sandra Gilbert