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Gases oxygen & acetyline?


Hi, Shawn wanted me to ask if anyone has an alternative to using
acetyline (spelling?), he said he is getting alot of “soot” and “black
floaters” in the air and when melting the metal it is falling into the
metal causing black spots… Suggestions? He was wondering about
bottled natural gas? Thanks so much for all of the help that
ya’ll have give us! Lydia, Mistress Jewelry


Hi Louise (& all) shawn said it is happing when he has the correct
mixture goin…could it be the lines need cleaning or something?



Hi, My husband uses our acetylene for blacksmithing only. For my
jewelry, bench work and casting, I use propane with oxygen. It’s so
much cleaner.

Waiting for the sun…


Propane and Oxygen with the right tip will melt the metal with no
problem. I use the same bottles as the ones used on gas grills as our
building is not equipped with natural gas.



propane will work but you will not get the same heat as acetylene
will give but that shouldn’t matter since your not burning steel.
There is also a map gas sold by industrial gas dealers and welding


If you don’t make the Acetylene flame too large, and quickly add the
Oxygen adjusting each in turn slowly until you get the desired flame,
you wont get the sooty floaters. It takes some practice, but it does
work. Took me awhile before I got the knack of it. Sandra


Propane is the best way to go for indoor use. You will need a
different regulator and you might, depending on the torch, need a
different torch. Check the specs on your torch to see if it will
work with natural gas or LPG. If it is ok for the LPG, you are in business.


Natural gas is my first choice if you have it available, if not try
bottled propane they are both much cleaner. Acheap solution for the
propane are the tanks one uses for the grill. Make sure you get the
proper guages, hoses and  valves. Your bottled gas supplier
can advise you on the details. Good luck. Thanks,

Etienne Perret Designing Colored Diamond Jewels
@etienne_perret 20 Main St Camden,
Maine USA 04843 tel.+207.236.9696


Hi Lydia,

he said he is getting alot of "soot" and "black floaters" in the air
and when melting the metal it is falling into the metal causing
black spots... Suggestions?

The symptom of soot &/or floaters when using an oxy-acet torch comes
from the gas/oxy mixture adjustment.

What’s happening is, there is insufficient oxy being used. As a
result the acet which contains (relatively) lots of carbon, hasn’t
completely burned. The unburned portion you see as soot & floaters is
the unburned carbon. The easiest way to get rid of soot & floaters is
to adjust the oxy acet mixture until the soot/floaters are gone.
Either the acet valve can be closed a little or the oxy valve opened
a little or both can be adjusted as the flame size requires.



Where do you live? I know that Ireland can get you bottled natural
gas but not here(Us and Canada). Not without some problems. There is
an outfit that sells a machine and special bottles that you can use if
you have gas to your home and just need a little portability. These
machines will run you 4000 dollars. I might be able to locat them
again if anyone is interested. The problem in Canada(not positive about
US although other laws regarding the gas have been similar) is
transportation. Here you need a permit to transport a dangerous good,
in addition to a certified trailer to handle these tanks(200lbs
each)and you must install it in a fixed location. At one point in my
query I found out that the gas company trucks had torches that they
supplied with NG from the tank of the NG powered truck. I asked
whether I could do the same , only instead have the tank on one of
these trailers. They said that the present law states that such use
can only be made from a tank if the tank is installed in a vehicle
which is itself running on the gas. It is sticky if you don’t have
the stuff piped to your home. I don’t even know why I was taking the
inquiry so far because step One was already an investment of a couple
gran. About other gases…I’m pretty pleased with hydrogen. I’ve found
it very clean. And it burns nice and hot by itself, I do all my
soldering without the need to turn on the oxygen.


Lydia , I have used oxy acetalene for thirty five years and I like
the control as well as the increase of heat I get with it .Natural gas
is cleaner and a little cooler and I know many who use it with great
success . When using oxy acetelene if you crack the oxygen slightly
when you light the torch you can eliminate the black soot . Also
remember to use a neutral flame . All the best , David


Propane (small camping bottles) you buy by the six pack from Wal-mart
along with a regulator you can get from Stuller will be the most
economical fuel you can use. It’s much cleaner than acetylene and
cheaper that piped natural gas’ monthly service fee. One small tank
can last over a week of continuous daily use. Plus with with oxygen
it provides more than enough heat for platinum.


Hi Shawn,

I have been using oxygen & LPG ( Liquid Propane Gas ) for years to
melt gold & Silver. I had the thread changed on the acetylene gauge to
fir the LPG bottle & it works fine. I have been told by the people
that refine my gold that this is better than using acetylene for two

  1. The flame is cooler & has less of over heating the metal.

  2. Acetylene combines with the alloy & make it brittle.

The flame is still hot enough to melt palladium white golds but not
hot enough to melt Platinum.

LPG is much cheaper than Acetylene which is another good reason.

Hope this helps.
Dean Watson


If you’re getting “floaties” when you light your Oxy/acetylene torch,
it’s probably one of two things. Increase the Oxygen pressure on your
regulator if you can’t get a clean flame on your torch with the Ox
turned on. If this doesn’t work replace the Oxygen regulator (a cheap
fix). If you are using a mini-torch, tips #1 through #4 won’t soot on
lighting (even with just acetylene on), the largest (#5) will, so add
a little Oxygen on lighting. I use a #4 tip for most jewelry work.
I’ve used Oxy/Acet. for many years. If you’re a multi-tasker like me,
you’ll appreciate the wide temperature range for use on both gold and
platinum. Hope this helps,

James Kipp

 I've used Oxy/Acet. for many years. If you're a multi-tasker like
me, you'll appreciate the wide temperature range for use on both
gold and 


Do you not have any trouble with using acetylene with platinum? I
have heard that the carbon in the acetylene flame gets into the Pt
and ruins it. But I always thought that Pt came into use in jewelry
after the use of the acetylene torch, which gave the temperatures to
deal with it. Do you use a very oxidizing flame to combat the


    Hi Louise (& all) shawn said it is happing when he has the
correct mixture goin...could it be the lines need cleaning or
something? Thanks, 

Lydia, I would be very worried if I still had the soot when I had
turned on the oxygen after I had lighted the acetylene. Better run to
the company where you bought your torch and find out why that is
happening. I would be worried if that happened to me! Another thought,
is the pressure guage set properly? When I bought my oxy-acety. setup,
they showed me just how high to set the acetylene.

Louise @lgillin1



Unlike gold and silver, you need to use oxidizing conditions when
soldering platinum. So you’ll need to avoid using a brush flame. Turn
your oxygen up to make a very tight flame. Reducing flames will make
the surface brittle. Also make sure your piece to be soldered is very
clean and the soldering joint fits well.

James Kipp


Does anyone know if a hydroflux welder would be better or easier to
use than oxygen & acetylene. I realize that hydroflux gets much
hotter would that make it harder to control giving a person less time
for error. The reason why I ask is because I used a welding torch in
high school and a cutting torch in my last job and that was easy to
me. I am new to jewelry the trade and I do not know which torch would
be better to use for jewelry. Please advise