Lighting the Little Torch

Hi there, I just bought a Smith Little Torch Kit with disposable
oxygen and propane tanks. I followed the included instructions and
tried to light it but, alas, no flame except for the big one when I
touch the torch tip to the lighter. So there is fuel flowing. Any
ideas what I might be doing wrong? Thanks, Uli Seng

Ulrike, I once had a “Little Torch” and had the same problem at
first. You must turn the Oxygen way down or off depending on the tip
you are using. After you have a good (smoky) flame from the propane
turn the O2 up in small increments until you get the desired flame.
Also the flame is very hard to see in a well lit room so try
darkening the room a little so that you can see the flame easily.
The torch works very well if you can control the flame correctly.
Good Luck

Rick Carew
aka: AZopals

Uli, I sure hope that is NOT a gas lighter! Probably turned on too
high. I suppose you have the one stage regulators that connect
directly to the portable bottles. Put in a #4 or #5 tip (#3 and
smaller are not for propane). For starters, use a candle (e.g.
small votive). Leave the oxygen off and turn on the propane (red
knob) just slightly (e.g. 1/8th turn). Pass the tip by the top of
candle flame. When it lights, increase flame to about 1". Turn on
the oxygen slightly. First “air” will come out until oxy fills the
line. Adjust small blue flame for your project. ALWAYS turn off
oxygen(green) first then the gas. The “Torch-Mates” are great! Regis


I have the exact same torch with the disposable tanks. Does the
flame look like a regular flame, kind of like a candle? If so, what
appears to be the problem is that your oxygen tank if empty, or the
oxygen regulator is not turned on. I assume that the regulator is
on, so it’s probably the tank. Even if you’ve just bought the tank,
it could very well be empty. There has been a few occasions where I
have bought “new” oxygen tanks from Home Depot only to have them be
completely empty, or near empty when I brought them home (thank
goodness for receipts). If that doesn’t solve the problem, then I’m
sure a more advanced Orchid member can be of assistance!


 ALWAYS turn off  oxygen(green) first then the gas

Whoa, Regis. I was taught very early on that the GAS should be
turned off first then the O2. Reason is the O2 will blow the torch
head clean of combustables and prevent any glowing carbon from
igniteing remaining gasses.

Interestingly enough, I checked my Oxy-acetylene Weldor’s Handbook
but could find no reference to shut off sequence!

Any other views out there?

Cheers from Don at The Charles Belle Studio in SOFL where simple
elegance IS fine jewelry!

Uli What size tip are you using? A #3 is difficult to light except
under very low pressures. Try a #4 or #5 first.

Crank the gas valve open just enough to obtain a small 1/2" to 3/4"
long flame when you ignite it. Open the oxygen valve in very small
increments until you obtain a blue inner cone. Adjust the gas and
oxygen valves until you get the desired flame.

I also started out with a disposable tank system, you’ll find that
the oxygen is consumed quite rapidly and the tanks are quite
expensive. Cost of a regulator and small refillable tank will pay
itself back very quickly over the disposable tanks (unless of course
you have fire code or insurance woes).

Richard Dubiel

Hi Gang,

I was taught very early on that the GAS should be turned off first
then the O2.

I’d have to agree with Don.

Look at what it is you’re wanting to do, ‘turn the torch off’. That
means putting out the fire. There are 2 ways to put out a fire;
remove the fuel or remove the oxy. Since there’s oxy in the air,
there’s no easy way to remove the oxy. If the torch oxy is turned
off, the flame will still burn using atmospheric oxy.

The best way to turn an oxy/fuel torch off is to turn the fuel off
1st, then the oxy.


ALWAYS turn off  oxygen(green) first then the gas 

I asked at a couple of the welding and supply places nearby. The
standard recommendation is to turn fuel off, then the oxygen. The
instructions that came with my most recent set of Smith regulators
are as follows:

Extinguishing torch flame after heating

  1. Turn the fuel gas torch valve to the closed position.
  2. Turn the oxygen torch valve to the closed position.

Shut down the system

  1. Turn the oxygen cylinder valve to the closed position.
  2. Turn the fuel gas cylinder valve to the closed position.

Bleed the system

  1. Open the oxygen torch valve 1/2 turn.

  2. When the oxygen regulator low pressure gauge indicates “0”,
    close the oxygen torch valve.

  3. Open the fuel gas torch valve 1/2 turn.

  4. When the fuel gas regulator low pressure gauge indicates “0”,
    close the fuel gas torch valve.

  5. Turn out the oxygen and fuel gas pressure adjusting screws until
    there is absence of spring pressure felt on the pressure adjusting

Ron Charlotte – Gainesville, FL
@Ron_Charlotte1 OR

Yes, Don, when I took my first fabrication class way back when ----I
was taught GoGo. Gas on, Gas off. My instructor was rabid on this
topic and it got drilled into us solidly.

Check out this URL for instructions for handling oxy/acetylene


i’d like to get the definitive answer on the sequence to be used
when lighting or turning off the torch. I was orginally told to
turn on the gas, then feed it (turn on the Oxygen), For turning off
the torch, I was told to “starve it” by turning off the oxygen
first, then turning off the gas. Later I was told this is the
incorrect sequence and that it was O.k. to turn the gas on first
when lighting, but it should be turned off first when shutting down.
Like Don, I too was unable to get any out of the
handbook that came with my little torch. I use the small disposable
cansiters of propane, and a regular small tank (not disposable )
of Oxygen. Sure would like to know once and for all the correct
sequence .Alma

   Interestingly enough, I checked my Oxy-acetylene Weldor's
Handbook but could find no reference to shut off sequence! Any other
views out there? 


If you shut the gas off first, leaving the oxygen going, more than a
few torches will give you a really loud BANG…

Shut off the oxygen first, so you’ve then got a gas only gentle
flame. Then the gas gets shut off. There should be no glowing
anything, anywhere except just at the torch tip perhaps, since that’s
the only place there was a flame in the first place. With the oxy
off first, the gas cannot flash back or ignite anywhere other than
outside the torch. If you shut off the gas first, any remaining gas
will be able to be ignited within the torch as the mix gets more and
more oxydizing during shutoff.


Hmm the plot thickens, I use both a Little Torch and Midget with a
Y and check valves.

I always turn the fuel on first, and turn it off last, During a
long session at the bench, I frequently save oxygen by turning it
off, leaving the propane burning, A quick "on’ with 02 at the torch
head puts me back to work. I add that I do this only while I am
working at the bench.

Then, when I am done for the day or leave the building I turn off
the cylinder valves and bleed down all of the lines - first with
propane, then 02. That cleans the lines and the torch heads. The
last thing I do is to turn off the torch valves and take a look at
the regulators to make sure everything is as it should be.

Do any of you veteran jewelers have comments on these procedures?


A suggestion which I will offer is to use your Little Torch with a
disposable propane tank and preset gas regulator . But purchase a 40
cubic foot steel tank for Oxygen and purchase a oxygen regulator

This is what I use and its the best of both worlds. The tank is app.
$ 100.00 . The Oxygen regulator is app. $ 75.00 Use a # 4 or 5 tip
for general small work. Purchase the fuel gas cylinders at Wall Mart.
Buy 2 or 3 fuel tanks at a time, the oxygen cylinder will last for
many months. Keep your purchase receipt for your tank.


   Do any of you veteran jewelers have  comments on these

Sounds like what I do, as do others where I work, as well as at
every other shop I’ve ever worked. As to leaving the torches burning
with just gas when not in use, it saves the time lighting them each
time. I use one of those bench top spark lighters, so I don’t always
leave the torch burning, but sometimes I do. You can even buy a
valved torch hanger which does this for you, shutting off the oxygen
and leaving a pilot light’s worth of gas flow when you set the torch
down in the hook, and turning both the gas and oxy back on to your
previous setting when you pick up the torch. Since the torch is
alreayd lit with a gas only pilot light, you have instantly the
adjusted flame you had before, without shutting off or turning on
anything each time. At least that’s what the catalog’s suggest.
I’ve never used such a fitting myself, though I know a couple folks
who do… Mostly useful with a midget or hoke torch with medium to
larger tips, rather than a little torch…


        If you shut the gas off first, leaving the oxygen going,
more than a few torches will give you a really loud BANG... Shut
off the oxygen first, so you've then got a gas only gentle flame.
Then the gas gets shut off. 

All, I realize a lot has already been written about this subject
but, especially for the newer members, this can be a very important
activity so we must get it right. Peter, have to respectively
disagree with comments at the top. You are correct about the ‘big
bang’, in fact such a bang occurs even when using a single gas torch.
Point is, it is a bang that occurs at the tip of the torch and it
means the flame has been blown away from the tip by the oxy.

I have done some additional searching and, lo, I found my ‘Little
Torch’ manual as well as a Smith, 'Instruction and Operation Manual
for Oxy-fuel Cutting, Welding and Heating Equipment.

First, the question of lighting procedures when using disposable
cylinders. Page 13 of the ‘Little Torch’ manual:

  1. Open the fuel gas torch valve approximately 1/8 to 1/4 turn

  2. Using an approved friction lighter or holding the top over an
    approved Bunsen burner or candle, ignite the fuel gas.

  3. Slowly open the oxygen torch valve (counterclockwise) until the
    flame is nuetralized. This is accomplished by adding oxygen until
    the bright cone off the end of the tip just reaches its shortest

  4. Increase the fuel gas another 1/8 turn.

  5. Again, increase the oxygen until the flame is neutralized. If
    necessary, continue this procedure until the maximum volume of fuel
    and oxygen are being used and the desired flame is achieved.

Having said all that, I agree with Robert, if you can get rid of the
disposable tanks, do it. They can eat your pocketbook!

Now for the second part…proper shut down procedure for torches:

Again, the ‘Little Torch’ manual, page 13 for disposable tanks, and
again on page 22 for other gases (including high pressure industrial

Extinguishing the Torch Flame -

1.  Turn the fuel gas torch valve to the closed position (clockwise).
2.   Turn the oxygen torch valve to the closed position (clockwise).

Finally, in the Smith Manual, pages 12, 13 and 17, Extinguishing the
Torch Flame (under various circumstances).

1.  Turn the fuel gas torch valve to the closed position.
2.  Turn the oxygen torch valve to the closed position.

There you have it friends.

Cheers from Don at The Charles Belle Studio in SOFL where simple
elegance IS fine jewelry! @coralnut2

I was always tought that the gas must be turned on an lit first,
getting a stable flame before the oxygen is turned on. Generally I
find that it is very difficult to light a torch with the oxygen on.
To turn off, the Oxygen must be turned off first otherwise there is a
risk of explosion. On the odd occasion when I have turned the gas off
first on my big oxy/propane torch, the flashback arrester on the gas
supply has always tripped indicating that the gas has burned in the
hose! After the flame is out, I always purge the hoses by shutting
off the valves at both the propane and oxygen cylinders, opening the
gas valve on the torch to release pressure and then gradually opening
the oxy valve on the torch which uses the pressure of the oxygen to
suck the remaining gas out of the hose. Finally, I shut off both
torch valves again giving ‘double safety’.

Best wishes,
Ian W. Wright
Sheffield UK

If you just allow a wee tiny bit of Oxygen on while lighting any
torch, you avoid the black soot from burning Acetylene, that soot is
less prevalent on Mapp Gas or Propane/Butane or Natural Gas. But the
down side to those gasses are the molecular structure makes it very
hard, if not totally impossible to use any tip below a size 4 thus
loosing the best features of the little torch the 1-2-and 3 tips the
size 2 tip is great for doing delicate chain repair and even the
finest curb can be Brazed/Soldered with the size 1 tip, But if you
start out using propane/butane or map you can not use the equipment
with Acetylene, the oil that they put in so it will give off a foul
smell incase it leaks which is usually Garlic Oil, can cause the
flame to burn inside the tip and explode as far down as the mixing chamber(handle)

Not enough is said about backing out the adjusting screw on the
oxygen regulator after shut down. Because when you re-light the
torch with the screw in up to 2000 pounds pressure can hit the
regulator diaphragm and cause damage. I sold regulators for 37 years
and I saw some costly problems. For the sake of safety and cost, please
turn the screw out.

When I was in school, I learned a simple nemonic, GOOG. This stands
for Gas first, Oxy second. To turn off, Oxy first then Gas second.

When you are turning on Little Torches, the flame is so tiny it can
be tricky and easy to forget. However, I was learning welding and
raising with a HUGE torch tip. It mattered!

Karen Christians
10 Walnut St.
Woburn, MA 01801
Ph: 781 937 3532
Fx: 781 937 3955
email: @Karen_Christians
Board Member of SNAG

Peter, when talking about the little torch no one refers to the
dials… I mean what is the gas set to and the oxy set ?? say
starting at the beginning what are the gauages set for the # 1 torch
and etc. all theway to # 5 … LIke gas at 10 and the ox at 10 or… I
have more trouble lighting my torch… and getting the proper gas -ox
mix… ?? Help as long as we are on the subject… Thanks… calgang
PS Gini Rollins said she met you at a Snag conference… lucky
her… But she said you were soooooo nice… Course I knew that