I have been reading the Smith vs. Meco thread and now I have a
question. About March I bought a Hoke torch. It was terrible, flame
did not obey the controls, so I sent it back and got a Meco Midget.
It has been so easy to use until lately, the past 2 days it’s gotten
worse. I use propane and oxygen in tanks, a 3-lb propane and 20 sq
The propane flame has been erratic. It smoothly turns itself down
while I’m using it, then when I re-adjust it, it turns itself up too
high after about a 5 second delay.
I am very careful not to force the valves off (though sometimes I do
tighten them hardish, to make sure they’re off, 'cause that old Hoke
popped a lot and I got into that habit, but just with thumb and one
finger). I swear I am being good.
I was sweat-soldering something last night and the flame shrank,
(the oxy sometimes blows it out) but my first instinct since I’m
concentrating on the work is to get closer to the work. I got closer
and closer and then the flame got wacky and scared me, but I think
this wackiness is just a side effect from holding the torch too
I have my pressure set at the regulators about “2” for oxy and
started at “3” on propane when it was new, and now I set the propane
at about “5”.
Anyway my question is, could I be running low on fuel gas? What
should the 2nd gauges read (I admit I have not paid much attention
to whether they have changed)? I hope it’s something simple like
Please tell me it’s not something serious I have to deal with.
FWIW I do bleed the lines and back off the needle valves at the end
of every work day. The hoses are the standard Meco stiff 12-foot
Other than this recent thing, the torch has been a real pleasure. I
have used it about 3 days a week for about 2 months. The tip is the
middle size it came with, and clean as a whistle (I checked it).
I know I sound like a patient at the doctor. What do you doctors
think this could be?